First appearing in the 1940s, these were coined Swimlanes by two men, Alan Brache and Geary Rummler, in a book that they wrote called Improving Processes. These lanes are also often called Rummler-Brache Diagrams but they serve the same purpose. These lanes are ideal for any type of business.
The Swimlane Diagram for PowerPoint is a diagram with visual elements that are used to process flow diagrams. More specifically, it is used to show different job sharing and responsibilities for the smaller processes of the business. These lanes can be arranged either vertically or horizontally. The swimlane flow chart is different from other flow charts because the decisions are grouped in a visual way, placing them in lanes, or parallel lines that divide the chart into one lane for each person or subprocess. Lanes make it easy to show how each aspect is organized. The vertical direction of the lanes helps represent the sequence of events in the overall process.
The flow of the lanes can also be rotated to show the sequence going from left to right with the involved roles being shown at the left. This may be easier to read and to design since screens are often wider than they are tall. When using one of these diagrams to show a business with more than one department, these can clarify not only the steps to take and which person is responsible for each one but also how mistakes, delays and cheating may occur.