At its core swimlanes are the lanes that nodes are assigned to in order to make and give structure to a diagram. What this means is that, a swimlane is populated by a resource such person, institution, object, or other entity that is in control of the nodes below in it's column such as a meeting or a report, these can extend to others as well if more swimlanes are needed to satisfy the outcome of the node assigned to it.
Each swimlane is divided into three primary sections: name, title, and label:
First we have a name, the "Name" is the only part of the swimlane that is required from the user. With naming you are want to add a specificity to a swimlane such as "East Atlanta Warehouse #3" for a physical building or something like "Willrow Hood" for being a co-worker. This allows you to quickly scan your swimlanes and place your nodes where you need them with ease.
Next, we have Title; titles help you differentiate between larger teams and establish a hierarchy when it comes to swimlanes with many of the same role and even name. You might have 26 developers and three of them with the last name Smith. With the title section you can specify their specific function such as "Agent Smith #1, #2,..etc" or you can specify who is the in a senior position such as "VP of Agents" or "Scranton Regional Manager"
Lastly, let's look at labels. Labels can be a place "Warehouse", a job "Developers", or a group "The Avengers". Roles are assigned to clarify a base for the swimlane and are usually the most broad when it comes to defining a swimlane.
The choice is up to you, many different industries have opposing or different practices and TeamFlow gives you the tools to sort out your teams as effortlessly as possible.
STARTING YOUR FIRST SWIMLANE
You'll need to add in a swimlane before you add in anything else into your diagram, the swimlane is the foundation of what you create. So let's start by looking at a blank process diagram, you will see that the content of this diagram is completely empty, let's lay down a base of swimlanes to start our process.
If you try to start adding nodes by dragging and dropping from the tool bar you'll see
that you are not able to because there is no swimlanes, you'll also see a small popup reminding you to add in a swimlane before you start your diagram.
To start adding in a swimlane, click on the white, dashed, square near the top right of the screen that says "Add Swimlane". Here you will be greeted with a popup for adding in a swimlane.
There are other ways to add in many swimlanes at once, but for now let's just focus on the most accelerable way. Here on this screen we'll see that we have some options to go over, we've already covered what the main points of a swimlane are, so let's ago ahead and add in some data
We added in some simple content, and even some that wasn't required to make a swimlane, our content is:
Title: The Grey
But you can put in your own information.
After we hit the CREATE button in the popup, we will see that the data is automatically updated in the application and we can now start adding in nodes, or more than likely, start adding in another swimlane
If you messed up something in the swimlane you don't need to create another, all you need to do is simple click the swimlane you made and with one click you can edit any information you had and click "SAVE". The info I put in was pretty good, so there's no reason to change anything so I'll hit "CANCEL".
This should get you started on adding and editing swimlanes; as a note, you can add in as many swimlanes as you like, but they will be unique to your diagram, if you wish to repeat the swimlanes you create in other diagrams, you will need to make a team.
We talk about "MY TEAMS" in another article, you can find it here to learn more, or scroll back to the top of this page and click on the related article