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Comparison of Business Process Mapping Techniques


Comparison of Business Process Mapping Techniques in PDF format (203k)

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Graham Process Maps IDEF Swimlane Box and Arrow6
1 Displays All the Items1 that are involved in the process X
2 Shows step by step processing at the task level (the work people do) X
3 Shows processing at a function level
(groups of items and people in an activity box)
X X X
4 Shows relationships between items X
5 Shows multiple related flows X
6 Displays a single-line flow X X X
7 Identifies WHO does the work X X5
8 Identifies WHERE the work is done X X5 X7
9 Shows value-added steps X
10 Identifies controls X
11 Identifies where most of the TIME is spent X X7
12 Hierarchical2 X3 X X X
13 Useful for general, high-level understanding X4 X X
14 Useful for detailed understanding X
15 Useful for training X
16 Useful for process development X X
17 Useful for process improvement – can be engineered X
18 Useful for programming/system development X X
19 Useful for preparing Standard Operating Procedures X
20 Useful for Continuous Improvement / Process Management X
21 Charts can be prepared quickly X X X
22 Charts speak the language of the people who do the work X
23 Charts speak the language of management
some distance removed from the work
X X X

1 Items are documents, files, applications, parts, products, emails, spreadsheets, reports…

2 Hierarchical charts require the designer and reader to “Drill down” to other charts to expose more and more detail.

3 Graham Charts are prepared at the fundamental process level so there is no need to drill down further for process detail. However, a drill-down feature may be used to prepare specific task descriptions related to individual steps. A reader can also back up to an overview level (see line 13).

4 Overview charts drop the steps and show only item lines and their relationships.

5 Swimlane charts show either who does the work or where the work is done

6 Box and Arrow method is derived from the flowcharting technique for programming promoted by IBM and RCA in the 1960s. It uses boxes for processes or activities and diamonds for decisions.

7 Box and arrow method sometimes borrows symbology from the Graham method to identify transportation and delay. However, the symbology is applied loosely to groups of items and people that are included in a process or activity box.

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