This solution extends ConceptDraw PRO software with samples, templates and library of vector stencils for drawing workflow diagrams.
It represents the transferring of data, documents, and tasks during performance of a work process. It is not an easy task to trace the path of a task or a document. To make easier the study and analysis of working processes and for presenting them in a simple visual manner, workflow diagrams are often used. With the help of a workflow diagram it is possible to see the path of the task in as it relates to the overall process, the person who is responsible for execution at each stage, which documents are associated with the task and identified resources that are required for implementation. Knowing this it is becomes possible to optimize a workflow and to discover its inherent weak points. A workflow diagram is a specialized type of flowchart.
The samples you see on this page were created in ConceptDraw PRO using the "Workflow Diagrams" solution, and demonstrate the solution's capabilities and the results one can achieve.
All source documents are vector graphic documents. They are available for reviewing, modifying, or converting to a variety of formats (PDF file, MS PowerPoint, MS Visio XML, and many other graphic formats) from the ConceptDraw Solution Park. The Workflow Diagrams Solution is available for all ConceptDraw PRO users.
Example 1: Workflow Diagram — Business
This diagram was created in ConceptDraw PRO using the "Workflow" library from the "Workflow Diagrams" solution. An experienced user spent 10 minutes creating this sample.
Using ConceptDraw PRO connectors to create workflow diagram is an intuitive and time-saving solution. This example shows a workflow diagram that clearly illustrates stages a business consists of and relations between all parts of business.
Example 2: Workflow Diagram — Taxi Service
This diagram was created in ConceptDraw PRO using the "Workflow" library from the "Workflow Diagrams" solution. An experienced user spent 5 minutes creating this sample.
Using ConceptDraw PRO professional looking pre-designed vector clipart to create workflow diagram is an intuitive and time-saving solution. This example shows a presentation-ready workflow diagram that clearly illustrates how a taxi service works.
When you distil a particular business activity into a set of linear, repeatable actions, you can call this self contained process a workflow. It is a broad term that can describe the transformation of materials through production, services provided to a customer base, the journey of information through a system, or the internal behavior of employees within a company. They can represent abstract concepts or development phases of a system, as well as real-time processes such as manufacturing and distribution.
The idea of a workflow sprang from manufacturing industries in the early 20th century, when research was made into the connection between the steps needed to complete a task, and the resulting output — essentially an early study of business efficiency. Later, with the introduction of the typewriter and copier, this same theory was transplanted to the office environment, where new systems for physical data storage and filing were needed to be expressed. Eventually even more complex workflows would arrive with the advent of computer technology, with its vast array of options for system architecture, and the availability of almost limitless storage for virtual data.
It was quickly learnt that the most effective method of analyzing and sharing workflow information was through a visual medium, using specific diagramming techniques to condense what could be a complex and time consuming process onto a single reference page. Although the visual style of any one diagram can vary greatly, they will commonly show a process as a set of steps, using iconography to depict inputs (data, resources, or materials), describing any transformations or decisions that need to be made, and similar illustrations for any process outputs or customer interaction.
A workflow diagram created using ConceptDraw PRO, showing a high level process involving many departments
The advantages these workflow diagrams offered to a company and its employees were numerous, and remain relevant to this day in all forms of business:
They define employee roles and responsibilities.
They allow for strategy optimization and efficiency by identifying bottlenecks, redundant steps, or problem departments.
Further to above, you can analyze a process as a whole, or focus on one of its constituent parts.
Ideas can be communicated between team members more effectively — visual communication takes away the need for in-depth knowledge of a subject
Visualization also facilitates understanding for a multi-national workforce.
Provides a complete summation of all resources, data, or materials necessary to the process.
Workflow diagrams can show a process at each stage of development, from planning through to implementation.
Modern workflow diagrams have a specific focus on quality control. This can apply to the quality of inputs and outputs inherent to a process, or to the actual efficiency of the workflow itself. Different sectors of business will use different diagramming techniques, and this has given rise to a number of methodologies that have become recognized in their own right as industry standards.
Flowcharts are a common way of describing a simple workflow — this one was created using solutions from ConceptDraw PRO
Here are some of examples of the most common methodologies that have been developed and employed by many forms of business:
Six Sigma — a set techniques and tools for process improvement that was developed by engineers at the firm Motorola. In this environment, a sigma rating describes how free of defects a products is, with six being the optimum rating. The core principles of this methodology identify the root causes of defects, and work to minimize variability in repeatable manufacturing and business processes.
Theory of Constraint — works from the idiom that states 'a chain is no stronger than its weakest link'. Workflow diagrams created using this method attempt to isolate parts of a process that may contribute to adverse results — these are termed as 'constraints'. By design, there is always at least one constraint; it can be anything from a specific employee to a certain policy that hinders production.
Lean production — systematically works to reduce waste from the manufacturing process, using diagrams to highlight instances of overburden or unevenness in workflows that lead to inefficient practices.
Total Quality Management — looks at quality from the customers point of view, by determining what changes to a process, if any, can give greater value to the customer. Management process are a key focus, with the belief that correcting workflows at the top of hierarchy will lead to better practices filtering down through the workforce.
When it comes to creating a workflow diagram, it's important to use software that is capable of describing a wide range of processes, using techniques and graphical notation that are easily recognized by knowledge workers in all forms of business. An ideal drawing platform will utilize functions that can cope with the output of a high volume of processes, that may change rapidly from development to implementation stages.
ConceptDraw PRO, with the extended functionality of the Workflow Diagrams solution, is the ideal medium for creating designs of this type. Its RapidDraw technology takes the strain from diagram arrangement, allowing users to create their process steps with a single click, ideal for generating the many repeatable tasks that can make up a workflow. The Workflow Diagrams solution complements this feature with a library of selected icons to represent various steps — all instantly recognizable and applicable to a wide user base.
A selection of icons available in the Workflow Diagrams solution for ConceptDraw PRO
Included also with the solution are a number of templates and samples, giving the user a base from which to explore ConceptDraw PRO's powerful diagramming tools, helping to save time along the way. Diagramming a workflow to assess quality control and management requires quality software — ConceptDraw PRO with the Workflow Diagrams solution is the best option to guide you through the process.