How to Create a Swimlane Diagram in Excel?

A Swimlane diagram is a particular type of flowchart which distinguishes one's job or responsibility from another one. These diagrams communicate which activity steps are assigned to a specific individual within an organization. The diagram is composed of multiple boundaries and lanes, stating who does what in a process. This article will learn to create a swimlane diagram using Microsoft Excel and EdrawMax - an efficient diagramming tool.
Create a Swimlane Diagram in EdrawMax Online
Time to complete: 3 minutes
Create a Swimlane Diagram in PowerPoint
Time to complete: 8 minutes

1. How to Create a Swimlane Diagram in Excel?

Swimlane diagrams are used to better structure an activity or an organizational process to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies; this helps prevent overlapping responsibilities and process delays. The swimlane diagram states a process from scratch to end just like any other flowchart does, but it also distinguishes the work of one department or a person from the other one. Simply, it tells who is responsible for what is a process.

1.1 Components of Swimlane Diagrams

The swimlane diagram is made of some special shapes and symbols, each representing a unique function;

  • Start/End: The oval shows any process's starting and ending point.
  • Process: The regular rectangular boxes with labels on them show multiple processes or steps within an Activity.
  • Decision: The question within the diagram is symbolized using a diamond shape.
  • Input/Output: The parallelogram with curved shapes represents the information entering and exiting the flow.

1.2 Swimlane Diagram Excel Tutorial

Now let's see how to create a swimlane diagram with Microsoft Excel.

Step 1: Format Height and Width of Cells

Before moving forward, format the height and width of the cells; for the horizontal diagram, wide the columns included in the chart by dragging the boundaries of the columns to the right side up to the desired extent. Do the same for the rows if you make a vertical swimlane diagram.

Step 2: Label the Boxes/Cells

Label the boxes in the spreadsheet; these boxes will represent the participants involved and add colors to distinguish the boxes or cells.

Step 3: Build the Swimlane Diagram

Go to the Insert tab, then add shapes to the appropriate boxes or cells once the flow chart is completely mapped out.

2. How to Make a Swimlane Diagram Online Easier?

EdrawMax Online is yet another diagramming tool. With this online application, you can easily create a swimlane diagram.

Step 1: Choose a Template

Browse the online application of EdrawMax and log in to the account. Choose to create a new diagram, then select a perfect template for your swimlane diagram

Make a Swimlane Diagramin EdrawMax

You can find all flowchart and swimlane diagram symbols in the symbol libraries. You can add swimlanes from the left library. Drag the swimlane and drop it on the canvas.

Make a Swimlane Diagram in EdrawMax

Step 2: Customize the Template

After selecting a template, it's now time to customize it as per your process or activity, add some more entities and relationships like texts and necessary shapes from the sidebar.

Make a Swimlane Diagram in EdrawMax

Step 3: Export a Document as an XLSX File

Once the diagram is completed, it's time to export it to your computer. You can export your swimlane diagram into multiple formats, including PNG, PDF, XLSX, VSDX, etc.

Make a Swimlane Diagram in EdrawMax

3. Swimlane Diagram Excel Templates

Some swimlane diagram templates that you can edit or customize directly are below.

Example 1: Swimlane Flowchart

Swimlane diagrams are widely used by manufacturing businesses; in the above flowchart, you can easily depict how different departments are engaged and working on a single page to achieve a task. Each department is familiar with its responsibilities and bottlenecks, and everyone in the activity is aligned to achieve that goal.

Swimlane Flowchart

Example 2: UML Swimlane

This swimlane diagram is the visual image of the set of activities in a content publishing house; it shows the interaction between author, editor, and publisher to develop content, the rectangular boxes represent the tasks or steps, and the lanes distinguish the functions between the author, editor, and publisher.

UML Swimlane

Example 3: Swimlane Process Flow

Let's look into the vertical swimlane diagram. This diagram represents the set of activities and the interaction between the Salesperson, consultant, and technician. Here, the business process for meeting a new client is shown. Each of the individuals is familiar with its role, and the three of them are working to achieve the desired goal.

Swimlane Process Flow

4. Online Swimlane Diagram Maker

Now you are entirely familiar with swimlane diagrams, and now you might be worried about which software to begin with? We have got you. As a beginner, you must start with the EdrawMax, a unique and efficient diagramming tool. EdrawMax Online is an online application with a user-friendly interface; it's a great tool. Using the online application, you can create more than 280 types of diagrams per your requirements.

You can create a swimlane diagram with EdrawMax without paying a single penny; using its pre-designed templates; you can create a customizable flowchart for your process by editing its enriched features. You can access EdrawMax Online on any browser like Windows, Mac, or Linux. When the diagram is finished and ready to be shared, export it to multiple formats, including PNG, PDF, XLSX, SVG, etc.

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5. Key Takeaways

Swimlane diagramming technique is a great tool to map out the process by defining everyone's role and tasks to achieve the output. It is often used for multiple departments and separate channels based on specific goals. It is possible to separate the objectives of each department and individuals within the team by structuring responsibilities in distinct directions. You can create a swimlane diagram with Microsoft Excel to structure your process. Still, to make it more quickly, efficiently, and neatly with some more unique and exciting features, then EdrawMax Online is an excellent online application for diagramming your process.

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