Using the Right Shapes in Visio 2013

supercar

I don’t know about you, but I love Visio 2013. The scalability of this amazing visual tool is astronomical! However, if you don’t know how to use the shapes properly, how can you make the most of it? Today I will be talking briefly about what the most used shapes mean. We will use “Buying a Supercar” as our example.

Start/End

The Start/End shape

2 The Start/End shape

This shape is what defines the start and end of your process.

Usually there are only two of these shapes in your diagram. However, sometimes a point comes in your workflow that if a Decision (see next item) is “No” that your process ends. An example of a start would be “$300,000.00 Saved to Buy Supercar”

Decision

The Decision shape

3 The Decision shape

The Decision is the most important shape throughout your diagram, it defines the crossroads and which direction you will take through your workflow. These shapes should be called out in a loud color, due to their important role in your diagram.

After creating a Decision there should always be at least two connections to the next path(s) of your workflow. Whether it is “Yes” or “No” determines which route you will take. An example of using this shape would be “Examine Car Types, the two lines leading away from it would be: “American Muscle” and “European Supercar”

Process

The Process shape

4 The Process shape

This is the most utilized shape throughout your diagram. The Process shape describes what you will be doing.

An example of utilizing this shape would be “Drive to Dealer with a Ferrari 458 Italia”

Obviously there are more steps involved in buying a supercar (does it have traction control, launch control, heated seats, A/C, “Sport Mode,” etc.) but this is just an example of how you can make Visio make sense inside your organization or even just making decisions in life!

See the process map below to see the puzzle put together!

Check out my Twitter feed @VisioValkyrie for tips, tricks and upcoming events with the Microsoft Visio team!

Supercar Diagram

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