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Mastering The Art of Business Diagramming: A Step-by-Step Guide

The art of business diagramming lies in presenting large amounts of complex information in easy-to-understand and powerful visuals.

Understanding Business Diagrams

Diagrams make complex information more accessible to understand. Business diagrams help convey your ideas to your audience faster and help them make better decisions.

Types Of Business Diagrams

Popular business diagrams:

Logical diagrams

  • Mind map
  • Organizational chart
  • Flow chart, workflow, and swimlane diagrams
  • Business process map
  • Timeline and roadmap diagrams
  • Project management diagrams (milestone diagram, WBS, project network, Gantt chart)
  • Marketing and presentation diagrams (pyramid diagram, target diagram, funnel diagram, Venn diagram, onion diagram, matrix diagram, affinity diagram, tree diagram, bubble diagram, circular and sector diagrams, step chart)

 Quantitative diagrams

  •  Line graph and area chart
  • Bar chart
  • Pie and donut charts
  • Scatter plot
  • Histogram
  • Pictorial chart


  • Thematic map
  • Floor plan
  • Transit map
  • Non-quantitative infographics

Technical diagrams

  • Building and utilities plans and schemes
  • Interior and landscape design plans
  • Website and software interface wireframes
  • IT service management (ITSM), cloud and computer network diagrams
  • Software development diagrams
  • Engineering systems and network schemes

When To Use Each Type Of Diagram?

Mind maps visualize brainstorming ideas, goals and objectives, decision-making, problem-solving, risks, organizational structure, note-taking, meeting agendas, presentations, document content and navigation, project plans, stakeholder analysis, milestones, tasks, resources, and numerous issues.

An organizational chart visualizes the corporate structure, relations, and ranks of departments and positions.

Flowcharts visualize workflows, processes, and algorithms.

Business process maps visualize business process analysis.

Network diagrams visualize networks and relationships. The project network diagram visualizes task predecessor-successor relations and execution order.

Gantt charts, timelines, and roadmap diagrams visualize project schedules, work phases, milestones, and task execution sequences in time.

Work breakdown structure diagrams (WBS) visualize hierarchical project decomposition to deliverables.

Quantitative charts (line graph, bar chart, pie chart, scatter plot,  histogram) visualize digital data.

Thematic maps visualize spatial data on a geographic map.

Tools for Business Diagramming

Popular software for business diagramming:

  • ConceptDraw Office
  • Edraw Max Pro
  • Microsoft Visio
  • MindManager
  • OmniGraffle
  • SmartDraw
  • Visual Paradigm

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Business Diagrams

How do you create a simple block and arrow diagram from scratch?

  1.  Open a blank document.
  2. Open the shapes library and drag the first shape into the document page.
  3. Type the label text into the shape.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the next shape.
  5. Connect shapes by connector lines.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 for all following shapes.
  7. Arrange diagram elements.
  8. If you need to, add a title and description.
  9. Customize your diagram by formatting colors and fonts.
  10. Illustrate your diagram with icons, pictures, photos, and hand drawings.
  11. Save your diagram file.

The fastest way to create a diagram is to edit a pre-made template or sample. Some vendors provide ready-to-edit templates as elements of graphics libraries.

Mastering Advanced Techniques

Advanced diagramming techniques include:

  • Icon symbols instead of geometric shapes;
  • Intelligent connector lines with automatic flow around the blocks;
  • Arranging and distributing diagram elements;
  • Grids, rulers and guides, snap and glue;
  • Precise resizing and positioning;
  • Layers;
  • Custom formatting shapes and connectors with fill, line, and background colors;
  •  Custom formatting fonts and text. Using special symbols in the text;
  • Illustrating diagrams with pictures and photos. Image cropping;
  • Manual vector drawing.
  • Adding notes and hyperlinks to shapes and icons.
  • External data-driven graphic elements (quantitative charts, visual indicators);
  • Interactive diagram elements with control handles, action menus, and scripts;
  • Multi-page diagrams;

Tips and Best Practices

Integration of visualization apps

One-click creation of diagrams from one application into another.

For example, ConceptDraw Office provides INGYRE3 technology, allowing the project data exchange between mind mapping, project management, and diagramming apps.

Semantics of visuals

We are adding specific data to graphic elements for intelligent diagram processing, selective viewing, presentation, and integration of visualization apps.

For example, ConceptDraw MINDMAP allows you to assign specific types and data to topics to automate the design, filtering, presentation, and transfer of data to project management and diagramming applications.

Business dashboards

Data-driven graphs and indicators are critical parts of performance dashboards that visualize business metrics and KPIs.

For example, In ConceptDraw DIAGRAM, the Live Objects technique provides data-driven charts for performance dashboards.

Fast diagramming

Features that let you focus on business without distractions from the user interface.

For example, I used quick keyboard mind mapping in ConceptDraw MINDMAP and the RapidDraw technique for business process maps in ConceptDraw DIAGRAM.

In conclusion

The power of business diagramming in enhancing communication, streamlining decision-making processes, and simplifying complex data cannot be overstated. Leveraging professional diagramming tools like ConceptDraw Office enables companies to design impactful diagrams and business process maps effortlessly. By adopting best practices and exploring advanced techniques, organizations can elevate their diagramming skills to new heights, ensuring that their ideas are conveyed clearly and effectively. Use professional diagramming tools to design excellent diagrams and business process maps.

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