A thought process map (TMAP) is a diagram that helps you to organize and describe your thought process. A TMAP can help you better understand the steps critical to completing a task, or it can be used as a tool to plan out an entire project. The key advantage of using a though process map is that it makes your thoughts more explicit, so they are easy to see and understand.
When creating a thought process map, start by writing down all of the steps involved in completing whatever action you’re trying to achieve (what we call “the action”). This should take about 10 minutes if using pencil and paper, or 20 minutes if using computer software like Microsoft Word. Next, draw lines connecting each step on the list with its predecessor and successor in order of their appearance when following through with this particular sequence of events; don’t worry about connections between steps before or after this particular sequence yet.
4 Benefits of a Thought Process Map
1. Thought process mapping helps you make your thinking visible.
Once you have a thought process map, everyone will be able to see the steps in your thinking and the connections between them.
2. Thought process mapping helps create shared understanding among team members.
Everyone can see where they agree and where they disagree, which helps build trust within the group and improve communication among teams that are working together on a project or task.
3. Thought process mapping improves collaboration, communication and creativity.
Because it encourages team members to explain their reasoning, other people are better able to understand why they made certain decisions or came up with particular solutions. If someone disagrees with something, you can use TMAPs to explore alternative options for how to best solve problems using other Lean Six Sigma tools.
4. Thought process mapping will help improve problem solving.
The TMAP tool provides structure for an otherwise chaotic problem solving activity where there is no clear path from A → B → C → D which often leads people down blind alleys before finally finding success.
Why is a Thought Process Map Important to Understand?
Thought process maps (TMAPs) are one of the cornerstones of Lean Six Sigma. The goal of a TMAP is to help you understand how your team thinks about a problem, and how they arrive at their solutions. By understanding the process that your team uses to solve problems, you can identify areas where the process could be improved.
For example, if you’re reviewing a project proposal and notice that one department has been left out of the process, this could indicate that they are not being properly included in decision-making processes. This is important because if they don’t have buy-in from all departments, then they may end up delivering suboptimal results.
Another example would be if you notice that every time you review a problem or solution with your team members, they bring up new ideas that weren’t brought up before. This would indicate that there’s some missing knowledge or skills on your team that need to be addressed before moving forward with any further work on this project or other projects like it.
An Industry Example of a Thought Process Map at Work
Thought process maps are a tool that can be used in any industry, but they are especially useful in the manufacturing and service industries. They help you to identify the steps that go into completing a process, and they allow you to see other possible paths that could be taken (and their corresponding costs).
Let’s say you’re working on developing a new product or service. You want to make sure your team has all of the information it needs before starting development. You also want to ensure that all steps are completed properly so that time isn’t wasted on unnecessary actions.
A thought process map helps you do both of these things by creating a visual representation of how your team will move from one step in order completion to the next. The map shows what information is needed at each step and where it comes from; this helps create an efficient workflow for your team members who will use the map as a guide for completing tasks within your organization.
3 Best Practices When Thinking About a Thought Process Map (TMAP)
1. Keep it simple.
The thought process map (TMAP) is a tool to help you visualize the thought process behind a problem, so you don’t have to remember all the details of your thinking. It’s not meant to be a rigorous, detailed analysis of all possible solutions and strategies.
2. Make sure you have a good understanding of the problem before you start.
This will make it easier for other people to understand what you’re doing and why they should support it as well.
3. Don’t get too bogged down in the details.
The basic idea is that you can use TMAPs when discussing an idea with colleagues or stakeholders – not necessarily for making formal presentations about them. If someone asks about something in particular on one of your maps, then go ahead and explain how those decisions were made; otherwise just focus on getting through your overall plan quickly & easily while still being thorough enough so others can follow along without asking too many questions.
Frequently Asked Questions about Thought Process Maps (TMAPs)
What is a thought process map?
A thought process map (or TMAP) is a visual representation of the steps involved in a decision-making process. It helps you to see how all the steps relate to each other and where they might be improved.
How do I use a TMAP?
You should first identify what you want to improve in your business, then think about all the activities (or steps) involved in making that improvement happen and write them down on paper or create them digitally as a mind-map or flowchart. From there, you can use the process maps as templates for documenting what needs to be done; this will help you make sure that everything is covered and that no steps are forgotten or overlooked during implementation. The next step is to identify what needs improvement from both an efficiency perspective—that is: does it take too long? Is it too complicated?—and also from an effectiveness perspective—that is: does this step achieve its desired result? If so, great. If not, then we need to figure out how we can improve this step so that it achieves its intended purpose more effectively.
What are some examples of when I should use a thought process map?
Thought process maps are good for identifying potential issues with businesses processes, such as customer service or sales processes. They can also be used to evaluate performance metrics and areas where improvement may be needed.
Short and Long Term Benefits
Unlike other methodologies, which can be very “top-down”, Lean Six Sigma overall tends to be more “bottom- up” in influencing the culture of the business and obtaining buy-in from the employees. TMAPs are a great way to start that process. They are not as complex or time consuming to do as DMAIC projects, especially for smaller companies. That makes TMAPs great for a company looking for short-term improvement projects, but can still have longer-term DMAIC projects going through their Lean Six Sigma program.