Saturday 11 April 2015

Hand-drawn Process Flows: Part 4 - Hand-drawn Process Template

A Free Document Productivity Tool For Visio

This post provides a template to use with the hand-drawn process flow shapes. It allows you to complete model simple process flows using Visio's swimlane template. 

The Hand-drawn post series looks like this:

  • Part 1 - Introduction - How the hand-drawn look is created. Shows all shapes.
  • Part 2 - Basic Shapes - Good for most process flows.
  • Part 3 - More shapes - For more advanced models.
  • Part 4 - Building a hand-drawn template.
  • Part 5 - Final post - Three more great hand-draw shapes for process flows.

The Template

The Template allows you to prepare simple swimlane style process models.

It is based on the standard cross functional process flow template provided by Visio and has been tweaked to make entering process flows in the hand-drawn style.

  • The font throughout is comic sans for that handwritten look.
  • The default connector is has a complementary colour and style settings


The cross functional template does not support the concept of BPNM pools.  I guess that is why Microsoft want you to buy the Professional version where you get inbuilt BPNM capability.

To simulate pools, all I do is create a very small lane and fill the end with black.

SmartAudit Shape

The audit box provides a convenient place to record audit information. It is always worth branding your models.

You can click into the prepared by and date boxes or use F2 to edit each piece of text.  The filename is automatically derived from the document properties and is an example of how fields can be presented inside shapes.

The audit box in its non-hand-drawn format is one of the earliest shapes I experimented with. It taught me about grouping shapes and formatting text, and was based on some ideas from the Visio Guy.

I chose the location on the top right because it was a space that was always going the free for use, the problem was, if I changed the width of the main container, I also had to move the audit shape too.

This audit shape always stays in the same relative position as the size of the main container moves. If you drag the shape from the stencil it leaps over to the right and slots in automatically.  This makes it a real time saver.

Making a shape's location dependent on another taught me a lot about shapesheets, the tool that allows you to directly view and edit the attributes of a shape including its size, position, geometry and format.

The PinX and PinY attributes are the location of the box.

The entries locate its position relative to the right hand side of the container.

The guard statements means that the logic is retained if the user tries to manually move the shape

Downloading the shapes

You can download the template and the related stencil shapes from the Visio Downloads page here.

I am keen to hear how you find the shapes, so please leave a comment.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks you very much for sharing these links. Will definitely check this out..
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