How to Use Business Process Diagram Well

How well do you understand your business?

Can you share your work with other employees or pass it on to them?

Organizing and grasping the operation is necessary in order to share and hand over work to other employees. If you do that well, you can convey the content of your work to other people with a diagram. On the other hand, a diagram of the business operation enables you to understand the flow of it and organize it in an understandable way.

We recommend that you visualize the business process with a diagram to organize your work and the operation of your team. The business process diagram that you create will not only help you understand your operations, but help your team share processes, solve problems, and develop your business improvement activities.

What is a Business Process Diagram

The business process diagram is a graphical representation of the flow of business.

There are various notations for business process diagrams, such as BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation), an international standard. They all define how to draw a diagram. For example, BPMN has the following four basic rules for drawing a diagram of the business flow.

  • Draw rectangles and separate them by department name
  • Arrange the Tasks using round-cornered rectangles
  • Connect them using arrows
  • Connect to the start using a thin-bordered circle, and to the end using a bold-bordered circle
(Reference: Business process diagram for business trip request with BPMN)

The example above is quite simple, but you can even make a diagram of a complex process in accordance with the rules of BPMN.

These business process diagrams are like a blueprint or map of the business. They can be used to solve various problems within a company or organization. For example, when you get lost, you check the map to find your current location and the route you should take. In the same way, if there is a problem in the operation, you can check the progress of the work, the person in charge of the Task, and the measures to be taken by looking at a business process diagram.

How to use a business process diagram

A business process diagram is an effective tool for identifying and resolving operational issues and problems.

Graphical business processes can also serve as a common language within an organization or team. In this section, we will describe how to use business process diagrams as a tool.

As a tool to detect problems

In business improvement activities, it is important to identify the real problems to be solved because people often regard superficial things as a problem. For example, if your sales are down, the real problem may be the competitiveness of the product rather than your business skills.

In this way, it’s important to organize business processes and accurately grasp the problems in order to solve them.

By visualizing your operation with a business process diagram, it becomes easier to find the problematic elements of the flow of work. For example, if you find similar work being done in different departments, you might want to ask whether they’re a necessary business process. On the other hand, you may also be able to ask members of other departments to check the business process diagram of your department and let them find problems from a more objective perspective.

As a communication tool

As a problem is solved, you can share an improved workflow among your members by drawing it as a new business process diagram.

Moreover, sharing the process of creating a business process diagram also facilitates communication between members and departments. This is because asking other departments and the staff in charge of each Task for opinions and collaborating with them is necessary to create an accurate business process diagram. In this way, by creating a single diagram with members across departments, collaboration and the partnership among departments will be strengthened.

In addition to that, if you maintain the business manuals around a business process diagram, it becomes easier to visualize the entire business and to explain the procedures smoothly.

Application of business process diagrams

Business process diagrams can be used in various areas.

Business improvement (business process reform)

A business process diagram plays an important role in business improvement activities. This is because you can make hidden problems and issues apparent by drawing a business process diagram with detailed Tasks of your work. Also based on the diagrams you have created, you can dramatically increase the effectiveness of improvements by setting priorities and standardizing each operation.

Management issues

Management issues and business processes are inextricably linked. A company creates management strategies and plans based on the management philosophy and uses management resources (human, materials, and money) to provide products and services to the market. On the other hand, the business process diagram shows the flow of operations to ensure efficient use of management resources. Therefore, visualizing the flow of operations with a business process diagram will lead to the resolution of management issues.

System development

In general, staff who order a system creates a Request for Proposal (RFP) or requirement specification. For them, a business process diagram where the business is visualized can help them communicate their needs clearly and accurately to the developers.

Outsourcing (BPO)

In recent years, outsourcing has become one of the management strategies of companies. The number of companies that are engaged in BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) has increased. They outsource a set of business processes. In order to succeed in outsourcing, it is essential to organize and understand business processes. A business process diagram is very useful when considering which parts of your operation should be outsourced or how to hand them over to a subcontractor.

A BPM Tool to support business improvement using business process diagrams

We have discussed the benefits of drawing a business process diagram. However, how should a business process be designed?

As mentioned above, there are various notations for business processes and many of them can be created with paper and pen. However, with a sort of software called BPM tools, it can make this task more efficient and easier. Since BPM tools make it easier to create and share business process diagrams, you can easily achieve the benefits described above.

BPM tools also make it easy to modify business processes and share modified processes within your team. Plus, they can collaborate with other tools such as ERP and RPA, so you can approach business improvements with automation and digitization at a low cost.

Experience the benefits of a free trial version of Questetra BPM Suite

Questetra BPM Suite is a BPM tool that not only makes it easy to create and share business process diagrams on the Web but also automatically builds systems for the workflows you create.

Many BPM tools require a lot of effort to prepare, such as setting up the server. However, Questetra BPM Suite is available as a cloud service, so you can use it right away after you apply. This will reduce not only costs but also the burden on the IT department and its representatives at a minimum while introducing and operating the system.

Just knowing about the information regarding the benefits of drawing a business process diagram does not change the business environment. To realize all the benefits mentioned and make specific improvements, we recommend you try a free trial version of the Questetra BPM Suite.

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