Process Map

Use a process map to illustrate the sequential flow and the relationship of steps in a process or procedure.
Process maps help you to understand and to communicate the activities, or steps, in a process. Process maps also help you to see the relationship between inputs and outputs in a process, identify key decision points, and uncover rework loops.
A process map answers the following questions.
  • Which areas of the process show the greatest opportunity for improvement?
  • 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 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 can 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 used to identify and eliminate waste, such as resource utilization or cycle time at each step.
  3. Record the collected information in a process map.

For more information, go to Add a map.