Common Process Mapping Symbols

By Deborah Hopen
process mapping

Process maps show the sequence of steps from the beginning to the end of a process, making it easier to get an overall look at the process being studied. Process maps are composed of lines and specifically defined symbols that comprise a universally accepted mapping framework. The most common symbols and their descriptions are shown below. Visit "The Path to Better Results: Process Maps" for how-to information on creating process maps and swim lane diagrams. 

Process mapping symbols

Process mapping symbols

Deborah Hopen has over 40 years of experience in total quality management, and has served as a senior executive with both Fortune and Inc. 500 companies. She is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality and is the editor of ASQ’s Journal for Quality and Participation.

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team creating a process map
Process maps are a commonly used tool that serves as the foundation for many analyses.