Businesses of all sizes utilise process mapping and other evaluation methods to organise their workflows and identify areas for improvement.
The timeless adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” holds some truth for digital transformations. Although it’s vital to address technological redundancies, digital strategies must also seamlessly integrate with core legacy systems. This poses the question of how does one determine what needs fixing?
Process mapping and UX design help organisations identify poor user experiences that may hinder productivity and profitability.
This article explores the concept of process mapping and how it can improve user experiences within your organisation.
What is Process Mapping?
Process mapping is the visual representation of each activity or task within a business process. A process map identifies each step end-to-end, including the participants and timing involved.
The technique visualises a workflow by creating a process map or flowchart that concisely communicates how the process works.
Why Use Process Mapping in Your Business?
A process map enables teams and departments within an organisation to easily understand each step of a process without the need for lengthy verbal explanations. Further, process mapping identifies aspects of a workflow that may be redundant or require improvement.
Organisations worldwide are digitising their workflows for efficiency and to improve customer and employee experience. However, as organisations scale and expand, their processes and systems can often become increasingly complex and convoluted.
Poorly executed digital transformation strategies have been shown to negatively influence user experience. For example, research shows that 77% of executive leaders consider automation gaps and segregated systems adversely affect customer experience.
Process mapping is crucial to identify system irritants, inefficiencies, and redundancies that frustrate and deter users.
Armed with this knowledge, your business can form a digital transformation strategy that balances the need to replace and update redundant procedures while integrating essential legacy systems.
For example, our expert team worked alongside one of Australia’s largest organisations to process map the numerous tools and procedures utilised by almost 4,000 employees.
We then implemented a user-centric digital strategy that consolidated and simplified core processes, such as authentication, which significantly improved employee experience.
User Experience (UX) Design
UX design enhances the quality of interactions between users and a product or service through a deep understanding of their needs. But how do you identify the needs of your users?
Process mapping to improve user experience focuses on analysing each activity or event a user will go through to accomplish a task.
For example, onboarding may be a time-intensive process involving numerous emails, phone calls, and manual data entry tasks. In contrast, a more beneficial user experience may centre on a digital self-service tool, enhancing candidate experience through reduced onboarding timeframes and also reducing HR workloads.
By evaluating your processes through a user experience (UX) design lens, you can identify digital products that enhance employee and client experience and ultimately drive organisational growth.
UX design is technology agnostic and instead analyses human behaviour to inform and implement digitisation strategies. UX designers rely on several mapping methods to creatively and intuitively design digital solutions.
Getting started is as simple as thinking about processes within your business where employee or customer experience requires improvement. You can clearly identify digital products that may address these needs by first mapping each process.
The below section discusses some helpful mapping techniques to better understand and empathise with your users.
Similar to the broader and related concept of process mapping, UX designers rely on various mapping techniques to visualise workflow stages. The primary goal of UX mapping centres on understanding users’ pain points and determining an appropriate digital solution.
The four types of UX mapping are:
- Experience mapping
- Empathy mapping
- User journey mapping
- Service design (blueprint) mapping
Experience mapping offers a high-level overview of the human behaviour required to achieve a certain objective. The process is service and product agnostic and entirely focuses on human (i.e. your users) interaction with the existing experience.
The remaining three types of mapping methods provide UX designers with a holistic view of the user experience.
As the name suggests, empathy mapping helps development teams understand a user’s mindset. This mapping approach focuses on what users may say, think, or feel while using a product or service and is often the first place UX designers begin their analysis.
Once the users’ pain points have been identified via empathy mapping, designers will consider the broader insights offered via experience mapping.
User journey mapping
User journey mapping defines how users (such as your customers and employees) will create value by using a particular product or service to achieve an end goal.
Service design (blueprint) mapping
Finally, a service design blueprint maps the transformed process and the user experience when using the new or updated digital product. The blueprint is a valuable tool to highlight internal inefficiencies or weaknesses leading to a suboptimal user experience.
To summarise, these UX mapping approaches’ combined use can help your organisation identify inefficiencies or barriers within workflows that adversely affect user experience.
How to Increase Employee Satisfaction with Digital Solutions
Providing a beneficial customer experience is an inside job – meaning it starts with ensuring your employees have the necessary tools and support to exceed customer expectations.
By understanding a particular process and the associated user experience, your business can now evaluate digital solutions that enhance employee satisfaction.
Employees prefer digital solutions that are intuitive, convenient, and efficient so they can focus on completing their duties with as few delays and system irritants as possible.
Organisations can foster efficient and collaborative workplace cultures by implementing processes that simplify communications, enhance transparency, and support knowledge sharing.
As evidenced by our earlier example and our many other success stories, digitisation using UX design principles streamlines interdepartmental communications, encourages innovation, and supports teamwork.
Investing in digital strategies that promote positive employee experiences can benefit an entire organisation. Research shows businesses that introduce digital products to share information and address data silos are more profitable and scalable.
Business Process Mapping for a Better Client Experience
Now that you understand what process mapping and UX design are, it’s time to explore the basic steps involved.
The application and complexity will vary for each unique process. As a result, expert guidance in the process mapping and later development stages can often save your business significant time and money.
Step 1: Specify the scope of the process
If you’ve identified a poor customer or employee experience within your business, it can be tempting to overhaul several processes at once. Although this approach is possible, it may be more beneficial to begin by mapping one critical function as your initial priority.
Once you’ve selected a specific process, map how it works from end to end.
Step 2: Seek stakeholder engagement
Review each activity in the process by discussing with the individuals and teams involved in the day-to-day work. During this step, you will identify and record who does what, how they do it, and when.
Continue to build your process map in partnership with senior stakeholders to gain buy-in and support, which will help during future planning and development stages.
Step 3: Write the sequence of steps
Arrange the activities in their correct sequence until each step of the current process is represented from start to finish. As part of this step, you will need to specify the order of individual tasks, the connections between each task, inputs and task triggers, and the people or systems involved.
Step 4: Visualise your process map
Arguably the most fun step, it’s time to visually represent the process in a process map. Mapping symbols are often used to summarise different elements of a process.
Step 5: Verify and adjust
Now that you’ve created your process map, you must ensure it is accurate. Check with participants to verify that all steps have been included and all information is precise. Seek relevant stakeholder feedback and make any necessary adjustments to your process map.
Step 6: Finalise and analyse
Once you’ve determined that the process map accurately details the workflow, you can begin identifying ways to improve the mapped process and create long-term value.
In summary, implementing the above six steps will help your business create an informative process map. You can then expand upon these steps by applying the UX mapping techniques outlined earlier, which will provide a more comprehensive view of how a user experiences the process.
Organisations worldwide are embracing the transformative power of digitisation and automation to improve how they do business. Creating the best digital product for your organisation is both a science and an art form that should carefully consider the impact on user experience.
Intuitively designed digital products can enhance employee experience, workplace culture, and productivity. Similarly, delivering a digital experience to external customers that focuses on design and functionality can promote customer loyalty, awareness, and engagement.
Process mapping is a helpful tool for evaluating and improving your business processes. By implementing UX mapping techniques, you can better understand your users’ mindset and their pain points within your workflows.
By focusing on employee and client experience, you can ensure your organisation builds a digital strategy that creates long-term value and efficiency.
If you’re searching for an experienced and reliable provider for your organisation’s digital journey, contact the friendly team at Exo Digital today.