Very few people I know use business process mapping, but it can be a really good way to figure out the difference between what is happening now vs. what you want to have happen with certain systems running in your business.
For example, you might have this really great product out in your online store, but you somehow keep losing customers -- like 85% of the time -- after they click the "add to cart" button. What happened?
Or in another instance, you may have tons of referrals and they come to you willing and ready to invest, but you only convert 10% of them into clients. Where's the breakdown? How do you know? And what resources do you need in order to increase that number?
Many times, knowing the solution that works the best for you does not just pop up in a magical light bulb over your head. Instead, it requires knowing what is taking place, step-by-step, so you can make improvements for the better.
Business Analysts (also known as BA's) tend to take advantage of process mapping because it suits them perfectly since they tend to be practical thinkers, always looking for the "why" behind what's going on. They also get really passionate about information. I like how this article from TDWI says, "They love to wallow in it, get it all over themselves, see what they can do with it, and see it change state and morph and eventually crystallize into facets of meaning."
Basically, these guys can get really geeky about improving a system, or set of activities so you get the most optimal results.
How do I know? Because I actually have an analyst background in my "other" career. Yeah, that's how I got to be such a systems geek.
Now here's what is cool about that...
There are a lot of creative thinkers marketing how great it is to use your creativity to ...well...create things. Products, new service offerings, you name it. I love it and I think that's great. If you want to promote creative thinking, mind-mapping is a very effective tool. But that's a whole different type of method than what I'm talking about.
The thing is, not everyone is naturally given to creatively wild or illustrative thinking. Some of us tend to be a bit more structured and systematic in our thinking. Having those type of people in your business network can be tremendously helpful because we help with the execution of the actual sale of that wonderful new product, or we help you fix problems with the way you're handling questions from prospective buyers so they feel better about trusting you and affirmed when they buy.
This is the beautiful place where process mapping comes in.
In my upcoming webinar, 10 Ways To Design Better Systems For Your Business, I share more about process mapping and what it can do. Plus I'll be talking about more ways to improve what you're doing in your business, so you can be more efficient which => (ta-dah) more profitable.
Business process mapping may just be the answer to your problems. Oh, and if you search the internet now for some process mapping resources, it will probably look a lot more boring than how I do it.
I've made the webinar publicly available. No registration required.