Flow charts are a great way to present information that can be complicated. They allow viewers to see all the different steps organized while also going back and forth between each stage if they need more detail. Flowcharts can range from hand-drawn simple charts to computer software-driven charts depicting multiple routes and fields.
Types of Flow Chart:
- Process Flow Chart: A process flowchart is a diagram that illustrates the steps of an activity or the progression of data. The purpose of this diagram is to show what happens, step-by-step, to achieve a particular goal. Process diagrams are used for designing complicated systems and documenting how they work.
- Swimlane Flow Chart: A swim lane flowchart is a work process diagram that organizes the tasks and responsibilities of a project or business function into different lanes. Swimlane charts can be used to create a visual representation of how an organization operates, so it’s essential to have one in place before any significant changes are made. You can use these charts in any situation where there are multiple steps involved. Each step needs one person or team of people responsible for completing it, such as:
- A company’s recruitment process.
- The production flow for a product like shoes.
- A website content marketing strategy.
- Decision Flow Chart: A decision flowchart template is an excellent tool for any business or organization to make decisions. It will help you stay focused on the best way forward, and it will also make sure that all of your bases are covered before you make a final choice.
- Dataflow Diagram: Dataflow diagrams are a visual way of showing how data moves through an information system. They can be used to show the flow of data from one function or operation to another. A data flow diagram is a graphical representation that shows both the logical and physical aspects of a process, and it is often used in software engineering and systems analysis. It can also be used to show how different components work together and what they do with the data that passes through them.
- Workflow Diagram: A workflow diagram represents the sequence and interaction of tasks within a system, which could be as simple as a software application or as complex as an organizational chart. A typical use for a workflow diagram is to show the steps involved in accomplishing some tasks. Workflow diagrams can also be used to identify potential bottlenecks and logical errors in systems by showing them visually.
When do you need a Flow Chart?
- Process Documentation: Many regulated and non-regulated small and large businesses use flowcharts for documentation purposes. Training materials can be created from flowcharts because they are easy to understand. A suitably formatted flowchart gains the reader’s attention and conveys more information than a block of texts.
- Better Workflow Management: The workflows in your office are an essential part of what makes your company function. They govern how employees interact with one another, and when they do, that interaction is usually the most productive. This flowchart will help you figure out where to start when managing and improving processes for better workflow management. Once you have identified areas for process improvement, you can create your workflow chart for a linear process.
- Programming and Algorithms: Flowcharts help write a program, algorithms, explaining it to others, and collaborating on it. Flowcharts are often used in programming to show how data moves from one part of an application to another. It shows the logic of an algorithm by breaking it down into steps and following them from top to bottom.
- Troubleshooting: Troubleshooting guides for your software, hardware, or other technical products can be a massive customer asset. They provide step-by-step instructions on what to do if something goes wrong with their product. With flowcharts and illustrations that explain the process clearly and concisely, troubleshooting guides are easy enough for even novice users to understand.
Fields that Require Flow Chart:
Flowcharts are widely used in different fields, but the following are some most famous fields that use flowcharts.
- Sales and Marketing: Flowcharts provide a visual representation of the steps that need to be taken for a sale or marketing campaign to be successful. It can be used to visualize the process and provide an overview for everyone involved in the sale. The chart includes information like product details, pricing, discounts, payment options, etc.
- Business: The flowchart represents the process by which a company creates and delivers its products or services. The flowchart can be used for simple or complex processes and helps illustrate how things work in an organization. It starts with the owner, and then moves to the employees, and finally the customers.
- Manufacturing: There are many aspects to manufacturing. One of the most critical is how products get from raw materials to finished goods. This cannot be very easy for companies with multiple production sites, but it doesn’t need to be. A flowchart simplifies this process by mapping all the steps in a linear path.
How to Create a Basic Flow Chart ?
- Define a scope: What are your goals? Why do you need a flowchart? Make sure you create good start and endpoints to which will lead you to its purpose. Keep your purpose as detailed as possible and brainstorm the activities to be implemented to achieve the goals.
- Create the tasks in chronological order: Identify the task that needs to be grouped and create them based on their priority level.
- Draw your chart: Initially, create a rough sketch of your chart displaying the process from start to end to understand the steps. Use software programs like lucid chart, Microsoft Visio that will assist you in creating your diagram.
- Review: Review the flowchart by walking others through the steps (Stakeholders, business leaders, customers) to get their acknowledgment on your flowchart. Once everything is agreed upon upgrade the design and format to make a final version of the flowchart.