Appendix A: Guide to
Creating a Process Map
A process map is a means used to document work practices
and convey information about a process. Process maps are
important because they help nd ways to simplify, streamline,
and redesign the process. During the creation of a process
map, a team familiar with the process will agree on the steps
of the process, determine which activities have an impact
on process performance, identify data collection points, and
when done, use it to train others on the process.
The objective of creating a process map is to help teams
see how a whole process works, including the ow of the
steps, events, people, and materials and their relationships to
each other. It helps to identify problem areas, bottlenecks, or
instances in processes where non-value-adding work is per-
formed. In addition, it shows critical points in a process and
where teams can collect data.
The rst process maps that are created as the “current-state”
process maps inevitably are improved to show the “ideal” or
“future-state” map, in which the ow of the process, from start
to nish, has been simplied, streamlined, or redesigned.
But, before creating a process map we need to have a de-
nition of a process:
124 ◾ Appendix A: Guide to Creating a Process Map
A process is a systematic, sequenced series of inter-
dependent actions that, at every stage, consume one
or more resources to convert inputs into outputs.
We also need to know why process is important.
1. Outcomes, and especially predictable outcomes, are the
result of the transformation of inputs and processes.
Achieving consistent results requires consistent inputs
processed through a stable process.
2. The only way to change or improve the results is to
change the input or processes.
Ironically, we often believe the outcomes will be what we
want them to be without considering the inputs and process
when, in truth, every process is perfectly designed to produce
what it is producing. If it takes three minutes for an egg to
become hard boiled, the methods have to change to obtain a
boiled egg in two minutes. Additional equipment, higher tem-
peratures, or semicooked eggs would need to be introduced
to create a new process: the two-minute boiled egg process.
How to Create a Process Map
1. Organize a team of subject matter experts (three to ve
2. Educate them on principles and tools of process mapping.
3. Ask each to prepare a list of all related tasks for the
dened process. It does not need to be in any order, just
a list of all of the tasks performed in the process.
4. Schedule a two- to three-hour meeting to review com-
piled and enumerated tasks.
5. Create a list of agreed-on tasks.
− Eliminate duplicate tasks.
Appendix A: Guide to Creating a Process Map ◾ 125
− Evaluate all tasks by categorizing each task as “need
to/must do,” “like to do,” and “nice to do.”
6. Starting with a “start” block, place each task in order
going top to bottom in the basic order in which the tasks
are performed. When all of the tasks within a process are
documented, end the map with an “end” block.
7. Hand off the list to your management engineering (ME)
expert. A well-seasoned ME will clarify the rst draft of
the current-state process map.
8. At a follow-up meeting, the team reviews and evaluates
the process map.
The map will look like Figure A.1. To ensure accuracy of
the process map, all activities need to be sequenced and docu-
mented from top to bottom and from left to right. Figures A.2
and A.3 provide examples of completed process maps.
126 ◾ Appendix A: Guide to Creating a Process Map
Medical/Surgical Nursing Unit
Category “A” Patient Itinerary
Figure A.1 Current-state map template.