Learning to read maps

I’ve never been good with maps. I would always struggle to hold it the right way before I starting on a journey, mistaking key locations, and always thinking that I had traveled further than reality to my disappointment. My nose was always buried in a book in the back of the car if we were going on a long journey, and I wasn’t greatly interested in the trip, just reaching the destination. It was a bit of joke at home because my dad was a Geography teacher, and I had completed GCSE and A level in the subject.

But since I started my new role, I’ve developed an interest, and dare I say, enjoyment in mapping. Not mapping roads and buildings, rivers and picnic areas, but systems and processes, and measuring the value and failure of our existing systems.

When I started my first placement back in September, I was not really sure why we spent time, resources and money mapping the systems that we already have in place. Everyone must already be aware of the current process, or how do departments work? Of course, everyone remembers all the processes that are followed on a day-to-day basis. And most definitely, everyone can also explain the different processes others around them follows.

Of course you can’t! Usually you don’t even notice the steps you are taking – you just follow them automatically.

 

Here are examples of mapping work that I’ve created while at my first location. I have learned we do in fact need to map the current systems before being able to create new paths for the future. The steps must be recorded, valued, and measured in efficiency before removing, destroying and rebuilding, or there is a very high possibility of creating a worse system than there is already set in place!

Looking at the systems we always consider, does this add value to the customer? Is it easier for the customer if we do this? If so, we can adapt our systems using the map that we have created in the best way, by “putting the people of Gwynedd at the heart of everything we do”.

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