An Introduction to Business Mapping
The bad news: You cannot run a business with GPS. No omniscient electronic voice will provide all the information needed, in a timely manner, to address forthcoming challenges. You will need to read a map and make navigational decisions for yourself and your organization.
The good news: A number of maps are available – different types, displaying diverse information, for various purposes – to guide managers through unfamiliar territory.
In the same way that that street maps, topographical maps, nautical charts, and aeronautical charts are each specialized for different modes of travel, business maps are most helpful when there is alignment of the type of map used and the challenge to which it is applied.
Not to be confused with the business of map-making, “commercial cartography” is used here to describe the creation and use of maps in business operations contexts. “Maps” is used here as a collective term for a set of tools that may also be referred to as charts, diagrams, models, or other term that identifies them as representations of data and information in visual form to be used to inform decisions.
To ease into the topic of business maps, revisit “The D•I•P•O•D Process Model.” Part 1 introduces the model template and provides guidance for its use. Part 2 presents an example application of the model and some common errors to avoid. Use of the provided template aids thorough data collection and facilitates organization of recorded information. Completion of a template creates a visual definition of the process under consideration; thus, it is a “map” by our definition.
Future volumes of “Commercial Cartography” will discuss other types of business maps and their applications. Check future installments for information on customer experience maps, hazard maps, spaghetti diagrams, process flowcharts, and more.
If you have questions about creating or applying maps to your business circumstances, feel free to contact JayWink Solutions for turn-by-turn guidance.
Jody W. Phelps, MSc, PMP®, MBA
JayWink Solutions, LLC
Directory of “Commercial Cartography” entries on “The Third Degree.”
Vol. I: An Introduction to Business Mapping (25Sep2019)
Vol. II: Flow Charts (9Oct2019)
Vol. III: Facility Layout or Floor Plan (6Nov2019)
Vol. IV: Spaghetti Diagrams (20Nov2019)
Vol. V: Hazard Mapping (12Jan2022)
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