Guide on How to Create Flowchart Swimlane

Laura Angelica updated on 2023-03-23 14:48:53

Swimlane flowchart offers business processes that involve multiple departments. Swimlane flowcharts are used in Business Process Modeling Notation and Unified Modeling Language methodologies. It's more complex and challenging as compared to other flowcharts. Especially for the new ones who just started to learn flowcharts.

In this article, we are going to cover what a swimlane flowchart is? And why you should use it? This article is not only limited to the usage of swimlane but also the swimlane flowchart example. So, stick to this article to understand the concept of the swimlane flowchart.

What is a Swimlane Flowchart?

This section comprises two parts to understand the swimlane completely.

  1. What exactly is Swimlane Flowchart?
  2. Why should you use it?

Both of them are the products of Microsoft. There's another application we forgot to mention in Microsoft Excel. Any accountable works can be done by using Microsoft Excel.

1.What exactly is Swimlane Flowchart?

A swimlane is also known as a swim lane diagram, one unique type of flowchart. Like other flowcharts, the swimlane flowchart also has a start and end process, but it also grouped those processes into categories to help distinguish which department or workers are accountable for a set of instructions.

Swimlane flowchart is different from other flowcharts. It also makes responsibilities more transparent than the other flowcharts. Swimlane flowcharts are always acquired into lanes or columns that keep the steps more visually grouped to others. Each lane in a chart is for one person, group, or sub-process—also, it's an excellent way to show how a flowchart is designed.

flowchart swimlane

Image Source: SmartDraw

Additionally, the vertical orientation of lanes represents the sequence of processes performing in a particular situation. Whereas, the horizontal lanes determine what grouped operations are performing those steps. There's an alternative way to change the flow of the swimlane flowchart, rotate the sequence flow by reading left to right horizontally. It's an easy way to read and design a swimlane flowchart because the desktop screens are always more comprehensive and taller.

2.Why Should You Use It?

There are many benefits of using swimlane flowcharts. Some of them are as follows. Most of them applied to different business models.

So, let's get started without wasting more time:

1.Identify the Complex Process

Sometimes It's harder to track the information in complex flowchart structures. Many processes are lost in the complexity of explanations; therefore, the swimlane flowchart helps to solve the complexity of information through visualization.

Swimlane flowchart also reduces the duplication of processes, so the process doesn't conflict with each other in a group. It also clarifies the relation between entities and the overall result of the model.

2.Better Understanding and Communication

With the help of the swimlane flowchart processes, it becomes easier for the executives to understand the process. Plus, the swimlane flowchart also shows the communication between one department with other departments. That's how communication made it easier for everyone in the group.

3.Analysis and Improvements

As you know, a swimlane flowchart or diagram shows a detailed graphical view of a business process. This pictorial view can be helpful for process improvement later on.

Well, these were all about swimlane, what exactly is swimlane or what's the benefits of using a swimlane flowchart.

Now, move forward to the next section where we'll see different swimlane flowchart examples and ideas for you to get inspiration.

5 Examples of Flowchart Swimlane

Many examples of swimlane flowchart or diagrams are available on the internet to follow. But we collected some important ones from top quality sites.

1.Visual Paradigm

swimlane flowchart

Example Source: Visual Paradigm

As we discussed above, the swimlane flowchart is the same as the flowchart but different in presentation. It has the same starting and ending point as any other flowchart. The above example image shows a simple swimlane flowchart deployment. Yes, it's a simple example, without any complexities to its design.

As you'd see the different examples, the confidence level will increase to draw your swimlane diagram.


swimlane flowchart examples

Example Source: Gliffy

Swimlane flowchart or diagram often use multiple departments to visualize the business process. In the above example, you can see there are only two vertical swimlanes in the flowchart. The purpose of the swimlane flowchart is "How to Change a Diaper".

How you'd recognize that it's a swimlane flowchart or diagram?

  • Of course, separated processes into swimlanes (lanes).
  • Forming discrete duties in persistent order along the other axis.

With both these things, each department has a separate channel, so everyone can see the process that needs to be handled on time.

3.Bright Hub

swimlane flowchart template

Example Source: Bright Hub

The above swimlane flowchart example of a medical pre-authorization workflow. It is similar to what we've seen in the previous example. The difference between the last example and this is that this swimlanes diagram has rendered horizontally.

Every square box present in the swimlane flowchart represents a task, while the diamond boxes represent the question that must be asked before moving to the next point.


free swimlane flowchart template

Example Source: Creately

Creately has some of the best examples and templates of all kinds of flowcharts. Here's an example of a horizontal swimlane flowchart. This example is of the college registration process workflow. As you can see, multiple departments are performing in this diagram at different lanes of the flowchart.

5.Modern Analyst

sample swimlane flowchart

Example Source: Modern Analyst

We've got another simple workflow model for an IT company. This example comprises three swim lanes, i.e., Employee, Supervisor, and IT groups. We don't think this swimlane flowchart needs any kind of explanation.

Well, that was some of the simple and complex examples of the swimlane flowchart. Now, move to the next and last section of the article where we'll see which tool should use to create a swimlane flowchart for your academic projects or business presentations.

Create A Flowchart Online

Many tools available to make swimlane flowchart, but we've selected Wondershare Mockitt to create flowcharts and other graphic projects. Many experts also admire the features of Wondershare Mockitt.

example of swimlane flowchart

It's a graphic designing product or prototyping tool typically used to enhance your creativity in designing. It's almost similar to other prototyping tools, but the features of Wondershare Mockitt made the differences.

Features of Wondershare Mockitt

Some incredible features Wondershare Mockitt possessed with. The only reason that forced us to use Mockitt is its features, which is quite remarkable. Some features may be helpful while making a swimlane flowchart are as follows:

Widgets and Icons:

Icons and shapes are the most important aspect of making a flowchart. Mockitt has countless pre-installed widgets and icons that you can use to create a swimlane flowchart.


Wondershare Mockitt also allows its users to communicate with other team members easily. It provides real-time collaboration so you and your team members can interact with each other during design.