To describe the TaskMap® method, we’ll use an example of a common activity – driving a car from one location to another.
The process starts with the current situation, namely that we need to go to a new location. Consequently, we use a description of Location change needed for the Task Link arrow connecting the Start shape with the first Task.
To change location we use a Task labeled Drive the Car. The Task shape in a TaskMap has several optional data items that can be displayed to communicate additional information about a Task. As one example, we identify that the Responsible Role for achieving our goal is the Driver, as shown under the arc above the Task box.
As with many processes, there are additional people who provide a supporting function. In our example we have included a Supporting Role of Navigator, shown below the Task box and marked with an icon of human figure. There may also be other Supporting Roles that could include Passengers, Gas Station Attendants, Highway Patrol, and others.
Many Tasks are conducted according to explicit policies and procedures, which are referred to as Guidelines in TaskMap. In our Drive the Car example, Driving laws and a Driver's license affect the ability of the driver to complete the Task. Other Guidelines might include the Owner’s manual for the automobile being driven, or a Rental car contract that affects where a vehicle may be driven.
In addition to the Roles and Guidelines involved with completing a Task, Tasks are also supported by Resources. Resources are tools or systems that are required to complete the Task. In our example, resources include maps, gasoline, and oil. In the business world, resources might include software systems, databases, forms on a web site, specific reports or functions within a computer system, copiers, shipping services, manufacturing equipment, raw materials or other assets that are needed in order to complete a Task. For some processes resources may includes tools like hammers, milling machines or other physical equipment.
To complete our example, we use another Task Link and label it Destination reached because this is the state of work after completion of the task.
In this very simple example, there was only one state that caused us to Drive the Car, and only one outcome that resulted from completion of the Task. In many work processes there will be multiple causes and results that are indicated by multiple Task Links entering or leaving a Task box. The various Task Links represent different conditions, approvals or rejections, and many other possibilities.