How to Create a Workflow Diagram - With Examples!
How to Create a Workflow Diagram - With Examples!
Sofie Couwenbergh
Guest writer
/ Last updated:
September 13, 2022
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Workflow diagrams represent data visually, making it easier to make sense of complex information and improve business processes. Though it may seem intimidating at first, learning how to create workflow diagrams is fairly simple. Several online programs and apps make it easy for you to create diagrams that are easy to understand and share an impressive amount of information in a compact message. To create the best workflow diagrams with the most efficiency, sign up for Gmelius through Google to access our integrations and channels. 

Skip ahead to get the answers you need!

What Is a Workflow Diagram? 

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. 

Best Workflow Diagram Tools

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. 

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How To Automate Your Workflows

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

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How To Create a Workflow Diagram: Step-By-Step

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
  • Resources
  • Responsibilities 
  • 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.

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3 Workflow Diagram Examples

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

Customer Support Workflow Diagram Showing How a Customer Ticket is Resolved.


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. 

  1. The ticket is created and assigned
  2. 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.  

3.Does the ticket need more investigation or can the issue be fixed immediately?

  • The issue needs more investigation
    • Try fixing the issue with more investigation
      • Can you fix the issue?
        • Yes
          • Resolve the issue
          • Close the ticket
        • No
          • Pass the ticket to the engineering team
          • They will close the ticket when resolved
  • Fix the issue immediately
    • Close the ticket

Eventually, if the procedure represented in the diagram is followed closely, the process concludes with a closed ticket. 

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Outbound Sales Workflow Diagram 

Outbound Sales Workflow Diagram Showing How to Handle a Prospective Lead.

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. 

  • No - They remove the lead from the campaign
  • Yes - If the team qualifies the lead, they determine if a sales meeting is required
    • No
      • The lead is entered into the company's marketing drip campaign and the process starts over
    • Yes
      • The sales team hands the lead off to the account manager

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Logistics Workflow Diagram

Logistics Workflow Diagram Showing How a Customer Can Create a Successful Order.)

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.

  • Yes
    • If the product isn't available, an automated reply gets sent to the customer to let them know, and the process repeats with a new order.
  • No
    • If the product is available, the order passes on to the logistic manager
    • The logistics manager then delegates the preparation of the order to the local storage facility
    • Then prepares the order
    • Then ships the order
    • The process finishes when the customer receives their order

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Automate and Create Workflows With Gmelius

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!

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