Ways to Use the Version of Visio That’s Now Free With Microsoft 365 Business

Ways to Use the Version of Visio That's Now Free With Microsoft 365 Business

One of the benefits of using Microsoft 365 for your business is that it covers so many different areas of a business workflow. In addition to the core productivity tools (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint), it also has modern office features like OneDrive cloud storage, Teams for online collaboration, a digital forms tool, and much more.

Over a million companies worldwide and more than 81,900 in Australia rely on this cloud platform for their daily workflows. And Microsoft plans to keep all those subscribers by continually adding more value to the platform.

The latest feature addition that has been added to all Microsoft 365 Business plans is a lightweight version of its diagram-making tool Visio.

What is Microsoft Visio?

Visio is a tool that allows you to make professional-looking diagrams easily that can then be shared online or added to Word documents, Excel worksheets, or PowerPoint presentations.

Example of Microsoft Visio being used in Excel.

The application makes it easy to get started with a diagram and provides several template options, including:

  • Flowcharts
  • Basic diagrams
  • Process stages
  • Block diagrams
  • Business matrix templates
  • Venn diagrams
  • Cycle templates
  • Pyramid templates

Without digital tools and templates, creating diagrams from scratch can take hours. But when all you need to do is choose the best layout and input your process names, you can create them in just minutes.

Ideas for Getting Started With Visio

This additional new feature began rolling out to Microsoft 365 Business plans in July and many users don’t yet realise they have a new free diagramming tool. Here are several ways you can leverage this new capability. 

Brainstorming a New Workflow

Company digital transformations are popular right now. Technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, requiring transformations and updates of digital infrastructure to keep up. Additionally, the pandemic and resulting rise of the remote workforce has multiple organisations scrambling to adapt their networks.

54% of companies around the world are making digital transformation a priority this year.

Diagrams help you lay out a workflow idea more easily than typing paragraphs of text to describe connections. With a diagram, people can instantly visualise how a new process would work. 

Training Staff or Marketing to Customers 

Visual aids have been found to be an effective way for people to retain information. Studies show that they can boost retention by 50% when compared with getting that information verbally, and by 15% when getting the information in text only. 

Diagrams are a great way to explain processes to employees that you are training as well as teach customers about your products and services.

When a diagram is used, it’s powerful and can provide a large amount of information in just a few seconds and be easily comprehended.

Example of explaining a process to customers with a diagram. Image credit: Microsoft

Troubleshooting Connections in a System

When a system or process isn’t working as well as it should, it can be time-consuming to work through the issue to find the heart of the problem. Diagrams help you do this more quickly by mapping out all the connections.

With a visual map of your process, you can more easily identify where connections are failing and need to be improved.

Help Explain Concepts & Ideas

Explaining new ideas and concepts can take a while if you’re simply explaining them verbally or writing them down in paragraphs of text. Mapping that same process out in a diagram can help people instantly “get it” and create a jumping-off point for meaningful collaboration and brainstorming.

Look for Places to Add Cloud Automation

Automating processes is necessary if you want to improve company productivity. Repetitive manual processes drain employee time and energy and can be openings for bottlenecks and errors.

You can save time when looking for ways to automate your workflow by creating a diagram of a specific process and identifying where a manual process occurs.

For example, you could use a diagram to show the journey of a customer order from your website to your shipping department, accounting software, and CRM program. Any manual processes where data needs to be entered could more easily be pinpointed and identified as needing automation.

Explain Hierarchies in Organisations

Diagrams provide a great way to explain hierarchies in organisations. This includes staff and job role hierarchy, the way that your divisions and departments operate, incident response notification trees, and more.

With a diagram, people can easily see the flow of an organisation, an escalation chain of command, and reference it as needed more easily than a text document giving the same information.

Need Help Taking Full Advantage of Microsoft 365 Capabilities?

Don’t leave valuable features unused! GKM2 can help your Sydney area business ensure you’re taking full advantage of all the features in Microsoft 365 and can optimise them for your office priorities.

Contact us today to learn more. Call +61 2 9161 7171 or reach out online.