How to do a needs assessment? Part 1: Process Mapping

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To continually get better at what we do, we need to be able to map out what it is we are doing, who is doing it and how we are measuring its performance. A Process Mapping Canvas helps us understand who is doing what in a specific process and what the performance metrics are in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. 


The objective of the exercise is to:

  1. Map out who the stakeholders are in a process (Green Sticky Notes)
  2. What tasks do they do (Yellow Sticky Notes)
  3. Determine what the metrics are for efficiency and effectiveness (Blue Sticky Notes)


  • 3 different coloured sticky notes 
  • Permanent marker 
  • Process stakeholders
  • Process Mapping Canvas template (optional)
  • RealtimeBoard Software (optional)


  1. Fill in the details of your process. In the example below we are mapping out a travel requisition process. We’ve set the date of when the process was mapped out, when it will next be reviewed, the divisions that this process applies to and who was involved in the mapping.
  1. Take the green sticky notes and write down the roles of every stakeholder that is involved in a process. The rule is to have one sticky note per role. 
  1. Take the yellow sticky notes and write down what tasks each stakeholder does. Place these tasks directly below each stakeholder.
  1. Take the blue sticky notes and write down what the efficiency and effectiveness metrics should be for the process. 
    1. The formula for efficiency is total output / total input (usually time or effort). E.g. If your process is outputting Permits then your efficiency metric could be total # of processed permits / total time taken to process permits. For more information on the theoretical framework for this you can look into efficiency formula
    2. The formula for effectiveness is total desirable (or undesirable) output / total output. E.g. If your process is outputting Permits then your effectiveness metric would be total # of approved permits without violations / total # of approved permits. For more information on the theoretical framework for this you can look into confusion matrix 
  1. When completed you should have something like the image below. This is the process mapping canvas for a travel requisition process (i.e. staff requesting to travel).


The following are additional activities you can do to extend the process mapping exercise further.

  1. Number each task in order of execution
  2. Indicate with blue sticky dots which tasks are done electronically (i.e. with a computerised system)

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