Creating your first map with Process Navigator

This section is to help you get started straight away with your process mapping.

The objective is to produce the process map shown below.


Starting Process Navigator

Process Navigator is installed as a seamless Visio Solution. If you are already a Visio user and can work with standard interface elements such as toolbars, drop-down menus and right-click actions, the Triaster software will be instantly familiar.

Go to the Start menu and select All Programs > Triaster Process Library > Create New Process > Microsoft Visio Process. Alternatively, Process Navigator and select New Visio Process from the File menu

You will see the Triaster template loaded in Visio as shown below.

Setting the Page Orientation

Landscape pages are generally preferred for process mapping (longest edge across the top). If the template loads in portrait (longest edge down the side), the first thing to do is adjust the page orientation.

From the Visio menu bar select File > Page Setup > Page Size and the following dialog appears:

Set Paper orientation to Landscape and click OK.

Adding Shapes

Add a Node
Drag and drop the Node shape onto the drawing page.
NOTE: If you get an Activation dialog, please refer to the Activation section of this manual.
You will see the dialog below appear.
Process Navigator automatically centres the Node for you.

Type ‘Initiate recruitment’ in the Name field on the Node dialog and select OK.

To change the Node name at any time, right-click the Node and select Properties. Change the Node Name. Click OK.

Add the Deliverables

You now need to add the Deliverables to produce the diagram shown below. The layout need not be exact: Process Navigator has some very powerful tools to assist with getting the layout right.
Drag and drop and name all the Deliverables. Type in the names of each Deliverable into the Name field of the New Internal Deliverable dialog box and select OK.
You will see the dialog below appear.
There are three Deliverables in the Recruitment process, and these are represented by filled rectangles with rounded corners. The elliptical Deliverable is external, meaning it goes in or out of the scope of the enterprise process map or goes in or out of the organisation.

Note how in the Recruitment process, the Deliverables are all described using nouns, “Vacant position”, “Job specification”, …

Add the Activities

Activities are shown as white rectangles, and these correspond to things you do. An Activity can always be described using a verb. See, for example, how each Activity in the Recruitment process begins with a verb: “Define”, “Obtain”.

Drag and drop an Activity onto the drawing page. Type in the names of each Activity into the Name field of the New Activity dialog box and select OK.

You will see the dialog below appear.
TIP: Any Process Navigator dialog can be repositioned by dragging the dialog’s title bar.

This is one of the many ways Process Navigator helps you to draw correct process maps with minimal action on your part. From the dialog, you can go straight to relevant help information. As you gain experience, you will find adding the name of an Activity from this dialog is very convenient, comprising the steps:

  • Drag and drop the Activity.
  • Type the name.
  • Press ENTER.

Type in the name “Define job role” and click OK.

Drag and drop a second Activity, and name it “Obtain sign off”.

Your map should be taking shape as below.
TIP: If you need to edit the name of a shape, select it by left-clicking it, press F2, then edit the text.

TIP: Many new users to Visio press ENTER when they have finished typing the text, but in Visio, ENTER adds a new line. To finish editing text, you must click on a different shape or on the drawing page.

TIP: If you CTRL-drag a shape with the left mouse button, Visio copies the shape. This is often quicker than repeated drag and drops.

Connecting the Shapes

The easiest way to connect the shapes is to do it from the Activity Properties dialog.

Select “Define job role”, right-click and select Properties.

The following dialog appears

In the list of Available Deliverables, left-click ‘Vacant Position’ and click the upper “>” arrow to add it to Inputs. Then select ‘Job specification’ and click the lower “>” arrow to add it to the Outputs.

Click OK to add the connections.

Use the same technique to add the connections for ‘Obtain sign off’.

TIP: To multi-select Deliverables from within the Available Deliverables list, use CTRL-click or SHIFT-Click.

You can also remove an Input or an Output by deleting the connector between it and the Deliverable.

TIP: Process Navigator interprets any connector as a valid flow, so manually adding connectors is fine provided they are properly glued. When manually adding connectors, they must begin at the Input and end at the Activity, or begin at the Activity and end at the Output. Process Navigator interprets direction of flow from the direction of connection, so you must be careful to get this right. It is not sufficient to have arrowheads pointing in the right direction because arrowheads can be formatted to go against the flow.

Your process map should now look similar to the map shown below, with the arrow heads in the direction of flow and each Activity connected to its Inputs and Outputs.

Finalising the Layout

From the menu bar, select Process Navigator > Auto-layout.

Process Navigator automatically lays out the process for you as shown below.

Your process map is now complete!

Saving your Process Map

To save your process map, from the Visio menu, select File > Save. Choose the location of your process map. You may want to check with your internal co-ordinator as they may have set up a file store for all the process maps in your organisation.

Remember to save your files as Visio XML drawings (.vdx).