How to Create a Process Landscape Diagram

Create animated Process Landscape diagrams yourself starting with a Trial Account here. Take a peek at the tutorials in the Dragon1 Step-by-Step Guide.

Why do you start creating Process Landscape Diagrams?

A Process Landscape Diagram or Process Diagram (as printed A0-sized poster) is an architecture product that always should be present in your EA baseline, even if it is out of date. To have something is better than to have nothing, because it always saves time and thus money searching for certain process/activity interdependencies. And of course with a poster of the process landscape you can do some effective process redesign and optimization.

Process Landscape Diagram 3d
Click on the image to view an example EA blueprint with the process landscape in the top

What is a Process Landscape Diagram?

A process landscape itself is a coherent set of interconnected processes often within an enterprise, business or organization. A process landscape diagram or poster is the visualization of a process landscape.

Process Landscap Diagram

A process landscape diagram shows the logical and physical structure, grouping, modularity, functionality and technology of business processes and working processes. And sometimes also together with the business functions, business services, capabilities and activities they are related with, where what business objects are handled, the information they communicate, the organizational departments, locations and environments they are in, but also the users and their roles who execute the processes.

There is no sharp line to say what should or should not be on a the overview poster. It is more a matter of what the viewer (stakeholder) is interested to see or look at. If you look at a garden landscape, some art and statues might be there, but you do not see them because you are not looking at them.

You will accomplish a lot with process diagrams, depending on what information about the processes you provide. You should not focus on department names, working instructions or procedures. Instead you should focus on the process ownership, process costs and business benefits.

Do not worry if you have only 20 business processes or 2000 business processes. They always fit onto an A0 sized poster format. It depends on you how well it is done. This step by step guide helps you.

“Do you want to earn time & money by eliminating obsolete or redundant activities from processes or not?”

HOW TO Create a Process Landscape Diagram

An overview of the steps to take how to create a Process Landscape Diagram is here below:

Click to enlarge the Dragon1 Architecture View Layout
  1. Assignment
    1. Think twice before creating a process landscape diagram without an assignment (of the proper owner/client).
    2. Make an inventory of current problems with processes together with their users. Verify if processes to them are only the manual processes (labour/work) or maybe also the automated information system / application / infrastructure processes.
    3. Show an example Process landscape Diagram (see figure 3) to the owner/client (the COO) you want to get an assignment from.
    4. State the benefits of having a process landscape visualized, such as effective activity deduplication and rationalization, optimizing process output, managing complexity or less misunderstandings with employees.
    5. Get an assignment from the owner/client (COO) to create an AS-IS process landscape that afterwards really is used, managed and updated.
    6. Communicate you have been given the assignment to get sponsors and hands to help you.

    Click to enlarge the Dragon1 Process Meta model Example
  2. Modeling
    1. Decide on a taxonomy (the theoretical structure) or re-engineer the ontology (the practical structure) of your business processes: How are processes decomposed in your opinion or according to the industry reference architecture? Are processes groups of activities, services or functions? Are business functions groups of processes? Do business domains group processes across business systems? Do processes handle business objects? Etc..., Etc.. Yes or No?
    2. Define the sorts and types of entities: Do we differentiate between chain processes, business processes and work processes? Do we decompose processes into steps into activities into tasks into acts? Are they magnitudes of work? What is a workplace exactly?
    3. Create a process meta model (what entity classes are you going to use on the poster? Using a modeling language and the taxonomy or ontology in the step before.
    4. You could also create an enterprise meta model to relate your processes to products, processes and application and hardware devices. But focus on processes is important now.
    5. Write down the business rules that should apply: such as: Every business processes is supported by not more than one core information system. Or: All financial activities should be in financial processes. Startup a background collection process for the inventory of all current business rules and process architecture principles.
    6. Be sure to define every term you use on the process landscape.

    Click to enlarge Example Data Collection
  3. Data Collection - Filling up your user model
    1. Make interview rounds with users and administrators of processes.
    2. Collect information about your processes in an excel sheet or in an EA tool repository. Sometimes you can export data from a cmdb tool to start with.
    3. When collecting information about processes, at least use the following attributes: unique identifier, calling name, functional name, version, list of activities, list of business objects handled, list of interfaces and information, process cost, input, output, performance indicators, roles, list of process decisions, age.
    4. Collect status information about the processes: do the comply to standard, criteria, business rules and process architecture principles?

  4. Creating a view - Setting a filter on the data in the user model
    1. Make the context and scope clear on the visualization via the set of data you show. Include data of the organization and its business units in the view, resulting in a picture in the background to project the landscape on. Is the landscape created because of rationalization purposes or some other reason? Are we showing the whole company or just a business unit?
    2. If you regard processes as service provider for groups of functionality, you should model and draw these. If you want to use the process landscape poster to standardize on types of interfaces or to improve working with a single source of truth, you will have to model and draw types interfaces and what source data is stored and handled where.
    3. It is a best practice to collect more information (in detail and attributes) than you will show. This enables you for instance to report consolidated data and verify data.
    4. If you are making the process landscape poster for the CFO, be sure to include financial data, if you are making the process landscape poster for the COO be sure to include technology data, if you are making the process landscape poster for the COO be sure to include processes and business continuity information.

    Common Dragon1 process landscape views are:

    1. Management Overview
    2. Business Functions View
    3. Business Capabilities View
    4. Replaceable Activities View
    5. Loosely coupling view
    6. Dependency View (of Processes, Business Objects and Activities )
    7. Activities Reuse View
    8. Duplicate Process Functions View
    9. Obsolete & Outdated processes / capabilities / activities view (I often call this the dead tree view)
    10. Capability Dependency view (where are we depend of one employee for the work to be done)
    11. Too Expensive processes / activities view
    12. Single Point of Failure (SPOF) view
    13. TCO View
    14. Ownership view
    15. Process Update Maintenance view
    16. Competence vs Capabilities view
    17. Role Decisions View
    18. Information (Security) Leaks view
    19. Business Architecture Principles View
    20. Business Rules View
    21. Open Standards vs Proprietary View
    22. Industry Standards Compliancy View
    23. Reference Architecture Compliancy View

    Click to enlarge Dutch Example Domains View
  5. Visualizing - Giving a graphical representation of the process data in the view
    1. Your process landscape poster should be in a version with and without issues and indicators. The one with is used for strategic decision making. The clean one is used for showing off.
    2. Draw a business domain view (see figure 2) of your process landscape. Link owners, managers, users and process analysts to the business domains. Define and write down the scope and context of the domains, how they are or should be managed. You work mainly with business domains to decomplex the process landscape. Write down carefully how these business domains interact. How dependent are they to each other?
    3. Choose an optical overall pattern layout for your process landscape and a pattern layout per domain or business system. Example patterns are layers, bars, u-shapes, circles, random groups or chaotic distribution. With a pattern you immediately tell something. Just compare it with a landscape map of a city. That tell you if things are organized or not and what solutions are workable when solving certain problems. This goes also for your process landscape. You can have a business domain with supporting activities point to point related to one core activity. And in other domains you may work with a service oriented process.
    4. Make sure that you have different symbol/color combinations for different types of primary and supporting business and work processes. If you draw a garden you do not draw all plants and trees in the shame shape!
    5. Always use a color scheme and font scheme and be sure to check out the company policy on logos, presentations and fonts and colors.
    6. Know that objects that are placed close to each other will seem to belong to each other. Work with repetition, rhythm and proportionality to create the desired optical effects.
    7. In Dragon1 we use a solid line to indicate currently an entity is there, a dotted line to indicate an entity was there, a dashed line to indicate an entity will be there in the future.
    8. A successful process landscape poster contains a lot of information the owner/client knows and likes to see and does not know and does not like to see (because of the situation), making him to take action immediately.

  6. Presenting
    1. Have post-its ready when presenting the landscape. And have two versions printed: one with and one without indicators, alerts and issues.
    2. Take the Architecture View Layout of Dragon1 (see figure 1).

  7. Administration, Usage and Management
    1. Write down policy for using, administration (updating) and management of the process landscape.
    2. Update the process landscape at least once every 3 months.

The benefits

Click to enlarge the Dutch Live Example

The benefits of creating a process landscape poster are:

  • A lot of roles in the organization (COO, CFO, CIO, administrator, supplier, manager, architect) have much quicker access to information to take decisions on.
  • A visualization of a process is much more objective and easier to understand (harder to misunderstand) than a textual version.
  • The impact of change can be visualized on the drawing table before you do it in practice. Showstoppers can be eliminated.
  • You as architect show how well it works to visualize the whole of a complex system and then manage with it, instead of working with textual documents with partial inconsistent drawings.
  • You as architect give ideas to others what also could be visualized.
  • If you use a tool to create a landscape poster, you can try different scenarios to solve problems.


When you have your process landscape poster you can use color and lines for instance to indicate where and what processes are not compliant to the company standards and principles, or what optimization of activities goes wrong or what business objects cannot be handled correctly because of a certain situation.

You can also gray-out the process landscape and only colorize the items in scope for a certain project or situation. Of course this is all much easier to do with an specialist tool like Dragon1 as BPM Tool than with a generic tool or basic BPM Tool like PowerPoint, Visio or Archi (Open Source).

Read also

If you are interested in more examples of Landscape Diagrams you might also want to read:

  1. Examples > Process Landscape Diagram
  2. Examples > Process Application Landscape Diagram
  3. Software > Dragon1 as BPM Tool
  4. Solutions > Business Process Management
  5. Terms > Business Process Modeling Definition


Every process landscape diagram implicitly has a meta model. That meta model at least contains the following entity classes:

  • business function
  • business system
  • business domain
  • process domain
  • process group
  • business service
  • process step
  • business components
  • business objects
  • business activity
  • business standards
  • process standards
  • process input criteria
  • process output criteria
  • process information
  • process architecture principles
  • activity cycles
  • business location
  • business environments

Everything in the process landscape needs to be uniquely identifiable. But it is important to work with a pure (meaningless) key, such as #PART0001 to #PART9999.

Getting Started

We hope we have inspired you to start creating landscape diagrams.

Do you want to start immediately? You can purchase your Dragon1 PRO user license here online via Paypal.

If you do not have the time and you need a Process Landscape on short notice, we can create a Landscape for you.