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by Laurus Nobilis
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Flow Chart ( Flow Diagram ) (B)

 

Flow Chart

 

 

What are applications of flow chart ( flow diagram )? What are the main elements of flow chart?

 

Posted: Jul 2009


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flow Chart or Flow Diagram is the analytical tool used for description, design and management of of processes. A workflow diagram or a “Flow Diagram” is a picture of the movements of people, materials, documents, or information in a process.  

Flow diagrams are useful tools for examining how various steps in a process are related to each other.  By studying these charts, you can often uncover loopholes, which are potential sources of trouble.  Flow diagrams can be applied to anything from the travels of an invoice or the flow of the materials or the steps in making a sale or servicing a product.

 

It is created by tracing these movements on a sketch of the floor plan or some similar map of the workspace.  The power of these sketches lies in illustrating a system’s inefficiency in a clear picture.  Places where work can be simplified or where problems are occurring will jump off the page.

There are several ANSI ( American National Standards Institute ) symbol used for describing the processes:

Flow Chart Elements

By use of ANSI symbols it is possible to describe and engineer a different processes. Tools can be used for many purposes. The following example explains that even a process as cooking a tea can be described by flow chart:

Flow Chart Example

In order to use use flow chart properly, here are the basic guidelines for process description. 

  1. Clearly define the process you wish to describe and the end result of the process you are charting

  2. Identify the “inputs(s) or the beginning points

  3. Identify the “output(s)” or the ending points

  4. Brainstorm a list of all the activities that make up the whole process

  5. Arrange the activities in event or chronological order ( thou some activities may occur simultaneously)

  6. Add points at which decisions must be made for the activities to proceed

  7. Draw the chart using standard symbols to identify the items

  8. Beginning and ending points (or inputs & outputs) are represented by an oval.

  9. Activities are represented by a rectangle

  10. Decisions are represented by a diamond, and workflow direction is represented by an arrow pointing in the appropriate direction.
     

Flow diagrams are useful tools for examining how various steps in a process are related to each other.  By studying these charts, you can often uncover loopholes, which are potential sources of trouble.  Flow diagrams can be applied to anything from the travels of an invoice or the flow of the materials or the steps in making a sale or servicing a product.

 

 

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