What is Process Design?

How do you Find the Best Solution for Your Business Process? Process Design!

Watch our video to learn about how MICology will work with you to break down your process into elements and find the most efficient solution for your business.


Once you’ve designed your process, you’ll need to define its configuration.

Click here to view the next video in our series, ‘Defining Your Process Configuration’, to learn about what is involved.

Process Design (or Process Mapping) is a method for ensuring an efficient, maintainable and easily upgradeable software solution is found for your business process. It is comprised of: a relationship map; a cross functional process map; and a flow chart.

Let us look at each of these areas in turn.

A Relationship Map shows:

  • your organisation’s departments;
  • your suppliers;
  • and, your customers.

Next, for each customer, supplier and department, you must determine what they ‘provide’ your organisation with, and what your organisation provides for them. In the case of a Repair Centre:

  • the ‘Operations’ department would provide a repaired vehicle to the customer;
  • the Finance department would invoice the customer;
  • and the customer would send payment for the repair, to the Finance department.

A table should be created for each customer, supplier and department showing their relationships.

Using the tables, add these different relationships to the map.

Relationship maps do not explicitly show work activities, rather the inputs and outputs between each part of the organisation and external bodies.

The next part of your Process Design is creation of a ‘Cross-Functional Process Map’ to detail your company’s ‘Workflow’. This shows:

  • the departments responsible for each part of the process;
  • the inputs and outputs between departments, customers and suppliers;
  • the resources and people required at each stage;
  • and patterns in the Workflow.

First, show as ‘swim lanes’ your suppliers, customers and departments. The rectangles that represent these entities on your relationship map become horizontal bands or swim lanes on your cross-functional map.

For each, identify the tasks that make up each part of the process that they are responsible for. Locate these in the approximate place where they will happen in the process.

Referring to the Relationship diagram and tables, add the inputs and outputs to the Cross-Functional map, plus unique identifiers for each part of the process.

The final part of Process design is creation of a flowchart to define your business process. Flowcharts are diagrams consisting of actions and decisions. These are connected by arrows to indicate the order in which they are processed.

There are multiple benefits when using a flowchart:

  • Decisions can be built into the flow;
  • Unnecessary or inefficient steps are highlighted;
  • and Drill down within a subset or portion of the process is possible.

By referring to each part of the cross-functional diagram, a flowchart can be derived for your business process.

Actions represent individual steps in a process; they do not determine flow.

Decisions can be automated or made by one or more people. They have multiple outcomes, and are based on a defined algorithm. Unlike actions, they do direct the flow of a process.

The completed flowchart details your business process workflow. In the process configuration document which follows, we will look at the physical elements required to implement your process.

This will include:

  • key process stages;
  • roles;
  • data types and fields;
  • documents;
  • permissions;
  • milestones;
  • reports and dashboards;
  • financial transactions;
  • and authority.
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