Project Management

Top 7 Workflow Visualization Tools for Complex Processes

Mindaugas Gluchovskis ·

2019 - Present Marketing specialist Innovative content marketeer with MSc in International Communication, Mindaugas brings fresh ideas and inspiration about project management and beyond.

workflow visualization tools

Workflow visualization methodology provides evidence of a strategic, top-level view of your entire process. 

However, as we’ve all been there, unstructured processes can quickly spiral into chaos. A visual workflow tool can unwrap it to a precise process sequence. It will instantly present you with project-related goals while automating each process step in the flow.  

For teams, this tool serves as a quick glimpse into what’s really important, while project managers can use the tool for informed decisions. In other words, it’s your ticket to understanding, analyzing, enhancing, and standardizing your processes.  

But the challenge lies in finding the one that syncs perfectly with your team dynamics.

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This is where I investigated workflow visualization tools, exploring several dozen options across various sub-categories and use cases. After trimming the list to a handful for a thorough investigation, I’ve got the scoop on the top 7. And these are the seven best. 

7 Best Workflow Visualization Tools 

TeamhoodLucid Visual SuiteKanbanflowFigJam by FigmaMiroMicrosoft VisioZapier Canvas
BrandTH icon no backgroundlucidkanban flowfigjammiromicrosoft visiozapier
Capterra Rating4.9⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐4.6⭐⭐⭐⭐4.5⭐⭐⭐⭐4.5⭐⭐⭐⭐4.7/5⭐⭐⭐⭐4.6⭐⭐⭐⭐4.7⭐⭐⭐⭐
Free PlanYes, Unlimited usersYesYesYesYesYesYes
Business PricingFrom $9 per user/monthN/AFrom $5 per user/monthFrom $12 per user/monthFrom $5 per user/monthFrom $5 per user/monthN/A
Project management
Gantt chart
Workflow tracking
Custom Workflows
Email Management
Reporting
Integrations
Other Qualities• Intuitive
• Flexible
Kanban
• Data import
• Conditional formating
• Collaborative
• Pomodoro technique
• Time tracking
• Custom fields
• AI features
• Timelines
• Meeting templates
• Whiteboard
• Visual
• Integrations
• Real-time collab
• Security
• Variety of templates
• Data import
• Conditional formatting
• Collaborative

What does workflow visualization do? 

This dynamic technique utilizes visual cues and seamless flows to illustrate each stage of your process. What’s more, automation becomes second nature as you navigate through the steps of your visual workflows. There are tools designed to do just that – to illustrate a visual representation of the business development process. 

What makes the best workflow visualization tool? 

  • Ability to Create Flowcharts, Diagrams, and Dashboards: The tool should allow users to create various visual representations, including flowcharts, diagrams, and dashboards. Without it, you won’t be able to map out and visualize different stages of a workflow effectively. 
  • Process Visualization: It should facilitate process visualization, enabling users to depict operational processes, tasks, and resource allocation through visual flows. 
  • User-Friendliness and Task Linking: The tool should be user-friendly, with an intuitive interface and the ability to link tasks to individuals. It becomes easier for users to overlook the entire process and drill into their specific responsibilities. 
  • Insights into Workflows: The tool should provide insights into workflows, helping users identify trends, areas of waste, and strategies for improving overall business operations. 

We recommend you start by mapping your processes. Explore tools and check features and user reviews for ease of use. Let your team test a couple of apps, gather feedback, and involve everyone in the decision. Lastly, assess if the chosen tool boosts productivity or causes issues.

7 Workflow Visualization Tools 

1. Teamhood

kanban-vs-gantt
Kanban and Gantt views on Teamhood

Capterra score: 4.9⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

First off, let’s break down Teamhood. With its custom workflows, you can create workflows that fit your preferences. Whether it’s a Gantt chart or a task assignment, you’re in control. 

Speaking of control, Teamhood supports various workflow types. Kanban, Gantt, you name it.  You might want to consider swapping your traditional to-do lists or never-ending Excel sheets with visual task boards. They’re user-friendly, visually appealing, and serve as a doorway to foster open communication.

Learn how to set up a fully functional workflow visualization with Teamhood.

You can quickly turn intuitive Kanban sessions into developing Gantt charts. Plus, the user experience is top-notch – straightforward navigation and no unnecessary complexity.  

teamhood hero kanban
Teamhood’s Kanban view

On top of that, teams choose Teamhood as their go-to for workflow tracking and time management. 

Begin by opening the task and kickstart the time tracker. Alternatively, log the time you’ve dedicated to the task. Take a moment to compare it against your initial estimates and gain valuable insights for more precise planning in the future. 

Connecting with 3500+ tools via Zappier or Open API, Teamhood is designed to blend into your project ecosystem. 

Honestly, everything. I have tried and canceled subscriptions to at least 20 Project/Task management apps (monday/ClickUp/Notion, etc) over the last couple of years and finally found Teamhood.

Teamhood is visually perfect – I find that most of the apps are visually distracting and honestly take too much time to learn and organize. Teamhood allows me to keep complex tasks organized and allows me to use simple or complex Kanban formats which I love. I also love the Note taking feature.

Overall, it’s impeccably intuitive.

Elizabeth P., Executive Reqruiter

Pros:

  • Tracking tasks and scheduling in a visual way
  • Various perspectives for task visualization
  • Creating and managing files
  • Analyzing data and generating reports

Cons:

  • Most integrations available through Zapier

Pricing: Free plan available for unlimited users. Business plans start from $9 per user/month.

2. Lucid Visual Suite 

Capterra score: 4.6/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Next up is Lucid Visual Collaboration Suite (a.k.a Lucid Chart). I must say, it’s pretty intuitive and straightforward. It’s versatile, catering to various visualization needs, with a special emphasis on crafting flowcharts. Plus, its collaboration features are perfect for keeping your remote team in sync. 

In terms of collaboration, adding people to the team is a relatively simple task, and the overall user experience is satisfactory. Great experience for those looking to incorporate it for customer journey mapping, and as mentioned, it’s got loads of beautiful charts. 

On the other hand, the tool might need more ready-made templates, notably for calendars and Kanban boards. Furthermore, tools experience occasional bugs on the mobile app. Users also express concern about missing integrations and self-help content.  

Pros:

  • Intuitive and straightforward 
  • Versatile for various visualizations 
  • Excellent collaboration features 

Cons:

  • Lack of ready-made templates 
  • Occasional mobile app bugs 
  • Missing integrations 

Pricing: Not provided by the vendor.

3. Kanbanflow 

kanbanflow kanban

Kanbanflow Kanban board

Capterra score: 4.5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Moving on to KanbanFlow. It’s an advanced tool for task visualization and workflow management with KanbanFlow’s digital Kanban board. It’s a great tool for task prioritization and smooth column navigation. It’s super intuitive and even has workflows and swimlanes. Labeling lets you manage time and processes with style.  

Mapping tasks are relatively simple, thanks to an email feature that pulls tasks from Outlook. I especially like that the tool encourages structured work intervals and regular breaks. Plus, it supports a well-known Pomodoro technique to boost your productivity. 

The downside? No mobile app. 

The Kanban board keeps your tasks in order. Some users wish for a better filter, but it’s a minor setback. A little tutorial help could unlock its full potential. Finally, the design is a bit vintage; a modern touch could spruce it up. 

Pros:

  • Prioritizes tasks effectively. 
  • Intuitive navigation.
  • Workflows and swimlanes.
  • Email integration.

Cons:

  • Lacks a mobile app. 
  • Filter options need improvement. 
  • The design feels somewhat dated. 

Price: Free or $5 user/month.

4. FigJam by Figma 

figjam by figma
FigJam by Figma dashboard

Capterra score: 4.5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

FigJam has been making waves as one of the choices for workflow visualization. You can present your workflow, have brainstorming sessions or ideation, conduct workshops, and even clash ideas with your team, regardless of the location. As a bonus, the tool offers a variety of styles and diagrams. Templates and plugins make a good start for visualizing the workflow. 

However, some users have noted that it falls a bit short compared to other platforms like Teamhood or Miro. A bit more palette freedom would be a great addition to the tool. FigJam felt less intuitive for some users, and the hotkeys experience could be improved.  

Pros:

  • Intuitive drag-and-drop interface. 
  • Task prioritization flexibility. 
  • Nifty email integration feature. 

Cons:

  • Limited sophisticated filtering options. 
  • Mobile app issues persist. 
  • Vintage jersey-like design. 
  • Tutorial hand-holding is needed. 
  • Customization requires familiarity. 

Pricing: Free plan available. Professional plan starts from $12 per user/month.

5. Miro 

miro
Miro dashboard

Capterra score: 4.7/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Miro is another robust visualization tool on our list. It excels in constructing and showcasing workflows, facilitating team understanding and workflow optimization. Interactive features like voting and timers make it a powerful tool for collaboration and visual thinking. It’s a tool with expansive space for planning, brainstorming, and idea generation, ensuring freedom for effective visualization. 

Users also appreciate its modern interface, browser experience, and the ability to embed files. Its intuitive nature offers extensive templates and integrations with tools like Confluence, Jira, Slack, and Teams.  

You may initially find Miro’s interface intricate, leading to potential difficulties in understanding and navigation. On top of that, be prepared to pay additional as Miro’s cost can rise significantly when advanced features or numerous users are needed.  

Pros:

  • Strong workflow visualization 
  • Interactive features enhance collaboration 
  • Expansive space for planning 

Cons:

  • Complex interface for some 
  • Additional costs for advanced features 
  • Potential navigation difficulties 

Pricing: Free plan available. The professional plan starts from $5 per user/month.

6. Microsoft Visio

Microsoft visio
Microsoft Visio dashboard

Capterra score: 4.6/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Another workflow visualization master on our tools list is Microsoft Visio. The tool got on the list for its ability to draft custom workflows. Widely employed for crafting flow process diagrams linked to daily operations, Visio excels in process visualization. 

It’s a valuable tool for those dealing with business and system integration processes. Visio provides extensive flexibility with fonts, text boxes, graphs, and graphics. 

Despite its cost, users find it justifiable, considering its features and sharing options. On the negative side, some usability issues need attention. Users occasionally face challenges, such as issues with location changes and occasional frustration with connectors. 

Pros:

  • Efficient drafting 
  • Diagram Creation 
  • Versatile sharing options 
  • Good cost-benefit Ratio 

Cons:

  • Location change challenges 
  • Connector usability issues 
  • Problems with connection lines 
  • Frustrating snap tool 
  • Cluttered diagram challenges 

Pricing: Free plan available. The professional plan starts from $5 per user/month.

7. Zapier Canvas 

Zapier canvas
Zapier Canvas dashboard

Capterra score: 4.7/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Last on today’s list is Zapier Canvas. The AI-driven flowchart tool has a reputation for workflow visualization. You’ll be able to map out your entire workflow, pinpointing areas for enhancement. Via Zapier, you can edit components directly within Canvas and communicate your problem-solving preferences to the tool. 

It’s released in December 2023, where Canvas offers early access, which allows you to take the lead in optimizing your workflows before the crowd. And since it’s a relatively new tool, limited user feedback might hinder a comprehensive assessment of potential drawbacks and limitations. 

Lastly, the advanced AI features of Canvas might pose a challenge, especially for those stepping into the platform for the first time. 

Pros:

  • Visualizes entire workflow 
  • Direct component editing 
  • Early access advantage 
  • AI-Powered optimization 

Cons:

  • Limited user feedback 
  • Potential learning curve 

Pricing: Specific pricing details for the post-alpha phase have not been disclosed.

What is one tool that visualization features representing a workflow? 

The primary tool that overlooks workflow features is the flowchart. It’s a graphical representation that utilizes symbols and arrows to showcase a process’s sequence of steps or actions.  

It’s one of my favorite visuals when working on complex projects. It helps me understand the interconnection between various stages in a workflow. 

A swimlane diagram, arranged vertically or horizontally, is a segmented flowchart employed in project management to represent a business process visually. Read more on the swimlane diagram in this post. 

Choosing a workflow visualization tool that meets your needs

I understand that choosing workflow visualization tools can be overwhelming initially.

The array of options does not make it easier, BUT a closer examination reveals that each tool has its unique strengths tailored for specific teams. Your task is simply to identify the nature of your team and choose the tool that aligns with its needs.

Teamhood design fits most team needs as it offers a fully customizable task board. It accurately visualizes the process and makes it easy to grasp exactly what is happening within a project.

Teamhood also offers secondary workflows or 2D Kanban, which can be added to any of the In Progress columns, meaning you will be able to track not only the main task but also the subtasks. This makes it easy to glance at and understand where your team stands at any moment, and having the process visible makes it much easier to analyze and improve the workflow. Give it a try today for free.

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