|If you need a tool that draws
detailed sketches and diagrams or if you spend many hours drawing organisation charts with
Microsoft PowerPoint, then Visio is the solution for you. Visio Standard 5.0 is a drawing
program on steroids. This program includes an extensive collection of shapes to build
drawings, and can build flowcharts of business tasks, organisation charts, and Gantt-like
project-timeline charts. The power of Visio doesn't stop with the stock software package.
With add-on symbol libraries available through both Visio and third-party vendors, the
types of diagrams you can build are endless. For instance, an insurance claims adjuster
can invest in the accident-reconstruction symbol set, which contains symbols of common
items insurance investigators need to accurately build a diagram of a car-accident scene.
Business Bonus Pack Features
An add-on from Visio, the Business Bonus Pack for Visio Standard, now ships with version
5.0. This add-on is a collection of features designed to empower small businesses. The
Business Bonus Pack add-on contains new colour schemes and background designs for use on
your diagrams. Fifteen different layout plans and prelinked shapes and styles give flair
to otherwise dull organisation charts. The product lets you create cross-functional
flowcharts to design and document processes that span multiple departments within your
organisation. New simple timelines offer users the capability to create straight-line
timelines, in which the system automatically calculates project milestones. Finally, the
Business Bonus Pack add-on includes a tutorial designed to help users understand how to
use the product in their everyday business environment.
One feature of the Business Bonus Pack add-on is the calendar, which lets you create
visual layouts of project assignments. Icons, such as Star label, help indicate
special days and build visual cues into the diagram. Although the calendar is not a
substitute for a project timeline, it is useful for businesses that want to build diagrams
based on dates, such as a cafeteria that needs to display a large list of specials.
In the past, creating organisation charts using Visio was time-consuming. Now, Visio
Standard 5.0 with the Business Bonus Pack add-on offers a solution to create multi-page
organisation charts quickly and easily. For example, when you create a new chart, the
automatic layout feature instantly places any shapes you select on the page. The product
provides nine different diagram symbols to drag onto the drawing to build your
representationExecutive, Manager, Position, Consultant, Vacancy, Assistant, Team,
MultiStaff, and Staff. Also, the product contains an Organisation Chart Wizard that aids
in building the diagram and eliminates the need to manually build the drawing.
Installing and Using Business Bonus Pack
Installation of the product was seamless. I installed the product on my Windows NT
Workstation 4.0 host. After launching the installation program, a series of prompts asked
what components to install, my name, company name, and installation location. After I
answered these questions, the installation proceeded uninterrupted. After the installation
completed, I rebooted my computer. Using Visio Standard 5.0 with the Business Bonus Pack
add-on is simple. When you select Business Bonus Pack from the New menu and six options
appear, then click the symbol set you want to open.
After creating a calendar of my activities for early November, I opted to create an
organisation chart of my business. I used the Wizard option from the New menu to create
this chart. By answering a few simple questions, I built a full organisation chart
available for printing. I then went into the drawing and made manual modifications to
enhance the aesthetic appeal of the chart. The process was quick and easy.
This functionality is great and benefits the small-business NT user. Consider Visio
Standard 5.0 with the Business Bonus Pack add-on a horizontal-market software application
rather than a vertical-market application. From this perspective, the product builds upon
features in NT Server and complements NT with a feature set that small-business users will
Considering its feature set, Visio Standard 5.0's price is reasonable and will not
bankrupt a small business. Visio Standard 5.0 includes the Business Bonus Pack add-on, and
current Visio users can download the Business Bonus Pack add-on free from Visio's Web
site. Visio Standard 5.0 is a full-featured application that small businesses in
many markets can use to empower their NT environments