Visio Room for Improvement

Michael Barg
Principal Consultant at Lexington Consulting
There could be better integration between Visio and Word, especially when it comes to importing graphics from the one to the other. Visio's graphics don't seem to play well with other applications. Sometimes I move a business process graphic to a Word document. It doesn't copy the picture correctly, or it leaves some of the connectors off. Or it puts the wrong one in or changes the font for no apparent reason. That's a pain in the neck, and it's one of my biggest complaints about Visio. Moreover, when I connect a caption to a drawing and move the drawing, sometimes the caption gets left behind. And if you shrink the size of a drawing, I'd like Visio to scale the font automatically. Small details like this would significantly improve the product. Aesthetically speaking, the graphics can be a bit crude and simplistic. The graphics are sufficient for most purposes. Visio is a static program that tries to keep things simple for most users. However, I would appreciate it if they made an allowance for at least slightly more complicated graphics. As they are now, they do not inspire. People don't look at the graphics and say, "Wow, that's a great graphic." They look at it and say, "Uh-huh, move on. Next!" It's a lot of sameness. I would also love to see Visio with a more intuitive and reliable data linking feature. I shouldn't have to program or develop any complicated code. Just press a button, connect to the spreadsheet, and update it. For me, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. You should trust your application so that when you need it to link, it links. It would help to know that Visio is using the latest data, mainly because you don't want to embarrass yourself in front of a customer with wrong or outdated data. I like dynamic programs. I want to take inputs from other places and have the application automatically update my chart and know that it's correct. And not only do I want it updated, but I wish to document updates, so I can see what updates were selected and used. So if the document references a spreadsheet or an Access database, it shows where the data came from, what version it is, and the date. If you're doing a nice bar chart in Visio and you want all the bells and whistles, you can see the source material and revision of the chart so that you don't have to go back and say, "Is this right?" I want to create my objects and my object library more easily. I think you can do some of that, but it's not that simple. I haven't had a lot of experience doing it, but when I did try it, it was awkward. The support is okay, though not super great; I wouldn't expect it to be. Visio is not a program where you need a lot of hand-holding for most tasks. It's quite suitable for those who want to drag and drop, so support isn't too crucial, though there could be room for improvement. View full review »
Assistant Manager in Strategic Consulting at Metlife
The one particular thing which I would like to see improved is in comparison to other products in the market, and is still lacking in Visio, is publishing on a web application. For example, there is a freeware application business process modeling tool, Bizagi. This tool has a very good interface. It also provides visibility allowing users to publish on SharePoint directly. Then the entire product gets converted into an HTML format which provides a one-click on all the attributes of every task, a detailed description, direct visibility, which I find is still lacking in Visio. An additional feature I would like to see included in the next release is the implementation of web publishing. For example, for any task or any flowchart diagram that I create, example "talk to the customer." Now using "talk to the customer," return adding attribute like "this is a step-by-step document file that you should follow" or "these are the setup questions that you should follow while talking to a customer." These documents can be attached to that specific task, and when I submit this on the web, users will get all the description, along with the attachment. View full review »
Ahmed Hussien
Tally Operations Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
There are not a lot of things that need to be improved in Visio from the user's perspective, but maybe some functions are missing. For example, migrating flow charts from iGraphics should be easier. When checking on some forums, some users mention data converters — so that may be a possibility. But it is not an official Microsoft solution for migrating the igx or the iGraphics flow charts to a Visio flow chart. It's a drawback, and it's a very big drawback. If we are not going to use Visio, the lack of integration would be for this reason. It's a show stopper for us right now. The function that isn't integrated in Visio is having a share point. If I'm going share with somebody who's more knowledgeable about a particular aspect of a workflow, they have to know how to use the share point. This is a drawback. iGraphics doesn't need that. It's much easier. More centralized integration would be desirable, but I believe that's not the direction Microsoft is taking with the product. If everybody moved to a cloud-based environment, a more centralized solution that catered to users to cut extra processes and functions, Visio would be perfect. In short, integration and easier migration would be beneficial. View full review »
Learn what your peers think about Visio. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: December 2020.
454,950 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Alberto Hidalgo
Project Development at INECO
I'm not sure of the features that are missing. It's a pretty complete solution. In some instances, I do feel that AutoCAD is a better solution to use. I find AutoCAD makes better lines and has a few better capacities. The maintenance of the solution could be better. It might be better on a PC. I'm not sure. I'm not sure if Visio is the best for 3D designs. One does have to make a bubble. It's typically better to do such designs in AutoCAD. I find that, in order to get money, advertisers, etc., AutoCAD is a better solution. The user interface could be more robust. It can export to AutoCAD, however it doesn't do so very effectively. You really struggle with exports as they end up exporting in different forms. It doesn't translate exactly. What is white in Visio ends up being black in AutoCAD. Ultimately, you have to go and fix everything. It's not that easy. You end up losing quality. View full review »
Shelley Engen
HRIS Specialist at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
I am fairly happy with the program. That would be about 90 percent happy. There is not really much that is wrong with it. The only problem I tend to have is that sometimes when I am moving objects around within the interface I lose the formatting or it changes type or linking. You have just got to get used to the connectors not staying in the right spots or how they behave as you work with it and know how to repair it. When you are moving stuff around the joins sometimes just do not go where you want them to. That is the join arrow or shapes or connectors might intuit what you are trying to do in another way than you might intend. It is an issue with learning the user interface and working within the behaviors of the program. When you move stuff around and it might move off the visible page, you just have to know to resize to make it fit in the view again. That part of the interface could be more intuitive or left to the control of the user. View full review »
Arancha Cortes Guasch
Founder at AC Lean
I'm working with Visio Plan 2. I find some lags on this tool. For example, I cannot manage the attributes. For example, for each figure of the process map, I cannot add any further information about it. I can't add the activity or the role that I'm using to relate to other activities. It is very limited by the information that I can use. Managing data is quite limited. I would love to see five samples for each attempt that I include in my process. I would like to be able to add some extra information. For example, to be able to add some attributes for each item. To be able to extract a report for business project management notations would be ideal. Another solution, ARIS, lets you configure each item that you add to the Visio model process, and you can add some attributes that we cannot currently add. For example, calls to activity, main indicators, or a lot of descriptions, etc. After that, to be able to export a report that shows the relation between the functions and the roles that you have related would be great. If it were possible to see different functions for each role and export it, that would be ideal. View full review »
Elsedeeck Elrayes
Business Process Management Specialist and Business Continuity Management Coordinator at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
The reason we're moving from Visio to another program is the fact that you can link the library on ARIS or Signavio. These you have to save them on the save drive which as a collaboration. It's not working for us. There needs to be better configuration at this point. We need something a bit more flexible in that sense. The scalability is limited. If you look at ARIS, for example, or Signavio, the flowchart combines all the details and with the click of a button I can create a process manager. That would be something that Visio could add. It would cut my workload in half. Currently, once I'm done with drawing the flowchart, I need to take it and put it in that document and then explain what the flowchart is. View full review »
Delivery Manager at a transportation company with 51-200 employees
I would like to be able to present diagrams in multiple ways, such as a Swimlane diagram. Also, in other products such as TIBCO Nimbus, there are links that take you to a completely different diagram. While I can use Visio for architectural diagrams and simple process mapping, there is room for improvement. The business process mapping capability would be really improved if we could link two completely different processes together. For example, in a company with multiple departments, I would like to have links between processes in the different departments. I would also like to be able to embed objects into diagrams that can be opened by clicking on an icon. These are things like Excel or Word documents, or a PowerPoint presentation. Eventually, the images or icons that we use in Visio will become obsolete, and we would like to have a way of suggesting new design options. View full review »
Michel Bourque
Partenaire, CEO at cyberdefense ai
They have to improve shapes. It has good shapes, but it certainly can have more shapes. There are no U shapes. It also requires more customizations. There are a lot of icons, but they can be modernized more. These icons have to be more customizable so that we are able to change the color and things like that. It should also have more integration so that we can use it with other tools on the web. We don't use Microsoft Teams. We use Discord, which is more for gamers. It would be helpful if Visio is integrated with Discord. I can then show my work to my team. We use Visio, and it is a must-have solution for us, but being a startup, we don't have the money to use the whole Microsoft system. Some day we will use Office. For companies like us, there should be connectors for other software. We should be able to use a connector with the software that we are using or with the new generation solutions. Connectors will make it very easy to transfer data. View full review »
Lead Process Improvement Manager at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
It would be nice if we could develop a custom database. We have looked into this functionality, but all of the other solutions that have a database are very locked down, and you have to use them their way. You can't define your own systems, tools, and inputs etc. For example, if we have systems that are used in multiple processes, and we want to know what processes use those systems we should be able to query the database for processes that include a specific system. A uses case could be system X being phased out so we need to know what processes will be impacted, so that we can ensure that those processes are all taken into account in any decisions to replace that system. Additionally, Visio should have the ability to capture metrics such as demand, work time, cycle time, .. for each step in the process. Then those metrics should be able to be linked to a spreadsheet to enable data analysis that remains aligned with the process map so that changes remain aligned between Visio and Excel. Other systems attempt to provide this functionality, but the spreadsheet functionality is not as robust as Excel. View full review »
Managing Director at Andrew Lim Consulting
For older version of Visio Professional, not all BPMN 2.0 Elements are available. The Auto-Align has improved significantly from the previous release; however, you may still find the auto align features lacking if your process diagram has a fair degree of complexity. My suggestion is to keep your process model straight forward and use the intermediate Link Event or End Signal Event to break up, simplify or connect the the rest of the process map. View full review »
Business Process Manager at a maritime company with 5,001-10,000 employees
The big downside to Visio is that it's very difficult to push the design through to Power Automate, to become a workflow that you can use. The process modeling capability would benefit from a quick modeler tool, such as one where you use a table that is populated using the BPMN 2.0 format. In the future, I would like to see a connection with the workflow so that you can create your model and then execute it. View full review »
Venkatesh Mulabagilu
Digital Enterprise Architect at DXC
a) Its integration with other vendors can be better and support for other formats. For example, when we import a JPEG, we cannot customize it. Similarly, we can't utilize the BPML kind of diagrams. b) It should natively enable importing diagrams or reference architectures from any of the vendors whose solutions are used by the customer or proposed by solution providers such as DXC For example: AWS, GCP, VMWARE etc We can't work in isolation in a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud world. This is a necessity. c) The tool has to support more collaboration capabilities so that I can co-create architectures within the organization or with my vendor partners or customers d) As compared to some of the other vendors like Lucidchart, Visio is quite old-fashioned in terms of visual presentation. It is not up-to-date. Its visual presentation should be improved. e) Rather than static diagrams, the tool should support API level integration like SAP Power Designer or EA tool from SAP so that deployment of solution becomes easier. View full review »
Kayle Oliver
Business App Analyst at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Transferring data was one of the issues that I expected Visio to have resolved. I use the older version. I'm not sure if the later versions have already addressed some of the issues. To improve Visio, make it easier to transfer into other Microsoft products. For example, if I copy a Visio diagram into Word. If I open it in the Word version, it doesn't work so well. View full review »
Jim Hawkins
Process Improvement Consultant/Business Analyst at Sherpa Consulting
I would like to see the project planning element improved, although it won't happen because Microsoft deliberately made it worse. They did not like the idea that you could actually plan a project with it, so they greatly diminished the capability because it was competing with Microsoft Project. Back in the days before Microsoft got their hands on it, it was quite a capable system for managing small projects. If you were doing something that only had half a dozen people and runs for up to a year or something, Visio was perfectly adequate for doing all of the project planning. Whereas, from what I have seen of it now, you could not project plan making a cup of tea with it. They have completely emasculated the project planning capability. View full review »
Shankar HN
Head Network Management Solutions at Convergent Wireless Communications
The costs could be better. View full review »
Artur Kowalczyk
Managing Director at a computer software company with 1-10 employees
In earlier versions, there was better database modeling. The database modeling has deteriorated significantly in the more current versions. In Version 2000, the database modeling was pretty decent. Since then, it has deteriorated and a lot of the functionality has disappeared from Visio. View full review »
Project Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
My colleagues are not satisfied with this solution for many reasons. They don't see end-to-end processes or the layers of one process. When you use a BPA solution you can open an end-to-end process in one window, go down, or go up between layers to different places. You should be able to see descriptions of the steps of the process. Integration with third-party vendors is another aspect that needs improvement. View full review »
Deputy Manager, Quality Assurance at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
The inventory feature could be improved. On projects, there are sometimes inventory tasks that are lacking. Imagery could also be improved. I'd also like to see increased visibility. View full review »
Systems Administrator at a government with 201-500 employees
It can be complex. If you don't know a little bit about it, it can get really confusing. View full review »
Integration Architect at a university with 5,001-10,000 employees
I would like to see better integration with external data sources. Sharing work with colleagues is sometimes an issue with this product. I would like to see integration with Microsoft Teams. View full review »
Infrastructure Architect at a government with 10,001+ employees
I think that it feels a bit outside with respect to the icons that are available. It should be easier to integrate with other platforms like Confluence, or other content management platforms for exporting and collaborating on drawings. It would be helpful if Visio could open drawings from other kinds of tools. View full review »
Operations Manager at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Something that needs to improve is the interface interaction with other tools. View full review »
Senior Associate Consultant at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
The simulation is an area that requires improvement. In the next release, I would like to see the simulation improved. It's a Microsoft based, so it's still good, but it needs simulation. View full review »
Majd Abbassi
Managing Director at The Benchmark Co.
The design and the look and feel, need to be improved. Also, the pricing can be improved for organizations. In the next release, I would like to see simulations capabilities and artificial intelligence included. View full review »
Brian Ray
Systems Engineer at Perspecta
I've had a variety of issues, usually related to the system architecture. It's almost like a general purpose tool but it's important to understand the interfaces and the components and how they're related to each other. It would be helpful if you could layer things easily for the diagrams so you can decompose a given object and see it both at the macro and at the breakout level and still have those kinds of connections would remain. View full review »
Mohamed Jerm
Management Analysis and Control Advisor at VdM
Sharing, and add timing features. View full review »
Learn what your peers think about Visio. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: December 2020.
454,950 professionals have used our research since 2012.