Studies show that drawing a picture is a better way to pass information. Not only is your message well received, it sticks better. This is why charts are often used in kindergarten and nursery classes. This mantra is transcending the four walls of school into companies and organizations.
Simple processes can be designed or documented using flowcharts and this helps team members or even the general public to understand and visualize these processes better. Flowcharts also help businesses identify bottlenecks and areas of improvement with ease.
Different users use flowcharts for different reasons. For instance, a clerk will use a flowchart in a different way compared to a manager. For this reason, we have four general kinds of flowcharts.
• Document Flowcharts
• Data Flowcharts
• System Flowcharts
• Program Flowcharts
There are different standards adopted by different bodies for the uniformity of flowcharts.
Some of them are discussed below:
1. The Flowline
The order of operation of any process is denoted using the flowline. This is a line which is coming from a symbol and then pointing in the direction of a different symbol. Most times, for a conventional flowchart which goes from top to bottom or from left to right, a flowline is just a straight line, otherwise, it is an arrowhead.
2. The Terminal
The terminal is used to denote the beginning and the end of a program in the flowchart. It has an oval-rectangle shape and most times, it contains the Start or End symbol.
3. The Process
A rectangle represents the process and this represents the set of operations which can be anything, from information about the process to instructions.
4. The Decision
This is a conditional operation and it is used to specify which path the process will eventually take. Most times, it is either you answer true or false, or yes or no. A diamond is used to denote this.
5. The Input/output
In the process, you will, at some point in time, need to input certain data or extract some information. When you see a parallelogram, it’s input/output time.
This is used when there’s an additional information about the program and an open rectangle (with dashed lines) is used to show this.
As a business, it is possible to have software to create these diagrams and this will make it easy to follow. In fact, it is highly recommended considering the cost-effectiveness. You can start here – contact us to find out how we can help you.
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