In Summary: How to create flowchart

In Summary: How to create flowchart

From: asq.org

Also called: process flowchart, process flow diagram

Variations: macro flowchart, top-down flowchart, detailed flowchart (also called process map, micro map, service map, or symbolic flowchart), deployment flowchart (also called down-across or cross-functional flowchart), several-leveled flowchart

A flowchart is a picture of the separate steps of a process in sequential order. It is a generic tool that can be adapted for a wide variety of purposes, and can be used to describe various processes, such as a manufacturing process, an administrative or service process, or a project plan. It's a common process analysis tool and one of the seven basic quality tools.

Elements that may be included in a flowchart are a sequence of actions, materials or services entering or leaving the process (inputs and outputs), decisions that must be made, people who become involved, time involved at each step, and/or process measurements.

WHEN TO USE A FLOWCHART

*To develop understanding of how a process is done
*To study a process for improvement
*To communicate to others how a process is done
*When better communication is needed between people involved with the same process
*To document a process
*When planning a project


FLOWCHART BASIC PROCEDURE

Materials needed: Sticky notes or cards, a large piece of flipchart paper or newsprint, and marking pens.

1-Define the process to be diagrammed. Write its title at the top of the work surface.
2-Discuss and decide on the boundaries of your process: Where or when does the process start? Where or when does it end? Discuss and decide on the level of detail to be included in the diagram.
3-Brainstorm the activities that take place. Write each on a card or sticky note.
4-Arrange the activities in proper sequence.
5-When all activities are included and everyone agrees that the sequence is correct, draw arrows to show the flow of the process.
6-Review the flowchart with others involved in the process (workers, supervisors, suppliers, customers) to see if they agree that the process is drawn accurately.

FLOWCHART CONSIDERATIONS

*Don’t worry about drawing the flowchart the "right way." Ultimately, the right way is the way that helps those involved understand the process.
*Identify and involve in the flowcharting process all key people involved with the process. This includes suppliers, customers, and supervisors. Involve them in the actual flowcharting sessions by interviewing them before the sessions and/or by showing them the developing flowchart between work sessions and obtaining their feedback.
*Do not assign a "technical expert" to draw the flowchart. People who actually perform the process should do it.

COMMONLY USED SYMBOLS IN DETAILED FLOWCHARTS

In Summary: How to create flowchart4


FLOWCHART EXAMPLES

1. High-Level Flowchart for an Order-Filling Process
In Summary: How to create flowchart5

2. Detailed Flowchart
In Summary: How to create flowchart5




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