How to Develop Business Process Map

Part 2 — How to Develop “AS-IS” Business Process Map

This tutorial was created to simplify the process of creating Business Process Map for your organization(s). In my experiences, people try to codify the business process map where they follow strict guidelines as well as complicated notations to map out business processes. Consequently, they lose the sight of what is most important part of business process map — a simple and powerful communication tool to document the business activities from start to finish. I hope this article will help you in developing business process map in near future.

Business process mapping is a powerful business process technique that uses the notations or symbols to get a visual depiction of a business activity from start to finish. This technique traces each step in a process and identifies not only what is being done, but also by whom, where, when, how and even makes it possible to uncover why.

This is multi-part series on How to Develop Business Process Map. Business Process Map Series consists of:

1. Description

  • Level 1: Loan “AS-IS” Process
  • Level 2: 1. Apply for a Loan
  • Level 2: 2. Review Loan Application
  • Level 2: 4. Provide Loan Offer
  • Level 2: 5. Does Not Provide Loan Offer
  • Level 2: 6. Review Loan Offer
  • Level 2: 8. Fund Loan

2. Prerequisites

  • Part 1–8 Simple Rules of Business Process Mapping (https://medium.com/@sungkim11/7-golden-rules-of-business-process-mapping-e340ff43c90d)
  • Basic knowledge of Microsoft Visio. There are multiple tutorials available online on using Microsoft Visio.
  • Basic knowledge of Microsoft Visio’s BPMN Basic Shapes stencil. This stencil is used since it produces professional looking process map. Please note that we do not use most of functionality of this stencil since it goes against our keep it simple philosophy. There are multiple tutorials available online on using Microsoft Visio’s BPMN Basic Shapes stencil.
  • Basic knowledge of Microsoft Visio’s Cross-Functional Flowchart Shapes stencil. This stencil is used to create horizontal swim lanes. For more information on swim lanes, please refer to Part 1–8 Simple Rules of Business Process Mapping (https://medium.com/@sungkim11/7-golden-rules-of-business-process-mapping-e340ff43c90d).
  • Basic knowledge of Microsoft Visio’s Hyperlink feature where you can link a shape in the diagram to another diagram page. This is useful since we will need easy way to navigate between different diagram pages.

3. Develop “AS-IS” Business Process Map

3.1. Level 1: Loan “AS-IS” Process

Please note that it is rare occurrence in a large-sized organization where one SME understands the business process from end-to-end since most people are compartmentalized into their daily tasks.

This is especially true when developing level 1 (i.e., top level) business process map where it is expected that this diagram will go through more iterations of changes than lower levels of business process map. As you elaborate on lower levels, it is expected that changes will bubble up, resulting in changes to level 1.

In addition, it is very difficult to capture the entire business processes in one diagram, even at higher level of details. So, start with skeleton business processes map then iterate as you elaborate on lower levels of details.

The following diagram illustrates loan application process from applying for a loan, reviewing that, and finally funding that loan. In addition, it adheres to “8 Simple Rules of Business Process Mapping” by using:

  • Simple Notations
  • Concise Task Names like “Review Loan Application”
  • Swim Lanes to designate who/what is doing task in their swim lane
  • Levels to provide summarized view of business process and ability to drill down to view more detailed business processes.
  • Numbers to designate which tasks are done on what order
  • Left to Right Order to ensure easy readability of which tasks are done on what order

to provide clear and concise level of details in one diagram.

The task names are:

  • 1. Apply for a Loan
  • 2. Review Loan Application
  • 3. Offer a Loan?
  • 4. Provide Loan Offer
  • 5. Do Not Provide Loan Offer
  • 6. Review Loan Offer
  • 7. Accept Loan Offer?
  • 8. Fund Loan
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Level 1: Loan “AS-IS” Process

3.2. 1. Apply for a Loan

It adheres to “8 Simple Rules of Business Process Mapping” by using:

  • Simple Notations
  • Concise Task Names like “Complete Loan Application”
  • Swim Lanes to designate who/what is doing task in their swim lane
  • Levels that provides preceding task and succeeding task at higher level of business process.
  • Numbers to designate which tasks are done on what order
  • Left to Right Order to ensure easy readability of which tasks are done on what order

to provide clear and concise level of details in one diagram.

The elaborated tasks are:

  • 1.1. Search for Loan Offer(s)
  • 1.2. Select Loan Offer(s)
  • 1.3. Complete Loan Application
  • 1.4. Submit Loan Application

Please note the following:

  • Level 2 of Business Process Map is still high level where details are captured at more of activity level. Task level of details will be captured at both Level 3 and Level 4 of Business Process Map. For a rule of thumb, if business processes will change then you will need to capture details at least down to Level 3 details for “AS-IS” business process map then evolve them to Level 3 details for “TO-BE” business process map.
  • If the elaborated task details do not fall between both preceding task and succeeding task then you may need to change higher level process. Developing business process map is very iterative where changes to both lower level of details and higher level of details will result in changes to current level of details and vice versa.

After you have completed elaborating tasks, right click on both “Start Task” task and “1. Apply for a Loan” task and hyperlink to “Loan “AS-IS” Process” diagram by clicking on “Edit Hyperlink” from context menu and selecting “Loan “AS-IS” Process” from “Sub Address:” drop-down box. After that, you should be able to navigate pages by holding down CTRL button then clicking on hyperlinked Task.

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1. Apply for a Loan

Finally, navigate to the higher level of business process — “Loan “AS-IS” Process” and change “1. Apply for a Loan” task to denote that there are elaborated details by selecting “Activity Type” from context menu then selecting “Collapsed Sub-Process”. This will add “+” to the task at the bottom as illustrated below.

Also, right click on “1. Apply for a Loan” task and hyperlink to “1. Apply for a Loan” diagram by by clicking on “Edit Hyperlink” from context menu and selecting “1. Apply for a Loan” from “Sub Address:” drop-down box. After that, you should be able to navigate pages by holding down CTRL button then clicking on hyperlinked Task.

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Loan “AS-IS” Process with 1. Apply for a Loan with “+” sign

3.3. 2. Review Loan Application

It adheres to “8 Simple Rules of Business Process Mapping” by using:

  • Simple Notations
  • Concise Task Names like “Evaluate Loan Application”
  • Swim Lanes to designate who/what is doing task in their swim lane
  • Levels that provides preceding task and succeeding task at higher level of business process.
  • Numbers to designate which tasks are done on what order
  • Left to Right Order to ensure easy readability of which tasks are done on what order

to provide clear and concise level of details in one diagram.

The elaborated tasks are:

  • 2.1. Evaluate Loan Application
  • 2.2. Evaluate Loan Applicant
  • 2.3. Evaluate Loan Collateral
  • 2.4. Assess Credit Risk

Please note the following:

  • Level 2 of Business Process Map is still high level where details are captured at more of activity level. Task level of details will be captured at both Level 3 and Level 4 of Business Process Map. For a rule of thumb, if business processes will change then you will need to capture details at least down to Level 3 details for “AS-IS” business process map then evolve them to Level 3 details for “TO-BE” business process map.
  • If the elaborated task details do not fall between both preceding task and succeeding task then you may need to change higher level process. Developing business process map is very iterative where changes to both lower level of details and higher level of details will result in changes to current level of details and vice versa.

After you have completed elaborating tasks, right click on both “1. Apply for a Loan” task and “3. Offer a Loan?” task and hyperlink to “Loan “AS-IS” Process” diagram by clicking on “Edit Hyperlink” from context menu and selecting “Loan “AS-IS” Process” from “Sub Address:” drop-down box. After that, you should be able to navigate pages by holding down CTRL button then clicking on hyperlinked Task.

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2. Review Loan Application

Finally, navigate to the higher level of business process — “Loan “AS-IS” Process” and change “2. Review Loan Application” task to denote that there are elaborated details by selecting “Activity Type” from context menu then selecting “Collapsed Sub-Process”. This will add “+” to the task at the bottom as illustrated below.

Also, right click on “2. Review Loan Application” task and hyperlink to “2. Review Loan Application” diagram by by clicking on “Edit Hyperlink” from context menu and selecting “2. Review Loan Application” from “Sub Address:” drop-down box. After that, you should be able to navigate pages by holding down CTRL button then clicking on hyperlinked Task.

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3.4. 4. Provide Loan Offer

It adheres to “8 Simple Rules of Business Process Mapping” by using:

  • Simple Notations
  • Concise Task Names like “Assign Credit Risk Grade”
  • Swim Lanes to designate who/what is doing task in their swim lane
  • Levels that provides preceding task and succeeding task at higher level of business process.
  • Numbers to designate which tasks are done on what order
  • Left to Right Order to ensure easy readability of which tasks are done on what order

to provide clear and concise level of details in one diagram.

The elaborated tasks are:

  • 4.1. Assign Credit Risk Grade
  • 4.2. Select Loan Term based on Credit Risk Grade
  • 4.3. Provide Loan Term Offer

Please note the following:

  • Level 2 of Business Process Map is still high level where details are captured at more of activity level. Task level of details will be captured at both Level 3 and Level 4 of Business Process Map. For a rule of thumb, if business processes will change then you will need to capture details at least down to Level 3 details for “AS-IS” business process map then evolve them to Level 3 details for “TO-BE” business process map.
  • If the elaborated task details do not fall between both preceding task and succeeding task then you may need to change higher level process. Developing business process map is very iterative where changes to both lower level of details and higher level of details will result in changes to current level of details and vice versa.

After you have completed elaborating tasks, right click on both “3. Offer a Loan?” task and “6. Review Loan Offer” task and hyperlink to “Loan “AS-IS” Process” diagram by clicking on “Edit Hyperlink” from context menu and selecting “Loan “AS-IS” Process” from “Sub Address:” drop-down box. After that, you should be able to navigate pages by holding down CTRL button then clicking on hyperlinked Task.

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4. Provide Loan Offer

Finally, navigate to the higher level of business process — “Loan “AS-IS” Process” and change “4. Provide Loan Offer” task to denote that there are elaborated details by selecting “Activity Type” from context menu then selecting “Collapsed Sub-Process”. This will add “+” to the task at the bottom as illustrated below.

Also, right click on “4. Provide Loan Offer” task and hyperlink to “4. Provide Loan Offer” diagram by by clicking on “Edit Hyperlink” from context menu and selecting “4. Provide Loan Offer” from “Sub Address:” drop-down box. After that, you should be able to navigate pages by holding down CTRL button then clicking on hyperlinked Task.

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3.5. 5. Do Not Provide Loan Offer

It adheres to “8 Simple Rules of Business Process Mapping” by using:

  • Simple Notations
  • Concise Task Names like “Determine Decline Reason”
  • Swim Lanes to designate who/what is doing task in their swim lane
  • Levels that provides preceding task and succeeding task at higher level of business process.
  • Numbers to designate which tasks are done on what order
  • Left to Right Order to ensure easy readability of which tasks are done on what order

to provide clear and concise level of details in one diagram.

The elaborated tasks are:

  • 5.1. Determine Decline Reason
  • 5.2. Communicate Decline Reason to Customer

Please note the following:

  • Level 2 of Business Process Map is still high level where details are captured at more of activity level. Task level of details will be captured at both Level 3 and Level 4 of Business Process Map. For a rule of thumb, if business processes will change then you will need to capture details at least down to Level 3 details for “AS-IS” business process map then evolve them to Level 3 details for “TO-BE” business process map.
  • If the elaborated task details do not fall between both preceding task and succeeding task then you may need to change higher level process. Developing business process map is very iterative where changes to both lower level of details and higher level of details will result in changes to current level of details and vice versa.

After you have completed elaborating tasks, right click on both “3. Offer a Loan?” task and “End Task” task and hyperlink to “Loan “AS-IS” Process” diagram by clicking on “Edit Hyperlink” from context menu and selecting “Loan “AS-IS” Process” from “Sub Address:” drop-down box. After that, you should be able to navigate pages by holding down CTRL button then clicking on hyperlinked Task.

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5. Do Not Provide Loan Offer

Finally, navigate to the higher level of business process — “Loan “AS-IS” Process” and change “5. Do Not Provide Loan Offer” task to denote that there are elaborated details by selecting “Activity Type” from context menu then selecting “Collapsed Sub-Process”. This will add “+” to the task at the bottom as illustrated below.

Also, right click on “5. Do Not Provide Loan Offer” task and hyperlink to “5. Do Not Provide Loan Offer” diagram by by clicking on “Edit Hyperlink” from context menu and selecting “5. Do Not Provide Loan Offer” from “Sub Address:” drop-down box. After that, you should be able to navigate pages by holding down CTRL button then clicking on hyperlinked Task.

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3.6. 6. Review Loan Offer

It adheres to “8 Simple Rules of Business Process Mapping” by using:

  • Simple Notations
  • Concise Task Names like “Review Loan Offer Term”
  • Swim Lanes to designate who/what is doing task in their swim lane
  • Levels that provides preceding task and succeeding task at higher level of business process.
  • Numbers to designate which tasks are done on what order
  • Left to Right Order to ensure easy readability of which tasks are done on what order

to provide clear and concise level of details in one diagram.

The elaborated tasks are:

  • 6.1. Review Loan Offer Term

Please note the following:

  • Level 2 of Business Process Map is still high level where details are captured at more of activity level. Task level of details will be captured at both Level 3 and Level 4 of Business Process Map. For a rule of thumb, if business processes will change then you will need to capture details at least down to Level 3 details for “AS-IS” business process map then evolve them to Level 3 details for “TO-BE” business process map.
  • If the elaborated task details do not fall between both preceding task and succeeding task then you may need to change higher level process. Developing business process map is very iterative where changes to both lower level of details and higher level of details will result in changes to current level of details and vice versa.

After you have completed elaborating tasks, right click on both “4. Provide Loan Offer” task and “7. Accept Loan Offer?” task and hyperlink to “Loan “AS-IS” Process” diagram by clicking on “Edit Hyperlink” from context menu and selecting “Loan “AS-IS” Process” from “Sub Address:” drop-down box. After that, you should be able to navigate pages by holding down CTRL button then clicking on hyperlinked Task.

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6. Review Loan Offer

Finally, navigate to the higher level of business process — “Loan “AS-IS” Process” and change “6. Review Loan Offer” task to denote that there are elaborated details by selecting “Activity Type” from context menu then selecting “Collapsed Sub-Process”. This will add “+” to the task at the bottom as illustrated below.

Also, right click on “6. Review Loan Offer” task and hyperlink to “6. Review Loan Offer” diagram by by clicking on “Edit Hyperlink” from context menu and selecting “6. Review Loan Offer” from “Sub Address:” drop-down box. After that, you should be able to navigate pages by holding down CTRL button then clicking on hyperlinked Task.

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3.7. Save Visio Diagram as PDF

I hope you have enjoyed this article. If you have any questions or comments, please provide them here.

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