A Process map is simply one way to provide a high-level view of the processes that make up your business management system and show how they interact.
The ISO 9001 Quality Management Standard states that:
The organisation shall determine the processes needed for the quality management system and their application throughout the organisation, and shall ...
b) determine the sequence and interaction of these processes; ...
(Clause 4.4 "Quality management system and its processes")
You don't have to use process maps to be compliant with ISO 9001, but they are a very effective tool for the job.
A process map will usually include:
The ISO 9001:2015 standard includes a generic model of a process-based quality management system based on the Plan - Do - Check - Act cycle. Our example process map follows a similar structure.
This example shows the processes in a simple manufacturing business. It can easily be modified for service based companies or expanded to include safety, environmental, or other compliance related processes.
Each box in the diagram corresponds to a business process. The details would be contained in other documents, e.g. a procedure for each box in the process map, or everything in an 'Operations Manual'.