Want to know how a system can be implemented or improved? Creating a process diagram is a great way to find out. It’s a kind of flowchart that helps visualize a process and document how a particular task is done. Get started by assembling a small team, finding some wall space, and gathering writing materials — writing out your diagram by hand makes it more flexible.
These symbols will be connected to each other by arrows, which show the pathways of the process and how everything relates.
Now that we’ve got the key elements in place, let’s get going! A great way to begin is by using a Post-it® Super Sticky Dry Erase Surface. It comes in sheets or rolls, which you can cut to custom sizes to precisely cover a wall or even a table. The flexibility and ease of editing on the fly with dry erase makes it great for the iterative nature of making your diagram. Because things can change so quickly, dry erase surface lets you think out loud and get ideas down with freedom.
Ask your team: What is the focus of the flow diagram? Are you mapping a distribution channel? An approval process? Whatever it is, write this focus at the top of your dry erase surface. Next, have each person spend a few moments jotting down the key process steps needed to reach the focus goal on Post-it® Super Sticky Notes 3 in. x 3 in. and sticking them all in a column to the side of the dry erase surface.
Now is when the process mapping starts to take shape! Start your diagram by drawing an elongated circle on a Post-it® Super Sticky Note, label it “Start,” and stick it on the dry erase surface.
Move to the first action/question and use the rectangle or diamond shape, depending on your specific scenario. Write the action/question down and connect it with an arrow to the “Start” circle.
Continue these steps for your entire process. Throughout, you’ll use Post-it® Super Sticky Notes for the key points, actions, and questions, and draw your interconnected arrows on the dry erase surface. The notes are easy to remove and re-stick on anything as you go, refining the diagram and easily adjusting it as different methods and improved flows take shape. To assign ownership of each action, stick Post-it® Page Markers under them, and color-code them to each team member to allow important actions to be easily identified. The page markers are great for highlighting tasks, and can be removed and re-stuck inside a planner or calendar with ease.
Some decisions may have two (or more) different outcomes, leading to different path channels — map them all! Connect all the actions and decisions with arrows, and watch the flow come into focus. Once you’ve mapped the entire process, place an elongated circle at the end and label it “Finish.”
Have your team scrutinize the diagram. Are there ways to improve your process? Should additional steps be added? Are the right people in the right roles? With Post-it® Products, the simple process flow diagram puts thoughts into action, making it easy and quick for everyone on the team to stand out and be heard. You’ll gain new insights into the efficiency of your operations, solve problems and achieve more — together.