One of the benefits to businesses that use Microsoft 365 is that new features and tools are being added all the time. For example, some recent upgrades include the addition of large databases of information through Excel Data Types and an automated Presenter Coach in PowerPoint.
The latest new feature added to Microsoft 365 for Business is a lightweight version of the popular diagram-making app Visio.
Companies using M365 can now create professional-looking diagrams for no additional cost. This opens up a lot of opportunities to aid in optimization, communication, planning, customer education, and more.
Diagrams help explain complicated connections or concepts in a way that is easy to grasp at a glance. But trying to build these out shape by shape and line by line can take forever.
With Visio, you can create diagrams for multiple processes in just a few minutes. Some of the preset templates you’ll find in Visio include:
- Basic diagrams
- Process stages
- Block diagrams
- Business matrix templates
- Venn diagrams
- Cycle templates
- Pyramid templates
Visio images are from Microsoft
To access Visio, go to https://www.office.com/ and click the Visio app.
Here are some ways you can leverage this new tool for your business.
Explaining Concepts to Customers
When you are putting together marketing materials or manuals for your customers, the simpler, the better. Well-crafted instructions can reduce the number of support calls you receive from clients that are confused with your products. They can also help you explain the value of your services better, especially if the services you provide are somewhat complicated.
Use a diagram to show the flow of customer information if you collect or enable data migrations. Or if you provide certain security services, you can show how each one works together to protect their assets.
Brainstorming a New Workflow
You can only do so much when you explain a concept verbally. Putting things “down on paper” can help with a collaborative brainstorming process because you’re better able to visualize the information and see it in a comprehensive way.
Project Planning & Roadmaps
Diagrams are a key part of a project roadmap and project plan. They help show the steps to be taken from start to finish and can identify any milestones along the way.
Creating this type of diagram can be very time-consuming if doing it from scratch but using a Visio template can significantly reduce the work involved and provide a more professional-looking project plan.
Troubleshooting Workflow Breakdowns
If you are noticing bottlenecks or delays in your workflows, it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause or causes if you’re not using anything to help you “see” all the connections.
A diagram can be used to map the entire workflow and see exactly which connected processes are causing problems so they can be targeted and addressed.
Optimizing with Automation
Automating your manual processes can significantly increase productivity while also decreasing error rates. The less human intervention in data entry, the fewer chances there are for mistakes.
A diagram can act as a helpful tool to review your manual processes, which applications are sharing data, and which are disconnected from your data flow. This visualization can make it easier for you to spot areas where automation can make a big difference in your processes.
Explain How Organizations Work (e.g., Chain of Command)
A company hierarchy is a common diagram that you’ll see often. It helps those inside or outside the company see the chain of command and where different positions or departments connect with others.
This type of diagram also acts as a reference for employees and their reporting requirements.
Having this in a program like Visio can make updates to your organizational map much easier and provide a way to easily share your chart online.
Get Data Insights in Excel
If you’re using charts in Excel, you’re somewhat limited in the way you can see your data by the options available in the app. With the Visio addition, you gain more opportunities to see large amounts of data in different ways.
Visio significantly expands your capabilities for charting data and getting quick insights that can then be shared with your team to power informed decision-making.
Using Visio in Excel also makes it easy to create all your different charts and diagrams, because instead of having to type into multiple little boxes, you can simply tap into your Excel data directly and have it chart for you automatically.
Learn to Get the Full Capabilities of Your Microsoft 365 Subscription
Are you leaving cost-saving features unused in Microsoft 365? Rocky Knoll Technologies offers support, customization, and more for M365 and other cloud platforms.
Contact us for a free consultation at 704.594.7292 or reach us online.