Help Manual


Sigma Magic Help Version 17

Process Map


Process Map tool can be used to pictorially explain the current or future way of working using a standard set of symbols. The objective of drawing a map is to clearly understand the current state of the process and depict the future state of any process. The process mapping activity should usually be a cross-functional exercise involving the entire team since each team member can provide a perspective on what "really" happens in the process. The process by which it was designed/intended differs greatly from that in the field. Once a clear map of the process is created, this can be an important input to understand its limitations and generate ideas on further improving the process. A process map can communicate how to work with all stakeholders. It can help level set the state of knowledge within the improvement team and generate buy-in for improvement opportunities. For a typical improvement project, the process mapping activity is undertaken twice. At the beginning of a project, it is important to understand the current way of working and, at the end of the project, describe the future way of working.

Different types of process maps can be created. This tool can be used to develop two types of maps: a cross-functional map, which shows the interaction between the departments or functions that perform the different steps of the process, and a flowchart.

This tool can be added to your active workbook by clicking on Project and then selecting Mapping Tools > Process Map.


Click on the Analysis Setup button to open the menu options for this tool.


A sample screenshot of the setup menu is shown below.
Num Columns: Specify the number of columns you want to display on the process map. You can select between 5 and 100 columns. Note that the columns not displayed are hidden and have not been deleted from the worksheet. You can change this setting anytime to unhide the hidden columns if you need more working space to create the map.
Col Width: Specify the width of the cells on the worksheet. This will resize the columns in your work area. You can increase the width to create symbols of larger sizes or smaller cells to reduce the size of the symbols on your worksheet. Note that worksheet symbols will change size only when added to the worksheet for the first time and when you select the checkbox for Scale.
Map Type: Specify the type of map you want to create. The available options are:
Cross-functional Map (V)Create a cross-functional map with vertical departments.
Cross-functional Map (H)Create a cross-functional map with horizontal departments.
FlowchartCreate a flowchart.
Mapping Symbols: Specify the type of symbols you would like to use for the process mapping. The available options are:
BasicBasic symbols use the bare minimum number of symbols to create a process map to keep it simple and easy for the users to understand the map.
StandardUse the standard set of symbols to create the process map.
OperationsUse the operations symbols to create the process map. The operations symbols are typically used to identify the major category of losses within the process map.
View Example: Click on this button to open the example file. You can view the example to get an idea of how to fill out this tool, or you can use the example as a starting point and modify it to meet your project needs.
Help Button: Click on this button to open the help file on this topic.
Cancel Button: Click on this button to exit without saving any changes.
OK Button: Click on this button to save changes and update your analysis results.


A sample screenshot of the options menu is shown below.
inputs 2
Checkbox: Specify what checks should be performed on the process map when you click on Compute Outputs. The following checks are available:
Start ElementCheck if the process map uses a start element. The software will expect to find a start element in the process map if this checkbox is selected. A start element is expected to have no input and one output.
Process ElementCheck the process map if each process element has at least one input and one output.
Data ElementCheck the data elements that are used in a process map to ensure that each data element has no input and at least one output connection.
End ElementCheck the process map for an end element. An end element should have at least one input and no outputs.
Decision ElementCheck the process map for all decision elements. A decision element must have at least one input and two outputs.
Data Processing ElementCheck the process map for all data processing elements. A data processing element must have at least one input and no outputs.
Dangling ArrowsCheck the process map to make sure all arrows are connected at both ends.
Input ConnectionsCheck the process map to make sure all input connections have no inputs and at least one output.
Information StorageCheck the process map to make sure all information storage elements have at least one input and no outputs.


You will see the following dialog box if you click the Checklist button. Checklist The checklist contains a few pointers on things you must pay particular attention to while performing this analysis. The checklist has been derived from experience working on past projects. Not all the checklist items need to apply to you. However, you should carefully review the checklist and apply any recommendations that make sense for your project. Make sure to read each checklist item and mark it as completed after you have read and taken actions as appropriate for your project.
Item: The items on the checklist are listed on the left
Status: The status of whether the checklist has been answered is listed on the right.
Ideally, all items on the checklist should be marked as reviewed/completed.


When the tool is opened, the main menu at the top may change to a task-specific menu, as shown below. If this menu does not open, click on the F4 button or the small arrow at the bottom right portion of your menu group to open this menu bar. If you select the Standard Shapes for the symbols, the following task menu bar is displayed: pm task menu If you select the Basic Shapes for the symbols, the following task menu bar is displayed: pm task menu If you select the Operations Shapes for the symbols, the following task menu bar is displayed: pm task menu

Add Symbols

After you define the settings, the next step is creating your process map using the symbols on the Task Menu bar. Click on the symbol you are interested in, move your mouse to where you want to insert the symbol, and then click on the left mouse button to place the symbol at the location. If you have chosen the Center checkbox, the symbols will be placed in the center of the work cell. If you have chosen the Scale checkbox, the symbol will be scaled to the size of the work cell you selected. Finally, if you have chosen the Join checkbox, the symbol after placement will automatically connect with the previously added symbol on the worksheet.

After a symbol is added to the worksheet, you can click on the shape and edit any text on the shape as required or format the shape as required using standard Excel functionality. Repeat this process until your entire map has been created.

To join the different portions of the process map, you can click on the Straight Arrow or the Elbow Arrow connectors. If you select the Join option to connect the icons, the system will try to auto-connect it. However, if you are unhappy with the connections, you may need to edit and change them as required. Ensure that the arrow connections are firmly connected to the symbol; otherwise, you may get an error when verifying. Usually, there is a green dot if the arrow is connected to the symbol when you click on the connector.

After creating the map, you may want to add any data. To add data to your map, click on the Data button and then click on the shape you want to add the data. You can specify data in the following areas: Safety, Quality, Delivery (Time), Cost, and Morale. For example, you may display quality-related information on the map if quality is important for your process. For each critical step in the process, you can show % rework, % scrap, % right the first time, etc. A sample data dialog box is shown below. If you select the checkbox next to the data field, these fields are displayed on the process map.

pm data box
Checkbox: Click this checkbox to see this data in the data box below the process element. If this checkbox is not selected, the information is stored in the system but not displayed to the user.
Description: Save data for the process element in these boxes. There are different boxes provided for different areas. The following options are available:
SafetyDocument any safety related aspects for this element.
QualityDocument any quality-related aspects for this element such as defect rates, first time right, rework info, cost of quality, etc.
DeliveryDocument any delivery-related metrics here, such as on-time delivery percentage, lead-time for this step, cycle time, etc.
CostDocument any cost-related metrics for this element in this textbox, such as the cost of this particular step in the process.
MoraleDocument any people-related issues, such as employee morale, that can be related to each element in this location.
Finally, verify the map with your team to ensure you have accurately captured the process map.


If you click the Verify button, the software will perform some checks on the data you entered. A sample screenshot of the dialog box is shown in the figure below. Verify The software checks if you have correctly specified the input options and entered the required data on the worksheet. The results of the analysis checks are listed on the right. If the checks are passed, they are shown as green-colored checkmarks. If the verification checks fail, they are shown as a red-colored cross. The verification checks are shown in the orange exclamation mark if the verification checks result in a warning. Finally, any checks required to be performed by the user are shown as blue info icons.
Item: The left-hand side shows the major tabs and the items checked within each section
Status: The right-hand side shows the status of the checks.
Overall Status: The overall status of all the checks for the given analysis is shown here. The overall status check shows a green thumps-up sign if everything is okay and a red thumps-down sign if any checks have not passed. Note that you cannot proceed with generating analysis results for some analyses if the overall status is not okay.


Click on Compute Outputs to update the output calculations. The software will verify if you have created the map correctly and highlight any errors. A sample screenshot of the worksheet is shown below. Process Map Example Upon successful completion of the analysis, the following message will be displayed. Process Map Outputs


Here are a few pointers regarding this analysis:
  • You can map detailed processes with just a few icons. Use the basic shapes if you only want to use a bare minimum set of symbols to keep the process map simple and easy to understand. Use the standard set of symbols for a more detailed process map.
  • Insert other Excel library shapes into this process map. However, note that some functionality, such as adding/defining data, may be limited if you use your shapes. It is recommended that you use the Copy and Paste functionality available on the task menu bar to copy and paste items onto your worksheet.
  • No analysis is performed on the process maps other than to check if the map has been created correctly. However, you can add data to the different elements of the process map to quantify the process map.


The following examples are in the Examples folder.
  • Create a process map of the credit approval process. (Process Map 1.xlsx).