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Flowchart Definition

What is flowchart

Flowchart definition — a flowchart is a graphically representation of the structure of process or system, algorithm or the step-by-step solution of the problem. The Flowchart describes the flow of data through an information processing systems and the parts of the flows. The flow is a set of the logic operations that meet the certain requirements.

A Flowchart allows to see how the work of the process can be improved, allows to find the key elements of the process and detach the steps that are not essential or even excessive.

The Flowcharts can have the different levels of detail. There the following types that have their strengths and weaknesses:

• High-Level Flowchart displays the entire system, the most important steps or activities of the process. It also identifies the changes that take place in the process. It is a flowchart simple for construct.
• Detailed Flowchart represents all the steps, activities that take place in the process, decision points and waiting periods. It is a detailed picture of the process that allows to define the problems and the areas of ineffectiveness that must be reworked and improved.
• Deployment or Matrix Flowchart is a flowchart in the form of a matrix that shows the participants of the process and the flows of steps between them.

By the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) were provided the standard flowchart symbols (process symbols, decision symbols, terminators, connectors and flow lines, and some others) and rules of creating the Flowcharts. Some main standard symbols are:

• Rectangle or box is used for representing the activity or the step. Each step or activity inside a process is indicated by a single rectangle. It is a most often used symbol.
• Rounded box is used for representing the event that occurs automatically and causes the next action.
• Diamond is used for representing the decision point. This symbol involves the branching yes/no. It is necessary to answer on the question written inside the diamond, make the decision that will determine the next step.
• Circle is used for representing the point at which the flowchart connects with another process.
• Flow lines are used to show the progression or transition from one step to another.

The Flowcharts are very useful for the programmers, they draw them on the first stage of the computer program development. The Flowcharts help to write the programs of any complexity and on the any high level language. The Flowcharts allows to programmers simply understand the logic of the complex problems and explain their solution to other people, they allows to form the common understanding of the process among the participants. Especially effective way of the creating Flowcharts is the group discussions, because the participants may not know completely the details of the whole process. The Flowcharts allows to see the inputs or resources of the team members. It's needed to identify the areas for the monitoring, improvement or increased efficiency.

Example 1. Flowchart Definition with ConceptDraw DIAGRAM (Mac OS X™ and Windows™)

The Flowchart constructing involves the following steps:

• Define the process and the scope of the Flowchart.
• Determine the project team members for creating the flow diagram.
• Define the steps of the process and the interrelations between them. Use the "five-minute rule" that means to put the symbol not longer the five minute; if the decision is unclear, put a note or a cloud symbol and go next.
• Discuss the Flowchart with all the participants. Analyze the symbols, transitions. Verify the decision symbol generates the responses yes or no and the flow of the diagram is logical. Examine the improvement and problem areas. Make the modifications and create the final variant of the Flowchart.
• Update the Flowchart it as needed.

Create your own flowcharts of order processing steps and explain definition flowchart using the ConceptDraw DIAGRAM diagramming and vector drawing software extended with Flowcharts Solution from the "Diagrams" Area of ConceptDraw Solution Park.

Example 2. Flowchart Definition - Order Process Flowchart

The samples you see on this page were created in ConceptDraw DIAGRAM using the tools of Flowcharts Solution for ConceptDraw DIAGRAM Solution Park. An experienced user spent 10 minutes creating these samples.

Use the Flowcharts Solution for ConceptDraw DIAGRAM software to quick and easy create various types of flowchart which will help visually explain the flowchart definition.

Example 3. ConceptDraw STORE (Flowchart solution)

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 STORE. The Flowcharts Solution is available for all ConceptDraw DIAGRAM or later users.

Entity Relationship Diagram Symbols →

When we start to speak about databases, we must always mention database structure visualization. One of the most common ways to do it is to create an entity relationship diagram, and to put appropriate symbols on it. It is important either for database projecting and for its' future maintenance. Entity Relationship Diagram describes data elements and their relationships within a database. There are a set of special symbols that depict each element of an entity relationship diagram. Entities - represents some stable components such as supplier, employee, invoice, client, etc. Relation symbols show how the entities interact. Attributes define characteristics of the relationships. Attributes can be one-to-one or many-to-many. Physical symbols is used in the physical models. They represent items such as fields, tables, types and keys. ERD physical symbols are the building material for the database. Notation lines are used to illustrate the relationships. The most common method is Crow’s Feet notation. You can use ConceptDraw Entity-Relationship Diagram (ERD) solution to represent a database using the Entity-Relationship model.
Picture: Entity Relationship Diagram Symbols
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UML Use Case Diagram Example. Social Networking Sites Project →

UML Diagrams Social Networking Sites Project. This sample was created in ConceptDraw DIAGRAM diagramming and vector drawing software using the UML Use Case Diagram library of the Rapid UML Solution from the Software Development area of ConceptDraw Solution Park. This sample shows the Facebook Socio-health system and is used at the projection and creating of the social networking sites.
Picture: UML Use Case Diagram Example. Social Networking Sites Project
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Human Resource Development →

Human Resource Development (HRD) focuses on the help employees develop their personal and organizational skills, abilities, and knowledge, HRD also helps to adapt an organization to the changing of external environment. ConceptDraw DIAGRAM diagramming and vector drawing software supplied with HR Flowcharts Solution from the Management Area of ConceptDraw Solution Park can effectively help in labour-intensive process of human resource development.
Picture: Human Resource Development
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Flow Chart →

A Flow Chart is a type of diagram which visualizes a process, algorithm of a program or workflow. The steps / operations are represented as boxes of various types and are connected by arrows which show the flow of the process. But how to design a Flow Chart fast and easy? We recommend to use a powerful ConceptDraw DIAGRAM diagramming and vector drawing software extended with Flowcharts Solution from the "Diagrams" Area of ConceptDraw Solution Park.
Picture: Flow Chart
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Flow Chart Symbols →

If you need to describe some process, diagramming is a perfect tool for almost any imaginable purpose. The set of the most commonly used flow charts symbols is quite wide and includes symbols for operations, processes, data inputs and outputs. You can see the full list of all the symbols used for flowcharting in Flowcharts solution from Diagrams area in ConceptDraw Solution Park. A flow chart is often used for visual representation of a sequential process flow. The flowchart approach to any process is to divide it into some sequential actions. What makes a flow chart so popular and clear to make out is the set of standard flowchart symbols that has the same reading independently from processes described with their applying. The current drawing represents the vector library containing the pack of standard flowchart symbols. This library is supplied with ConceptDraw Flowcharts solution.
Picture: Flow Chart Symbols
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Cross-Functional Flowchart →

There are many tools to manage a process or to illustrate an algorithm or a workflow. Flowcharting is one of those tools. However, it may be difficult to show complex processes that require multiple attributes or several people in a simple flowchart, so a cross-functional flowchart would be a solution for that situation. To create such flowchart, group processes and steps to labeled rows or columns, and divide those groups with horizontal or vertical parallel lines. It is worth mentioning that there are different types of cross-functional flowcharts, like opportunity or deployment flowchart. This diagram shows a cross-functional flowchart that was made for a trading process. It contains 14 processes, distributed through 5 lines depicting the participants who interact with the process. Also there are connectors that show the data flow of information between processes. The cross-functional flowchart displays a detailed model of the trading process, as well as all participants in the process and how they interact with each other. The lines in the flowchart indicates the position, department and role of the trading process participants.
Picture: Cross-Functional Flowchart
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ERD Symbols and Meanings →

A database is a data collection, structured into some conceptual model. Two most common approaches of developing data models are UML diagrams and ER-model diagrams. There are several notations of entity-relationship diagram symbols and their meaning is slightly different. Crow’s Foot notation is quite descriptive and easy to understand, meanwhile, the Chen notation is great for conceptual modeling. An entity relationship diagrams look very simple to a flowcharts. The main difference is the symbols provided by specific ERD notations. There are several models applied in entity-relationship diagrams: conceptual, logical and physical. Creating an entity relationship diagram requires using a specific notation. There are five main components of common ERD notations: Entities, Actions, Attributes, Cardinality and Connections. The two of notations most widely used for creating ERD are Chen notation and Crow foot notation. By the way, the Crow foot notation originates from the Chen notation - it is an adapted version of the Chen notation.
Picture: ERD Symbols and Meanings
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Audit Flowchart Symbols →

Accounting is a cornerstone of any business, it’s basement. If you want to have a visual representation of your finance management, use audit flowchart symbols to document the money flow. Although some would say that accounting is boring, it is very a responsible duty. The audit flowchart symbols is supplied with ConceptDraw Audit Flowcharts solution as a vector objects library. Together with Conceptdraw Drawing capabilities it forms the helpful tool for audit process planning and setting the steps of audit by designing audit flow charts. Audit Flow charts are used to organize fiscal information tracking process as well as in accounting, finance and investment management.
Picture: Audit Flowchart Symbols
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Flowchart Maker →

A flowchart maker is a software showing the interaction, sequence or organization. It also known as flowchart maker or ConceptDraw DIAGRAM standard supplied with different types of symbol collections: standard symbols, branded set and authored. It used strictly for enhancing scientific or business documents with abstract explanatory pictures. Business graphic applications show a special knowledge representations and include many features for creating schematic pictures. These graphic tools are known as flowchart maker or flowchart maker software.
Picture: Flowchart Maker
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