Describing processes: Comm'ant Process vs. Drawing tools such as MS-Visio, and G-Drawings

Business Process Management (BPM) projects increase productivity within companies by 30-50%. It reduces time normally spent on redundant tasks, ensures better employee participation and subsequently increases customer satisfaction.

To make BPM feasible, clearly describing processes is crucial. Every company is often consciously, but sometimes unconsciously, working on this. But did you know that only half of the companies are actively engaged in designing and improving processes? A shame, because it is precisely the key to healthy and sustainable organisational growth.  

We see many organisations getting overwhelmed by the amount of loose process descriptions and drawings in their systems. Not to mention the confusion caused by different departments using different process models and methods and associated language and terminology. Not surprisingly, you then fail to make the most of the advantages offered by Business Process Management! 

To get you started, in this blog we will explain which types of tools you can use to map processes, the differences between these tools, and more importantly: which tool is best suited for your situation. After all, good tools are half the work! 

Download free fact sheet: Drawing vs. Modelling »

Depending on the purpose of your process description, you can apply different methods and choose models (such as SIPOC, Swimlanes, Value-Stream mapping). We won't elaborate on these in this blog - we have previously written a blog on how to start describing processes.  

In this blog, we discuss the tools you can use to actually visualise processes and share them with colleagues.  

There are two categories of tools you can use for this purpose: drawing tools and modelling tools. 

Briefly, they entail the following: 

Drawing tools 

Drawing tools are digital platforms that you use to sketch processes smoothly. Here, the end product is often a loose drawing that you can share with colleagues, for example as a PDF. Examples of such drawing tools are Microsoft Visio, Google Drawings and 

Modelling tools 

A modelling tool allows you to describe your business processes in detail and accurately on a digital platform. In it, it is possible to make advanced drawings and, in them, also visualise the interrelationships between processes (automatically). An example of a user-friendly modelling tool is Comm'ant Process. 

What are the differences between drawing tools and modelling tools? 

Drawing tools and modelling tools differ substantially in their application. We have examined both options and listed the main differences. This gives you a good idea at a glance which type of tool suits your business. 

The table below lists the main differences found throughout the study. Interested in the entire table and explanation of the differences? Receive the complete overview in PDF.




Comm’ant Process 

Tool type 

Drawing tool 

Modelling tool 

Structure & shape 

Free-form and creative  

Structured with discipline 


Manually monitoring consistency 

Automatic consistent modelling 

Management & maintenance 

Intensive and cluttered

Simple and insightful

Licensing costs 

Free and paid licences for drawing tool

Paid licences for online process platform

Time & cost of use 


Rapid prototyping 

Re-use of elements 

No database with elements

Database with reusable objects and relations

Linking with process controls 

Manual structure

Automated structure

Interface with forms and registration systems 



Search & find 

Document index search 

Search in database model

Publication & navigation 

Manual publishing

Online accessible platform

Latest version 

Unmanaged copies

Single Point Of Content 

Reporting possibilities  

Manually maintaining tables  

Automated reporting  

Download free fact sheet: Drawing vs. Modelling »

Which tool suits my situation? 

Now you are familiar with the differences between drawing tools and modelling tools. But which one should you use? That depends on your needs, of course. We have therefore listed some criteria that will influence the choice. You can use these as guidelines for making a choice in your situation. 

Purpose: temporary or sustainable? 

When you start describing processes, it is essential to have the objective in mind.  

Is it a temporary diagram, story or roadmap as a talking point? For example, one that you use once in a meeting, but which will not need to be referred to in the future.  

Or do you need to be able to build on the visualisation for a longer period of time as up-to-date management of the organisation? Perhaps the intention is that you need to periodically bring in the process description. For example, to check whether the process arrangements are in line with certain requirements, such as ISO 9001. 

The difference in purpose is obvious. For a temporary job, a drawing tool is sufficient. For a larger and longer-term project, you prefer to use an application-oriented system such as Comm'ant Process. 

Temporary: Process drawings 
Durable: Comm'ant Process


Download free fact sheet: Drawing vs. Modelling »

Collaboration: solo or together? 

If your process description has a solo purpose, loose drawings will do just fine. As soon as you involve more participants, departments, and thus other processes, consistency is needed in the connection between the processes. Then there are guaranteed to be critical handover moments, when loose sketches won't get you very far.  

Creating and then monitoring this consistency is almost unfeasible with separate drawings. Then the entire process description process becomes the responsibility of one person, who has to have it in order and keep an overview. Support and advice from others becomes almost impossible because they have no insight into the process. As a result, the processes and process management do not live in the organisation. 

The need for a central system, where the various processes fit together, becomes even stronger when several people in the organisation are involved in describing their processes. This calls for direction and cooperation in one overarching platform. 

Solo: Drawing tools 
Together: Comm'ant Process 


Participants: process specialists or everyone? 

When you decide to describe processes together, the character of the participants in the description process and the ultimate user also becomes an important issue. 

Is the process description only for specialists who can and want to fathom complex diagramming techniques? Or should the "ordinary" colleague also be able to find his way through it? Is it important that everyone in the organization works accurately according to process agreements?  

Again, it is obvious. Process specialists may find complex process visualizations interesting and appropriate. However, for participants with diverse backgrounds, you need to choose a form, language and user interface that is understandable to everyone in the organization. You then want an accessible and user-friendly system that provides simplicity in management and maintenance with consistency, such as Comm'ant Process

Process specialists: Drawing tool may then suffice

Everyone: Comm'ant Process 


Download free fact sheet: Drawing vs. Modelling »


Productivity: fast or sustainable? 

The productivity you can get from your process description also varies by process description tool. 

If you want to quickly draw out an example during a meeting, it is easy to do so with a drawing tool. Also, many drawing tools are free to use. So in the short term, a drawing tool is quite productive because of the time and cost you save. 

If you plan to modify your process description more often and use it in various reports and consultations, you will be looking at the long term. With a drawing tool, the labor intensity will be high in that case. Modeling tools are then a better investment of your time and money, due to their dynamic features. 

Comm'ant Process is an investment in higher productivity in the long run.  

Quick: Drawing tools 
Durable: Comm'ant Process 


Download free fact sheet: Drawing vs. Modelling »


Working with Comm’ant Process 

Now that you know the differences between a drawing tool and Comm'ant Process, you may be wondering how to work with Comm'ant Process. 

Effective & efficient 

With Comm'ant Process, you create structured process descriptions in the Cloud (or on your own server), using your web browser. This gives everyone, company-wide easy access to the system. Working effectively and efficiently then becomes the norm.  

It becomes more accessible for employees to be informed about business operations, performance goals, and so on. They have access to all necessary information, such as instructions, checklists and record forms and other resources. Colleagues can provide feedback on bottlenecks that stand in the way of success and suggest improvements that increase the likelihood of success.  

Employees will feel more engaged and participation will increase. 

Turning risks into opportunities 

In Business Process Management, the choices are many. The various options can come across as challenging. 

There will be times when questions arise: Does this process fit with the rest? Is everyone properly informed and trained? How do we get feedback for improvement opportunities and things to ensure compliance? 

By using a platform like Comm'ant Process, you make real-time adjustments and turn risks into opportunities. By implementing a centrally organized system, you maintain an overview of your processes and make optimal use of opportunities for continuous improvement. 


Comm'ant's intelligent database ensures that you only need to describe "building blocks" once and then reuse them. You construct a model and ensure consistency: the output of one process, is the input of another.  

Then it's about maintaining business processes, with an eye on quality, time and money, risks and performance for stakeholder value. You organize this sustainably and efficiently with Comm'ant Process - the basis is in place, the wheel does not have to be reinvented each time. 

To conclude...

The right tool is half the battle, and so is process mapping. In this blog we have explained to you the differences between drawing tools and process modeling tools such as Comm'ant Process. 

Really getting started with smart process description now? Get in touch with an expert at Comm'ant. We are happy to help you discover the different possibilities. 

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