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Flevy Management Insights Case Study
Process Mapping Improvement for a Global Financial Institution

There are countless scenarios that require Process Mapping. Fortune 500 companies typically bring on global consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture, or boutique consulting firms specializing in Process Mapping to thoroughly analyze their unique business challenges and competitive situations. These firms provide strategic recommendations based on consulting frameworks, subject matter expertise, benchmark data, best practices, and other tools developed from past client work. Let us analyze the following scenario.

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Consider this scenario: A global financial institution is experiencing inefficiencies in its internal processes.

Despite being a leader in the industry, the organization has faced escalating operational costs, delays in decision-making, and suboptimal customer service levels. The organization believes that these challenges stem from outdated and complex process maps that have not been revised in line with the organization's growth and digital transformation journey.

It appears the organization's process maps may not have been updated to reflect changes in technology, customer expectations, or regulatory requirements. Furthermore, the organization may lack a standardized approach to process mapping, leading to inconsistencies and inefficiencies.


A comprehensive 5-phase approach to Process Mapping can be adopted to resolve these issues.

  1. Process Identification: Identify and document all the processes within the organization. This includes understanding the purpose, inputs, outputs, and stakeholders of each process.
  2. Process Mapping: Develop detailed maps of each process, including all tasks, decision points, and flows. This step includes identifying bottlenecks, redundancies, and opportunities for improvement.
  3. Process Analysis: Analyze the process maps to identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement. This could involve benchmarking against industry best practices and analyzing performance metrics.
  4. Process Redesign: Redesign the processes based on the analysis. This could involve eliminating unnecessary steps, automating tasks, and redefining roles and responsibilities.
  5. Process Implementation: Implement the redesigned processes and monitor their performance over time. This includes training staff, updating documentation, and establishing a continuous improvement culture.

Learn more about Continuous Improvement Process Maps Process Mapping

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Key Considerations

Leadership may have concerns about the time and resources required for this comprehensive approach. However, the potential benefits outweigh the initial investment. A well-executed process mapping project can lead to significant cost savings, improved customer service, and more effective decision-making.

There may also be concerns about how to manage change and ensure staff buy-in. Effective communication, training, and involvement of staff in the process mapping project can help address these concerns.

Lastly, leadership may question how to sustain the improvements. This can be addressed by establishing a culture of continuous improvement, regular process reviews, and performance tracking.

  • Expected Business Outcomes: Reduction in operational costs, improved decision-making speed, enhanced customer service, increased staff productivity, and a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Potential Implementation Challenges: Resistance to change, lack of staff buy-in, inadequate resources, and maintaining the improvements over time.
  • Critical Success Factors: Leadership commitment, effective communication, staff involvement, adequate resources, and performance tracking.

Learn more about Customer Service Effective Communication

Sample Deliverables

  • Process Identification Report (MS Word)
  • Current State Process Maps (Visio)
  • Process Analysis Report (PowerPoint)
  • Future State Process Maps (Visio)
  • Process Redesign Proposal (PowerPoint)
  • Implementation Plan (MS Excel)
  • Performance Tracking Dashboard (MS Excel)

Explore more Process Mapping deliverables

Case Studies

Several Fortune 500 companies, such as Procter & Gamble and General Electric, have successfully used process mapping to improve their operations. For example, General Electric used process mapping as part of its Six Sigma initiative, leading to significant cost savings and quality improvements.

Explore additional related case studies

Additional Insights

Process mapping is not a one-time project but an ongoing activity. Organizations should regularly review and update their process maps to reflect changes in technology, customer expectations, and regulatory requirements.

Process mapping is not just about identifying inefficiencies but also about understanding how processes contribute to the organization's strategic objectives. This can help organizations prioritize their process improvement efforts.

While process mapping can lead to significant improvements, it should be complemented with other management practices such as performance management, risk management, and change management.

Learn more about Change Management Performance Management Process Improvement

Process Mapping Best Practices

To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in Process Mapping. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and Process Mapping subject matter experts.

Integration with Digital Transformation Initiatives

Executives often inquire about how process mapping aligns with broader digital transformation efforts. To ensure that process mapping is not occurring in a silo, it is critical to integrate it with the organization's digital transformation initiatives. This involves aligning process redesign with the adoption of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotic process automation (RPA). According to a report by McKinsey, companies that digitize their processes can expect to see a 20-50% reduction in operational costs through increased efficiency.

For example, during the Process Analysis phase, the organization should evaluate which processes could be candidates for automation. This step is crucial because it ensures that the redesigned processes are compatible with new technologies. Additionally, during the Process Implementation phase, the organization should consider leveraging digital tools to monitor process performance and gather real-time data for continuous improvement.

By integrating process mapping with digital transformation, the organization can ensure that process improvements are sustainable and can adapt to future technological advancements. Moreover, it can help the organization to become more agile, making it easier to respond to changing market conditions and customer needs.

Learn more about Digital Transformation Artificial Intelligence Machine Learning

Alignment with Regulatory Compliance

Compliance with industry regulations is a top priority for executives, especially in the financial sector. Regulatory requirements often change, and processes must be designed to ensure compliance while maintaining efficiency. During the Process Mapping and Process Redesign phases, it is imperative to consider how the processes adhere to regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Compliance considerations should be integrated into the process maps, with clear documentation of control points and compliance checks. This approach not only helps in preventing regulatory breaches but also in demonstrating to regulators that the organization has a robust framework for managing compliance risks.

The Process Implementation phase should include training for staff on the regulatory aspects of the redesigned processes. Additionally, the Performance Tracking Dashboard should monitor compliance-related metrics to ensure that processes continue to operate within the regulatory framework.

Learn more about Data Protection

Ensuring Customer-Centric Process Redesign

Another concern executives often have is how process mapping initiatives will impact customer experience. It is essential that process redesign efforts place the customer at the center. This means processes should be evaluated not only for internal efficiency but also for how they affect customer satisfaction and engagement.

During the Process Analysis phase, customer feedback and satisfaction data should be used to identify pain points and areas for improvement. Redesigned processes should aim to reduce customer effort, streamline interactions, and improve service delivery. For instance, a financial institution could redesign its loan approval process to reduce wait times, which is a common customer complaint according to consumer finance reports by Bloomberg.

Furthermore, the organization should consider how digital channels can be leveraged to enhance customer interaction. For example, introducing chatbots for customer service inquiries can significantly improve response times and customer satisfaction levels.

Learn more about Customer Experience Customer Satisfaction Process Analysis

Building a Continuous Improvement Culture

Finally, executives are often interested in how to sustain the benefits of process mapping over the long term. The key to this is fostering a culture of continuous improvement within the organization. This involves regular training, communication, and engagement with staff at all levels to ensure that process improvement is seen as a shared responsibility.

Leadership commitment is critical in this regard. Executives should actively promote the continuous improvement culture by setting an example and rewarding teams that contribute to process optimization. The organization should also establish regular reviews of process performance, using the Performance Tracking Dashboard to identify areas for further improvement.

Additionally, it is beneficial to create a dedicated team responsible for process excellence. This team can lead the effort in updating process maps, training staff, and integrating process improvements with other organizational initiatives. With a dedicated focus on continuous improvement, the organization can maintain the momentum of its process mapping efforts and continue to reap the benefits.

To close this discussion, addressing these concerns and integrating process mapping with digital transformation, regulatory compliance, customer experience, and continuous improvement efforts will ensure that the initiative delivers lasting value to the organization.

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Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Reduced operational costs by 30% through the automation of key processes identified during the Process Analysis phase.
  • Improved decision-making speed by 40% by streamlining decision points and eliminating redundancies in process maps.
  • Enhanced customer service levels, achieving a 25% increase in customer satisfaction scores, by redesigning customer-facing processes to reduce wait times and improve service delivery.
  • Increased staff productivity by 20% by clarifying roles and responsibilities and eliminating unnecessary tasks through process redesign.
  • Established a culture of continuous improvement, evidenced by a 15% year-over-year improvement in process efficiency metrics tracked via the Performance Tracking Dashboard.
  • Ensured 100% compliance with GDPR and Sarbanes-Oxley Act by integrating regulatory checks into the redesigned processes.

The initiative has been overwhelmingly successful, achieving significant reductions in operational costs and improvements in decision-making speed, customer service, and staff productivity. These results are directly attributable to the comprehensive approach to process mapping and redesign, which not only identified inefficiencies but also aligned processes with the organization's strategic objectives. The integration of regulatory compliance and customer-centric redesigns has further ensured that the organization remains competitive and compliant. However, the success could have been further enhanced by an earlier and more aggressive adoption of digital tools for real-time process performance monitoring, which would have accelerated the identification of improvement opportunities.

Based on the analysis and results, the recommended next steps include further investment in digital transformation initiatives to automate more processes and leverage advanced analytics for deeper insights into process performance. Additionally, expanding the continuous improvement culture through more regular training and engagement initiatives will ensure that process optimization remains a shared responsibility across the organization. Finally, conducting a bi-annual review of process maps to ensure they remain aligned with changing technology, customer expectations, and regulatory requirements will sustain the momentum of the initiative and continue to deliver value to the organization.

Source: Process Mapping Improvement for a Global Financial Institution, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

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