How can you use Swimlane Diagrams to model business processes? (Exercise to try available)

Posted on December 2, 2020

What is a Swimlane Diagram?

swimlane diagram documents the steps or activities of a process flow or workflow. It visualises a process from beginning to end,  but it also divides these steps into categories to help distinguish which departments or employees are responsible for each set of actions.

Swimlanes can represent many categories of information such as actors who perform the activities (i.e., role or department), the stage of the process in which the activity takes place, or whatever else the creator of the document feels should be emphasised and communicated by the swimlane diagram.  The term swimlane was adopted due to the visual similarity between the horizontal rows of the diagram to that of the swimlanes found within a swiming pool.

A swim lane is typically used for projects that extend over various departments and distinguishes channels according to a specific set of objectives. By organising the responsibilities in various directions, it can clearly distinguish the objective of each department and individuals inside the team.

Why are Swimlane Diagrams important?

Swimlane diagrams also make it easier for departments to work with each other, as they not only help identify the bottlenecks in a process, but also which department is responsible for them.

Moreover, swim lane diagrams are able to distinguish the teams’ limits when it comes to abilities and capacity. It allows departments to know what their counterparts are doing. Which in turn helps avoid collision and repetition of work by multiple figures.

Learn how to create a Swimlane Diagram

Our highly skilled trainer, Rod Simpson, recently ran an informative Lunch & Learn session on how to create Swimlane Diagrams to model business processes.

You can access Rod’s presentation from the session below:

Once you’ve had a go at creating your own Swimlane Diagram based on the case study scenario given in the video above, you can take a look at this exemplar that our trainer, Rod Simpson, created.

Click to View Example Swimlane Diagram

Want to learn more about Swimlane Diagrams?

Attend our next Modelling Business Processes course.

Want to try a mini-exam sample?

Why not try some Modelling Business Processes sample questions and see how you would do in the exam?

Download the Business Analysis Certifications Guide

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