What is a flowchart?
We usually create flowchart diagram to represent the sequence of activities, thought processes, movements, and more for someone who has to finish something or arrive at a given conclusion. Troubleshooting, step-by-step instructions, and other related procedures may be presented to your audience using flowcharts software.
Why Use Flowcharts?
Flowchart enables a better understanding of the work step sequence in the process. This helps identify bottlenecks and potential repair areas. Flowcharts are useful at every stage to learn project lifecycle: define measure, analyze, improve, and control.
Flowcharts can also be used in the company as a validation tool or as a milestone. If employees want to change or update a process, executives could request that one of the deliverables be an updated flowchart showing the benefits and changes that would result from approving the new process.
What symbols are used to create flowchart?
Process is the most commonly used symbol to create flowcharts, denoting an action within the process. It indicates that a specific work step is performed here and often contains a title for this specific activity.
Sub-Process is used for a sub-process of a procedure that is already documented. It informs that more than one work step is required here and that these are documented elsewhere, i,e in a different process flowchart or processor work instruction. This symbol should only be used if the sub-process it refers to has already been documented.
Decision – marks a point in a process where a decision must be made. Typically, this revolves around a yes or no decision, i.e. checking a condition or a situational branch of the process.
Terminator – symbol shows where the process begins and ends. Especially, it is useful when a flowchart spans multiple pages. The Terminator’s form sometimes includes a trigger that starts the rest of the process.
Preparation – a hexagon indicates that a process step is in preparation for something else, such as making a new software package available for testing.
Manual processing – useful especially where most actions are electronic or automated, such as in automotive manufacturing, to show which part of the line is operated by humans and which by robots.
Delay – indicates where a wait occurs. You can use this symbol to identify potential waste generated in your process.
Connector – marks a jump from one process to another. It can be used to indicate that an inspection or audit has taken place or is required including part of another process.
Document or Multi-Document – show that a step in your process creates one or more documents, e.g. B. as part of a batch process.
Display – indicates where information is displayed as part of a process, e.g. B. a login verification or a message displayed to a manager to approve timesheets.
Data – used to show where inputs and outputs go in and out of a process, e.g. B. a user starting an engine or turning on the power supply.
Manual Entry – used to represent a step that involves the manual entry of information by a person (typically using a machine).
Or – differs from the decision diamond symbol in that it indicates a branching of the process, usually in more than two directions.
Confluence – since processes can branch due to decisions/or shapes, they could also come back together. When multiple branches of a workflow come back together, you can use this icon to indicate this.
Data Collector – used when there is a need to collect and organize data or material in a process in a standard format.
Data Sorting – used to indicate that information or materials must be arranged in a specific order.
How to create flowchart?
Although knowing the symbols is enough to create flowchart, you may also consider the key points below to ensure your flowchart accurately reflects the process from everyone’s perspective.
Steps to create Flowchart
1: Process definition
Along with defining the scope of the process and naming the parties involved.
2: List the process steps
Order process steps in which they will be presented. In many cases, this requires you to take a tour of your business premises to see how a case is being processed.
3: Translate steps into symbols on a diagram
Use the available icons to visualize your workflow. In most cases, the people using them will be familiar with the meaning of the symbols.
4: Create flowchart and share it with your team
Createflowchart and ask your team to review it: Did you miss something? Did you do something wrong? Do you have anything to add? It’s not always easy to be objective and ask others for their feedback.