Discovering Process Maps: Fixing Common Mistakes

process mapping

A process map helps people understand how to do things better. From admin processes to marketing, process maps are an important part of fixing broken business processes. In this article, we’ll talk about common problems people face when mapping processes.

Mixing up symbols

The idea of a process map is to make processes easy to understand. Typically, symbols might describe certain steps, but this can get confusing if everybody uses different symbols. For example, one person uses a circle to indicate a specific step, but someone in another department uses a square. Ideally, process mapping should be uniform across your whole organisation to keep things clear and easy to follow.

Using different terminology

Much like symbols, terminology must be the same throughout the process mapping journey. A common problem is using different terms for stakeholders. For example, you may consider your customer to be a ‘client’, while someone else simply uses ‘customer’. The other person may use ‘client’ to refer to suppliers rather than customers. See how easily this can get confusing? Keep your terminology relevant throughout the process, and use a key for terms and symbols if necessary.

How much detail?

Keeping the amount of detail the same throughout your mapping process is crucial. Before you start, determine how deep you intend to dive into each process. Will your process map just include an overview of the key steps, or will you break everything down into tiny detail? Either option is fine in theory, as long as you’re consistent for all of the processes you map.

Missing important parts 

While we mentioned that it’s up to you whether you make a detailed map or not, naturally, process maps with more detail are more effective. Ensure you include all relevant steps, including decisions made throughout the process. Have you included what happens if something goes wrong with your process? This can be a good way to clearly see the impact of getting it wrong.

Not involving relevant stakeholders

Most business processes involve multiple people. For example, your receptionist takes a phone call and refers it to the sales team. Even this very simple process involves two people. Imagine larger processes and how many individuals they may involve? When conducting a process mapping exercise, ensure all relevant stakeholders are part of the discussion. Most of the time, they’ll have valuable input that makes your process map better.


Process maps are a valuable part of any business. They help you identify areas for improvement, ways to improve efficiency, and even how to use automation for better results. Ensure you are thorough, include relevant stakeholders and use uniform terms or symbols. If you need help with process mapping, reach out to Human Pixel to start the conversation today.

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Discovering Process Maps: Fixing Common Mistakes

Ralph Pinon