Cross Functional Flowchart

Cross Functional Flowchart

A Cross Functional Flowchart is the same thing as a Swimlane Flowchart – it is used for showing departmental or individual responsibilities in a process flow. The bands of a Cross Functional Flow Chart represent each individual department or individual that participate in the process that you are documenting.

One decision you will need to make when creating a cross functional flowchart is whether the bands are vertical or horizontal. I believe this is just a matter of personal preference to which way you like to see the flow of the process. While it is true that there may be some processes that are represented better either in horizontal bands or vertical bands, I have yet to see such a process and for my cross-functional flow charts I always use horizontal bands.

Another thing to keep in mind is that because processes can cross departmental boundaries, if you have more than a few bands in your cross-functional flowchart then you should make sure that if you have identified a process that is done simultaneously by two people or departments that you make those bands adjacent to each other. That way when you draw the flowchart items it will be a lot neater. If you have good eyes you can see an example of that in the diagram in the upper left of this post.

Looking for some example of cross functional flowcharts? If you are having a hard time finding any then consider searching for swimlane flowcharts instead. Since they are the same thing you might have better luck that way.

Whatever you call it, a cross functional flow chart is a very useful tool to have in your business process modeling toolbox.


  1. Mahendra Bajaj says:

    Very interesting on swimlane. I want to do a 4D swim lane. They will be:

    Sub process
    Roles or functions
    Doc flow

    and doc flow will have colour coded for nature of tasks …

    and each of the task will have a different colour.

    Would you recommend me doing this 4D or stick to 3D and if required do a seperate for sub process or roles.

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