Process mapping tools

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We greatly benefited from an excellent primer on process mapping found on the website of John Grout (Grout, 2004); other recommended textbooks include Damelio (1996) and Jacka and Keller (2001). The examples shown in Figures 5.3 through 5.6 were illustrated using the well-known tool of flowcharts, but there are more sophisticated approaches than this available to perform process mapping. Some of the more common approaches are listed in Table 5.1, which shows how they differ in their functional attributes. Where temporal analyses are important (i.e. the time taken by processes, e.g. the time to reach certain steps in the process or to complete the process), a more specialized technique called value stream mapping can be used, a tool important in the business development process of "lean manufacturing."

Process Map Connectors

Figure 5.4 A map of the "standard" IVF laboratory process. Off-page connectors relate to: © the actual oocyte retrieval process; © obtaining, analyzing and preparing the sperm sample; © the ancillary process of in-vitro maturation of oocytes; and © the process whereby specimens are transferred into the cryobank.

Figure 5.4 A map of the "standard" IVF laboratory process. Off-page connectors relate to: © the actual oocyte retrieval process; © obtaining, analyzing and preparing the sperm sample; © the ancillary process of in-vitro maturation of oocytes; and © the process whereby specimens are transferred into the cryobank.

Risk Management Process Map

Figure 5.5 A map of the "standard" IVF laboratory process including the additional complexity of inputs of previously cryopreserved oocytes, zygotes or embryos. Off-page connectors relate to: CD the actual oocyte retrieval process; ® obtaining, analyzing and preparing the sperm sample; CD the ancillary process of in-vitro maturation of oocytes; © the process whereby specimens are transferred into the cryobank; and CD the process whereby cryopreserved specimens are retrieved from the cryobank.

Figure 5.5 A map of the "standard" IVF laboratory process including the additional complexity of inputs of previously cryopreserved oocytes, zygotes or embryos. Off-page connectors relate to: CD the actual oocyte retrieval process; ® obtaining, analyzing and preparing the sperm sample; CD the ancillary process of in-vitro maturation of oocytes; © the process whereby specimens are transferred into the cryobank; and CD the process whereby cryopreserved specimens are retrieved from the cryobank.

/washed I sperm /

hyaluronidase

i

1st PB

f

biopsy

"Y genetic analysis 1 |

ICSI

"Y genetic analysis 1 |

ICSI

overnight culture overnight culture

2nd PB biopsy

^DISCARD^-

2nd PB biopsy culture

^DISCARD^-

^DISCAR^

Art Deco Clip Art

Figure 5.6 A map of the "standard" IVF laboratory process including the additional complexity of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis/screening. For clarity, rescue ICSI and IVM have been omitted, as well as the inputs of previously cryopreserved oocytes, zygotes or embryos (see Figs. 5.3 and 5.5). Off-page connectors relate to: © the actual oocyte retrieval process; © obtaining, analyzing and preparing the sperm sample; © the process whereby specimens are transferred into the cryobank; and © the processes involved in actually performing the genetic testing on the biopsied material.

^DISCAR^

Figure 5.6 A map of the "standard" IVF laboratory process including the additional complexity of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis/screening. For clarity, rescue ICSI and IVM have been omitted, as well as the inputs of previously cryopreserved oocytes, zygotes or embryos (see Figs. 5.3 and 5.5). Off-page connectors relate to: © the actual oocyte retrieval process; © obtaining, analyzing and preparing the sperm sample; © the process whereby specimens are transferred into the cryobank; and © the processes involved in actually performing the genetic testing on the biopsied material.

culture

Table 5.1 Comparison of the functional attributes of some of the more common approaches to process mapping. "Strong" denotes that the attribute is a strong feature of, or explicit in, the approach; "weak" indicates that the attribute is provided in an implicit or weak way; and a blank denotes that the attribute is not provided by that approach. See text for further discussion of the various approaches. Modified from Grout (2004)

Table 5.1 Comparison of the functional attributes of some of the more common approaches to process mapping. "Strong" denotes that the attribute is a strong feature of, or explicit in, the approach; "weak" indicates that the attribute is provided in an implicit or weak way; and a blank denotes that the attribute is not provided by that approach. See text for further discussion of the various approaches. Modified from Grout (2004)

Attribute

Flowcharting

Top-down

Swim lanes

IDEF0

Level of detail

Strong

Strong

Strong

Hierarchical linking

Weak

Weak

Weak

Strong

between maps

Multiple types of flow

Weak

Weak

Strong

Organizational structure

Weak

Weak

Strong

Use of icons

Strong

Strong

Use of logical operators

Strong

Strong

Flowcharting is the most widely known approach to process mapping and has probably been used by everyone working in IVF labs at some time or another. While flowcharts can be accomplished using text only, with various statements interconnected by arrows, formal flowcharting uses a series of symbols that have specific meanings (see Figure 5.7), although not everyone is aware of these conventions. The amount of detail included in a flowchart is completely at the authors' discretion, and large flowcharts can be split over multiple pages using the off-page connector symbols. While there is no specific convention in flowcharting to represent any hierarchical structure, greater detail of sub-processes can easily be illustrated using subsidiary "child" flowcharts on separate sheets provided that a logical naming or numbering scheme is used to define the linkages (see "IDEF0," below). Multiple flows can obviously be shown in a flowchart, but explanation of what the different flows mean is the author's responsibility.

Various specialized software packages are available for drawing process maps, and flowchart symbols are available in many popular word processing and spreadsheet programs. Probably the most widely acclaimed - and economically priced - flowcharting software cd process data / input decision

terminator alternate process document manual operation preparation predefined process manual input

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