Project Conference 2014: Full session list and keynote announced

Join over 1,200 Project Managers, Executives and Technology Professionals from different industries to learn about the powerful capabilities included in Microsoft Project and our project and portfolio management (PPM) solution, available on premises and in the cloud. Earn professional development units (PDUs) for attending! Nearly 100 sessions are now available at the Project Conference Website, and it’s time to start finding the content that’s best for you.

Valuable sessions for everyone

Sessions are broken into three tracks–Business, Product, and Technical–to ensure that there is plenty of content for Business Decision Makers, Project Practitioners, and Technical Professionals. Read detailed descriptions and speaker bios are available for our Top 10 Sessions, then review the full session list with helpful filters before you register for the event.

Executive keynote

The keynote session will offer insight from both business and technical perspectives, featuring two important Microsoft leaders:

Jared Spataro, General Manager, Office 365Jared Spataro, General Manager, Office 365. Cloud, social and proliferation of devices have changed the way we work, collaborate and manage our tasks and projects. During this keynote Jared will talk about Microsoft’s vision for business productivity & project management, share industry trends and provide insights into how Microsoft is thinking about future product investments.

Ludovic Hauduc, Director of Development and Engineering, Office Developer Platform, Access and ProjectLudovic Hauduc, Director of Development and Engineering, Office Developer Platform, Access and Project. Discover the latest in Microsoft Project family of products & our cloud offerings and showcase plenty of demos that will get you charged for the rest of the conference! Prior to his current leadership role, Ludovic was General Manager for the Microsoft Project Business Unit, where his responsibilities led him to run product development and head the strategic direction for the Project business. Ludovic has been involved with the Microsoft Project team since 1994 in various technical leadership roles for the Project and Project Server line of products.

Register today!

Make plans now to join us February 2-5 in sunny Anaheim, California. Act fast because accommodations are limited and Southern California is a top travel destination.

Ask your technical questions at the Project Conference 2014 Customer Chalk Talk Sessions

Efren Edwards is a Senior Content Developer on the Microsoft Project team.

Project Conference 2014 logoHave you registered for Project Conference 2014, yet?

To enhance your conference experience, we are offering three customer chalk talk sessions to answer any of those burning Project questions you might have.  In these interactive sessions, Microsoft Subject Matter Experts will discuss common points of interest, and address questions from the audience.

Want to make sure your question gets answered?  Please send them to us ahead of time to make sure that we cover what you want to hear.   The SMEs will also be fielding questions at the sessions as time allows.

Session 1: Project Online

Use of Project Online is accelerating and we get excited when people ask us tough technical questions about our new service. In this session, we’ll cover questions about Project Online with Project Pro for Office 365, such as:

  • Benefits of using an online service and how it’s different from on-premises
  • Migration from an on-premises environment
  • Licensing and security

Session 2: IT Pro

We can always count on our IT Pro audience to come prepared with a few good head-scratchers. In this session, we will cover questions that the IT Pro audience may have, such as:

  • Deployment
  • Administration
  • Upgrade

Session 3: Project Management Office

Of course, we really want to hear from our users and power users. In this session, we will cover questions about using Project in your organization, such as:

  • Demand Management
  • Portfolio Management
  • Custom Field / Lookup Tables
  • Resource Management

We look forward to seeing you at Project Conference!

Efren Edwards, Senior Content Developer

Last chance to register and earn 2 PDUs for upcoming Project Online events with Campana & Schott

Project logoRegister now for Project Online events with Project Gold Certified PPM Partner Campana & Schott on November 19, 20 and 21. These executive dinners will provide an extensive overview of how taking project management to the cloud helped customers reduce costs and enable visibility across the enterprise. Come for the event, gain firsthand cloud experience from a customer’s perspective, earn 2 professional development units (PDUs), and network with peers!

Registration closes November 18, so choose your event location now:

The events will be kicked off with a keynote by Bernard Morgan, Greater Southeast District Solution Sales Specialist for Microsoft Project. Afterwards, Larry Mead, Director of US Operations of Campana & Schott, will introduce Project Online based on the highlights from the Microsoft Chicago Project Conference. Based on the evaluation of the Hilti Corporation, a provider of leading-edge technology to the global construction industry (case study), Eric Schott, CEO of Campana & Schott, will lead the dinner discussion around bringing project management to the cloud with Project Online.

We are very excited to host these exclusive events for our customers! Space is limited, so register today and don’t miss this opportunity to attend this free event, earn 2 PDUs, and stay for the social!

Apply for a Project Design Time Session at Project Conference 2014

Project Design Time SessionsUpdate: All available Design Time slots are filled. Thank you for your interest. Note that you can still ask Microsoft experts questions at the three “Chalk Talk and Q&A sessions” at the conference.

Are you attending Project Conference 2014?

To enhance your conference experience, the Project Team is offering a limited number of dedicated solution-design sessions for individual customers.

These Design Time Sessions are intended to help IT professionals, and in some cases developers, envision and plan a solution based on Microsoft’s PPM products, including Project Online, Project Server 2013, and Project Professional 2013. These are FREE consulting sessions for selected nominees who are attending Project Conference 2014. Nominate your company today!

Sessions will last 60-90 minutes. Selected companies will meet with one or more product experts (Microsoft product team members, consultants, or certified subject-matter experts) to discuss solution goals, get advice on current challenges, and envision how to enhance existing solutions using the latest Microsoft PPM products. Project documentation team members (who publish content on TechNet, MSDN, and will facilitate the sessions.

We are currently recruiting customers who will be attending Project Conference 2014, and have technical questions about their PPM implementation that they’d like help with. For example, focus areas like business intelligence, enterprise-scale architectures, hybrid environments, or workflow, would be great candidates for these Design Time Sessions.

Those selected for a Design Time Session will meet with product experts who specialize in relevant focus areas and the session will be centered on specific design and implementation choices.

To be eligible to participate, you must meet the following criteria:

  • The person(s) you are nominating from your organization must be attending Project Conference 2014 in Anaheim.
  • Your organization must be planning or maintaining a solution that uses a Microsoft PPM product.
  • You must bring either a draft of your intended solution or a representation of your existing solution. For example, drafts can include the proposed physical topology, logical farm architecture, hierarchy of sites, plan for database sizing and settings, search settings, plan for security and isolation, etc.

To nominate your company or organization for a design session, send email to by December 6, 2013, and include the following information:

  • Name of your company or organization.
  • Contact information: name and title or role in your organization.
  • One or two focus area(s) you are interested in and any specific questions you have about that area now.
  • Brief description of your solution goals and the challenges you’d like to discuss in the Design Time session.

Due to a limited number of available sessions for each focus area, a small number of nominations will be accepted. We will review nominations and select those that best fit the focus area and will likely lead to meaningful discussions for both the organization and Microsoft.

Information shared with the product experts and documentation team either in email or during a design session will be treated confidentially. Selected participants will be contacted by a member of the Project Conference team with the day and time of your session by January 10, 2014.

We look forward to seeing you in February!

Top 10 sessions announced for Project Conference 2014

Project Conference 2014 logoProject Conference 2014 will be held on February 2-5 at the Anaheim Convention Center, right next to Disneyland. The highly anticipated event will bring together thought leaders, expert practitioners, sophisticated customers, and many more project professionals from across the project and PPM industry to make connections, learn from one another and get cutting edge insight from the Microsoft Project team.

Registration for the event is now open at the event website: We encourage attendees to make plans as early as possible to account for the popularity of the surrounding area as both Disneyland and greater Southern California are top travel destinations.

Top 10 Sessions

We had an unprecedented response to our call for content this year, with over 200 high-quality submissions. Choosing the right mix of sessions has been a challenging task but we’re confident that the lineup for Project Conference 2014 is better than ever before. Here are the top 10 headliner sessions, which will be complemented by over 80 more great sessions from industry experts, customers, partners, and our own engineering team.

Business track

Choose the right project and portfolio management solution for today and the future
Facilitator: Jan Kalis, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft

When it comes to project management, every individual, team, and organization has unique needs. Microsoft’s vision for project management is to enable individuals and teams to choose the tool that is the best fit for their specific project while still delivering the visibility that their organization needs to ensure focus on the right priorities. This session will help you understand how all the solutions across Office 365, SharePoint, and Project fit together so you can chart a realistic approach to project management for your organization that will deliver immediate value with an eye to the future.

Jan is a Product Marketing Manager for Microsoft Project & Visio and has more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry. Jan ran a training and development business before working in the European Microsoft subsidiary in various customer facing roles; he is very passionate about customer satisfaction and Microsoft Project Online. He’s been involved in many Microsoft Project deployments, created many sessions and demos for Microsoft Project, as has been a valued speaker at events across the world. Jan has 6 books published, MBA and MEE degrees, and you can find his blog at

ROI: Accelerating your time to value with Project Online
Facilitators: Tad Haas, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft and Cindy Lewis, Director of Knowledge Management, Advisicon
Get on the fast track to multiplying business value with Project Online. Economic justification and an analysis of both concrete and qualitative savings will be explored.

Tad is passionate about the positive impact project & portfolio management software has for today’s leading enterprises.  20 years of experience in business software working with senior IT and business leaders provides his foundation for customer value.   Guiding the Microsoft Project global partner strategy gives him insight to customer and partner success..

Cindy has been working in project management for over 20 years, and has in-depth expertise in lifecycle management, organizational project/portfolio process development and management, and customized curriculum development and execution. Cindy is a Microsoft Project MVP and has a long list of credentials and accomplishments establishing her as one of the foremost experts in the project and portfolio management industry.

10 reasons your CEO will thank you for upgrading to the latest Microsoft Project
Facilitator: Mark Sargeant, Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft
Discover the Project 2013 value pillars and explore the differences between older versions with a focus on high-value business processes. Improvements in scheduling, reporting, resource management, communication and collaboration will be highlighted in the context of driving project value through Project and Office 365.

Mark is the product manager for Project Professional and Project Standard while focusing broadly on digital marketing strategy across the Project and Visio products. He came to the Project Team last year after spending four years with Microsoft as a software development engineer in the Commerce Platform and Pinpoint teams. He has an MS in Computer Engineering and an MBA.

Why Hilti, the leading-edge technology provider to the global construction industry, chose project and portfolio management in the cloud: A customer case study
Facilitator: Christian Budendick, Head of Workplace Platform Services, Hilti
The Hilti Corporation provides innovative technology solutions to the construction industry across 120 countries. To deliver leading-edge technology to its customers, it needed the latest technology to manage its own projects in an efficient and scalable way. Hilti decided to deploy Microsoft Project Online, a cloud service for project portfolio management to build up and benefit from a centralized project portfolio. The systems allows a department-wide capacity and resource management.

This presentation gives you an overview of experiences made during the deployment of Project Online at Hilti. Read more about the Microsoft Project Online Hilti case study.

Dr. Budendick is a thought leader both at Hilti and in the greater project management profession. His understanding of the pros and cons of shifting IT infrastructure to the cloud is progressive and grounded in years of experience as an enterprise leader.

Product track

What’s new in Project 2013 client
Facilitator: Heather O’Cull, Sr. Program Manager Lead, Microsoft
Come learn about the new features available in Project 2013 so you can impress your boss, deliver your projects on-time and under-budget and be the envy of all your co-workers.

Heather has worked on Project for nine years owning features from the timeline to ribbons to client reporting. She is currently the lead for the Project client and project manager experiences.

Introducing Project Online, a new Office 365 Service
Facilitator: Mike McLean, Microsoft
Project Online is the Office 365 service that enables teams and organizations to manage their day-to-day work, plan mission critical projects and prioritize portfolio investments to maximize business value. This session provides an overview of Project Online and Project Server 2013 functionality now available through Office 365. We will be spending a significant amount of time demonstrating Project Online – so don’t miss it!

Mike McLean is a Senior Program Manager on the Microsoft Project team.  He has most recently shipped Project Online, a Office 365 service. 

Building stellar project dashboards with Microsoft Visio
Facilitator: Krishna Mamidipaka, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft
With Visio Pro for Office 365 and SharePoint, organizations can create highly intuitive and customized dashboards to visualize the general status and health of your ongoing projects. In this session, you will learn how to get started on this visualization journey by building your own Project KPI dashboards and share the same with others within and outside of your organization. A must attend!!

Krishna is responsible for Product Management and Marketing for Microsoft Visio. He works closely with the Engineering teams, Customers, Partners, Microsoft sales and marketing professionals around the world. Prior to his current role, he spent over 8 years at IBM as a Senior Manager within their emerging products group.

Technical track

Microsoft Project Server 2013: Architecture drilldown
Facilitator: Chris Boyd, Sr. Program Manager Lead, Microsoft
Want to gain a better understanding of how Project Server works under the user interface? Get an introductory tour to the Project Server architecture and the various components that make up the server. This session will provide insights into the design decisions that were made and also touch on how the architecture is leveraged with Microsoft’s own Project Server deployment, Project Online. Prepare yourself for administrating your own Project Server deployment by gaining a deeper understanding of all the pieces that make up the server and how they interact.

Chris joined the Project team in 2005 and has worked on several server infrastructure features including programmability, architecture improvements and performance. He is currently the lead for Project Online.

Microsoft Project Server 2013 deployment best practices
Facilitator: Raphael Ax, Premier Field Engineer, Microsoft
The session covers the best practices for Project Server 2013 Deployments evaluated as a Premier Field Engineer at our Enterprise customers in EMEA. The content focuses on the steps and considerations for planning & executing the deployment of a well-designed Project Server infrastructure. It details the experiences we have made for different customer scenarios and requirements. Additionally the session shows the further tools and techniques which can be used to optimize the operation of a Project Server 2013 environment.

Raphael has been a Premier Field Engineer and EMEA Technology Manager for Project Server at Microsoft GBS in Germany since 2009, and previously worked for over three years as a consultant and project manager at a German Microsoft Gold partner, implementing Project & Portfolio Management solutions for enterprise customers. His focus is supporting German enterprise customers deploying and operating Microsoft Project Server environments. He also leads the IP and readiness development activities of Microsoft’s EMEA Project Server support delivery team.

Real world reporting: Microsoft Project Online / Microsoft Project Server 2013 business intelligence overview
Facilitator: Mike McLean, Sr. Program Manager, Microsoft
Learn how Project Online and Project Server 2013 leverages SharePoint’s new business intelligence capabilities to provide easy, yet powerful, reporting options for the enterprise. See how Project Server data can be surfaced in real-time reports and dashboards using tools such as Excel 2013, Excel Services, PowerPivot and OData!

Mike has been involved with several areas of Project Server, including Business Intelligence and SharePoint Integration, and recently shipped Project Online. Prior to working on Project, Mike helped ship the initial release of SharePoint Online where he owned provisioning of the SharePoint service in Office 365. Mike previous work at Microsoft includes PerformancePoint Services and Microsoft Dynamics, focused on financial reporting and analytics. When he doesn’t have his head in the (Office 365) clouds, Mike can be found spending time with his wife and 3 kids, running, or trying to play guitar.

Test yourself with the Visio Racing Game

Alexander Matyushenko is a Product Marketing Manager on the Microsoft Visio team.

Think you know Visio? Test your knowledge with the Visio Racing Game. Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran user, during your next break from work take a couple of laps in the Visio car and brush up on fun facts.

As you drive, you’ll check your knowledge of the new Visio. When you answer questions correctly, you can upgrade your car to get an edge on the competition.

You can unlock up to 8 different upgrades to your car, such as lights, tires, and even turbo! With a few right answers you’ll have everything you need to get to the top of our leader board.

Don’t worry if you don’t know the right answer, just keep racing and we’ll show you all the correct answers after you cross the finish line.

You also can challenge your colleagues and friends to test their knowledge. Finish the race and then send an invitation to your opponent. When they accept, they’ll race against your best score.

Check out the Visio Racing Game at and enjoy your racing experience! Learn more about the new Visio at

–Alexander Matyushenko, Product Marketing Manager

Get started quickly with the Visio 2013 trial

Originally published in October 2013, this post was updated in April 2014 to include simplified installation steps.

The Visio 2013 trial is available in 2 formats to meet your needs: subscription service or traditional download.

Visio trial via Office 365

Visio Pro for Office 365 is a subscription service and can be easily downloaded to most personal computers. You can sign up for a 1-month trial of Visio Pro for Office 365 that will give you the always up-to-date experience of click-to-run in Office 365, and it’s easy to continue your paid subscription after the trial period expires. We recommend this option for most users. Here are a few tips to help get started successfully.

New user accounts

New users or current small and mid-sized business subscribers (with E1 or E2 plans) should create a new user account.

Once an account is created, you can set up your service:

  1. In the Dashboard, click the Set up link.
  2. In the Quick Start section, click Start.
  3. Choose the appropriate domain, then click Next.
  4. Click the Add users and assign licenses link.
  5. If you are the only user, choose I don’t want to add users right now.  If you would like to create new user accounts with temporary passwords, choose Add users one at a time.
  6. Click the Start using your services link, then click Done.

To download Visio, click the Download link on the left side of the Office 365 Admin Center, or click the gear icon in the upper right, and choose from the subsequent menus Office 365 settings > Software > Visio.

Note: It may take a few minutes to provision the Visio license.

Add trial licenses to existing user accounts

If you are an existing Office 365 Enterprise Subscriber (E3 plan and above), please sign in with an existing account. Then, simply click Add or Purchase Visio Pro for Office 365 for your subscription as a trial.

Now, add the Visio license to a user: Sign in to the Office 365 admin center, click users and groups, and then click the user’s Display Name.

On the Assign Licenses page, select Visio Pro for Office 365 and then click Save.

Now that the trial license has been assigned to a user, on the right side of the Admin page, click Download Software.

Installation from Office 365 

Determine which version of Office is installed on your machine by following these steps.

If your version of Office is 32 bits, simply click the Install button. If your version of Office is 64 bits, then select advanced, choose 64 bit, and then click Install.

Visio trial via TechNet download

If you are a bit more technical or plan a traditional 1-time purchase of the full software license, you can download the trial software through our TechNet Evaluation Center site. Like many common software trials, this installation will eventually expire and require that you enter an activation key for continued use.

Here are a few steps to follow for a smooth installation of the TechNet trial.

Choose the right version

Some confusion can arise if there is a mismatch between a version of Office already installed on your computer and the new Visio version. First, check whether you are running 32-bit or 64-bit Office. Then, when beginning the Visio download, choose the corresponding version of Visio. Here’s a screenshot that indicates how to choose the correct version.

Save your trial key

Once signed in, you will receive a trial product key along with an option to download the trial package.

The most common product key issues can be addressed as follows:

  • Product key not visible in browser. Sometimes, there are issues in rendering the product key. To fix this issue, you can simply reset your browser settings.
  • Product key lost or corrupted. If the product key is lost or damaged, follow a few simple steps to replace the key.

Installation steps

The TechNet trial of Visio 2013 is available for download in simple .exe format. Once the download is complete, double-click the .exe file to install Visio.


If there are problems with installation, please review the document General troubleshooting for installing Office 2013 and Office 365.

Persisting problems may require a re-installation of Office and Visio by following these steps and re-installing after reboot.

Problems with licenses and activation are addressed in General troubleshooting for licenses & activation.

Note: Third-party tools mentioned here are offered only for reference and convenience. Microsoft does not endorse or assume liability for their use.

— Contributions from Saurabh Kumar and Abhishek Dhasmana

Touch for Visio: Now professional diagrams are just a few swipes away

Steve Birge is a Technical Writer 2 on the Microsoft Visio team.

Using a touch device like a tablet or phone? You can still work with Visio, doing the same actions on the drawing page that you can do with a mouse.

This video shows how touch gestures let you do common Visio tasks, such as move, size or rotate shapes, enter text, use Autoconnect, or make changes to multiple shapes.

Can’t view this video? You can also watch it on YouTube.

There’s more information on about using touch in Visio and other Office programs:

Steve Birge, Technical Writer 2

Save the date: Join us for Project Conference 2014 in Anaheim, CA

Project Conference is back by popular demand: Mark your calendar now to join us February 2-5 for Project Conference 2014. After over 1,000 people from around the world made Project Conference 2012 a huge success in Arizona, our expectations are even higher for an excellent event this time around in Anaheim, California–right next door to the happiest place on earth and just a quick trip from some of North America’s most loved beaches. Have a look at our quick teaser video packed with pictures from last time!

Can’t view this video? You can also watch it here.

How can you get to Project Conference 2014?

That’s the question everyone is asking. Simply click through to the official Project Conference 2014 website and submit your email address to be notified when tickets go on sale.

Start connecting with Project Conference attendees on our LinkedIn Group or join the broader conversation with #ProjConf on Twitter @msftProject.

It’s time to anticipate greatness. The countdown to Project Conference 2014 has begun!

Creating contextual dashboards in Visio

Ankit Tomar is a Program Manager on the Microsoft Visio team.

Dashboards are important business tools that provides real-time graphical representation of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for business processes. Each dashboard conveys current status in a graphical manner, which helps surface problems and aids quick decision-making.

Usually a dashboard is presented as a collection of metrics with color coding that conveys whether the KPIs are being met. The metrics can be more meaningful and decision-making can be easier if data is visually represented to show it within the context of the business process.

A customer call center is an example of a business process that requires quick decision-making based on multiple metrics.  A conventional call center dashboard will typically present the KPIs as follows:

A conventional dashboard showing metrics.

While this representation tells how the metrics are measuring up, it doesn’t give enough context and information about the source of the problem and the next steps required to fix possible issues. Compare this with the following dashboard created using Visio:

A contextual dashboard in Visio showing information on top of a floor plan.

This dashboard is created by layering the KPIs over the call center’s floor plan. It displays exactly where all employees are sitting, employee presence information, and call status. It is not only easy to recognize if there is an issue that needs attention, but also to see additional information on where the issue is.

For example, a quick look at the dashboard shows that Roger, who is handling calls for Energies, needs help. Clicking his “cubicle” reveals his physical location and other call-specific details, such as current call time. Based on this information, the call center manager can quickly make a decision about resolving the issue.

Example call center dashboard.

Here are the 5 steps to convert any schematic into a contextual dashboard:

In this call center example, we started with the following floor plan:

Example call center floor plan.

Note: If you don’t have a floor plan in a Visio file format, you can easily import other formats like AutoCad files (.dwg, .dxf) into Visio. You can also create a floor plan using built-in Visio stencils on the Maps and Floor Plans tab. We created the above floor plan using the Cubicles, Office Furniture and Walls, Doors and Windows stencils.

Converting the diagram into a dashboard using Visio Services

You can connect to a data source, link shapes to data and apply data graphics in a Visio organization chart, and you can also convert that data-linked diagram into a dashboard.

Visio Services allows you to set a data-linked diagram to refresh at a periodic interval and share it broadly with others who may not have Visio installed.

To convert our call center diagram into a dashboard, upload the diagram file to the same SharePoint server where the data source is located. Create a web page, then insert a web part. To do this, click Insert, then click Web Part, under the Business Data tab, click Visio Web Access. Now open the tools pane for the web part and configure it to display your diagram by browsing to it and placing its URL in Web Drawing URL. You can also configure other things, such as refresh interval, interaction behavior, and information you want to show.

Dashboard on SharePoint.

The dashboard is now ready to be shared with others to help improve efficiency in the context you choose.

Ankit Tomar, Program Manager

Jumpstart professional process diagramming with Visio Professional 2013 and Visio Pro for Office 365

Yana Terukhova is a Product Marketing Manager on the Microsoft Visio team.

Successful Business Process Management (BPM) initiatives start with process diagrams, and the new Visio can help business analysts create great-looking, professional process diagrams fast.

Familiar look and feel

Visio has the look and feel of other Microsoft Office applications, so you can find and access the features and tools you need quickly. The Microsoft Office Fluent user interface groups features and tools logically, and makes them visible in your workspace.

Office Fluent user interface in Visio

Format and modify diagrams quickly

Productivity features help you format and modify diagrams fast in the new Visio. Whether you are creating a diagram from scratch, or adding and deleting shapes in an existing diagram,  you can place, connect, and align shapes quickly and accurately with features such as the Quick Shapes Mini Toolbar.

Quick Shapes mini-toolbar

Automated alignment features

With the Duplicate Page feature, you can right- click a page and create a copy–a replica of the content and design features of the original page in a brand new page.

Duplicate Page feature

Variety of themes and effects

Hundreds of new themes and effects are available straight out of the box to help you create professional-looking, customized diagrams. Themes and variants are available on the Design tab.

Design tab with multiple themes

BPMN2.0 diagram with sketch effect theme

BPMN2.0 diagram with an alternate theme

New and updated templates and shapes

The new Visio has an array of new and updated templates and shapes based on the latest standards, such as Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) 2.0, Unified Modeling Language (UML) 2.4, and Windows Workflow Foundation 4.0, as well as basic templates such as cross-functional flowcharts and basic workflows.

Tell us what you think

Let us know in the comments what you think of the new Visio and how you’re putting it to work for you, as well as any tips or tricks you’ve learned along the way.

Yana Terukhova, Product Marketing Manager

Data-linked diagrams: Multiple data graphics with a single shape

Yana Terukhova is a Product Marketing Manager on the Microsoft Visio team.

Visio makes it easy to build visually compelling organization charts and enhance them to meet your specific business needs. You can create a data-linked diagram connected to your organization’s key business indicators and then make sure your information is always current by linking it from an external source. Then you can display the information with data graphics. You can bring even more business insight into your diagram by showing multiple data graphics with a single shape.

Shapes can be associated with a single data point—for example, the percent of budget spent by employee—but you can also create diagrams where each shape shows multiple data points, such as the number of employees in each department, sales attainment for employees in revenue-generating roles or other metrics that are important in your organization.

There are a few different ways to do this, but the most simple is to add multiple data elements to a single data graphic. For example, if we wanted to show the number of employees in each department on our organization chart, we could edit our existing data graphic and add a text call out under the main shape.

Visio allows you to specify where you’d like data graphics to show up on shapes–just uncheck the Use default position box and select a position that is better suited to what you are hoping to achieve.  In this case, we chose the Center, Below Shape position.

If you want to change the fill of the data graphic, select that element and change the fill as you would for any other shape.

With our organization chart we can create a diagram that represents multiple dimensions of data in an easy-to-follow format. The first thing to think about is whether the Coin diagram type is the best way of representing data. In situations where I’m showing multiple data graphics per person, I like to use shapes that are open. In this case, I’ll switch to the Bound style. (Go to the Org Chart tab to select the shape style that best fits your needs.)

You may need to use the height and width controls to make the shapes large enough hold the data graphics you’d like. Once you have the shapes looking the way you’d like, you can use the layout controls to adjust spacing between shapes.

Considering the amount and variety of information we want to display on this diagram, and that the data graphics are usually very visual and colorful, we can switch to Simple design for the diagram itself. (Go to the Design tab to select the design style that best fits your needs.) This way we can read our business-intelligent diagram most effectively.

Using Ashima as an example, you can see we added three additional shapes to the organization chart, grouped them, and applied data graphics to them:

Note that not every data graphic needs to be applied to every shape. In the organization chart example, only some employees produce revenue, so they have sales metrics attached to their names, while other employees do not.

Here is our final dynamic data-linked diagram:

Use Visio Services to share your diagram with others and make it available to everyone, from nearly any device.

Yana Terukhova, Product Marketing Manager