Used to document complex processes in and between organizations,
a swimlane diagram shows how the actions of multiple agents come together to complete an initiative. Containing lanes assigned to each entity involved in the project, this type of project visual helps pinpoint the activities for which these participants are responsible.
When properly built to map out the steps that specific groups or departments undertake within a given process, swimlane diagrams can help identify problems and areas of inefficiency.
Effectively capturing and visualizing business process requirements to maximize productivity can be a challenge when dealing with complex projects. Among the many
swimlane diagram tools available to achieve this goal, pre-built samples are the easiest way to get started. This is why we’ve put together a series of swimlane diagram templates that you can use to get going.
Natively built in PowerPoint, these templates can be easily updated and customized to reflect your project specifics and help you handle stakeholder meetings like a pro.
1. Basic Swimlane Diagram Template
This swimlane diagram template for PowerPoint is suitable for project managers who want to design and convey the framework of a complex project in a clear, easy-to-follow format. Laying out concurrent tasks and milestones on different lanes so they don’t overlap, it provides structure and solid visual support for effective activity scheduling, task assignment and resource allocation.
Use this template to showcase your project roadmap to a high level, editing it in PowerPoint with the help of
the Office Timeline Pro add-in. You can customize it functionally (replacing the placeholder text with your own project data), and visually (by changing colors, shapes, and positioning).
2. Cross Functional Swimlane Flow Chart Template
Organizing tasks into separate, distinctive grids and assigning process steps to certain categories, a cross-functional swimlane flow chart indicates who does what and when within a process flow.
The cross-functional swimlane flow chart template will help you bring clarity to processes which rely on input from multiple teams/departments and describe the relation between certain process steps and the agents that are responsible for them.
3. Process Map Swimlane Diagram Template
Process mapping is an essential part of strategy planning and management, which helps people across departments see a process landscape. The process map swimlane diagram enables you to delineate all the stages of a project, roles, responsibilities, and interdependencies of a given person or group involved in the process.
A useful tool for process modelling, this template will improve the clarity of your business operations, helping you to identify sources of delays and create efficiencies at scale.
4. Geographical Swimlane Diagram Template
The geographical swimlane diagram helps PMs working in multi-national organizations gain perspective and visibility into project initiatives that take place at different business site levels. Providing a bird’s-eye view over complex distributed processes, it makes it easier for bottlenecks and inconsistencies to be detected, revealing opportunities for improvement.
Use this template to document and design cross-organizational operations into a single common version that can be accessed easily and collaboratively.
Explore more swimlane diagram tools on our page dedicated to
swimlane diagram software or learn how to use various office programs such as Excel or PowerPoint to make a swimlane diagram.
FAQs about Swimlane Diagram Templates
Here are the answers to the most common questions on swimlane diagram templates.
Does PowerPoint have a swimlane template?
No, Microsoft’s popular presentation platform does not provide any pre-designed swimlane templates that you can customize to fit your process mapping needs. However, you can manually make a swimlane diagram in PowerPoint from scratch or use any of the free PowerPoint swimlane templates on this page to save time and efforts.
How do I make a swimlane diagram in Word?
Although primarily designed for word-processing purposes, Microsoft Word can also be used in the creation of a basic swimlane diagram. Here is what you need to do in this respect:
- Open a new Word document. Change page orientation to Landscape for a better fit and insert a new drawing canvas from the Insert > Shapes option.
- Create swimlanes for each of your major process components/participants by using the Rectangle shape from Insert > Shapes. Use larger rectangles for the body of your swimlanes, and smaller ones for their titles.
- Label your swimlanes – use the smaller rectangles to type in the title of each main process step/participant.
- Build a flowchart by adding shapes, texts, and connectors to represent the tasks associated with each swimlane.
- Format shapes (change colors, fonts, position) to improve the diagram’s legibility.
To practice and master your swimlane diagramming skills, check out our full demonstration on how to make a swimlane diagram in Word or use a dedicated swimlane chart maker like Office Timeline, which automates the whole process.