Mix Functional Flowcharts in Visio

A Cross functional flowchart is the same thing as a swim lane flowchart : it is used for showing departmental or individual responsibilities in a process circulation. A cross-functional flowchart can be used to illustrate the relationship between a business process (task or procedure) and the functional models (such as departments or individuals) responsible for completing it. In other words, it may show who does what in a process and can graphically highlight areas when one process overlaps with another one or situations when a bottleneck might occur.

What is a Deployment Chart?

There is no significant difference between a deployment flowchart and a cross-functional flowchart; they are two synonyms for the same concept, and are sometimes also referred to as “Process Maps”. However you explain it, a cross-functional flowchart is a great tool for clearly displaying procedure flows across organizational boundaries plus identifying delays, repetitive steps, extreme control points, specialized tasks, and potential points of process failure.

Shapes and Process flow

The shapes used in a swim street flowchart are the same as the standard flowchart shapes; rectangles, lozenges and expensive diamonds are conventionally used to represent the particular steps and decisions that make up the process. Cross-functional flowcharts can display the process either vertically or horizontally. Generally speaking, a vertical layout gives a little more emphasis to the functional units while a horizontal layout emphasizes the process. It is very important spend a little time planning this, because by the time you get to the other end of the swim lane flowchart, you may neglect who’s responsible for what, and why a shape is in a particular music group.

Cross-functional flowcharts use the same redirecting style and direction as simple flowcharts, but the additional presence of go swimming lanes and phases can lead to routes that get hidden because they overlap with swim lane and stage boundaries.

Tools to create a Cross Useful Flowchart

No special equipment is required to construct a swim lane flowchart – a simple sheet of papers will suffice. The best way to begin would be to create enough bands to hold each step of the process you want to document. Start by listing all the people or departments that will complete a task down the still left side of a sheet of paper. Write the first process step alongside the name of the player who performs that will task. Write and draw a box around the second process step on the appropriate row. When you are accomplished, the “as is” process is going to be clearly documented.


Of course , this is often a time-consuming process in itself, and specialized software exists to make the job faster and easier. One of the best all-round diagramming tools on the market is Microsoft Visio. Visio allows a swim lane flowchart to be produced very quickly, and furthermore, allows for easy editing when changes are required – a potential nightmare with a paper-based flowchart.

Making a flowchart with Visio helps you identify waste plus capture processing time and obviously displays cross-functional activity, so in Visio 2010 the swim lanes are containers. The routing engine looks for these overlaps and adjusts routes to avoid them, so if you use Visio to make very long and wide swim lane diagrams, you may be glad of this new feature.

Phases in Process Diagrams

Most processes of any length or complexity may have distinct phases similar to those found in Project management. In Visio the year 2010 there are several new features that assist control these phases and explain the process in so doing. First, a go swimming lane is highlighted when a form is added, and second, go swimming lanes can easily be re-ordered by pulling. When they are re-ordered, the designs they contain are moved with these.

If necessary, Visio also moves the glue points of dynamic fittings to different sides of shapes to prevent the boundary – a real period saver. However , when a band is usually deleted all the shapes the band contains are deleted as well : something to be aware of. Another new feature in Visio 2010 is that the title bar of the Cross-Functional Flowchart Styles stencil will display its shapes when clicked.