Business is all about different processes, and if some of them are maladjusted or stop working smoothly, you'll notice it. A concise, clear, and simple form of visual representation is better perceived and understood than written descriptions by employees, stakeholders, and clients alike. Therefore, more companies start to map their processes using charts and diagrams.
Basically, process mapping tools enable you to present a particular process in the visual form of an algorithm with stages, participants, actions, and links between them. Applying these instruments helps to gain a clear vision of the process and analyze it. You can use these schemes to adjust the workflow, reduce costs, and increase productivity. Overall, process mapping tools can provide plenty of benefits for your company, including:
● Helping your team members to identify their roles and responsibilities, improving their performance.
● Estimating the effectiveness of the particular process.
● Better communication between employees, stakeholders, and customers.
● Increased transparency leads to a higher trust level.
● Quick identifying of the weak elements and spotting areas that call for improvement.
● Customizing and analyzing help to spark new ideas and try different scenarios.
The modern world requires almost every document to be digital. Your colleagues would be surprised if you sent them a map that you drew using a pen. Luckily, advanced contemporary technology equips us with plenty of online and offline solutions to create a comprehensive process map. Plus, they are often combined with additional collaboration, sharing, and analysis features. Let's take a closer look at the 11 process mapping tools you might find most useful in 2022.
Bitrix24 is a complex solution that contains a variety of instruments for marketing, sales, HR, finance, IT, customer support, and many other important aspects of your business. Its process mapping tool can be used by any of your teams or departments. If you want to visualize a process, you just need to select a template and customize it. In case you can't find the appropriate template, you can develop your own. Project managers will find this application incredibly useful because it offers templates for every project regardless of its framework or methodology.
● Wide selection of fully customizable templates and ability to create your own.
● Additional communication and collaboration features that allow you to share, edit, and discuss it with your coworkers.
● Integration capabilities.
● Desktop and mobile versions.
● Free for 12 employees.
● It isn't completely free, but the prices are reasonable
● It wasn't designed specifically to create process maps. With all the necessary functions, it also offers an excessive number of unrelated features.
GitMind is a collection of tools for visualizing and brainstorming ideas or processes. Using it, you can build a mind map, organizational chart, UML diagram, or a process map. It has a big library of templates and styles, so you can create the chart or diagram that suits your requirements the best.
● Offers a plethora of templates and styles.
● Has plenty of visualization instruments.
● Allows you to import, export, and share your map.
● Doesn't require any payments (100% free).
● Has desktop and mobile versions.
● Available offline and online.
● Some templates are more intuitive than others.
● Templates could use more customization.
Creately presents you with a variety of instruments for planning, visualizing, analyzing, and brainstorming together with your coworkers. You can select the type of chart or diagram, you'd like to use. You can create a UML diagram, flowchart, mind map, sequence diagram, or process map. Plus, you can sort templates based on who (e.g. marketing, HR, IT, strategy and planning) or what (e.g. education, manufacturing, engineering) you need it for.
● Thousands of customizable templates.
● Simple drag-and-drop interface.
● Ability to import, export, share, and edit it together with your colleagues.
● Communication capabilities to discuss it with your teammates and receive feedback.
● Integration with many other applications.
● Cross-platform availability and online access.
● No mobile version.
● Exhibits many glitches and technical issues.
● Has a limited free version, and you need to send an individual request for a trial period.
LucidChart is an advanced diagramming software with great process mapping tools. With this application, you and your colleagues can easily create, edit, discuss, analyze, improve, and adjust any of your business processes in real time.
● User-friendly, intuitive, and customizable templates
● Real-time collaboration tools
● Integration capabilities
● Desktop & mobile versions (cross-platform, online & offline)
● Very limited functionality of the free version
● Handful of templates for specific cases and fields
EdrawMax offers visualization software designed for experienced professionals. You can use its process mapping tool to create flowcharts, fishbone or UML diagrams, floor plans, etc. Enhanced capabilities even provide automatic layout for mind maps.
● Wide selection of charts and diagram types
● 1500+ templates
● Advanced editing features
● Extensive import/export capabilities
● Cross-platform desktop version and online solution
● Broad functionality can be overwhelming and complicated for inexperienced or non-tech users
● No mobile application
● No free version
As a diagramming solution, Gliffy is perfect for beginners and those who work on a tight budget. It has plenty of visual representation forms, such as flowcharts, network & UML diagrams, or wireframes. You can learn to use all of its instruments, including process mapping tools, really fast. Plus, its solutions are reasonably priced.
● Various types of templates for business, designers, and software engineers
● Linked diagrams (if you edit one of them, the others will be updated automatically)
● Drag-and-drop interface
● Collaboration features, such as ability to share your document, so your colleagues could view, edit, or comment on it
● Export and import instruments
● Search within diagram & history of versions
● Integrated with Confluence and Jira
● Affordable solution with a trial period
● Incredibly user-friendly and easy to use
● Offers many templates, but needs to add more shapes, colors, fonts, etc.
● Has limited and glitchy export tools
● Available only online or on the Atlassian marketplace
Microsoft has always been the leader of the software development industry, and when it comes to diagramming applications, it sets standards for others to follow. Visio combines a variety of visualizing, brainstorming, and collaboration features (process mapping tools included) with technical excellence. You can go with flowcharts & org charts, fishbone & network diagrams, and modify them as you like. It is a solution for those who are willing to pay for the quality or those who commit to Microsoft products.
● A plethora of stencils, templates, and starter diagrams
● Real-time collaboration options
● Accessibility features
● Integration with Office 365 and other Microsoft products
● The software is impeccable from a technical point of view
● With its extensive number of features, it might be a bit overwhelming for a non-professional user
● Has only online & desktop versions
● The prices are high, and the license has to be acquired separately
If you're not looking for the extensive functionality of premium segment professional diagramming software, you should definitely take a look at Google Drawings. It is a simple and 100% free solution that presents only basic stencils, but has robust customization and integration capabilities. You won't find templates for flowcharts or fishbone diagrams, but you can easily figure out how to turn available drawing instruments into your process mapping tools.
● The application is a part of Google Drive Suit
● User-friendly and intuitive
● Many export, import, and integration options
● Great editing, modifying, and customization capabilities
● 100% free of charge
● It is an online, web-based application
● It offers only a limited number of basic templates
Visme is a business software with an impact on design and creates eye-catching content. You can use it to develop presentations, infographics, proposals, book covers, and even zoom backgrounds. With significant emphasis on providing templates not only for businesses, but also for designers, marketers, bloggers, and teachers, Visme's charts and diagrams library cannot be considered extensive. But you can easily adjust the existing templates and use them as process mapping tools.
● Highly customizable templates
● Ability to add photos, videos, icons, or stickers and create interactive content
● Collaboration tools and analytics
● User-friendly and intuitive interface
● Allows use of free templates
● Only basic types of charts and diagrams available
● Premium version is relatively expensive
Canva is not exactly a diagramming software. Due to a wide selection of business card, menu, newsletter, banner, flyer templates, it is perfectly suited for designers, bloggers, and marketers. However, it's enhanced capabilities allow transforming infographics, charts, and diagrams into process mapping tools. You can also use stickers, photos, or animation to make your maps more creative, engaging, and fun.
● Rich library of fonts, shapes, icons, and other elements
● Drag-and-drop editor
● Allows adding photos, videos, stickers, animation, and short clips
● Integration with major social media permits you to share your creations or schedule publications
● Its collaboration tools will empower your coworkers to edit, comment, and view your document
● You can use content planner to schedule creating new process maps
● Available on both mobile & desktop
● Developed primarily for bloggers or designers
● Limited selection of pre-made charts & diagram templates
● You cannot create unique elements
● Can be challenging to use it on small screens
Cacoo is a diagramming application for those who can appreciate the importance of team effort. You can invite your colleagues to view, edit, video chat, and comment on your document with just a link that doesn't even require logging in to access. It contains templates for flowcharts, wireframes, network diagrams, project timelines, etc., and almost all of them can be used as efficient process mapping tools.
● Revise history
● Export/import functions
● Easy to use
● Advanced collaboration tools and presentation mode
● Enables you to add images and notes
● Wide selection of chart & diagram templates
● Integration with a variety of applications
● Grouping images and connecting elements might be tricky
● Free version has significant limitations
● Might need to add more templates and shapes to catch up with major competitors
● No mobile version