Process Map - Cross Functional

Use a cross-functional process map to illustrate the sequential steps of a process or a procedure as they cross departments and phases.

Process maps help you to understand and to communicate the activities, or steps, in a process. Process maps also help you to see the relationships between inputs and outputs in a process and to identify key decision points. Cross-functional process maps help you to see the department and the phase in which an activity occurs.

Departments (also called swim lanes) divide the steps horizontally. After you add a department, you can add a phase. Phases divide the steps vertically.
A cross-functional process map answers the following questions.
  • Which departments and phases contain the greatest opportunity for improvement?
  • What obstacles in the workflow occur when work moves between departments?
  • Can you plan departmental activities more efficiently? For example, can you consolidate them into fewer phases of the workflow?
  • For a specific project, where does the process start and end?
  • What are the inputs and outputs of each step in the process?
  • Which steps are the bottlenecks and sources of defects?
  • Which steps have a direct impact on customer requirements?
  • Can you simplify, combine, or eliminate steps in the process?


  1. As a team, determine where the process starts and where it ends, then walk through each step of the process.
  2. Identify the department and the phase where the step belongs.
  3. Identify the data associated with each step of the process. Consider the following items.
    • Activities: Names of the steps in the process map.
    • Inputs: X variables that might influence the output of interest, either directly or indirectly.
    • Outputs: Y variables that depend on X variables.
    • Process data: Information that further defines the characteristics of a process, such as the yield or DPMO at each step.
    • Lean data: Information that is often used to identify and eliminate waste, such as resource utilization or cycle time at each step.
  4. Record the collected information in a process map.

For more information, go to Add a map.