A flowchart is a graphical representation of a process, system, or workflow that shows the sequence of steps involved in achieving a specific goal or completing a task. In the context of business, flowcharts are commonly used to visualize business processes, identify potential problems or bottlenecks, and improve operational efficiency.
Flowcharts are important because they provide a clear and concise visual representation of a process, system, or workflow. They help to identify inefficiencies, redundancies, and potential areas for improvement, and enable stakeholders to better understand the overall process. Flowcharts are best used as a tool for communication, collaboration, and problem-solving.
A flowchart typically includes the following elements:
There are several benefits to using a flow chart in business, including:
Terminators are your start and end points in your flow chart. The start terminator indicates the point at which the process begins, whether that be when you reach a certain amount of money or a specific date. The end terminator is when your goal, a time limit, or objective is reached. Since they are both terminators, they should share a shape/color in the flowchart for organizational purposes.
The next step after the start terminator is the process. What will you be doing first to reach your end terminator? What’s after that? These are actionable items that will guide your process later.
After the process has been completed, it’s time to analyze. Compile the data accumulated from your process and pick out what metrics are important to focus on.
Now that you have all of your data and have decided what numbers matter most, you can make a decision. Based on the data you have, which path will you take now? Use connectors to determine possible paths branching off of your flowchart.
Make sure to note and record how the experiment went, what you learned, and the final decision you made. It’s important to document all of this information so you can refer back to it for similar future tests.
There are several different types of flowcharts, including process flowcharts, swimlane flowcharts, data flow diagrams, and workflow diagrams.
Yes, flowcharts can be used in project management to visualize project workflows, identify potential problems, and improve project efficiency.
Flowcharts should be updated whenever a process or workflow is changed or updated. It is important to keep flowcharts up-to-date to ensure that all stakeholders are following the most current procedures.
Yes, flowcharts can be used in quality management to identify inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement, standardize processes, and ensure that quality standards are being met.