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Purpose: This paper seeks to describe the value of process mapping to libraries as a first step in promoting a culture of organizational assessment. In addition, this paper offers a case study of the University of Michigan Library’s experience in building up a process mapping skill set and the workflow improvements resulting from these efforts.

Design/methodology/approach: This case study is a description and assessment of a program to train library employees on process mapping.

Findings: Process mapping in library settings empowers librarians and staff to identify and implement elements for improvements in routine work. When given the tools to assess processes, employees at the University of Michigan made several such improvements.

Practical Implications: While library staff tend not to be familiar with process mapping, these skills are critical for retaining institutional knowledge, training staff, and identifying areas for improvement in common and rarely used workflows alike.

Originality/value: Process improvements were identified and implemented at the University of Michigan Library when our staff mapped the processes of their daily work.


Preprint. Published version in: Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 16 Iss 1 (2015).

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