Doing more with Swimlanes

Process Navigator supports cross-functional process maps (Swimlanes). This illustrates how work gets done in organisations where the process involves different departments – the paths they follow, how the Inputs gets transformed into Outputs and where they get transformed.

Whereas a single process map focuses more on the detail, cross-functional process maps show how an organisation uses processes to create value for its customers. Cross-functional process maps answer the following questions:

  • What steps are needed to produce a particular Output?
  • Who (which department) performs each step?
  • What are the interfaces/handovers between each department?
  • What Inputs are required and what Outputs are produced?
  • To add swimlanes to your process map, drag and drop the Swimlane shape onto the drawing page.

Process Navigator loads the following dialog where you can set:

  • Lane Visibility: there are nine lanes in each Swimlane shape, but you can choose to display any number between one and nine lanes.
  • Lane Width: this is the proportion of the total shape that each lane occupies. Process Navigator will not permit more or less than 100% of the width to be allocated and will compensate by adjusting the last lane appropriately.
  • Lane Title: the text that appears in each lane.
  • Apply Lane Colour: turn this on to auto-fill the lanes with the first 9 colours on the Visio palette. This can be changed by manually selecting a colour for each lane.
  • Label Height: the proportion of the Swimlane shape given to storing the lane labels.
  • Layout: whether the Swimlanes appear across the page (Horizontal) or up the page (Vertical). Two lanes can be added to the same page with different orientations in order to generate a grid.
  • Sized to Page: when this option is turned on the Swimlane automatically re-sizes to fit the page. If a Node is present the Swimlane re-sizes to fit the Node. Subsequent resizing of the drawing page also results in the Swimlane resizing appropriately.

You can adjust all of these settings at any time by selecting the Swimlane shape, right-click > Properties, or you can adjust each lane as required by using the yellow control handles. 

TIP: Multiple Swimlane shapes can be dropped onto the drawing page but they will drop on top of another. You will need to reposition them manually.

Lane sizes can be re-set by simply right-clicking the swimlane shape on the drawing page and selecting Re-set Lane Sizes from the menu.