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Process Map - style guide

Now we’ve drawn a bunch of process maps, we’ve begun to settle on a “style guide” to create a good looking process map using the embedded drawing tool, Gliffy. Here’s the essentials.

Aim for a one page diagram.

Go to File, Print

and set the paper size to A4. Click on Apply, then close.

Go to “Document Properties” link over on the right hand side.

Check the box “Show Page guides” – you should see light blue lines that delineate the page size. The starting values are 5000 × 5000 pixels. To help keep your diagram onto one page, set the document dimensions to equal one page – the number of pixels wide = 595, and number of pixels length = 840. All the page guide lines should disappear. You can stretch a bit beyond these limits and still get a good looking diagram on one page e.g. with page size = 800 × 1200 pixels.

Turn on the gridlines so you can line up shapes.

Add your first shape. Choose “flow chart” shapes and “classic” style. The first shape for a process map will be the “Start”.

Click the shape properties button that hovers to the right of the shape you select.

Turn off the drop shadow, and set the fill to white. I like to turn off the gradient fill, although it makes no difference for white fill.

We use the default text choice of ARIAL, and font size 11 or 12 with no bold / italic etc applied. This text size is still easy enough to read when the one page diagram is printed, or viewed online.

Add your second shape. It should follow the style you set for the first.

Choose the connector tool and add a connector line between them.

Then set the style you want to use for all your following lines. the line properties box is similar to the shape properties box and hovers to the right of the line(s) you select. We use the thinnest solid line, with a solid triangle arrow on the end. Font size arial 11 or 12 again. No bold, etc.

From the second shape, draw a connector line out to where the next shape should be. You’ll see a box pop up with all the flow chart shapes to choose from for shape 3. This is a quick way to lay out the boxes. Your connector lines should be following the style set for the first one.

In the top right hand corner, add a title using font size 24. Go back to the normal font size to add a revision date.

The drawing will look better if you settle on some standard shape sizes. Here’s ours:

shape --- (size, w x h)

START / END shape (70 × 30)

action box (160 x to-fit)

decision box (100 × 70)

Save and go back to Quality Systems Toolbox to fill in the drawing details, or to add notes.

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