Process mapping is an effective means of gathering information to determine how your hotel is performing. It can help hotel management staff understand the guest experience as well as the employee experience, and can reveal areas of inefficiency and opportunities for improvement. Creating process maps also allows managers to uncover instances of variation in a process, when steps are performed differently by different individuals or groups or under difference circumstances. Learn how do process mapping for a hotel as part of a management effort to improve guest and employee satisfaction and reduce waste.

Create a list of the main areas of service for your hotel, such as guest check-in, housekeeping, room service, valet service and bellhop service. Remember to include internal areas, such as staffing and payroll.

List the individuals or groups that are involved in each area. For instance, housekeeping includes not only the housekeeping staff, but also the front desk staff and the phone operators, who handle requests for housekeeping.

Consult the people involved in each service area to gather information about their process. You may want to bring all of them together for a focus group, or you may interview different individuals or groups separately. Be sure to clarify that the goal is to understand and improve processes, not to identify opportunities for discipline or blame, and that it is important that any variations and exceptions in the process are specified.

Complete the following steps for each process that you want to map.

Write a description of the process, including the beginning and end points. For instance, if you are interested in the check-in process for guests, your description might be, "The check-in process begins when the guest arrives at the hotel, includes room assignment and payment, and ends when the guest enters his room."

Start your process map by putting the beginning point at the upper left of your document and the ending point at the bottom right of your document. These are usually indicating using a rounded rectangle shape.

Add additional steps using a rectangle shape and label each one with a short phrase. For check-in, steps might include "customer approaches front desk" and "Staff member provides key and room number."

Indicate decision points using a diamond shape. For instance, the front desk staff might do something different depending on whether the guest provided a credit card number when booking the reservation, or has not yet provided payment information.

Connect consecutive steps using an arrow that shows the direction in which the process flows. For a decision point, at least two arrows will lead from that step to the possible next steps. Be sure to label each arrow to show which decision leads to which next step.

Ask participants in the process to review the process map, and make any changes necessary to remedy any mistakes or missing steps.