This article will help you to know the reasons why using a flowchart can be helpful to you. I have listed 5 points where you will get to know the purpose of using a flowchart and how it can make things simpler for you. I have also explained the purpose of the flowchart briefly. At the end of the article, you will also learn about some flowchart-making tools. Read the full article to know more.
Before we discuss the 5 times how using a flowchart can actually make sense to you, let’s first get to know about a flowchart briefly. So, what is a flowchart?
Flowchart – What is it?
A flowchart, as the name suggests, is a representation of any process/work in a step-by-step manner, i.e. in a flow. It is a diagram that is used to represent the entire process and progression with the help of symbols and connecting lines.
Flowcharts can help you to understand a process or system in a better manner. They provide you with a clear idea of how a process or system will move forward step by step. The main purpose of a flowchart is to document and understand the process more easily.
Now that you have understood what a flowchart is, let me just point out the basic and most important rules you should keep in mind while designing a flowchart. These are:
- Make sure that your flowchart is formatted from left to right or top to bottom.
- You need to use symbols in your flowchart and also ensure that you are using the right symbols. (rectangles represent processes, diamonds represent decisions, and the start and end shapes of the flowchart should be identical.
- Make sure that you do not overlap your return lines in the flowchart.
- Check if the spacing between the symbols is consistent.
These were some important rules while making a flowchart. Now, let’s know about the 5 times where using a flowchart actually makes sense.
- Documenting the Process/ System / Materials.
- Managing your workflow
- Communicating your process in a more simple and effective manner.
- To study a particular project to improve the workflow
To learn more, we recommend reading further on Zenflowchart.com who have written an ultimate flowchart guide with lots of examples and details.
I have explained each of the points below to help you understand these better and get a clear idea about the significance of flowcharts for these points.
1 . Documenting the Process/ System / Materials
The application of a flowchart in documenting the process/system can be helpful for the smaller as well as the larger organisations. As an organisation, it is very important to be organised to perform the operations effectively.
Documenting the materials required with the help of flowcharts can make the system engaging and easy to comprehend. A systematic flow chart will also standardise the process and help to regulate the quality of the work instructions. In simple terms, an organisation will be able to elevate its organisation standards and also make the workflow easier.
2. Managing Your Workflow
The most important thing you need to do to manage your workflow is to analyse your work process and take charge of the work process involved in your organisation or business. For this to happen,you need to follow systematic processes designed in a step by step manner. You need to track your progression in order to find the loophole if any.
This also helps to manage the efficacy and minimise the chances of errors or wastage. You can design flowcharts according to the needs of your business or organisation and can also alter the processes, if required,from time to time.
3. Communicating Your Process in a More Simple and Effective Manner
This is important to make sure that the complicated processes or systems can be communicated effectively so that the desired outcome is achieved. If any process, no matter how good it is, is something which cannot be understood easily makes no sense. Whether high-end or low-end, the process should be something, which can be communicated easily and decoded easily by the receiver.
Flowcharts not just simplify the communication, but also give visuals to help understand things better. This, in turn, makes sure that any idea or system is executed correctly.
Flow Charts can be widely used when planning a project. You can design an outline of your project from the start to the end using flowcharts one after the other. Project planning is not a simple process, it involves planning, resources, budgets, scope, and other factors are counted in while planning a project.
Flow Charts can make complicated project planning easier. It will also help you to make others understand the project better. You can give a vision of the project, which steps lead to the other, the drawbacks, the risks involved in any steps- all these can be represented in a flow chart. This avoids confusion, and people can understand the processes and the outcomes of the project without any confusion.
Project managers widely use flow charts when they are planning a project, to make sure the initiation, explanation, and the execution of the project is carried out properly.
5. To study the project and improve the workflow
Now, let me explain this point. Since, now you have understood from the above that flow charts help in planning, managing any process/ system / workflow, you should also know that flow charts also help to get the detail of each step or process involved.This helps you to study each of the individual processes in detail.
The process can thus become more quick, and most importantly, can be used correctly. If there is any flaw, at any step, it can be rectified. You can study the whole process, take actions accordingly, improve anything you want, so that the quality and productivity increases.
Studying each of the individual processes in detail ensures that you don’t miss out on anything. You can also remove any step which is too complex or not required. Thus, with the help of flow charts, you can deal with problems and also improve the performance.
So, these were the 5 points where you can use flowcharts effectively to help you. Flowcharts help you to view and give a bigger picture of the process/ system. It is a toll that can be used for many purposes. Here, I discussed with you 5 important uses of flowcharts. But, there are definitely more.
Types of Flowcharts
There are different types of flowcharts – PERT chart, Workflow flowchart, Event-Driven Process Chain Flowchart, Data Flow Diagram, Swimlane diagram, the process map, the functional flowchart, and more. You can research more about it depending on the kind of flowchart you want to design.
Tools for Flowchart Makers
So now you know about flowcharts, their importance, and their 5 primary usage. But, you must be wondering where to make flowcharts. So, here are some free flowchart makers for you where you can design your flowcharts as you want.
The tools are:
- Google Drawings
These tools can be used for free. If you want to use more features, you can buy the paid version of these tools too.
So, this was about flowcharts and about the 5 situations where you can use flowcharts and make your workflow quicker and more effective. I hope this article seemed useful to you.