There are several types of flowcharts, including diagrams that represent the steps, sequences, and decisions in a process. The simplest form of an important process map is in a flowchart. There are many types of flowcharts, however. In multiple fields, it can be used for planning, visualizing, documenting, and improving processes.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) first learned of this tool in 1921 when Frank Gilbreth and Lillian Gilbreth introduced it. To optimize processes across various industries, flowcharts have since been refined and standardized.
Here you can find information about the different types of flowcharts and flowchart symbols. Flowchart diagrams will also be shown and we will provide a few examples for inspiration.
Use of flowcharts
There are a variety of scenarios in which flowcharts can be helpful, including:
Creating a flowchart of the process is one of the best ways to map out and document a collaborative project.
Visualize and simplify complex ideas and processes
Because a complex and lengthy process document will not be readily accessible to everyone on your team. Everyone can follow the flowchart, understand the tasks, and analyze the individual steps with ease.
How do workflows work? Here are some steps to get you started
1. Assign tasks and organize your team effectively
You can more easily assign tasks to team members and organize your team’s work if you visually represent a process.
Justify your decisions
It’s often easier to make decisions when they’re mapped out using flowcharts. The flowchart can also help you anticipate and justify the next steps based on the consequences of your decision.
2 Flowchart Types Most Common
Though there are an infinite number of variations and versions of flowcharts, there are four types that are particularly popular and versatile. Because the programing a Using these four common diagrams, you can explain business processes, demonstrate how organizations function or show how departments work together.
Process Flowcharts or Communication Flow Charts
Computer software uses the following diagrams:
- UML is a language used in software engineering to model systems.
- Structured computer programming with Nassi-Shneiderman Diagrams. They developed it in 1972 at SUNY-Stony Brook and named it after Isaac Nassi and Ben Shneiderman. Also known as Structograms.
- Charts using DRAKON: DRAKON is a visual programming language that produces algorithms.
A process flowchart can be used to illustrate how a process works or to plan a project
- Process flowcharts or flow diagrams are probably the most versatile of the four types of flowcharts, as they can be applied to virtually anything. An organization can quickly understand how things get done by using process flow diagrams or flow maps. Because these flowcharts can sometimes use a standard language or notation, like Business Process Modeling and Notation. Process flow diagrams are useful for:
- To gain clarity within an organization, identify roles and responsibilities.
- Inputs or processes that go into creating a finished product.
- Communicate how information is spread throughout an organization.
- Understand the scope and steps of a new project or process by drafting a proposal.
- Display your morning routine as shown below.
- Diagrams and charts of workflow
Understand how your organization’s data and documents flow
Workflow charts show how a business or process operates. This example demonstrates how a potential customer can renew a policy online through a company’s website. But Workflow diagrams of this type are commonly used for:
- Provide new employees with training
- Potential problem areas can be identified this way
- so that new operating procedures can be developed
- so they can clarify business operations
Types of Flowcharts
Plan a New Project | Process Flowchart
A flowchart is often used to plan a new project. In addition to engineers and software designers, flowcharts may be useful to others as well. When there is a series of decisions involved in a project, they are particularly useful. The following flow chart illustrates this:
How to Document a Process Across Functional Groups | What is a Swimlane Flowchart?
Documentation of business processes is often required by internal or external stakeholders. A flowchart is an ideal tool for this purpose. the use of a flowchart can be much more efficient than a written narrative for everything from standard reporting to complying with government regulations.
Listed below are a few examples of external pressures that require documentation of processes:
- Automation of BPM (Business Process Management) requires documenting processes.
- Enterprise Resource Planning: Documenting processes is a vital part of the implementation process.
- To prepare a company for eventual sale, documentation of processes is imperative.
- Documentation is a key requirement for various laws and regulatory bodies, like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or the Joint Commission.
- A customer may require ISO or other quality certifications before doing business with you.
Flowcharts may also be used internally to document processes for other reasons.
- The right way to perform the job can be immediately learned by both new and existing employees.
- When each member of the team performs a task the same way, every time, results are predictable and consistent.
- The management has visibility into how each job is supposed to be completed.
- If you don’t know how your organization gets its work done now, you can’t improve it.
Workflow Management: What is a Workflow Process?
A workflow diagram is the best way to illustrate workflow management systems. Because systems can be designed to integrate processes, simplify human tasks, or both. Such Based on a set of standardized procedures, the objective is to produce consistent, quality output. This is an example of a workflow diagram:
EPC Diagrams: Modeling Business Processes
There is a wide range of business processes. Tasks may be simple or complex, covering a variety of situations. Modeling ensures that the process will work consistently and predictably. Because Event-driven process chains (EPCs) are used for documenting or modeling business processes. Here is a basic example:
EPC diagrams are specialized types of flowcharts for this purpose. There is an extensive library of symbols not found in traditional flowcharts. Find out more about event-driven process chain diagrams.
Computer algorithms and flowcharts
Flowcharts are useful when writing programs and explaining algorithms to others or collaborating on them with them. An algorithm flowchart can be used to outline the logic of an automated process before any coding is done. When it’s time to code, it can serve as a guide. To be more specific, flowcharts can:
- Logically organize the code.
- See how a program is executed.
- Understand a website’s or application’s structure.
- Discover how users navigate a website or application.
Sometimes programmers write pseudocode, a combination of human-readable natural language and computer language. As an alternative to the flowchart, this may provide greater detail and maybe the next step towards actual coding.
Flowcharts are used in a variety of other fields
Flowcharts are used in many different fields beyond computer programming.
You can work in any field:
- Analyze and document a process.
- Standardize the process for efficiency and quality.
- Explain how other areas of the organization can be trained or made aware of the process.
- Improve processes by eliminating bottlenecks, redundancies, and unnecessary steps.
- Coursework and academic requirements should be planned.
- Make a lesson plan or prepare an oral presentation.
- Lead a group project or work on an individual project.
- Describe a legal or civil process, such as voter registration.
- Plan and structure creative writing, such as poetry.
- Analyze literature and film to develop characters.
- Explain the flow of algorithms or logic puzzles.
- Gain a deeper understanding of a scientific process.
- Describe an anatomical process, such as digestion.
- Describe symptoms and treatments for diseases and disorders.
- Disseminate hypotheses and theories, such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.