Swimlane Diagram Flowcharts

Swimlane Diagram Flowcharts

If you’re a business looking to analyze processes and identify inefficiencies, a swimlane diagram is perfect for you. Draw your flowcharts within swimlanes to quickly illustrate cross-team sequences and recognize how to improve them.

Lucidchart makes drawing swimlanes easy. With free templates, customizable shapes and colors, and drag-and-drop editing, it’s effortless to optimize your processes.

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What are swimlanes?

Swimlanes can be used to organize tasks by team. They are ideal for analyzing an overall process and identifying inefficiencies or blockers within it. To make a swimlane, simply draw a container before you begin drawing your flowchart. Label each column in the container with an individual or team that’s involved in the process. Then when you draw the flowchart, match each action with the individual or team which performs it.

Below, you can see a swimlane that captures an ordering process. Like most swimlanes with customer-facing sequences, it begins with an action by a customer (request to place package order). Once a customer requests to order, the action switches to the “Order Clerk” column. From there, each action or decision made affects which lane each process takes place in, until the whole procedure is finished at the end of the diagram. Note that in a vertical diagram like this one, the course of actions moves from left to right and top to bottom.


Swimlane for ordering process

Swimlane diagram example

More swimlane template examples

Find additional swimlane examples in the Lucidchart community library. Each template is free and completely customizable. Not only can you diagram swimlanes, we also have complete shape libraries and templates for mockups, wireframes, UML, ERD, org charts, and more. It’s easy to make these templates your own with custom images and intuitive drawing technology.

Basic horizontal swimlane

Basic horizontal swimlane

This is a template for a horizontal swimlane diagram. Use menu options to add or remove columns, change the orientation from vertical to horizontal, or alter the text layout.

Basic vertical swimlane

Basic vertical swimlane

Use this template to make a vertical swimlane diagram. You can add flowchart shapes to the container, or even drop UML activity shapes into the canvas.

4-lane swimlane template

4-lane swimlane template

A template like this is perfect for a more complex swimlane diagram. Try clicking on existing text to change it. You can also drag out new lines from any existing shape.


Begin diagramming with Lucidchart and discover what a difference it makes for your business. Teams will be grateful for smoother integration and simpler processes, so try a free trial today!

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