Process Maps

Skill level: Intermediate


A process map is a graphical depiction of a process, set in a way that allows the workings to be shown. Before constructing a process map, team members should agree on the meaning of the symbols to be used and the scope.


  • Easy to use
  • Provides a high-level, visual depiction of critical elements and handoffs
  • Useful as a training aid

How to Use

  • Step 1.  Determine the scope of the process to be defined.
  • Step 2.  Draw a “start” step for the process.
  • Step 3.  Observe all of the steps in the process.
  • Step 4.  Draw a symbol for each step.
  • Step 5.  Verify that the finished process map accurately portrays the steps in the process.

Relevant Definitions

Not Applicable


The example below shows a process map for a distribution warehouse:

  • Arrows show the direction of material flow
  • Diamonds show a process where decisions are made
  • The square shows a process where work is done
  • Circles are the “begin” and “end” steps

Material flow diagram (normal pick)



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