Many professionals are required to solve problems every day. The design of a process algorithm contributes to a better understanding when there is a problem in a process, or there is a need to determine how a process can be improved. A flowchart is a graphical tool that is useful for breaking down a process, it identifies the key elements of the process and separates any steps which are unessential or extreme.
A flowchart is a diagram that depicts in an intuitive and clear format the structure of process, procedure, workflow, or step-by-step progression using connecting lines and a set of conventional flowchart symbols.
Flowcharts have one or more starting and ending points represented by ovals or rounded rectangles and they are identified by the words "Start" or "End". All steps in a flowchart are shown as specific shapes (flow chart symbols), and the process flow is presented through arrows that connect the objects.
Flowchart diagrams are widely used for designing, documenting, analyzing and managing the complex processes, and programs in various fields such as education, business, software development, analytics, engineering, architecture, science, manufacturing, and administration.
The Flowcharts Solution for ConceptDraw PRO v10 is a comprehensive set of examples and samples in several different color themes for professionals that need to graphically represent a process. Solution value is added by basic flow chart template and shapes' library of Flowchart notation. ConceptDraw PRO flow chart creator lets one depict a processes of any complexity and length, as well design of the flowchart either vertically or horizontally.
The samples you see on this page were created in ConceptDraw PRO using the Flowcharts Solution; they demonstrate a portion of the solution's capabilities and the professional results you 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, and many other graphic formats) from the ConceptDraw Solution Park. The Flowcharts Solution is available for all ConceptDraw PRO v9.5 users.
Example 1: Flowchart — Invoice Payment Process
This diagram was created in ConceptDraw PRO using the Flowchart Library from the Flowchart Solution. An experienced user spent 10 minutes creating this sample.
Using ConceptDraw PRO connectors to create a flowchart diagram is an intuitive and time-saving solution. This sample describes an invoice payment approval process. The diamonds represent the decision points with questions that need an answer. The answer determines the next step in the process flow.
Example 2: Flowchart — Product Life Cycle Process
This diagram was created in ConceptDraw PRO using the Flowchart Rapid Draw Library from the Flowchart Solution. An experienced user spent 20 minutes creating this sample.
This flowchart sample provides a structure for business analysis that identifies a set of common stages in the life of a commercial product. This diagram is visually divided by blocks that describe the life cycle phases. For easier reading of the process definition each shape has its own color.
Example 3: Flowchart — Selection Sorting Method
This diagram was created in ConceptDraw PRO using the Flowchart Rapid Draw Library from the Flowchart Solution. An experienced user spent 15 minutes creating this sample.
This sample shows the flowchart of the Selection sorting method and results of its application. Flowcharts are convenient and widely used for describing different mathematical and computer science algorithms. This flowchart diagram describes the step-by-step procedure for calculations starting from the initial state to the final state.
Example 4: Flowchart — Food Security Assessment
This diagram was created in ConceptDraw PRO using the Flowchart Library from the Flowcharts Solution. An experienced user spent 15 minutes creating this sample.
This sample shows the flowchart of a food security assessment. You can see a legend that describes the symbols used on this diagram. Each flowchart symbol has its own application, shape, and color.
Example 5: Cross-functional Flowchart Stages of Personnel Certification
This diagram was created in ConceptDraw PRO using the Flowcharts Rapid Draw Library from the Flowcharts Solution. An experienced user spent 10 minutes creating this sample.
Using ConceptDraw PRO connectors to create a cross-functional flowchart diagram is an intuitive and time-saving solution. This sample shows the stages of the personnel certification process. For clarity each stage is uniquely colored.
A flowchart can take any process and distil it into a series of actions or decisions; it is a versatile and simple form of diagram that can be used to describe situations in any field, and is easily understood by everyone. They are used frequently in business to document workflows from all areas of a company - they can show accounting purchase orders, human resource recruitment strategy, or a product life cycle.
Fig 1. Flowchart — Product life cycle process
What makes a flowchart so widely used and readily understood is the use of standardized symbols that retain the same meaning whatever process they are describing. They always start and end with a Terminal, an oval shape containing the appropriate text. A diamond shows that a Decision is necessary, often yes/no or true/false, while an Action is shown as a rectangle, containing text describing what happens. Other flowcharting symbols add contextual layers to specific process flow diagrams, with icons that represent punch card inputs, disk storage, and manual operations.
As more of business has become reliant on computer systems, there has been a need to use flowcharting to map data flow diagrams. Symbols known as data-flow extensions exist for this exact function, that allow Documents, Manual operations, Manual inputs, and Data files to be added to a data flow chart.
Fig 2. Flowcharts design elements
With these building blocks, it is possible to create flowcharts that describe work process flows from all divisions of a company. Different types of process flow diagrams exist to reflect the different ways in which data and resources interact within each area of a business. Here are some examples of the types of flow diagrams in common use:
Data-flow diagrams — these diagrams can show the interaction between a system and external agents, or show the flow of data within that system. They are used to visualize how a system will operate, how it can be implemented, and what effect data input will have on the system as a whole.
Fig 3. DFD Process of account receivable
Functional flow diagrams — these are used to map a multi-tiered, time sequenced process. They show a workflow as a series of levels, with each step of the top level process expanded into it's own list of functions that represent the 2nd tier of the process. This can be repeated for as many tiers as is necessary.
Algorithm charts — the binary nature of decision making on a process flowchart means they are an ideal medium for mapping computer algorithms. The flowchart symbols are used to graphically represent a step-by-step set of operations to be performed, and the rules by which they are defined.
Activity diagrams — this type of diagram is used extensively as an example of Unified Modeling Language, used by software engineers as a standard way of visualizing the design of a system. Activity diagrams differ from normal flowcharts primarily by being able to show the start and end of concurrent activities, using a specific Join or Split symbol.
Cross-functional flowcharts — this type of flowchart is constructed as a matrix, arranged into 'swimlanes' that denote different stakeholders or departments. It shows each individuals activities, and how the work flow crosses departments to form a complete process.
Fig 4. Swimlane Process Mapping Diagram — Payroll Process
Flowchart solutions from ConceptDraw
For years ConceptDraw has been delivering high quality business process flow design solutions, turning ConceptDraw PRO into one of the most comprehensive and powerful examples of flowcharting software available. Solutions have been tailor made to apply to numerous departments and stakeholders within a company, while ConceptDraw specialize in professionally drawn vector stencil graphics of both standardized flowchart notation, as well as a large selection of themed icons and design elements.
Here are some of the flowcharting solutions for ConceptDraw PRO, and examples of process flow charts that have been created using them:
HR Flowcharts — libraries of icons relating to human resources allow HR staff to illustrate workflows in that field, such as the recruitment process, staff training, or health and safety initiatives.
Fig 5. Human Resource Development — Onboarding Model
Accounting Flowcharts — the set of symbols found in this solution give accountants the tools they need to describe purchase orders, payments, or procurement processes.
Sales Flowcharts — Sales workflows can cover interaction between customer and business, or an internal sales process needed to be performed by workers.
Fig 6. Sales Flowchart — Global Payment Solutions
Audit Flowcharts — this solution contains extra symbols to help illustrate the steps needed to prepare and implement the audit process.
Cross-Functional Flowcharts — As mentioned previously, this type of flowchart drawing is divided into 'swimlanes'. It needs special notation to signify the relationship between these divisions, which can be found in this solution.
Business Process Diagram — this solution contains design elements for Business Process Model Notation (BPMN) v2, which is an extension of the standard flowchart notation, and allows users to present complex process semantics and more precise information for any given step.
Fig 7. BPMN 2.0 — diagram logistics
IDEF0 Diagrams — IDEF0 is the modeling language used to create flowcharts specifically for the analysis of computer system software, or software engineering. This solution from ConceptDraw contains the necessary connecting arrows and callouts.
Flowcharts — the base flowchart solution for ConceptDraw PRO has a large library of all common flowcharting symbols.
These are just some of the vast array of online business process diagramming solutions that can be found in ConceptDraw Solution Park, on the ConceptDraw website. By using flowcharts, you can map unique company processes at all levels and across all departments, transmit information to important stakeholders, or use your flowchart as part of a presentation - so it is important to have a piece of software powerful and dynamic enough to cater for all flowcharting needs. Combining these solutions with ConceptDraw PRO gives users all the tools they need to create effective and professional flowchart designs.