Lean Tools for process improvement


Swim Lane Diagram template

aka Cross Functional Flowchart, Down-Across, Deployment Flowchart, or Metrics Based Process Map

When and why to use your

Cross Functional Flowchart template

Use your Swim Lane template (FunctionalFlow.xlsx)

1) to visualize, analyze, and eliminate delays and waste
in the flow of a process that crosses functional work teams

2) to serve as standard work
for cross-departmental processes

As compared with other types of flowcharts,
a swim lane flowchart is ideal for cross-departmental processes with medium-length cycle times.

For example: processing sales orders, engineering change orders, financial statement month end close...

Swim Lane Process Mapping Template

Your cross functional flowchart process mapping template

has a swim lane for each person, department, or team that is involved with the process —

showing an intuitive graphic depiction of who is doing what, when, where, and for how long.

Swim Lane Cross Functional Flowchart Excel template

Sample Cross Functional Flowchart example. Download free trial

Bookmark = Training


Swim Lane Flowchart

Training Contents






Use 'CTRL+F' to find keywords

Additional Search Tips

Before you use your

Swim Lane template

Project Charter

Define your Team Charter

Launch your team.

As you complete your Project Charter, thoroughly discuss:

  1. What are the beginning and ending boundaries of this process?
  2. Where does this process fit within the surrounding value stream?

    Each functional flowchart will usually correlate to a single Process Flow Box on a Value Stream Map

  3. What is the one very narrowly-defined scenario that this team will observe and map?
    Value Stream Map

    This is where many mapping teams go wrong.
    If you are leading a mapping event to improve this process,
    then you want to choose one very narrowly defined scenario,
    and keep your team's attention focused on it —
    without chasing rabbit trails of possible exceptions and different conditions.

    If you are creating a flowchart to serve as a decision tree for standard work,
    then you will want to learn how to use Paths and Scenarios.

  4. Who should be on this team?

    A mapping team usually consists of 5-10 members.
    About half being workers from the process.
    Also representation from upstream suppliers, downstream customers, and outside eyes.
    Perhaps with standby support quickly available from supporting roles such as IT or maintenance.
    Use your Team Roles templates to clearly define the roles of your Leader, Facilitator, Executive Sponsor...

  5. Allow enough time for your mapping event

    Typically 1-2 days for Current State, and 1 day for Future State

  6. What are the Objectives, Measures, and Targets by which the performance of this team will be evaluated?

Observe the process

Time Observation template  Process Observation template

Use one of your Process Observation templates,

and follow the instructions to observe the process.

Perhaps start with sticky notes

You might choose to first sketch out the basic flow chart elements
using pencil and paper or sticky notes,

and then transcribe that (sloppy) rough draft into your cross functional flowchart template
when your team is ready to make a clean, legible, mathematically-correct version.

Bookmark = how

How to use your

Cross Functional Flowchart template

Find and open your template

Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win menu

Find and open your
Functional Flowchart template


in the same way that you find and open
your other 150+ Systems2win templates.

If you don't yet own a license,
you can download your free trial now.

Save your working document

following the usual document storage and naming conventions established by your leaders

Open a Blank Sheet

Systems2win menu > Open a Blank Sheet

When you're ready to start doing your own real work...

click the button to 'Open a Blank Sheet'

Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win tab > Open a Blank Sheet

This blank sheet is where you will do your real work

(not on the Sample sheet)

Rename your new sheet.

If English is not your preferred language

Switch to your language, just like every Systems2win Excel template.

Bookmark = headers

Now your team is ready to start using your

Process Mapping template

Complete the header fields

Cross Functional Flowchart header fields

Process Title

Name, title, and/or description
of the Process


Brief description of the conditions that the team will observe and map.

See training for why it is suggested to observe and map (only) one very narrowly-defined scenario.


Identify the Document Author, Process Owner, Executive Sponsor, and other team members.


Perhaps use Link Icons to link to related documents.

Swim Lane flowchart template headers


Usually Current or Future


Path codes are an optional advanced feature.

Unless you know what you're doing,
and have a strong reason to show multiple scenarios on a single flowchart,
just leave this Path field blank.

Revised Date

To change date format... Right-click > Format Cells > Number tab

Takt Time

Perhaps use your Takt Time Calculation template (Takt.xlsx)

User Field 1


Bookmark = defaults

Define your Defaults

Do not skip this step!!!

How can any math on your flowchart be correct
if you haven't first defined your units of measure, work time available, and other defaults?


Below the print area in each flowchart sheet

Functional Flowchart data - start here

If your older template does not have this section,
then learn how to get a free update

On each flowchart sheet,
below the lower right corner of the Print Area,
there is a section labeled 'Start Here'

Enter your default data in the pink double-border cells.

Demand Unit of Measure

The unit of measure for both demand and production.

What is being delivered to the customer?

Examples of the thing being processed.

Cycle Time Unit of Measure

This is the one thing that needs to be defined on the 'Help' sheet,
rather than on each worksheet.

Choose Cycle Time Unit of Measure on Help sheet

Click the red anchor link icon to go to
the 'Instructions' section of the 'Help' sheet

where you can use the dropdown list to choose your desired
'Cycle Time Unit of Measure'

which can be seconds, minutes, or hours.

If you change Cycle Time Unit of Measure, then:

  1. you must change it first — before entering any other data
  2. you must manually recalculate the workbook

Andon - Capacity

Functional Flowchart Andons

This defines the threshold for when you want to be alerted

when your Capacity is getting too close (for your comfort)
to maybe not being able to meet your Customer Demand.

In other words, the value for Capacity will turn bold red to alert you

when (Capacity * this Andon %)
is less than or equal to Demand

Process ID?

Cross Functional Flowchart Process ID

If Process ID = TRUE,

then a unique process number will be automatically generated
for each Process step.

If Process ID = FALSE,

then it won't

Either way, you also have the option to manually assign your own Step Numbers

using the text field above each Process Box



Functional Flowchart menu

In the Systems2win menu

On each worksheet containing a flow chart,

in the Excel Ribbon bar, select

Systems2win menu > Change Lead Time UOM

Lead time unit of mesaure converter

then in the window that appears,
select your Lead Time Unit of Measure

At any time, you can switch between

  • Working Days
  • Calendar Days (including non-working days)
  • Weeks
  • Hours

To learn more, watch the training video for Units of Measure


In the lower right corner of each flowchart sheet

Cross Functional Flowchart metrics

Like every Systems2win template,
click any row or column header for pop-up help.

And for more thorough explanations,
see the on-line Lean Glossary

The training in this section focuses on only
default data in the pink double-border cells.

For training on the calculated values,
see the section for Lean Metrics

In the lower right corner of each flowchart sheet,

enter default values
in the double-border pink cells

See image >>>>>

Demand per Week

How many are needed per week?

Demand for ONLY the Product Family
that this Value Stream produces.

If Sales & Operations Planning demand is different from actual customer demand, use S&OP demand. (In other words, plan to deliver the quantity that your management tells you to deliver.)

Value Add Include

Usually, just leave this with the default value of ▲

which will do value add analysis
the classic way that it is usually done.

If you want to get tricky,

see the training section for Value Add Analysis.

Work Time Available per Day

Work Time Available per Day is calculated using several of the pink double-border fields that you enter here.

Work Days per week — (typical)

Shifts per day — (typical)

Hours per shift — (typical)

Break Minutes per Shift — Lunch (or other major meal break) is usually excluded from Hours Per Shift, and should not be double-counted here.

Other Unavailable Time — Typical time per day unavailable to work on THIS value stream - due to things like other responsibilities, setup, clean up, routine maintenance, meetings...

Tip: Like every Systems2win template, you can optionally use your Custom Formula Zone
to clarify "How did you come up with THAT number?"

Batch Size

See the online training for Factors to Consider when choosing Pulse Batch Size.

Bookmark = steps

Cross Functional Flowchart

First Pass: Identify the Process Steps

Define the start and end processes

Enter a description in the first process box and the last process box of your flowchart,
thereby clearly defining where this process starts and ends.

You didn't skip the very first step — to properly define your Project Charter, did you?

Hide unused rows & columns

cross functional flowchart shapes

Hide columns to make your work area a more manageable size.

See the training section for
how to copy, move, or hide rows or columns

IMPORTANT: Always keep each process box together
with its associated 4 rows and 6 columns

Insert Snap To Grid shapes

If you don't already know... learn how to use Snap To Grid.

All of the Snap To Grid shapes are perfectly sized
to snap to the largest cell associated with each process step.

There are 2 types of 'Snap To Grid' shapes:

  1. Blue-border shapes

    which define the flow of the thing being processed.

    There are pre-defined shapes for square Process Box, Decision Diamond, and several other less popular shapes.

    And you can use what you learned in your New User Training
    to format ANY Excel shape to be just like the (well-considered) formatting of any standard Systems2win shape.

  2. Green-border shapes

    which can optionally be associated with a blue-border shape,
    to indicate documents or data associated with a process step.

    Also see the training section on this page for
    alternative ways to handle related documents and data.

Videos: How to use Excel
as a drawing tool


Draw with Excel

If you haven't yet learned how to use Excel as a Drawing tool,
then now would be a good time to do that.

And then you can let your manager know that
you won't need to renew annual maintenance
for any expensive and redundant drawing software
that can't do math

Insert Snap Off shapes

After inserting all (or most) of your Snap To Grid shapes,

you will usually want to complete most of your data entry and analysis
before adding very many smaller Snap Off shapes.

Why? Because it is very common for your flowchart to change as you begin to analyze it deeper.
So it is usually wise to wait to add your finishing touches as one of the last things that you do.

Whenever you're ready...
turn off Snap To Grid
to add end points, text boxes, and other shapes

as well as connectors and arrows
which can snap and attach to the larger shapes

See online training for types of arrows

Bookmark = hide

How to

Copy, Move, or Hide rows or columns

Notice that every Process box is associated with 4 rows & 6 columns.

Excel training video:
How to select, hide, delete,
insert, and move
entire rows and columns

Important - when you hide, copy, or move rows or columns,
it is critical to keep related columns and rows together

Hide, don't delete

It is almost always easier (and less dangerous)
to Hide rows and columns, rather than deleting them.

Tip: To avoid messing up the size of charts
in the Analysis section below the swim lanes,

it is usually best to hide (or add) columns
in the middle, rather than near the beginning or end.

To copy or move rows or columns

Unprotect the sheet

Move or copy entire rows or columns
of the groups of the 6 columns and 4 rows associated with each process.

Then quickly RE-PROTECT your sheet —
to prevent accidentally deleting or changing formulas.

If you accidentally delete or mess up a formula,
you can usually repair it by simply copying a similar cell.

Update the Lead Time Chart

Systems2win menu > Functional Flowchart

The Lead Time Chart instantly updates
as your data changes...

with one exception...

If you ever copy or delete columns...

then in the Systems2win tab in the Excel Ribbon bar,
you need to click the button to 'Update Chart'

To move a process

It is only okay to move entire rows or columns.

Do not move individual cells,
or groups of cells associated with an individual process.

(or you will royally mess up your formulas)

If you need to move a process, there are 2 safe ways to do it:

1) Recreate the data

and then move the shapes
and then delete the data from the old location

2) Use Paste Special > Formulas

and then move the shapes
and then delete the data from the old location

Bookmark = data

Cross Functional Flowchart

Second Pass: Enter Data

Enter your data

Cross Functional Flowchart data entry

It may look like white space, but every Process Box
is surrounded by 6 columns and 4 rows of cells.

Some contain formulas, and others are used for data entry.

Click each cell to view pop-up help.

Enter your data

in the 4 rows and 6 columns of cells surrounding each process box

All of the data fields are optional.

You can just complete the data that is relevant to what you're trying to understand about the process.

The Process Box

The largest cell is the Process Box.

All 'Snap To Grid' shapes are perfectly sized to snap to grid to fit this cell.

After copying the appropriate shape,
enter a brief description in the shape.

Each Process Box can also optionally have a green-bordered shape associated with it, to clarify documents and data.

Chart Labels

The orange headers at the top of each column contain the labels that appear in the Lead Time Chart.

There can be simultaneous processes in multiple swim lanes in each column. Most commonly, your chart label will be identical to the description of the process that is on the Critical Path for each column.

User Text Fields

The white cells just above and below the large Process Box are text fields that can be used for any purpose.

Well, more correctly, they can be used for any text. You cannot use them for math.

There is also a third User Text field in the column farthest to the right of each Process Box.

By default, this starts out as a very narrow column, but you can easily make the column wider when needed.

Process ID

Cross Functional Flowchart Process ID

As already explained in the section above where you defined your Defaults...

If Process ID = TRUE,

then a unique process number will be automatically generated
for each Process step.

If Process ID = FALSE,

then it won't

Either way, you also have the option to manually assign your own Step Numbers

using the text field above each Process Box

Bookmark = exclude

Processes to exclude from formulas

Square symbols mean 'exclude'

When you see the symbol ■,
that means that the process is being excluded from some formulas.

A process that doesn't happen at all

If the (black) ■ symbol is in the 'Path' cell,
(the cell just to the right and above the Process box)

then that means that the process is not performed at all
in your currently-selected Scenario/Path...

and therefore the process is excluded from all calculations when analyzing your currently-chosen scenario.

Remember: Paths and Scenarios are optional. You don't have to use them.

Dead End Process (not on the Critical Path)

If the (red) symbol is in the 'Dead End' cell,
(the cell just to the right of the 'Path' cell)

then that indicates that this is a Dead End process (not on the Critical Path)

which will therefore be excluded from calculations for Lead Time and Cycle Time

while (correctly) still being included in calculations for Process Time, Value Add Time, and Steps.

This feature requires a template v15 R160800 or higher. Get free update.


When you click the cell to the lower right of a Process box,

a dropdown list will appear with a list of choices for 'Who' performs this Process Step.

Reminder: Like every Systems2win template, on the DV sheet,
you can define your own choices for your own drop down lists

Number of Workers

If more than one person works together as a team to complete the work,

then in the cell 2 columns to the right of the Process Box,
enter the number of workers.

If left blank, it assumes 1 worker.

Process Time

Process Time

In the gold shaded cell beneath the Process Box

in the bottom of the 4 rows of data associated with each process...

enter the Process Time
that you observed using one of your Time Observation templates

Process Time = Time that work is being done by a human being

(not just an unattended machine)

See online Lean Glossary to learn more about Processing Time

Process Time is measured in seconds, minutes, or hours

using the Cycle Time Unit of Measure that you chose in the Instructions section of the Help sheet

If there is more than one Worker

Then measure Process Time as if one worker were performing every step of the process.

Cycle Time is hidden, but is auto-calculated as = Process Time / # Workers

Notice that in the Time Sum Line beneath all the swim lanes,
Cycle Time is shown for the one process that has the longest Cycle Time
(in that column of simultaneous processes)

Learn more about Cycle Time

% Complete and Accurate

In the cream colored cell just to the right of Processing Time,
enter the value for Percent Complete and Accurate

See online Lean Glossary to learn more about % Complete and Accurate

Bookmark = LT

Lead Time

In the yellow cell just to the right of % Complete and Accurate,
enter the value for Lead Time

Cross Functional Flowchart menu

Even though you can (at any time) use the button to switch the Lead Time Unit of Measure between Working Days, Calendar Days, Weeks, or Hours...
the value that you enter in this cell must be in 'Working Days', and this cell will not change along with the other cells when you use the button to 'Change Lead Time UOM'

Lead Time and Queue Time

See our online Lean Glossary to learn more
about the relationships between Lead Time and Queue Time

In the Lead Time cell for each process, you enter the number of Working Days for Lead Time —

which includes both the time that it takes to do the step, and the time that it sits or waits before the next step begins.

If you are using an older template that instructs you to enter Queue Time, rather than Lead Time, then the math is a little different.

Your template will calculate Lead Time as the sum of all Queue Times + all Process Lead Times.

It will always include Process Lead Time as a a separate value from Queue time, so you need to enter the amount of Queue Time BETWEEN processes.

Get a free upgrade

If your Annual Maintenance is current, and you like the new way better...

(to enter 1 combined value for the Lead Time, considering both the Process Lead Time and the time that it waits AFTER each process...)

then you can request us to send you the latest new templates at any time.


Tip: It is often quite sufficient to use 'directionally correct' educated guesses for Lead Time
rather than wasting a lot of time gathering unnecessarily precise data

especially the first time that a process is being analyzed

perhaps becoming more precise in future rounds of continuous improvement.

Value Add

When you click the cell just above Lead Time,
you will find a dropdown list to choose a Value Add Code.

See the training section for Value Add Analysis.

Bookmark = docs

Related Documents and Data

Cross Functional Flowchart documents and data

This illustration shows both,
but you would choose one.

Either the brief list,
or the green shapes.

In addition to the flow of Process Steps,

it is also common to use your functional flowchart to depict
any documents and/or data that are associated with each process step.

There are several alternative ways to illustrate and analyze
the documents and data associated with each process step.

Use a text cell

The fastest, easiest, and most space-efficient way
to identify documents and other data repositories associated with a process is to simply list them in one of the 3 text fields surrounding each Process Box.

(most commonly the text cell just below the Process Box)

Green shapes

If space is available, you can also use the green shapes
to make documents and data more visual.


  1. Increase row height to make room for the shape in the cell just below the Process Box
  2. Or you can use empty space in the swim lane below the process

Bookmark = CRUDS


In addition to just listing the names of the documents and data related to a process,
it is often also a good idea to briefly explain what is being done with each document or data repository.

One popular way to do that is to use
CRUDS codes

C - Create document or data at this step

R - Read document or data at this step

U - Update document or data (or alter it)

D - Destroy the document or data

Receipt of this document or data
S - Stimulates
this step to begin


Reegineering template

Reengineering Matrix

If your cross functional flowchart gets too complex,

then you can untangle even the craziest process
by supplementing your flowchart
with your Process Reengineering Matrix template (Reengineering.xlsx)

Bookmark = links

Links between related documents

Like all Systems2win templates, you can have links between related documents.

Systems2win menu > Insert Link Icon

1) To drill down to related documents


Systems2win menu > Insert Link Icon

to insert an unlimited number of
highly visual Link Icons

that allow you to create hyperlinks
to an unlimited number of documents

anywhere in your swim lane cross functional flowchart

Link icons in your swim lane flowchart


Learn more about Link Icons

To add a hyperlink to Link Icon,
you need to Unprotect the sheet,
and then remember to immediately reprotect it,
so that you don't mess up formulas.


2) To auto-populate data between related documents

You can learn how to link data between related documents

so that whenever data changes in one document, it also changes in the other

For example:

You might do both of the above — to link data between

your cross functional flowchart and your from your value stream map (VSM.xlsx)
and/or Process Reengineering Matrix (Reengineering.xlsx)

You might add multiple link icons to quickly drill down to related documents such as

your value stream plan, visual work instructions, standard procedures, standard work, spaghetti diagrams, project plans, kaizen events, change management tools, other related flowcharts, and more

Why re-invent?

Why re-invent?

Value Stream Plan Work Instructions Standard Work Event Schedule

Bookmark = analyze

Cross Functional Flowchart

Third Pass: Analyze and Improve

Analyze your 'As Is' process

Conduct your Executive Briefing Meeting to get consensus that everyone agrees
that your 'As Is' process is an accurate representation for the way things really are now.

Copy your 'As Is' sheet to start your 'To Be' sheet

Systems2win menu > Copy Sheet

To Copy a Worksheet - use the special Systems2win utility

Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win tab > Copy Sheet

If it has been a while since you completed your New User Training,
you can raffish your memory about the Systems2win Copy Sheet utility

Encourage people to think

The most important purpose of any process improvement method

Time to reflect

is to encourage people to think.

Use Hansei (again and again)

to systematically stimulate Lean Thinking.

Bookmark = metrics

Swim Lane Cross Functional Flowchart Excel template

Your swim lane diagram template has lots of lean metrics and charts
to perform process analysis that sticky notes and Visio simply can't do.

If your company has not yet provided a license, you can download your free trial now.

Analyze Lean Metrics in your

Swim Lane Diagram template

If and when you add data to your visual swim lane flowchart,

then in the lower right corner of your cross functional flowchart template,
all of the following lean metrics will auto-calculate.

Freeing your team to accomplish the objectives of your Project Charter,
rather than getting side-tracked trying to do advanced math, or to invent tools.


See the Lean Glossary to learn more about any terms that are not yet familiar to you.


Lead Time — the time it takes to complete the process — from start to finish

Lead Time = The sum of the longest Lead Times for each column of simultaneous processes,
for those processes that:

  1. Are not Dead End processes

    Learn more about why and how some processes are sometimes excluded from some formulas.

  2. Systems2win menu > Functional FlowchartIf you are using (optional) Path codes...

    then the process needs to be
    included within your currently-select Path.

The Lead Time Chart instantly refreshes as your data changes.

If you add or remove columns, however,
then you must click the button to 'Update Chart'.

Queue Time — the time BETWEEN steps

How long do things sit and wait for the next process to begin working again?

Process Lead Time — the time WITHIN each step

Process Lead Time = Pulse Batch Size * Cycle Time
converted into the same unit of measure as Lead Time, which is usually 'Working Days'.

Process Time — time that work is being done by a human being (not just an unattended machine)

Measured in the Cycle Time Unit of Measure that you choose on the Help sheet — which can be seconds, minutes, or hours

Value Add Time — work that is value add from your end customer's perspective

See the training section below to learn how to do Value Add Analysis

Cross Functional Flowchart metrics

Like every Systems2win template,
click any row or column header for pop-up help.

And for more thorough explanations,
see the on-line Lean Glossary

The training in this section focuses on
only the calculated values.

For training on the default data
(in the pink double-border cells)
see the section for Default Data

Steps — a 'step' happens
whenever the thing being transformed is handed off or delayed

Your flowchart counts the number of process boxes.

Because some process boxes might encompass sub-processes, this can be an imprecise number. If you really want to focus on counting and reducing Steps, you might want to use the User Data field.

Cycle Time — how often another thing being transformed comes out the end of the pipeline

Cycle Time is calculated as
Process Time divided by number of workers

For more precise analysis of Cycle Time,
use your Standard Work template

Takt Time — how often another thing being transformed needs to come out the end of the pipeline to meet Demand

Learn more about Takt Time

Notice that if Cycle time is greater than Takt Time,
then your number for Cycle Time will turn bold red
to alert you that your plans won't meet your goals.

Functional Flowchart Andons

Capacity — how many can we produce?

Capacity per week = Work Time Available / Total Cycle Time

Notice that if Capacity is less than or equal to (Demand * Andon)
then your number for Capacity turns bold red
to alert you that your plans won't meet your goals.

Rolled First Pass Yield — the percent of deliverables that are received by the downstream operation or customer
that do not need correction, addition, clarification, or rework.

Product of % Complete and Accurate for each step

User Data — see training section for optional user analysis

Value Add Steps — steps that do something that is value add from your customer's perspective

Value % of Time and Activity Ratio
embarrassingly small numbers that dramatically illustrate how much room there is for improvement

Use the dropdown list to toggle between:

Value % of Time = Value Add Time / Lead Time

Activity Ratio = Process Time / Lead Time

Notice that the pie chart also shows your choice of either Value % of Time or Activity Ratio.

Job Assurance template

Staff Level — how many full time employee equivalents are required?

Very important. No lean process improvement event should ever be used for staff reduction.

If your leaders have not yet widely published your organization's Job Security Promise,
then they are definitely not lean leaders, and any workers participating in a potential head-cutting exercise should do so at their own risk.

(and brush up your resume to seek employment from an organization that demonstrates the same level of loyalty to their employees that they expect from their employees)

Work Time Available — with all the power of Excel
to take into consideration all factors affecting your unique work schedule

Pitch PulsePitch Pulse is the pace at which work is released and moves through the value stream

Bookmark = dept

Departmental Metrics per Swim Lane

In addition to the bottom-line metrics, (in the lower right corner of your flowchart),

there are also calculations per swim lane

(found at the far right of your swim lane flowchart)

Swim Lane Flowchart Metrics

These swim lane metrics are especially useful to answer questions
for the managers of each department or functional area:

"How will these proposed changes affect my people?"

Process Time — For every unit processed,

How much time will be required from someone in this department or functional area?

Lead Time — How long do things sit in piles?

waiting for someone in this department or functional area to get around to working on them

% Complete and Accurate — What percent of deliverables come out of this department

without need for downstream correction, addition, clarification, or rework?

Bookmark = VA

Value Add Analysis

Value Add code

In the cell below and 2 columns to the right of each Process box
(next to the cell for 'Who')

you can optionally use the dropdown list
to choose a Value Add code for each process.

Tip: You can define unlimited user-defined Value Add codes on the DV sheet.

If a process has a Value Add code of 'V' or the symbol ▲,

then that process will always be included within Value Add metrics.

If the process has any other Value Add code,

then it will also be included in Value Add metrics if (and only if)
the Value Add code matches the code that you have currently selected in the 'Value Add Include' field.

Value Add Include

which is one of the pink double-border fields
in the bottom right section of your flowchart)


This allows you the flexibility to do value add analysis both:

  1. the traditional way
  2. and to invent creative ways to analyze productivity
    in ways that are more useful than traditional value add analysis.

For example, for many Lean Office and Administrative processes,
every process step is technically 'non-value-add' from the customer's perspective,
which isn't very useful or motivating for the people charged with improving the process.


Bookmark = optional

Swim Lane Flowchart

Optional User-Defined Analysis

Your swim lane flowchart template has several fields that can be creatively used for user-defined analysis of perhaps process- or industry-specific measure that are important to your unique process.

3 user text fields

The 3 text fields associated with each process can be used to document anything important to your process.

These 3 fields must remain formatted for text only. They cannot be used for math.

User-defined dropdown lists

Like every Systems2win template, it is possible to personalize any one (or 2) of those 3 user-defined text fields to use one of the user-defined dropdown lists (allowing users to choose from the dropdown list values that you define on the DV sheet)

And/or... you might choose to simply add some of your own user-defined values to the dropdown list that already exists for the 'Dead End' code.

User-defined comparison metrics

In the bottom section for Summary Metrics, there is a field called 'User Data', which is designed to be easily used for any metric that you desire.

You can also easily copy that row for unlimited user-defined metrics,

but only the first one will be pre-programmed to automatically find and import comparison data
when you click the button to 'Import Old State Data'.

User-defined calculation

If you want to personalize your template to automatically calculate and analyze a user-defined metric that requires math, (perhaps cost? or distance traveled?)...

then you can optionally replace the formulas for Value Add Steps
with a formula that your team finds more valuable.

If you need assistance adding a custom formula, then Systems2win is optionally available at regular hourly billing rates. Custom programming is not part of free technical support.

Bookmark = ImportOld

Import Old State Comparison Data

Import Old State

You can optionally Import Old State Comparison Data
for side-by-side comparisons, and delta change analysis.

Make sure that the other sheet is displaying the Scenario that you want to import, and its data has been recalculated.

Click the button to Import Old State Comparison Data

then recalculate: CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+F9

Side-by-Side State Comparisons

Cross Functional Flowchart Metrics

Things to notice:

  • It does error checking —
    to make sure that the imported data is a valid comparison
  • The ∆ Delta Change formulas are directionally correct:
    • Black is good
    • Red is bad
    • Grey requires human judgment to determine whether an up or down change is good or bad
  • You have the option of either entering manual comparison data and/or importing from another worksheet with the click of a button
  • When you click on any row or column heading (in any Systems2win template) pop-up help will appear

Your Cross Functional Flowchart template is designed to make it truly easy for you to:

  1. Start out by making a simple flowchart drawing
    then, when you're ready...
  2. Enter data to easily analyze the effects of proposed changes

Learn more about Import Old State Comparison Data

Bookmark = highlight

Highlight Problems and Ideas

Lean Flow

Barriers to Flow

One of the primary reasons for creating a cross functional flowchart is to

Identify and eliminate
barriers to flow

You seriously don't want to gloss over this step.


In any of the 3 text cells surrounding each Process Box,
you can enter(very) brief Barriers to Flow.

And you can use Cell Comments and/or Links to related documents
to add a lot more detail if needed.

Clouds and Bursts

Clouds and Bursts

As you analyze your Current State map,

add bursts to highlight the biggest problems and opportunities for improvement.

As you analyze your Future State map,

add clouds to highlight ideas for countermeasures to your biggest problems

Learn more about clouds and bursts

Improvement Ideas

In the Analysis section near the bottom of your cross functional flowchart,
you will find the 'Improvement Ideas' text box.

Use it as a catch-all for ideas whenever they arise.

And then facilitate brainstorming and consensus-building for which ideas to implement first.

Action Plans

When an idea gets approved,

  1. Shade the cloud on your map

    (to indicate that the countermeasure has been approved)

  2. Add items to your Action Plan

You have several choices of templates to serve as your Action Plan:

To Do List Value Stream Plan Bowling Chart

Bookmark = socialize

Publish and Socialize Results

Conduct Briefing Meetings

PowerPoint Presentation of Results template

Use your 'PowerPoint Presentation of Results' template

to present your Current State map
to the stakeholders that you invited to your Briefing Meetings

(the stakeholders that you identified on the Communication Plan page of your Change Management template)

Facilitate dialog to reach consensus that:

  1. Your Current State Value Stream Map accurately reflects reality, and
  2. You have chosen appropriate metrics to Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control your process
  3. If you are are also using your A3 Report template

    then there is consensus that the left side of the page
    contains an accurate summary of the problems and root causes currently plaguing this value stream

And then conduct a second Future State Briefing Meeting

to obtain approvals for your proposed plans.

Publish and socialize your results

Summarize your problem, tools and methods used, and success results,
perhaps using one or more of these tools:

A3 Report

Socialize your results

the same way that you socialize results
for your Standard Work improvements.

Hold the team accountable for results

Establish a system for your executive and mid-level managers to monitor expected vs. actual results over time,
perhaps using one or more of these tools:

Kaizen Audit Excel template

See additional training for how to measure results

Bookmark = CI

Continuously Improve

Rinse and repeat

Continuous improvement should be continuous.

Perhaps add scenarios

We suggest that you wait until you have finished analyzing and improving your most common scenario

before adding data for multiple Path Codes and Scenarios
to analyze different possible situations on a single flow chart.

Bookmark = Scenarios

Understanding Paths and Scenarios

On the same flowchart, you can use Path Codes and Excel Scenarios

to illustrate (and calculate) different Paths through which the thing being processed might flow.

Cross functional flowchart - animiated gif

Animated image, showing two Scenarios for Typical vs. Rush Order

This is actually an image of the older version. Learn how you can get the latest update free — now.

Learn more how to use Path codes and Scenarios

to depict and analyze multiple possible process flows on one flowchart,
without wasting your time re-drawing an almost-identical flowchart for each scenario.

In the pre-defined Scenarios on the Sample page,

you can learn from these two different scenarios:

1) Typical Learning
2) Expedited Learning

Exceptions and Scenarios text box


Tip: Often, a simple verbal description in the 'Exceptions' text box is sufficient

only creating an Excel Scenario
for those situations that deserve in-depth study

Swim lane cross functional flowchart template

with many other Lean Tools
to analyze, improve, and standardize any process



Cross Functional Flowchart

that empowers you
with math that Visio can't do



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