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.