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Identify Cross-Department Dependencies with Microsoft Visio Flowcharts

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Should My Chart Be Vertical or Horizontal?

You can present any cross-functional process either vertically or horizontally. A vertical layout places slightly more emphasis on the functional units while a horizontal layout emphasizes the process.

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In a horizontal layout, bands representing functional units run horizontally across the drawing page, highlighting the process.

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In a vertical layout, bands representing the functional units run vertically from the top to the bottom of the page, highlighting the functional units.

How Do I Create a Cross-functional Flowchart?

To create a cross-functional flowchart

  1. On the File menu, point to New, then to Flowchart, and then click Cross-functional Flowchart.

  2. In the Cross-functional Flowchart dialog box, choose the basic options you want to start with, and then click OK.

    Note: After you click OK, you can add or delete bands but you can't change the orientation, add bands with another orientation, or add a title bar.

  3. Double-click <Process Name> and then type a name for the process the flowchart represents.

  4. Click a band label and then type a name for the function the band represents. Repeat for each band.

    Tip To zoom out from the flowchart, choose a smaller magnification from the Zoom list on the Standard toolbar.

  5. Click the Basic Flowchart Shapes stencil's title bar to display its shapes. Drag the Process or Decision shape from the stencil to the appropriate band(s) to represent the first step in the process.

  6. Click the connector tool iddep03 on the Standard toolbar. Leaving the first shape selected, drag a second shape onto the bands. The shapes connect automatically. Repeat to continue adding process steps, decisions, or data.

  7. When you're finished adding shapes, click the pointer tool iddep04 on the Standard toolbar, and then save the flowchart.

    Tip If you don't like the way a connector bends, click the connector. Pause the pointer over one of the green midpoints until the pointer becomes a two-headed arrow. Click and drag until the connector bends the way you want.

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You can revise your cross-functional flowchart as necessary by adding or deleting bands, shapes, separators, and other features. You can also add process shapes from other types of flowcharts, such as Audit and Workflow diagrams. To locate the shapes, on the File menu, point to Stencils, then to Flowchart, and then click the stencil you want to open.

Tips: Enhancing and Revising Cross-functional Flowcharts

Add, delete, and adjust bands

To do this

Take these steps

Add a band

1. Click the title bar of the Cross-Functional Flowchart Shapes stencil to display its shapes.
2. Drag a Functional Band shape from the stencil to the boundary of the band before or after which you want it to appear.
3. With the band selected, type the label.

Delete a band

1. Click the label of the band you want to delete.
2. Press the DELETE key.
Note: When you delete a band, you also delete all the shapes the band contains.

Change band order

1. Click the label of the band you want to move.
2. Drag the band to the new location.
Note: When you move a band, all the shapes within the band move with it.

Change band width

1. Click the label of the band with a width you want to change.
2. Drag a top or bottom selection handle on a horizontal band, or a side handle on a vertical band, until the band is the width you want.

Change band label width

1. Click one of the band labels.
2. Drag a side selection handle on a horizontal band or a top or bottom selection handle on a vertical band until the label it the width you want. All the labels resize accordingly.

Repeat bands on a new drawing page

1. On the Insert menu, click Page.
2. Type a name for the new page, and then click OK.
3. When you're asked if you want to copy the bands from the current page to the new page, click OK.

Move and extend process shapes

To do this

Take these steps

Move a shape to another band

1. Click the connector that is connected to the shape you want to move. If the connector handles turn red, the connector is glued to the shape on each end and, when you move a shape, you won't break the connection. If the connector handles do not turn red, drag the connector endpoints into the centers of the shapes the connector connects until the shapes are outlined in red. This glues the connector to the shapes.
2. Drag the shape you want to move to its new location.

Extend a shape across multiple bands

1. Select the shape you want to extend.
2. Drag a selection handle until the shape spans all the bands you want.
Tip You can also drop or move a shape onto the boundary of two bands without resizing the shape.

Manage separate phases of a process

By using a Separator shape, you can indicate the steps that make up one phase of a process and move all the related steps together.

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A separator indicates a close relationship among a group of process steps. If you drag a Separator shape, all the steps below or to the right move along with it.

To add a separator

  1. Click the title bar of the Cross-Functional Flowchart Shapes stencil to display the shapes it contains.

  2. Drag a Separator shape from the stencil to the place in the flowchart where you want to indicate a separation in the process. The shape extends across all the bands.

Continue a cross-functional process on the same page

To continue a cross-functional process using on-page references

  1. Create a cross-functional flowchart. Continue adding shapes until you run out of space on the page.

  2. With the last shape selected, click the connector tool iddep03 on the Standard toolbar.

  3. Click the title bar of the Basic Flowchart Shapes stencil to display the shapes it contains. Drag an On-Page Reference shape iddep07 to the drawing page near the last step in the process. The shapes connect automatically.

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    By using On-Page Reference shapes, you can break and continue a large cross-functional process on the same drawing page.

  4. Click the pointer tool iddep04 on the Standard toolbar.

  5. With the On-Page Reference shape selected, type a letter or number to label the shape.

  6. Click the title bar of the Cross-functional Flowchart Shapes stencil to display the shapes it contains. Drag a Separator shape onto the functional bands to the right of or below the process you have already created.

  7. Click the title bar of the Basic Flowchart Shapes stencil to display the shapes it contains. Drag another On-Page Reference shape where you want to continue the process. With the shape selected, type the same letter or number you used to label the first On-Page Reference shape.

  8. Click the connector tool on the Standard toolbar. With the second On-Page Reference shape selected, drag a shape from the Basic Flowchart Shapes stencil that represents the next step in the process you are continuing.

    Continue dropping shapes until the process is complete or until you reach the edge of the page. Repeat steps 2 through 8 if you want to continue the process another time.

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