Most of the times organizations, over the years, end up developing complex work streams and practices, as a result of the overlap of a growing number of tools, and the continuous adaptation to new modalities and market needs. Each department or internal role can often see only a portion of that workflow, without having a clear understanding of what happens before and after, nor envisioning how it can be improved or optimized.
Building a comprehensive visualization that encompasses all the steps of a specific workflow allows first of all to develop a complete understanding of its dynamics, and secondly to detect critical areas, redundant actions, missed opportunities, and identify innovative strategies for intervention. This type of visualisation is typically the outcome of a research and mapping activity that requires the involvement of all the internal (and sometimes even external) actors: each of them will provide the clear explanation of just a portion of the overall process. All those portions, connected together in a single diagram, shape the overall picture of the workflow (steps, tools, actors, flows of information and materials, etc.).
In most of the cases, there is nobody in the organization who is able to describe that process in such an accurate way as in the workflow map. Knowing it well is the starting point to align everyone's perspectives and make some considerations on how the process could be improved or innovated. The workflow map in fact allows to quickly point out gaps and redundancies, and help brainstorming possible ways to solve those criticalities.
Once established, the visual framework of the workflow diagram can be used to analyze potential variations across different services, realities or contexts, allowing to demonstrate and discuss difficulties and specificites.
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