Thursday, April 16, 2009

Visio Flow Diagram "Loop Limit" example/sample

I was looking for an example of how the "Loop Limit" shape can be used in a Flow Diagram and could not find any diagrams either in Microsoft documentation or on their website that show the sample usage of this shape. Most of the pages on the web are also not helpful either. Most web pages are either people asking about how to use this shape or a couple of blogs that basically rehash Visio online documentation that lists all the shapes that are available for Flow Diagrams.

After searching for a while, I finally found a PDF document by Roxaneh Chamlou on FAA site that has it. I wish Microsoft has concise sample diagrams that show how some of these non-standard shapes are intended to be used.

Here is a sample diagram that I have created taking a cue from the above PDF document:

This diagram should be self explanatory and I would love to hear what you think about it? Is there a better way to show the loop either with or with out "Loop Limit" shape?

Hope this helps someone out there.

Happy Drawing!



Anonymous said...

Thank you, very useful, I've been looking for how to represent loops, normally ended up using a decision node, with the no branch leading back to activity.

Lillian said...

I've spent days trying to find a good model of how to do this and yours is the best. Thank you

Anonymous said...

This example does not use the "end of the loop" shape, which is the flipped "beginning of the loop" shape. I have a feeling both should be used to specify a loop. When you hover the shape in Visio 2007, a tooltip mentions end of the loop and how to create it.

Anonymous said...

True idea

Dan Jorge QuiƱones said...

I would have to agree with your assessment of the documentation available.

Now about a year later from your blog I am facing the same problem. Here is what I have found. This loop limit symbol is a closely guarded government secret - hence your find on an FAA site. So I found another, very logical approach to this problem - use a decision point with your loop limit as the question. For me it was 3 iterations or loops before a different activity. So I simply put "Is this the third loop?" If yes, go somewhere new for a change...if no, go back to loop begining...

Your reader from 10/20/09 also makes a point regarding the flipping of the box... great minds think alike. That is exactly what I did as I thought the box could represent both the start and the finish.

However, I am opting for using the decision diamond for loops. Mostly because as an ITIL/ITSM consultant I already have to explain the majority of what I do. So why add to that some abstract concept that is not fully supported, documented, understood, and is obviously not in widespread use.

Dan from

Shalin Siriwaradhana said...

Do you have the .vdx file as the template to edit such visio format?


myjunkemailaddres said...

It would be very helpful if the diagram was bigger, it's very hard to read and zooming in only blurs the text.

Shalin Siriwaradhana said...

I use creately diagram software to create flowchart diagrams. its the most amazing and easy to draw flowchart software ever.

Maheshwor Shrestha said...

How can I represent the scope of loop? Where can I get that dotted box to put in the diagram?