Mapping activities
Activities are the building blocks of your processes. This is how to use different activity types to map process flows using swimlanes.
Peter Olsen avatar
Written by Peter Olsen
Updated over a week ago

An activity is a group of tasks that are done by a role. It produces an outcome, output or result for the next activity in the chain.

This article covers particularly mapping process flows with activities. To learn how to map with other shapes take a look at other articles in this collection.

Are you new to process mapping? Read our Guide to simple process mapping first

Protip! Gluu provides you with more activity types for advanced process mapping. You can choose one of the following activity types: System, Control, Risk, Document, and Customer Touch Point. To learn more about activity types scroll down to advanced activity mapping in this article.

Add an activity to a swimlane

  1. Click the activity icon in the menu and drag it to the canvas. Then select the properties cog:

  2. Adjust the size and click the plus icon to duplicate the activity box.

  3. Describe the activity using active sentences, for example, “Prepare brief”. Then describe the outcome or deliverable of the activity. This will serve as the input for the next step.

  4. Continue with adding activities. Each time you place an activity inside a swimlane, you automatically assign the responsibility of that activity to the corresponding role for that swimlane.

Each activity has a page for work instructions

When you add an activity then you also add a dedicated page for adding work instructions, files, tasks and discussion. This means that you can keep your activity description brief and accurate - remember that it is not a work instruction.

Marking activities as "ready for use"

As soon as you have added these, check "described and ready for use" to change colour from grey. This tells your users that the activity has underlying work instructions. If you include a form to your activity, check "add form to page".

You're done once you have mapped the activities that are required to the roles in your diagram. 

Advanced activity mapping

Using activity subtypes to show risks, systems, controls and documents

(Note! Before you can use this feature you must have each subtype enabled in your 'account settings'. This can be done by the Account Owner.)

There is a maximum of six activity types available:

  1. Risk: Use this to show activities that mostly involve risk - management, reporting, etc. E.g. an activity involving safety training.

  2. System: Use this to show activities that are done by systems. This is useful to document what the system does as part of your process.

  3. Control: Use this to define common business control procedures (these can then be reused across other processes so you avoid duplication of work and responsibility.)

  4. Document: Use this to place common reference documents that are used in the process - or linked to from other processes.

  5. Activity: This is the default blue box that is used for normal work instructions and tasks.

  6. Customer Touch Point (not pictured): Use this to highlight activities where there is direct customer contact. This is useful for marking all activities that are part of your customer journey.

All users can see a legend explaining the different activity types, if they click the question mark: 

How to set an activity subtype

In order to change from the default blue activity box you should do the following:

  1. open the activity in edit mode.

  2. select the desired activity type using the dropdown

  3. you have now selected an activity type with a special color and icon - these are also shown if you link to this activity from other processes.

This video gives an overview of how it is used:

Tags: Process mapping, process diagram, activity type, activity subtype.

Did this answer your question?