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Swimlane Flowchart

Phase

Define

Prep time

2 Hours

People

1 - infinite

Run time

2 Hours

Maturity

Intermediate

Use this play to

Use this play when

Materials & tools

In-person

Remote

Steps

  1. Decide what you want from the swimlane flowchart -- how will it be used in your project?
  2. Pick a task that you want to chart.
  3. Decide on a level of detail.

    a. Sometimes it’s useful to do a shorter diagram of a highly detailed example.
    b. Other times you may want to zoom out a bit to show multiple examples simultaneously to illustrate where decisions are made, by whom, and their impact.

  4. Pick a fidelity. You can do swimlanes at low fidelity with a writing tool/surface, or with any digital tool that you're comfortable making flowchart-type charts in, such as MURAL or Lucidchart.
  5. Create swimlanes (rows) for each of the users/actors.
  6. Document the first step in the process -- who takes the first action and what do they do?

    a. Consider how the action affects all of the other users/actors, and whether they need to take any actions in response, or what might change for them as a result.
    b. Document the next step in the sequence, etc.

  7. Decide when to end -- how will you know that the overall task objective has been met?

Reference

LucidChart
https://www.lucidchart.com/pages/swimlane-diagram

Nform
https://www.nform.com/cards/swimlanes/

Tallyfy
https://tallyfy.com/swim-lane-diagram/

Last updated: Dec 30, 2019