How to Create a Business Process Diagram (With Examples) - frevvo Blog (2022)

In a perfect world, every business process would be documented. Employees would have everything they need to do their jobs and would know exactly how to carry out each step.

But this isn’t always the case — 60% of employees find it difficult to get the information they need for their work. This suggests that companies aren’t doing enough to document their processes, which can lead to inconsistent results.

So how can you improve your processes? And how can you ensure that employees have the information they need to do their jobs well?

Using a business process diagram is a good place to start.

In this article, we’ll cover what a business process diagram is, how it can help your company, and how to create one. We’ll also look at using business process automation software to document and automate your processes.

Click the links below to jump straight to the section you want to learn more about:

  • What Is a Business Process Diagram?
  • How Does a Business Process Diagram Help Your Business?
  • 5 Essential Parts of a Business Process Diagram
  • 7 Steps to Create a Business Process Diagram

What Is a Business Process Diagram?

A business process diagram is a visual representation of a process that your company carries out to achieve a goal. It uses standardized symbols to describe each step of the process.

You can use a business process diagram to depict anything from onboarding new hires to developing and launching a new product.

Typically, a business process diagram will look like a flowchart. It could be a basic flowchart, or it could be a more complex cross-functional flowchart that spans multiple departments.

Here’s an example of a business process diagram for purchase orders:

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Creating a business process diagram is the first step to improving operational efficiency. It can help you understand how a process works, allowing you to identify inefficiencies that may not have been obvious before.

When you share your process diagram with colleagues, higher-ups, and stakeholders, you can get feedback on how to adjust and optimize the process.

If you think your business processes are as efficient as possible, think again: 68% of organizations saw key processes break down in the rapid shift to remote work in 2020.

(Video) frevvo's simple workflow software

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Using a business process diagram increases productivity, minimizes errors, and facilitates digital transformation when you combine it with workflow automation software.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of business process diagrams.

How Does a Business Process Diagram Help Your Business?

Business process diagrams contain plenty of valuable information for your business. They show you how your processes actually work, not just how you think they should work.

That’s incredibly useful.

When you use that information to identify roadblocks and optimize your workflows, your entire business benefits. Here’s how a business process diagram benefits your company.

Increases Efficiency and Productivity

44% of organizations measured the return on investment (ROI) of their business processes through how much time employees saved. The results? 66% of departments that prioritize automation say they reduced time spent on manual tasks by 11–30%.

Reduces Business Costs

A business process diagram breaks down each step of a process, which can help you identify automation opportunities and lower operating costs. 46% of departments that prioritize process automation say they’ve reduced costs by 11–30%.

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Increases Transparency

With a clear process diagram, every team member can see what they need to do. Business process models extend this idea, helping everyone see how they’re part of the larger picture.

Creates a Record of Institutional Knowledge

When employees leave the organization, they take a lot of knowledge with them. If that information isn’t documented, it’s likely gone forever. Creating a business process diagram and keeping it updated helps preserve company knowledge.

Reduces Errors and Redundancies

When everyone knows their role in a business process, you’ll get fewer mistakes and fewer instances of people doing the same work twice.

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Improves the Employee and Customer Experience

Employees and customers appreciate when processes move quickly, whether that’s returning an item or getting all your new hire documents signed.

With business process diagrams, you can speed up your processes while also keeping them accurate, leading to better employee and customer experiences.

While any part of a business can benefit from process mapping and automation, some departments will get a higher ROI than others.

The following departments see the highest ROI from process automation, according to a Salesforce study:

  • IT: 52%
  • Operations: 47%
  • Customer service: 37%
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Before you can start creating a business process diagram, you need to understand how it’s structured.

5 Essential Parts of a Business Process Diagram

A key goal of business process mapping is to connect different sources and types of information.

The average business process has five components. Think through where to look or who you’ll collaborate with to find the following pieces of information:

  • Goal or outcome: What is the end result of the business process? Define Points A and B, so you can fill in the blanks later in the process.
  • Steps of the existing process: What are the main steps of the process? Communicate with your team about the steps they follow or perform the process in its entirety yourself. If any step includes a subprocess, note that here, too.
  • People or departments involved: What skills or resources are needed to complete this process? Do specific people or departments need to be involved? Keep in mind that different steps may require different people. For example, contracts may need to go through multiple rounds of approval before they’re processed.
  • Rules or conditions for moving from step to step: Does the process change depending on who is involved, such as a new or important client, or other factors like budget and time limits?
  • Software, tools, or devices: What resources do you need to complete the process? This could include anything from a customer support platform that logs customer complaints to BPM tools that track vacation requests. Make sure everyone who needs access to these tools has it.
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You’ll also need to consider how you’ll create, share, and manage the business process diagram. Using a BPM tool with plenty of customization options like frevvo, you’ll be able to create workflow diagrams that meet your needs.

7 Steps to Create a Business Process Diagram

Now, let’s go step by step through creating a business diagram.

This exercise is sometimes called business process mapping. The goal is to create a business process flow diagram, often known as a flow chart.

By the end of these steps, you’ll have more than a process flowchart — you’ll have a fully automated business workflow.

(Video) Easy Workflows with frevvo's Guided Designer

1. Outline Your Business Process

When you begin your business process map, start by writing out the steps of the process as you understand them. You can do this on scrap paper, a whiteboard, or a mind map tool.

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Consider all the components listed in the previous section, as well as anything that might be unique to your organization. If you have a project management tool or other records, use those to track the current state of your business process.

2. Gather Necessary Information

Make a list of any gaps in your initial outline of the business process flowchart. Then, figure out where to find that information.

You’ll also need to do some of your own brainstorming. If there are any obvious breakdowns in the business process, how can you fix them? Who can you recruit to help find a solution?

This is also a good time to think about who will fill each role in your business process. Some steps may be tied to certain positions, like managers or vice presidents, but you may need to designate someone to carry out certain aspects of your process.

3. Have Colleagues Offer Feedback

Before you move forward with your business process diagram, get insight from other people who use this process. They may have information or ideas that you can’t see from your position.

Ideally, you’ll get feedback from someone who is involved at each stage of the business process. This will help you build out the organizational context of your business process, which helps you best optimize it.

Next, refine your rough draft of the process map according to the feedback you received.

4. Build Your Business Process With a BPM Tool

The best way to visualize a process is to use a business process management tool.

A BPM tool like frevvo can help you create flowchart diagrams using standardized notions that’s easy enough for your whole team to understand. You can also use the code-free workflow builder to create and automate your diagram to speed things up.

5. Assign Roles

At each step of your business process flowchart, designate specific people or types of users who are responsible for the tasks there.

For instance, if you’re creating a purchase order approval workflow, you may need to assign approvers at the manager level and in the finance department.

When you create a new workflow in frevvo, you can assign approval steps to individual users based on their roles.

(Video) Simple, Intuitive Guided Workflow Design – New in frevvo V10

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By integrating data sources with frevvo, you can autofill information like managers and chains of approval. This will make it easier to have a business process that adapts to your workflow.

6. Set Rules and Conditions

The next step is to set up the rules and conditions that govern your automations. While this might sound intimidating, frevvo has wizards to walk you through setting up the controls and rules you need.

Your rules and conditions help your process run as smoothly as possible. When set up correctly, everything seamlessly moves between people, devices, and tools, so the process doesn’t get stuck.

For example, let’s say that invoice approvals are painfully slow. Employees have to constantly chase down their managers for signatures, which makes the process take even longer.

In frevvo, you can create an invoice approval workflow that automatically routes forms to the right approver to sign. You can also add dynamic routing into your workflow (e.g., route an invoice to a senior executive for additional approval above a certain value).

Here’s an example of how this looks:

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Approved invoices route directly to the finance department to issue payment.

By outlining what should happen in the case of almost any outcome, you can keep errors to a minimum. There’s always a clear plan of what should happen, so nothing falls through the cracks.

7. Launch and Test Your Business Process

Before you launch your automated business process, test out your process automation with your team. You may need to make a few small changes so that it runs correctly.

If needed, train your employees on how the process works or how to use your BPM tool. Since transparency is a key benefit of business process mapping, it’s essential that your team has what they need.

Remember that BPM isn’t a one-time activity. You’ll always be monitoring, optimizing, and improving your business processes. With frevvo, you can easily make changes whenever you need to.

Create Your Business Process Diagram Now

A business process diagram helps you visualize your workflows so you can optimize them.

As you create your business process diagrams, be sure to get insight from everyone on your team. You’ll also want to make sure everyone understands their role in the business process.

(Video) How to integrate with Document Management Systems

Then, convert your diagram into an automated business process using frevvo, which you can try for 30 days here.


How do you create a business process diagram? ›

The 6 steps to making a business process flow diagram
  1. Determine the main components of the process. ...
  2. Order the activities. ...
  3. Choose the correct symbols for each activity. ...
  4. Make the connection between the activities. ...
  5. Indicate the beginning and end of the process. ...
  6. Review your business process diagram.
11 Apr 2016

What is business process give an example? ›

They are the processes that directly create revenue. Examples include: product manufacturing, order to cash process, and delivering products to customers.

What create process diagram? ›

A process diagram, also known as a flowchart, is a visual representation of the steps required to complete a given task or achieve a desired outcome. They can be used by anyone from business owners to managers, team members, customers, and suppliers.

What is a business process diagram? ›

A business process diagram is a diagram that depicts a directed flow of activities that are specified by using a subset of Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN). Tip: You can create business process diagrams using the new diagram editor, which is now the preferred tool for creating graphical artifacts.

How do I create a BPMN diagram? ›

Create BPMN-compliant processes
  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click New, click Flowchart, and then double-click BPMN Diagram.
  3. For each step in the process, drag a shape from one of the stencils to the page, and connect the shapes as usual. ...
  4. Set attributes of the objects in the process.

What is a process and examples? ›

The definition of a process is the actions happening while something is happening or being done. An example of process is the steps taken by someone to clean a kitchen. An example of process is a collection of action items to be decided on by government committees.

What is business process PDF? ›

Business process is a structured, analytical, inter-functional set of activities that require continuous improvement. It represents a repetitive flow of activities with a clearly defined beginning and end, and in more or less constant intervals, creates value for the buyers.

What is diagram example? ›

A diagram is a visual representation of systems, structures, and relationships between things. Some diagram types are referred to as “map” or “chart” or “graph” but fall under the diagram category. For example, mind maps, flowcharts and organizational charts.

What is flowchart explain with example? ›

A flowchart is a picture of the separate steps of a process in sequential order. It is a generic tool that can be adapted for a wide variety of purposes, and can be used to describe various processes, such as a manufacturing process, an administrative or service process, or a project plan.

How do I create a process map in Word? ›

From the Insert tab within the Ribbon, select a flowchart shape from the dropdown gallery. You can then click and drag it to the size you want on the page to place it. Continue to add shapes and lines to complete your flowchart.

What are the 5 core business processes? ›

At the core, every business is fundamentally a collection of five Interdependent processes, each of which flows into the next:
  • Value-Creation. Discovering what people need, want, or could be encouraged to want, then creating it.
  • Marketing. ...
  • Sales. ...
  • Value-Delivery. ...
  • Finance.

How does a business process diagram help your business? ›

A business process diagram breaks down each step of a process, which can help you identify automation opportunities and lower operating costs.

What is the benefit of creating a business process diagram? ›

By creating a visual business process flow diagram, you unlock your mind to actually see the invisible road that your data is travelling. Your business process diagram can quickly show the sequence of tasks, if they are conditional, if they are done simultaneously, if they are a system task, or assigned to a human.

How do I create a BPMN chart in Excel? ›

How to Create BPMN Diagram | Flowchart for Beginners - YouTube

What is process example in writing? ›

Process essay explains how to do something. This is a kind of tutorial that describes a process step by step. For example, you need to cook a pie or draw a picture. In this case, you will need to follow step-by-step instructions.

What are the main business processes? ›

What Are Key Business Processes?
  • Developing vision and strategy.
  • Developing and managing products and services.
  • Marketing and selling products and services.
  • Delivering services.
  • Managing customer service.
30 Oct 2020

What is business process analysis? ›

Business process analysis (BPA) is an approach to analyzing business operation processes. It is a detailed, multi-step examination of each part of a process to identify what is working well in your current process, what needs to be improved and how any necessary improvements can best be made.

What is BPR PDF? ›

Abstract. Business process reengineering (BPR) is a tool to help organizations to improve Quality, customer services, cut operational costs and become leaders in their domain.

What are the theories of BPM? ›

Business process management (BPM) describes the attempts of organizations to manage these processes in such a way that positive effects accrue like increased quality, customer satisfaction, financial performance, decreased production time or costs (Kohlbacher, 2010; Ranganathan and Dhaliwal, 2001).

What are the two methods of business processing? ›

In general, the various tasks of a business process can be performed in one of two ways: manually. by means of business data processing systems such as ERP systems.

What is BPM design? ›

BPM. Business process design is a BPM step that occurs after the analysis and discovery steps. Its goal is to create an improved and optimized process that meets all of your expectations in relation to process performance and strategic business needs.

What are three logical components of a business process? ›

The three most prominent management activities are planning, controlling, and decision making.

How do you create a diagram? ›

To create a diagram or flowchart, you can add and combine different shapes.
  1. Click the slide where you want to add the diagram or flowchart.
  2. Add any combination of these shapes: To add a shape, click Shape. and choose a shape or arrow. To add connecting lines or arrows, click Line. and choose a line or arrow.

How do you explain a diagram? ›

Organize a structure for your description

Use your own words to describe the diagram. In the introduction of your Diagram Description write about the purpose of the diagram. Use the main body of text to outline a step-by-step explanation of the diagram. In the summary sum up the principal idea of the diagram.

How many types of diagrams are there? ›

The current UML standards call for 13 different types of diagrams: class, activity, object, use case, sequence, package, state, component, communication, composite structure, interaction overview, timing, and deployment.

What does it mean to create a process? ›

A process is a set of related activities, along with supporting information such as data and content. The activities can be part of a structured flow, or ad-hoc activities that are not part of a structured flow.

What are the different types of process diagrams? ›

Depending on its use and content, it may also be called a Process Flow Chart, Flowsheet, Block Flow Diagram, Schematic Flow Diagram, Macro Flowchart, Top-down Flowchart, Piping and Instrument Diagram, System Flow Diagram or System Diagram. They use a series of symbols and notations to depict a process.

What is flowchart and how it is used in your life? ›

A flowchart is a diagram depicting a process, a system or a computer algorithm. It is a diagrammatic representation of the solution to a given problem but, more importantly, it provides a breakdown of the essential steps to solving the problem.

How should a beginner learn a flowchart? ›

How to plan and draw a basic flowchart
  1. Define your purpose and scope. ...
  2. Identify the tasks in chronological order. ...
  3. Organize them by type and corresponding shape, such as process, decision, data, inputs or outputs.
  4. Draw your chart, either sketching by hand or using a program such as Lucidchart.

How do you create a flowchart in Powerpoint? ›

On the Insert tab, click SmartArt. In the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box, on the left, select the Process category. Single-click a flow chart in the middle pane to see its name and description in the right pane of the dialog box. Select the flow chart you want, and then click OK.

Can you create a flowchart in Excel? ›

You can also build your flowchart in excel using the shapes tool. To access Excel's shape library, go to the insert tab and click “Shapes.” A gallery will appear with a variety of basic shapes including lines, arrows, and geometric shapes. Scroll down to find the flowchart section.

What is the best Microsoft program for flowcharts? ›

Use Visio with other Microsoft apps

Work seamlessly with existing Office apps. View, create, and edit diagrams in Microsoft Teams, create PowerPoint presentations or Word documents in a few steps, and export flowcharts to image formats.

What is a process mapping tool? ›

Process mapping is a management tool used to visually depict the flow of work and the steps and people involved in a business process. These maps are also commonly referred to as flowcharts or workflow diagrams. Organizations use this tool to gain a better understanding of a process and to improve its efficiency.

What is the difference between a flow chart and a process map? ›

Process mapping and flow charts are words used interchangeably and refer to creating a diagram that illustrates a business process. The only difference between these words is that process mapping refers to the actual process of creating a diagram; the diagram itself is called a flow chart.

How can I make a flowchart in Microsoft Word? ›

From the Insert tab within the Ribbon, select a flowchart shape from the dropdown gallery. You can then click and drag it to the size you want on the page to place it. Continue to add shapes and lines to complete your flowchart.

How does a business process diagram help your business? ›

A business process diagram breaks down each step of a process, which can help you identify automation opportunities and lower operating costs.

How can I make a flowchart in Word? ›

Create a flow chart with pictures

On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click SmartArt. In the Choose a SmartArt Graphic gallery, click Process, and then double-click Picture Accent Process. , select the picture you want to display in the chart, and then click Insert.

How do you create a diagram? ›

To create a diagram or flowchart, you can add and combine different shapes.
  1. Click the slide where you want to add the diagram or flowchart.
  2. Add any combination of these shapes: To add a shape, click Shape. and choose a shape or arrow. To add connecting lines or arrows, click Line. and choose a line or arrow.

How do I create a flow chart in Excel? ›

To access Excel's shape library, go to the insert tab and click “Shapes.” A gallery will appear with a variety of basic shapes including lines, arrows, and geometric shapes. Scroll down to find the flowchart section. Click the flowchart shape you want to add, then drag the shape to size on the Excel sheet.

How do I draw diagrams in Word? ›

Click in your document where you want to create the drawing. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes. When you find the shape you want to insert, double-click to insert it automatically, or click and drag to draw it in your document.

What are some of the techniques used for BPM? ›

Business process modeling technique examples
  • Gantt charts. ...
  • Flowcharts. ...
  • Data flow diagrams. ...
  • Business Process Modeling Notation. ...
  • Unified Modeling Language diagrams. ...
  • Functional flow block diagrams. ...
  • Integrated definition for function modeling. ...
  • Petri Nets and Colored Petri Nets.
27 Apr 2022

What is Activity diagram explain with example? ›

Activity diagram is basically a flowchart to represent the flow from one activity to another activity. The activity can be described as an operation of the system. The control flow is drawn from one operation to another. This flow can be sequential, branched, or concurrent.

What is the easiest way to create a flowchart? ›

How to Create Stunning Flowcharts in Microsoft Word - YouTube

What is the best program to use to create a flowchart? ›

Top Software for Flowcharts and Diagrams

They are Lucidchart and SmartDraw. These two earn PCMag's Editors' Choice. My top choice among these two winners is Lucidchart. Lucidchart is an online diagramming app with excellent support for collaboration, and it's easy to pick up and use.

What is business process flow in Dynamics 365 CRM? ›

Dynamics 365 business process flow is a tool in Dynamics 365 that provides a visual element to your business process flow (BPF) by equipping you with visual presentations of Processes. Thus, all the BPFs in Dynamics 365 are represented on the heading across the top of an Entity form.

What is a BPF in dynamics? ›

Dynamics 365 Business Process Flow is a tool that provides users with visual presentations of these business processes. As a feature of D365 CRM, business process flow helps users understand the different stages associated with the business processes.

What are the stages of business process flow? ›

Users can change the business process flow by using the 'Process' option in the top command bar if there exist multiple flows for same entity. A business process flow will be having many stages. In the Lead to Opportunity business process, we have 4 default stages Qualify, Develop, Propose and Close.


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