Skip ahead to get the answers you need!
- What is a Workflow Diagram?
- Best Workflow Diagram Tools
- How To Automate Your Workflows
- How To Create a Workflow Diagram: Step By Step
- 3 Workflow Diagram Examples
- Automate and Create Workflows With Gmelius
A workflow diagram is a visual representation of all the steps within a business process, from start to finish. Workflow diagrams offer a bird's-eye view of business processes, showing the chronological flow of tasks and actions among team members required to complete projects.
Workflow diagrams often represent tasks and actions with shapes, like the legend on a map:
- Boxes = Action items
- Diamonds = Decision required
- Ovals = Start and finish process
- Circles = Skip ahead
Arrows connect these tasks to illustrate the chronological order of tasks in a workflow diagram.
Learning how to create a workflow diagram is much harder without the appropriate programs and apps. These user-friendly tools can help create diagrams for all your business needs. Gmelius uses both Trello and Zapier to automate different functions available in these workflow diagram tools.
Trello and Diagrams.net
Trello is a web-based Kanban board program that helps with workflow organization. Trello offers a free Power-Up tool, called Diagrams.net. Diagrams.net is an open-source workflow diagram tool with a user-friendly interface. Draw.io allows you to create, store, and share diagrams.
Zapier and Miro
Automate features by triggering actions through zaps. Zapier allows applications to connect to thousands of other web services, including one of the best workflow diagram tools, Miro. Miro enables you to create beautiful charts and diagrams with their integrations, while Zapier helps you automatically add cards to your Miro diagrams. Working together, these applications can create beautiful workflow diagrams with amazing automation.
Workflow diagrams make it easy to share business processes with your team to get everyone on the same page. Unfortunately, diagrams themselves don't actively do anything for you. It's still up to you and your team to execute each step in the workflow efficiently, and that's not always easy. Fortunately, this is where automation can help. Gmelius helps you create workflow automations using simple "if this, then that" triggers.
Our automation includes but is not limited to:
Learn how Gmelius can help you automate your team’s workflows within Gmail and Google Workspaces.
You can create a business workflow diagram for multiple processes within your business. Depending on the scenario and type of business practice, the specifics will vary, but there are some general steps to take in order to create a successful business workflow diagram.
Step 1: Determine the Process
It's important to focus on one business process at a time so you don’t end up with an overly complicated visualization. Determining which process to work on is the first step in creating a workflow diagram.
Step 2: Gather Information
Now that you know which process you'll be diagramming, it's important to collect all the information related to that process. It helps to make a list.
- Necessary steps
- Key Decisions
This information is the basis of the workflow and will help you create a visual representation.
Step 3: Draft The Diagram
If you're not used to working with workflow diagram tools or feel more comfortable creating with pen and paper, you can always start with a manual diagram. That way, recreating it as a digital workflow becomes a simple matter of selecting shapes and creating connections.
Note: some diagram tools also add links and attachments to different steps within your workflow. This allows you to link tools and documentation to different stages of your business process.
Step 4: Share The Final Draft
Once you've perfected your workflow diagram, share it with your team members to make sure everyone understands the steps and actions required to execute the process successfully. Sharing the diagram will also help people understand their role in the bigger picture. This is especially beneficial when you're mapping out processes that span multiple departments.
Getting extra eyes on your diagram may also prompt insights into opportunities for improvement. Asking your team for feedback reminds them of their role as project stakeholders, encourages a sense of ownership, and strengthens interpersonal connections.
Step 5: Track, Analyze, Improve
When every step of a business process is documented, it becomes much easier to spot bottlenecks and other potential problem areas. You can also identify key players in the process.
Analyze the diagram to determine which tasks are absolutely necessary, which can be discarded or streamlined, and which ones can be automated.
Note: Creating a workflow diagram template for your business's processes can give you a solid base to work from when adapting existing processes or developing new ones. By using a template, you can keep all of your previous workflow diagrams as historical records you can reference when needed.
You can use workflow diagrams for different businesses and industries. These examples can help you understand the visual layout of common business practices and how each breakdown is created.
Customer Support Workflow Diagram
This example illustrates the process that takes place when a customer submits a support ticket. We represent the start and finish of the process in green oval bubbles.
- Start - A customer submits a ticket
- Ending - The support team closes the ticket
After the customer submits the ticket, the support team performs a series of tasks—represented as yellow rectangles to the end.
- The ticket is created and assigned
- The assigned team member reviews the ticket depending on priority
We then split the diagram based on a decision-making moment, represented as a grey diamond. The image shows two moments in which the diagram can split, based on the decision.
Eventually, if the procedure represented in the diagram is followed closely, the process concludes with a closed ticket.
Outbound Sales Workflow Diagram
This sales workflow diagram shows the process that starts when a prospect contacts the company or is cold-called by the company. Represented by green oval bubbles, the workflow diagram has one start and three possible endings.
- Start - Prospect contacts company or is cold-called
- Ending - Prospect is removed from the campaign
- Ending - The team hands the Prospect off to the account manager
- Ending - The process starts over
The diagram starts with a prospect contacting the company or being cold-called. Right after this, a decision-making point determines whether the team qualifies the lead.
Logistics Workflow Diagram
This logistic workflow diagram shows how a customer can create a successful order in industries like consumer packaged goods (CPG), retail, or construction. This diagram has one start and one ending, with one decision-making point where the diagram splits.
- Start - New Customer Order
- Ending - Order is successfully delivered to the customer
When a new customer places an order, the logistics department needs to check if the requested product is available. This is a decisive moment.
Learning how to create a workflow diagram can be intimidating, but luckily, there are user-friendly tools available for you and your team to create and automate workflows. Visualizing business procedures can ensure that your team is following the proper steps and coming to the same result each time. Automate your team's workflow with Gmelius to guarantee you are not missing notifications, assignments, and responses. We built Gmelius to improve team communication and collaboration. Check out our features and integrations! Ready to get started? Sign up today!