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Can I use Microsoft Visio process maps with Triaster?

Posted by Joel Evans on 15/03/16 16:40
Joel Evans

The short answer is yes. Triaster Process Navigator uses the Microsoft Visio file format as its native file format.


The slightly longer answer is, on the Triaster toolbar ribbons, you will find everything you need to work with all diagram types:

The ribbons will load straight from the box on Visio 2010 and later.

To get started just click 'Enable' and whole host of Triaster features becomes available.

Some of these are as follows:

  • Metadata
  • Drilldowns and Levels
  • Generate End-to-End Diagram
  • Generate Process Hierarchy
  • Off-page Connectors
  • Data Manager and Import and Export to and from Microsoft Excel

Each of these is explored below.


Each shape on a Process Navigator process map has the ability to store more specifically defined data than standalone Microsoft Visio. This data is recognised throughout the Triaster Software Suite, and can be reported on from a Process Library. The data can be tailored to your organisation’s requirements, but some examples are:

  • The RACI matrix
  • Risks
  • Bottlenecks
  • Costs
  • Effort
  • Resources
  • Opportunities for Improvement
  • Process Owner
  • Version
  • Revision
  • Value Add/Non Value Add/Necessary Non Value Add tags.


Drilldowns and Levels

Process levels can be implemented with Process Navigator process maps. It is possible to deconstruct Activities and create sub processes detailing how to carry out the Activity at a more granular level of detail.

Generate next level is also available for Process Navigator process maps, which rolls process maps up into top level maps automatically.


Generate End-to-End Diagram

This feature replicates as closely as possible the way you might print out several maps to review a complete process. An End-to-End diagram puts all the maps into a single file, connects them up horizontally (as if they were linked using Off-Page Connectors) and shows the vertical connectivity. Maps are organised by Level. The lines linking maps are colour-coded to show the process direction and relationship between them: Green: forward; Blue: loop back; Red: children.


Generate Process Hierarchy

A process hierarchy is a vertical hierarchy of processes, where a process corresponds to a Node in a Process Navigator map. The purpose of producing a process hierarchy is to show the integrated process model.

The process hierarchy shows the Activities within each Node, any subsequent drill-downs and documents that are linked from the process maps.

Each of the process shapes hyperlinks to the Visio map that contains its associated Node. Processes on the same level conceptually are depicted on the same level visually and the page is re-sized to accommodate all shapes.


Off-page Connectors

An Off-Page Connector is a device for overcoming the practical limitation of page sizes. In effect, it enables you to produce a logical, large ‘piece of paper’ containing a single end-to-end process map with all the Deliverables linked directly to each other.

Data Manager and Import and Export to and from Microsoft Excel

A Data Manager provides a method to update a Microsoft Excel file from a Microsoft Visio file, or vice versa, without needing to fully overwrite the target file. Alternatively, you can use a Data Manager to maintain synchronised Microsoft Visio and Excel versions of a Process Map.

Currently, Process Navigator also supports the creation and editing of process maps using Microsoft Excel through its import and export commands.

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Topics: Process Mapping

Joel Evans

Written by Joel Evans

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