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A process’ efficiency has a lot to do with how the process was planned. A successful process starts before any activities are even performed.

When there is no clarity of the step-by-step, you may face some of these common problems:

  • Delays and missed deadlines

  • Lack of control and visibility of tasks

  • Rework and poor quality of process' execution

  • Frequent unforeseen expenses

  • Unsatisfied customers and employees

To ensure visibility and mitigate errors, you must map and identify all the elements that make up your workflow.

In this article, you will see:

  1. What is a process?

  2. Why map a process?

  3. Understanding and identifying elements of your process

What is a process?

Processes are a set of activities performed repeatedly in an organized, standardized, and well-defined way.

In processes, input information undergoes processing that transforms them into results or deliveries.

For example, in a Recruitment process:

  • Applicants submit resumes and other data to apply for a job opening (i.e., entry information).

  • Then, they go through stages of the process, such as Evaluation, Approval, Interview, and Submission of proposal (information processing).

  • Until they become new hires in the company (result)!

Through this process, the input information went through several steps and was transformed throughout the process to become a result.

Any recurring activity in your company can become a process, such as Customer Service tickets, Purchase requests, Job Opening requests, among endless other possibilities.

Why map a process?

To have the necessary clarity to mitigate the risks and problems mentioned above, it’s important to understand what information, people, and resources are part of this process.

By mapping (identifying all the steps) your process, modeling (how to put the process into practice) will be easier and more assertive.

Mapping and modeling a process are closely related, sequential activities that ensure that your tasks, people responsible for doing them, activities, and deadlines are met until the final result has been achieved in a standardized and organized way.

Understanding and identifying elements of your process

The first step in modeling a process is to understand how it works.

Each phase of a process has a unique structure. Phases (or steps) of the process are connected: for one activity to be moved to the next, all procedures involved in this phase must be completed.

As a basis for your modeling, you can use the SIPOC methodology.

SIPOC is an acronym that means: Suppliers, Input Information, Process, Output, and Customers.

This methodology helps you identify relevant elements of a process before your team starts working on them.

Suppliers

These are the people who provide information at the beginning of the process or while the process is taking place.

It is necessary to have visibility into who these suppliers are, when they interact with the process, and how it is done.

For example, in a Marketing Requests process, suppliers can be printers, freelancers, and other people who provide inputs or services for deliveries to be carried out.

In Pipefy, you can define which channel will be used to collect information from your suppliers (that is, how this information will reach your team), such as Public Form, Shared Inbox, Integrations, among others.

Input

Think about how to capture all the information you need to execute your process in a structured and fast way.

In other words, collect and centralize important information in order to ensure the team has all the necessary inputs and data to start activities, without several emails and phone calls, for example, having to be exchanged so that all the information is available.

In the previous example, the Marketing department needs to specify in their form fields what information requesters must submit to the team.

📌 Pipefy offers forms and shared inbox templates so that you can start using or customize according to your process mapping.

Process

The Marketing team, for example, needs to plan campaigns, budget for the printing of advertising materials with suppliers, produce media content, etc.

Each step has certain activities involved. For example, in the Marketing team's budget phase, you may need to contact at least 3 suppliers, receive and centralize the budgets received, deadlines, exchanges of emails or phone calls, and then the chosen provider.

📌 Check out the Template Gallery and use our pre-modeled processes.

Output

Establish what needs to be done and achieved so that the process can move forward. There will be outputs from one phase to another and, in the end, the result will also be a final output.

For example, outputs (deliveries) from the Marketing team can be:

  • Completion of campaign planning, which allows the team to start budgeting with material suppliers.

  • At the end of it all, the delivery of a new advertising campaign, with printed materials, media content, etc.

Customers

These are the beneficiaries and people interested in the final result of the process, whatever the format (demand, task, request, etc.).

In our Marketing example, customers can be a Board, Sales team, and/or others interested in the new campaign.

Think of a cake recipe: it’s not enough to have detailed information at hand without the correct ingredients, utensils, etc.

For your process to be successful, you need to collect the right information, at the right time, using efficient tools to manage all activities.

📌 Pipefy has features like automations, cards, connections, integrations, and much more!

Modeling processes in Pipefy

There are several ways to start shaping your process. In Pipefy, each process is a pipe.

You can customize a start form with different types of fields. This ensures you are collecting all the necessary input information.

It's important that you define the type of information you need, keeping it relevant to the phases in the process. Adding unnecessary fields reduces the chances of vendors answering all fields carefully.

You can then share a public version of the form with your internal and external suppliers or customers via a link.

When suppliers fill in form fields, all information is directed to their pipe (or process) in the first phase.

In addition to forms, you can integrate your Pipefy process with tools or software you already use to collect input and ensure it's up to date in multiple places at the same time.

If you prefer, receive demands in a shared inbox, which is fully connected with your pipe.

Messages can be targeted to each activity and phase of your process, as well as being assigned to specific members of your pipe.

📌 Read more about collecting information in your process using Pipefy features

Phases

Establish the phases (or stages of the process) your activities go through and which procedures must be carried out in each of them.

This ensures all your demands follow the same quality standard until final delivery.

Pipefy makes this process easier with automation rules you can use at all times in your workflow to gain efficiencies and mitigate errors.

For example, creating automation rules that limit the movement of activities between phases (or direct cards to specific phases), ensuring that the desired flow is being followed.

Assign phases to specific people, auto-populate fields, send automated emails, and more.

Also, with conditionals, make it easier to fill in information throughout the process with rules that show or hide fields.

So, all fields filled in by your team are responsive and adapt to the specific process, ensuring agility and standardization.

📌 Read more about how to run standardized and automated processes using Pipefy features

Data

Analyze your process’ progress with performance metrics. In Pipefy, you can analyze indicators that make the most sense to your operation, department, company objectives, etc.

With dashboards, create and customize graphics that update in real time, on a single page, as your process unfolds.

Cross data to visualize your own metrics or use pre-made dashboard templates to use as a base.

To extract data from your process in tables and analyze data from all your company's processes in Pipefy, create reports by combining formulas, like in an Excel spreadsheet.

By analyzing your data, you'll have more input to create actions and identify improvements.

📌 Read more about measuring the efficiency of your processes using Pipefy's data resources

Other useful tips for modeling processes:

Map existing processes

Analyze the current state of your processes — that is, those you already have established in your company and not how you would like them to be.

To improve existing processes, analyze data that shows current performance and compare this with data that reveals the results you would like to achieve with a new process.

Involve the people running the process

Be sure to involve the people who carry out the activities on a daily basis in the mapping process.

Much of the information, rules, and details can be decentralized and undocumented, so all can bring valuable insights into the mapping.

In addition, with people involved from the beginning, they feel an integral part of success and you will have a team dedicated to executing, improving, and learning how to make your processes even more efficient.

Defining people and their role

When mapping the resources needed in a process, you must also define the permissions that each person involved in that process must have.

Each person's permission level will define what can and cannot be done within a process.

Sometimes, due to the specific information-constraining needs of a process, it may need to be split in two or connected across pipes.

Ongoing improvements

As your team and activities evolve, your processes must also evolve.

One of the best things about managing your activities in a flexible tool like Pipefy is that you can customize what you need, whenever you want.

Join the Pipefy Community to share feedback about our product, ask questions, and stay on top of what's new. Learn to use all the features of our platform in free courses at Pipefy University.

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