Made with
Related Solutions

How to Draw a Flowchart

How to draw a flowchart

Are you confused on how to draw a flow chart? Here are some guidelines which can be used to ease the process of understanding the system and its flow.

Most of us don't know how to deal with flow charts when we are novice users but with the passage of time and experience we gain expertise. A good flow chart helps to understand the systematic flow of information in the system. If a flow chart is not created properly then it may mislead the designer of the system or may result in fatigue consequences. Therefore, it is very important that you create flow chart with caution and expertise. I would always suggest you to use flow chart to ease the process of understanding the system and its flow.

Although there are many symbols that can be used in flowcharts to represent different kinds of steps, accurate flowcharts can be created using very few (e.g. Process, Decision, Start, delay, cloud).

The basic element of a flowchart is a simple action, which can be anything from striking an anvil to making a cash payment, and is represented as a box containing a description of the action. The mapping of 'what follows what' is shown with arrows between sequential action boxes, as in the illustration. This also shows the boxes for flowchart start and end points of which there are normally one each.

Basic flowchart elements

Fig. 1. Basic Flowchart elements

Processes become more complex when decisions must be made on which, out of an alternative set of actions, must be taken. The decision is shown in a Flowchart as a diamond-shaped box containing a simple question to which the answer is 'yes' or 'no' as in Fig. 2. More complex decisions are made up of combinations of simple decision boxes.

Decisions in flowcharts

Fig. 2. Decisions in Flowcharts

Processes often go wrong around decisions, as either the wrong question is being asked or the wrong answer is being given.

Where boxes cannot be directly connected with lines, the separated lines are coordinated with connector boxes containing matching names. This typically occurs where lines cross onto another page, as in the illustration.

Continuing flowcharts across pages

Fig. 3. Continuing Flowcharts across pages

By using multiple connector boxes, it is very easy for flowcharts to become very large, although this is usually self-defeating, as the Flowchart then becomes difficult to understand. The ideal size for a Flowchart is one page, as this gives a single visual 'chunk' that is reasonably easy to understand as a single item.

Large processes can be broken down into a hierarchical set of smaller Flowcharts by representing a lower level process as a single sub-process box. This behaves like a normal action box at the higher level, but can be 'zoomed into' to expose another Flowchart, as in Fig. 4.

Sub-processes notation in flowcharts

Fig. 4. Sub processes

An additional 'action' box that can be useful when analyzing processes is the wait box, which highlights a delay (i.e. no action), as in the illustration. This is a typical point where the overall cost of a process may be improved by acting, possibly on other processes, to reduce the delay.

Delay flowchart symbol

Fig. 5. Delay flowchart symbol


How to Create Flowchart Using Standard Flowchart Symbols

Flowcharts are helpful in understanding a complicated process. ConceptDraw PRO allows you to create professional flowchart quickly and easily.

  • Open a ConceptDraw PRO new document and select the Flowchart library.
  • Add the proper flowchart elements to the diagram by dragging them from the library to the document page.
  • The flowchart should be started and ended with the terminator symbol.
    Flowchart terminator symbol
  • Use the Decision symbol to ask a question.
    Flow chart Symbols - Decision
  • The Process symbol is used for activities or action steps.
    Flowchart process symbol
  • A circle symbol containing a letter or number means that this chart connects to another chart on a different page.
    Flowchart circle symbol
  • Connect the flowchart elements by the arrow connectors using the button
    chain mode button win (Win), chain mode button mac (Mac)

How to draw an effective flowchart

  • Define the process boundaries with starting and ending points.
  • Complete the big picture before filling in the details.
  • Clearly define each step in the process. Be accurate and honest.
  • Identify time lags and non-value-adding steps.
  • Circulate the flowchart to other people involved in the process to get their comments.
Flowcharts don't work if they're not accurate or if the team is too far removed from the process itself. Team members should be true participants in the process and feel free to describe what really happens. A thorough flowchart should provide a clear view of how a process works. With a completed flowchart, you can:
  • Identify time lags and non-value-adding steps.
  • Identify responsibility for each step.
  • Brainstorm for problems in the process.
  • Determine major and minor inputs into the process with a cause & effect diagram.
  • Choose the most likely trouble spots with the consensus builder.

Guidelines for drawing a flowchart

There are no hard and fast rules for constructing flowcharts, but there are guidelines which are useful to bear in mind. Here are six steps which can be used as a guide for completing flowcharts.

  • Agree on a standard flowchart symbol set to use. Alternatively, a company standard may be available. It is important to agree a standard as there are several conflicting common uses.
  • Draw a 'start' terminator box at the top of the work area.
  • Add the first box below the start box, identifying the first action simply by asking, 'What happens first?'. Add an appropriate box around it.
  • Add subsequent boxes below the previous box, identifying each action by asking, 'What happens next?'. Draw an arrow from the previous box to this one.
  • Describe the process to be charted
  • Start with a 'trigger' event
  • Note each successive action concisely and clearly
  • Go with the main flow (put extra detail in other charts)
  • Make cross references to supporting information
  • Gather the team who are to work on describing the process. These should include people who are intimately involved in all parts of the process, to ensure that it gets described as it actually happens, rather than an idealized view
  • Follow the process through to a useful conclusion (end at a 'target' point)
  • If the final diagram is to be used as a part of a formal system, make sure that it is uniquely identified

Software for drawing professional-look flowchart

With the flowchart drawing software, it's easier to draw a professional looking flowchart. You needn't take care of the drawing skill. Only understand the whole process flowchart. Edraw flowchart software can help to quickly create new flowcharts, workflow, NS Diagram, BPMN Diagram, Cross-functional flowcharts, data flow diagrams and highlight flowcharts.

How to Draw a Flowchart

Pic.1. Flowchart.

The Flowcharts are widely used in:

  • business,
  • government,
  • engineering,
  • architecture,
  • science,
  • manufacturing,
  • administration,
  • etc.

Using the ready-to-use predesigned objects, samples and templates from the Flowcharts Solution for ConceptDraw PRO you can create your own professional looking Flowchart Diagrams quick and easy.

Flowchart template

Pic. 2. Flowchart template and objects

The Flowcharts produced with ConceptDraw PRO are vector graphic documents and are available for reviewing, modifying, and converting to a variety of formats (image, HTML, PDF file, MS PowerPoint Presentation, Adobe Flash or MS Visio).






Related Solution:

TEN RELATED HOW TO's:

FSM — Finite-state Machine

ConceptDraw PRO diagramming and vector drawing software extended with Specification and Description Language (SDL) Solution from the Engineering Area of ConceptDraw Solution Park provides powerful drawing tools for quick and easy creating well-designed FSM diagrams.FSM
Picture: FSM — Finite-state Machine
Related Solution:

Flowchart

If you ever tried programming, you could face a lot of problems as a beginner. To help yourself, create a flowchart to follow an algorithm logic. Flowchart represents a program as a sequence of steps depicted in special symbols for each type of action. This image of the interactive diagram made in ConceptDraw PRO applying the Live Objects technology. The diagram shows the effect of Selection Sort algorithm. The left part of the chart is the input area. The diagram in the central part of the drawing is a flow chart showing of the selection sort algorithm. The flowchart includes basic flowchart symbols, that represent various stages of algorithm. The flowchart symbols are connected with arrows ended lines, that depict the direction of the process flow. On the right side - the result is displayed.Flowchart
Picture: Flowchart
Related Solution:

How To use House Electrical Plan Software

Electrical plan is a document that is developed during the first stage of the building design. This scheme is composed of conventional images or symbols of components that operate by means of electric energy. To simplify the creation of these schemes you can use house electrical plan software, which will not require a long additional training to understand how to use it. You only need to install the necessary software ant it’s libraries and you’ll have one less problem during the building projection. Any building contains a number of electrical systems, including switches, fixtures, outlets and other lightening equipment . All these should be depicted in a building electrical plans and included to general building documentation. This home electrical plan displays electrical and telecommunication devices placed to a home floor plan. On the plan, each electrical device is referenced with the proper symbol. Electrical symbols are used for universal recognition of the building plan by different persons who will be working on the construction. Not all possible electric symbols used on a certain plan, so the symbols used in the current home plan are included to a legend. The electrical home plan may be added as a separate document to a complete set of building plans.Electrical and Telecom Layout House Plan, electrical symbols
Picture: How To use House Electrical Plan Software
Related Solution:

Flowchart Examples and Templates

Visual information is easier to perceive. You can teach even a child to make diagrams with a good flowchart example that would be interesting for it. Flowcharts can be fun, it’s not about business processes or programming algorithms. This flowchart shows step by step process of manufacturing of Nixtamal The product which is obtained by processing maize with calcium hydroxide. We must assume that the Aztecs were very fond of this product, if the recipe of its production came to our times. This flow chart was designed using ConceptDraw PRO with its solution for designing flowcharts of various types, sizes and purposes. ConceptDraw Flowcharts solution consists from the library of flowchart symbols, containing the set vector objects. Also there are a lot of diverse templates and samples of flow charts.Examples of Flowcharts
Picture: Flowchart Examples and Templates
Related Solution:

Basic Diagramming

Create flowcharts, flow charts, and more with ConceptDraw flowchart software.Flowchart - Import process
Picture: Basic Diagramming
Related Solution:

Technical Flow Chart

Flow chart is a diagrammatic representation of an algorithm and essential part of planning the system. Flow charts are widely used in technical analysis and programming for easy writing programs and explaining them to others. So, one of the most popular type of flow charts is Technical Flow Chart. Technical Flow Chart can be drawn by pencil on the paper, but it will be easier to use for designing a special software. ConceptDraw PRO diagramming and vector drawing software extended with Flowcharts Solution from the "What is a Diagram" Area of ConceptDraw Solution Park will be useful for this goal.Technical Flow Chart
Picture: Technical Flow Chart
Related Solution:

How to Draw an Effective Flowchart

Use ConceptDraw PRO diagramming and business graphics software to draw your own flowcharts of business processes.Flowchart - Stages of personnel certification
Picture: How to Draw an Effective Flowchart
Related Solution:

Business process Flow Chart - Event-Driven Process chain (EPC) diagrams

Event-Driven Process chain Diagrams for improvement throughout an organisation. Best software for Process Flow Diagram. The Event-driven Process Chain (EPC) Diagrams allows managers to plan processes and resources.Business process Flow Chart - Event-Driven Process chain (EPC) diagram, Process flow diagram tool
Picture: Business process Flow Chart - Event-Driven Process chain (EPC) diagrams
Related Solution:

Process Flowchart

When trying to figure out the nature of the problems occurring within a project, there are many ways to develop such understanding. One of the most common ways to document processes for further improvement is to draw a process flowchart, which depicts the activities of the process arranged in sequential order — this is business process management. ConceptDraw PRO is business process mapping software with impressive range of productivity features for business process management and classic project management. This business process management software is helpful for many purposes from different payment processes, or manufacturing processes to chemical processes. Business process mapping flowcharts helps clarify the actual workflow of different people engaged in the same process. This samples were made with ConceptDraw PRO — business process mapping software for flowcharting and used as classic visio alternative because its briefly named "visio for mac" and for windows, this sort of software named the business process management tools. This flowchart diagram shows a process flow of project management. The diagram that is presented here depicts the project life cycle that is basic for the most of project management methods. Breaking a project into phases allows to track it in the proper manner. Through separation on phases, the total workflow of a project is divided into some foreseeable components, thus making it easier to follow the project status. A project life cycle commonly includes: initiation, definition, design, development and implementation phases. Distinguished method to show parallel and interdependent processes, as well as project life cycle relationships. A flowchart diagram is often used as visual guide to project. For instance, it used by marketing project management software for visualizing stages of marketing activities or as project management workflow tools. Created with ConceptDraw PRO — business process mapping software which is flowcharting visio alternative or shortly its visio for mac, this sort of software platform often named the business process management tools.business process flowcharts, flowchart symbols, process flow diagram, workflow diagram, flowchart maker
Picture: Process Flowchart
Related Solution:

Sales Process Flowchart. Flowchart Examples

Process mapping helps with sharing business results and reorganizing workflow. In almost every case, after creating a sales process flowchart the steps that are redundant become obvious for a manager. It's easy to find a flowchart examples that will help in developing one for your business. This sales process flowchart consists of a sequence of steps that represent a simple sale process. Each step is shown graphically by a rectangle representing processing steps or an activity, or a diamond representing a decision. These rectangles are linked by arrows, that indicate the direction of the sales workflow. ConceptDraw Sales Flowcharts solution delivers a the full set of classical flowchart notation symbols, along with sales-related icons and pictograms.sales process flowchart
Picture: Sales Process Flowchart. Flowchart Examples
Related Solutions:
1 Diagram Software
Professional business graphics tool for drawing schemes, diagrams and illustrating business documentation
1 Mind Map Software
Excellent tool for Mind Mapping, Planning, Brainstorming, and Building Processes
1 Project Management Software
The full complement of features needed to successfully plan and execute projects, including task and resource management, reporting, and change control