What are Decisions in Process Mapping? 

Decisions are a tool used in business process mapping and process documentation. The decision is used to exhibit a fork, where there are multiple paths in a process map. A decision can have at minimum two paths but in complex circumstances could split into a multitude.

So, the purpose of the decision is to display multiple solutions which lead to the desired outcome of the process. However, often one path is prioritised above others and only when certain criteria are met should staff decide to take another path. These criteria should be stated as simply as possible on the process map to ensure that despite multiple solutions, the same process is attempted consistently.

An example of a decision when process mapping in Gluu

A decision on the Gluu platform is represented by a diamond shape. It’s best to describe the requirement as briefly as possible usually from one to three words. In our example below, you can see that the decision is titled “Possible to resolve?” this makes it very easy to recognise the criteria at a glance. Once you have the diamond in place you can also add visual work instructions for much more detailed information. In this example, a checklist to ensure whether the problem has a solution or not would help a lot. You can then add as many arrows or lines as you like to indicate multiple paths from your decision. Process owners can also add descriptions to these arrows to give users more information or advice regarding that specific path.

Process map example with a decision.

Resources on Decisions:

  • Check out our Process Mapping Guide for a comprehensive step-by-step manual on producing effective swimlanes, activities, events and decisions all in one place.
  • Find out more about using decisions when process mapping with the Gluu platform with our article on Mapping with events and decisions.