A swimlane diagram is a type of flowchart describing a complete process and indicating who is responsible for each step in the process, making it much more flexible than traditional flowcharts. Much like a swimming pool with swimming lanes designed for each swimmer, a swimlane diagram is composed of several horizontal or vertical swimlanes belonging to a particular department, workgroup, or employee, ensuring accountability and clarity. In such a flowchart, participants are allowed to see their responsibilities efficiently and understand how they are connected. In other words, the diagram can enhance communication, reduce redundancy and waste, and improve efficiency.

Since such a flowchart is so applicable, this article intends to give some typical swimlane diagram examples for beginners to help them gain a basic understanding of it.

10+ Swimlane Diagram Examples for Beginners

1. Order processing

Imagine a visual guide that outlines the journey of an order as it moves through various departments like sales, manufacturing, and shipping. This diagram beautifully captures the interactions and handoffs between these key players, giving you a clear understanding of the entire process.

1. Order processing flowchart


2. Recruitment process

Ever wondered how the recruitment process works? Look no further! This flowchart elegantly lays out the different stages involved, from sourcing candidates to screening, interviewing, and finally onboarding. It even showcases the collaboration between HR and hiring managers, making it a valuable tool for understanding the entire recruitment journey.

2. Recruitment process flowchart

3. Software development

Embark on a journey through the world of software development with this captivating swimlane diagram. It provides a visual representation of the collaboration between various teams and individuals involved in bringing a software project to life. From developers to testers, designers to project managers, this diagram showcases the interconnected nature of their work, highlighting the seamless flow of information and tasks throughout the development process.

3. Software development flowchart

4. Customer support process

This flowchart visually represents the various tasks and handoffs that occur between different support teams in the customer support process. It includes steps such as initial contact, ticket assignment, investigation, and resolution.

4. Customer support flowchart flowchart


5. Marketing campaign

This flowchart outlines the different activities and responsibilities within a marketing campaign, showcasing the roles of marketing, creative, advertising, and PR teams. It provides a visual representation of how these teams work together to execute a successful campaign.

5. Marketing campaign flowchart

6. Project management

This swimlane diagram gives an overview of the different phases of project management, incorporating activities like planning, execution, monitoring, and closure. It involves project managers, teams, and stakeholders to provide a clear understanding of the project's timeline and responsibilities.

6. Project management flowchart

7. Procurement process

This diagram presents the flow of activities involved in the procurement process, including requisitioning, approval, purchasing, and receiving. It involves procurement, finance, and warehouse teams, outlining how they work together to ensure efficient procurement of necessary goods and services.

7. Procurement process flowchart


8. New product development

This diagram illustrates the stages of new product development, such as ideation, concept development, prototyping, testing, and launch. It features cross-functional teams like R&D, marketing, and operations, showing how they collaborate to bring a new product to market.

8. New product development flowchart

9. Credit card approval process

This flowchart showcases the steps involved in approving a credit card, including order entry and credit terms calculation. It involves customers, sales, management, and the credit department, providing a visual representation of how these parties collaborate to ensure a smooth approval process.

9. Credit card approval process flowchart

10. Manufacturing process

This swimlane diagram outlines the different stages of the manufacturing process, including raw material procurement, production, quality control, and packaging. It features production, engineering, and quality assurance teams, illustrating how they work together to manufacture and deliver high-quality products.

10. Manufacturing process swimlane flowchart


11. Sales order fulfillment

This flowchart demonstrates the steps involved in fulfilling a sales order, including order receipt, inventory check, picking, packing, and shipping. It involves sales, warehouse, and logistics teams, illustrating how they collaborate to efficiently fulfill customer orders.

11. Sales order fulfillment flowchart

FAQs about Swimlane Diagrams

What is the difference between a swimlane diagram and a flowchart?

A swimlane diagram is an updated version of the traditional flowchart. Both a regular flowchart and a swimlane diagram are designed to outline a process, system, or algorithm. While the former indicates what to do during the whole process, the latter shows who to do what in a given process. In short, a swimlane diagram is more detailed and more practical than regular flowcharts.

What is the purpose of swimlane diagrams?

A swimlane diagram is designed to distinguish job sharing and responsibilities during a whole business process. It can optimize cooperation, communication, and efficiency of the project. It helps you distribute the workload more effectively and fairly and make analysis of project phases easier.

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