Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Free Online Process Mapping Tool For Value Stream Maps and More

Process maps and the further extension of value stream maps are an extremely powerful tool to visualize your process. I am a big advocate of creating process maps and value stream maps manually.  When you do it manually it establishes an environment where more participation is possible.  This is critically important in the creation of said maps and  the future improvements to be had.

There are times however when it is useful to create electronic maps for education, training, procedures, and standard work visuals for example.  In this case there are a limited number of resources at your disposal.  The options include a wide spectrum from buying eVSM to using free fonts.

A new web application called Diagram.ly allows you to draw any type of diagram and chart online without login or registration free of charge. 


Diagram.ly is offered by a UK based company JGraph, which develops and supports graph visualization software and web services. This web application is self-explanatory and neatly structured to make it easy to rapidly draw what you need. A drag and drop interface is provided to make diagrams by means of clip art and pre-drawn shapes. All diagrams can be saved to your computer in 4 formats – jpg, xml, png, or svg.

I talked to JGraph co-founder David Benson about adding a set of Lean icons to Diagram.ly so that it could create Value Stream Maps.  Here is the outcome. 


I made this quick VSM in 5 minutes to give you an idea of the capability of this tool.  


Diagram.ly gives you a user friendly option to be able to map your processes including making value stream maps from anywhere with internet access.  I believe you will find a number of great opportunities to use this tool to your advantage.  



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3 comments:

  1. Thanks Tim. This looks great for capturing process and VSM maps from a conference room wall and easily transferring them to an A3 or other document. Looks similar to bubble.us for mind mapping/brainstorming.

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  2. Hey Tim,

    Thanks for the breakdown on diagram.ly, I hadn't really seen too much of that one. I saw the article title said tools so I was wondering what other options have you reviewed? How does it compare to Conceptdraw, creately, and Lucidchart? I know with Lucidchart you can get a free account and still have a lot of the features in it. (I personally use it and really enjoy the functionalilty of it). I would love to hear your comparisons on those one as well.
    Reference: www.lucidchart.com
    process mapping software free

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  3. You can find some editable process mapping templates in creately diagram community.

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