Process diagrams in Visio

Process diagrams are visualizations of any sort of step-by-step process. They are usually created as flowcharts, with shapes that represent steps in the process connected by arrows that indicate the next step.

Visio has a lot of process diagram templates, but they all can be put into one of two categories:

General purpose process diagrams

If you want to diagram a process and you don’t have a specific methodology you want to follow, one of these three templates should work well:

  • Basic Flowchart

  • Cross Functional Flowchart

  • Work Flow Diagram

To find these templates:

  1. Click the File tab.

  2. Click New.

  3. Click Flowchart.

Basic Flowchart

Basic Flowchart template

The Basic Flowchart template is useful for a broad range of business processes, where each step can be represented using simple geometric shapes.

Cross Functional Flowchart

Cross Functional Flowchart template

A cross functional flowchart is the same as a basic flowchart, but with an added element of structure: containers called “swimlanes” that represent the people or departments that are responsible for each step. In fact, the Cross Functional Flowchart template uses the same stencil of shapes the Basic Flowchart template uses; the main difference is that there are some swimlanes added to the page for you to start with.

Work Flow Diagram

Workflow diagram template

The Work Flow Diagram is a general-purpose pictorial diagram. It has shapes for many common business departments, objects, and steps. You can use it instead of the Basic Flowchart to show in a more representational way how a process moves through various stages.

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Process diagrams for specific methodologies

Methodology-based process diagrams have more structure than general purpose diagrams have, and they can convey more detailed information. They often use symbols that have specific meanings, or require that certain kinds of data accompany certain shapes to fully implement the process. These rules or guidelines are usually described formally in specifications, most of which are available on the Web.

To find these templates:

  1. Click the File tab.

  2. Click New.

  3. Click Flowchart or Business.

Some of the templates included in Visio to support specific process methodology diagrams include:

  • Business Process Modeling Notation Diagram

  • Fault Tree Analysis Diagram

  • IDEF0 Diagram

  • ITIL Diagram

  • Microsoft SharePoint Workflow

  • SDL Diagram

  • Six Sigma Diagram

  • TQM Diagram

  • Value Stream Map

BPMN Diagram

BPMN Diagram template

You can create Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) flowcharts that follow the BPMN 1.2 standard.

Fault Tree Analysis Diagram

Fault Tree Analysis diagram template

Use Fault Tree diagrams to document business processes, including Six Sigma and ISO 9000 processes.

IDEF0 Diagram

IDEF0 diagram template

Create hierarchical diagrams for model configuration management, need and benefit analyses, requirements definitions, and continuous improvement models by using IDEF0 process charting models.

ITIL Diagram

ITIL Diagram template

Document best practices in the management of information technology service processes based on the Information Technology Infrastructure Library standard.

Microsoft SharePoint Workflow

SharePoint Workflow template

You can create annotated workflow diagrams for SharePoint 2010 in Visio, and then export them for configuration in SharePoint Designer.

SDL Diagram

SDL diagram template

Draw object-oriented diagrams for communications and telecommunications systems and networks using the Specification and Description Language.

Six Sigma Diagram

Six Sigma diagram template

Use this template to create a Six Sigma flowchart or house of quality diagram.

TQM Diagram

TQM diagram template

Create Total Quality Management diagrams, including cause-and-effect, top-down, and cross-functional process flow diagrams for business process re-engineering and continuous improvement.

Value Stream Map

Value Stream Map diagram template

Illustrate the flow of material and information in a Lean manufacturing process by using Value stream maps.

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