How as-is process analysis adds value - Traditional process mapping

Welcome to our process excellence blog series! In this post, we explore the traditional approach to mapping as-is processes. Stay tuned for insights into the data-driven approach and to-be process design. 

As-is process mapping means creating a description of how the process is currently performed. Various tools, such as flowcharts and SIPOC, can be used. Below is a simple example of a process flowchart that visually outlines tasks, their order, and responsible parties.


Unifying Organizational Understanding through ‘As-Is’ Process Mapping 

In organizations, people often have varying understandings of how their processes work and what is the relationship between different processes. As-is process mapping brings people from different parts of the organisation around the same table to share their perspectives and insights. By doing so, a common and updated understanding of the process emerges—a crucial step toward efficient processes. 

To reap the benefits, careful thought should be put into deciding who to involve in the process work. You should include: 
  • People with different backgrounds, responsibility areas and goals. 
  • People that have a wide understanding of the process and the ecosystem that it exists in. 
  • People performing the tasks. Usually, they will know best what works and what doesn’t and have great ideas on how to improve things. 

Discussing the as-is process reveals any variations and deviations in the process performance. Sometimes, these are signs of problems or inefficiencies that need to be fixed. Other times, they are creative solutions or shortcuts that work better than the original design. You can learn from these best practices and apply them across the organisation to save time and resources. 

Planning and Measuring Change: The Essential Role of ‘As-Is’ Process Mapping 

As-is mapping is a valuable asset in planning for change. 

  • Avoid unintended side effects or negative outcomes by understanding why things are done the way they are and what are the consequences of changing them. 
  • Plan for the necessary adjustments, such as system updates, training, or change management. 
  • Spot inefficiencies (such as waste, duplication, or manual work) with the help of a visual representation of the process. 
  • Level up the standardization of your processes. Standardized processes are easier to manage, and it is the key enabler for intelligent automation. 

In addition to planning change, as-is mapping helps to measure change. It is a powerful tool both before and after implementing the changes. 

  • Show how much improvement you expect to achieve in terms of time, cost, quality, customer satisfaction, or other relevant metrics. 
  • After the change, see how far you have gone since you know where you started. By tracking the performance of the new process over time, you can demonstrate the benefits and value of the change. 

Multipurpose Utility of Process Descriptions: Compliance, IT Projects, and Training 

As-is mapping is a valuable tool for making your business better as outlined in previous chapters, but it also has other important uses when kept up to date. Here are a few of them: 

  • Compliance: Making sure that you comply with any relevant regulation, thus avoiding any fines or reputational damage.  
  • IT projects: Understanding the current setup and planning for the future one. 
  • Training: Making new employees more efficient and confident, since process flowcharts can make it easy to visually learn best practices, exceptions, and dependencies.  

The Importance of Ongoing Process Mapping: Keep the ball rolling 

Describing processes should never be a one-time effort. Process maps should be integrated into everyday work and responsible persons appointed for each process or process description. Establishing a governance model ensures regular updates, keeping the process maps relevant and valuable for the organization. 

Moreover, up-to-date process descriptions are a precondition for Business Process Management (BPM). BPM involves measuring and managing organizational performance through processes. 

The trigger for process mapping is often a new IT deployment or regulation. Consider if your organization can be one step ahead and have a proper system in place already now. True agility comes from within, and we recommend you start your agile journey from a common understanding of the as-is. 

Need help on your process journey? Let’s have a chat and see how we could help! 


Siri Vilkki
Senior Business Consultant, Operational Excellence team
BearingPoint Finland

Tarja Pitkänen
Senior Manager, Operational Excellence team lead
BearingPoint Finland