Mapping out a process from end to end can feel like a hefty undertaking. Luckily, digital process map templates can automate your business processes, so you can jump right into work. Here’s how.Create your template
Think about the last time you planned a project or put an idea into motion. Where did you start? How did you map the process from start to end?
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to planning and executing a project or a business process. To be successful, you need to visualize each step so you can see exactly what needs to get done—starting with your first task all the way to project completion.
That might sound easier said than done, but don’t worry. Process map templates can help.
Process mapping is the act of visually mapping out the steps it takes to complete a process or a workflow. The purpose of business process mapping is to give your team a better understanding of how an individual process works, so they can successfully execute it.
You can use a process map at the individual, team, department, or organizational level to outline any number of processes, from organizational processes like training and onboarding to team-specific processes like brainstorming.
Typically, you map a process with a process map drawing—a visual representation of a complex process created with specific symbols. To learn more about how to create a process map drawing, check out our article: Guide to process mapping.
While a process map drawing is a good way to outline and visualize your business processes, these static tools have limitations. You need a digital tool to truly bring the process to life. That’s where a digital process map template comes in.
A digital process map template builds on your static process map drawing by taking the process you’ve outlined and bringing it to life using workflows—repeatable processes that you can use over and over. By combining your process map drawing with a digital work management tool, you can connect your teams and execute tasks where work happens.
The key to using a digital process map template is setting up workflows. Think of it like this: the majority of the work you do follows a repeatable pattern. Whether you’re writing a blog post, onboarding a new team member, or initiating a new sales process, you probably follow similar steps each time. These steps are your workflow.
Once you’ve identified the start and end points for your workflow with a static process map drawing, you can build out the workflow to follow the steps that will take you through the entire process. Then, you can create a duplicable digital process map template using that workflow as a baseline—so every time you need to write a blog post or onboard a team member, your process is already set up. You simply create a copy of the template and get started.
Once you understand the ins and outs of workflows, setting one up—and turning it into a digital process map template—is easy. Simply follow these steps:
Determine what process you’ll be mapping, for example, following up with a new sales prospect.
List out the activities involved in completing the process. To continue with our sales example, activities might include scheduling an initial sales call, following up after the call, sending a proposal, and finalizing the contract.
Map out the process in a process map drawing. This includes arranging all the activities in the correct sequence needed to execute the process.
Create a process map template by integrating your static process map drawing into a digital work management tool. Now, take the activities you mapped out in your process map drawing and put them into a digital tool. This will serve as your basic template for that workflow. To further build on our original example, you could create an “Initial sales follow-up template” based on the process map drawing you built out for following up with a new sales prospect.
Duplicate and reuse the process map template as you kick off similar processes. Once you’ve built out your template, you can use it as a jumping-off point for similar processes and projects. To round out our example, every time you need to follow up with a new sales prospect, you’d simply duplicate the initial sales follow-up template and fill it out.
You can set up digital process workflows for pretty much any business process that requires repeatable steps for execution and completion. Here are some common workflow use cases you might set up.
Let’s take a look at the integrated features and apps that can help you take your digital process map template to the next level.
Workflow Builder. Visualize your team’s workflow and simplify collaboration across teams with Workflow Builder. Workflow Builder is a no-code point-and-click tool that helps you visualize and build powerful automated workflows. Easily create effective processes that connect teams across all levels and pillars of your organization. Plus, streamline tasks and keep your teammates in sync by integrating your favorite business apps—like Slack, Adobe Creative Cloud, Salesforce, Zoom, and more—right into your workflows.
Custom fields. Custom fields are the best way to tag, sort, and filter work. Create unique custom fields for any information you need to track—from priority and status to email or phone number. Use custom fields to sort and schedule your to-dos so you know what to work on first. Plus, share custom fields across tasks and projects to ensure consistency across your organization.
Dependencies. Mark a task as waiting on another task with task dependencies. Know when your work is blocking someone else’s work, so you can prioritize accordingly. Teams with collaborative workflows can easily see what tasks they’re waiting on from others, and know when to get started on their portion of work. When the first task is completed, the assignee will be notified that they can get started on their dependent task. Or, if the task your work is dependent on is rescheduled, Asana will notify you—letting you know if you need to adjust your dependent due date as well.
Board View. Board View is a Kanban board-style view that displays your project’s information in columns. Columns are typically organized by work status (like To Do, Doing, and Done) but you can adjust column titles depending on your project needs. Within each column, tasks are displayed as cards, with a variety of associated information including task title, due date, and custom fields. Track work as it moves through stages and get at-a-glance insight into where your project stands.
Dropbox. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Dropbox file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane.
Google Workplace. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.
Gmail. With the Asana for Gmail integration, you can create Asana tasks directly from your Gmail inbox. Any tasks you create from Gmail will automatically include the context from your email, so you never miss a beat. Need to refer to an Asana task while composing an email? Instead of opening Asana, use the Asana for Gmail add-on to simply search for that task directly from your Gmail inbox.
Zoom. Asana and Zoom are partnering up to help teams have more purposeful and focused meetings. The Zoom + Asana integration makes it easy to prepare for meetings, hold actionable conversations, and access information once the call is over. Meetings begin in Asana, where shared meeting agendas provide visibility and context about what will be discussed. During the meeting, team members can quickly create tasks within Zoom, so details and action items don’t get lost. And once the meeting is over, the Zoom + Asana integration pulls meeting transcripts and recordings into Asana, so all collaborators and stakeholders can review the meeting as needed.
You can set up a process map template for any business processes that follow a repeatable pattern. This includes organizational processes, such as hiring and employee onboarding, or team-specific processes like brainstorming and managing creative requests. Process map templates can help streamline business processes for teams like creative, sales, and IT.
You can bring your static process map drawing to life with a process map template. These workflows allow you to automate all the steps you need to take to complete a specific process, simplifying and standardizing the process for your team. Once you’ve built out your process map template, you can easily duplicate it and use it any time you need to undertake the process again, saving you time and upfront work.
Process mapping is the act of visually mapping out the steps it takes to complete a process or a workflow. The granular breakdown of a process map drawing helps teams see what they need to do in order to complete a process and allows them to identify any inefficiencies or bottlenecks.
There are six common types of process maps: basic flowcharts, high-level maps, detailed process maps, swimlane diagrams, value stream maps, and SIPOC diagrams. To learn more about process map drawings and how to create them, read our article: Guide to process mapping.
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