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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.

Flowchart Definition with ConceptDraw PRO

Flowchart Definition with ConceptDraw PRO

Example 1. Flowchart Definition with ConceptDraw PRO (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 PRO diagramming and vector drawing software extended with Flowcharts Solution from the "What is a Diagram" Area of ConceptDraw Solution Park.

Flowchart Definition

Example 2. Flowchart Definition - Order Process Flowchart

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

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

ConceptDraw STORE (Flowchart solution)

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 PRO v9.5 or later users.








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This method of problem analysis is widely used in IT, manufacture industries and chemical engineering. If you want to take a fresh look on your problem, you can draw a fishbone diagram with ConceptDraw PRO software, which supports both MAC OS and Windows. You can see and download fishbone diagram samples and templates in ConceptDraw Solution Park. This Fishbone (Ishikawa) diagram can be applied as template for performing the cause and effect analysis of a service industry problems. It can help to determine factors causing problems. Causes in this diagram are categorized according to the 4S’s principle that means Surroundings, Suppliers, Systems and Skills. Grouping causes allows to reveal main interactions between different events. This diagram was made using ConceptDraw Fishbone diagrams solution. It can help to reveal the causes effected a complicated issue. Of course it can be used together with other methods of approaching to the problem solving.Draw Fishbone Diagram on MAC Software
Picture: Draw Fishbone Diagram on MAC Software
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Process Flowchart

When trying to figure out the nature of the problems occurring within a project, there are many ways to develop such understanding. One of the most common ways to document processes for further improvement is to draw a process flowchart, which depicts the activities of the process arranged in sequential order — this is business process management. ConceptDraw PRO is business process mapping software with impressive range of productivity features for business process management and classic project management. This business process management software is helpful for many purposes from different payment processes, or manufacturing processes to chemical processes. Business process mapping flowcharts helps clarify the actual workflow of different people engaged in the same process. This samples were made with ConceptDraw PRO — business process mapping software for flowcharting and used as classic visio alternative because its briefly named "visio for mac" and for windows, this sort of software named the business process management tools. This flowchart diagram shows a process flow of project management. The diagram that is presented here depicts the project life cycle that is basic for the most of project management methods. Breaking a project into phases allows to track it in the proper manner. Through separation on phases, the total workflow of a project is divided into some foreseeable components, thus making it easier to follow the project status. A project life cycle commonly includes: initiation, definition, design, development and implementation phases. Distinguished method to show parallel and interdependent processes, as well as project life cycle relationships. A flowchart diagram is often used as visual guide to project. For instance, it used by marketing project management software for visualizing stages of marketing activities or as project management workflow tools. Created with ConceptDraw PRO — business process mapping software which is flowcharting visio alternative or shortly its visio for mac, this sort of software platform often named the business process management tools.business process flowcharts, flowchart symbols, process flow diagram, workflow diagram, flowchart maker
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Basic Flowchart Symbols and Meaning

While creating flowcharts and process flow diagrams, you should use special objects to define different statements, so anyone aware of flowcharts can get your scheme right. There is a short and an extended list of basic flowchart symbols and their meaning. Basic flowchart symbols include terminator objects, rectangles for describing steps of a process, diamonds representing appearing conditions and questions and parallelograms to show incoming data. This diagram gives a general review of the standard symbols that are used when creating flowcharts and process flow diagrams. The practice of using a set of standard flowchart symbols was admitted in order to make flowcharts and other process flow diagrams created by any person properly understandable by other people. The flowchart symbols depict different kinds of actions and phases in a process. The sequence of the actions, and the relationships between them are shown by special lines and arrows. There are a large number of flowchart symbols. Which of them can be used in the particular diagram depends on its type. For instance, some symbols used in data flow diagrams usually are not used in the process flowcharts. Business process system use exactly these flowchart symbols.Flowchart Symbols and Meaning, workflow diagram symbols, process flow diagram symbols
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Organizational Charts with ConceptDraw PRO

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Picture: Organizational Charts with ConceptDraw PRO
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Example of DFD for Online Store (Data Flow Diagram)DFD Example

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Picture: Example of DFD for Online Store (Data Flow Diagram)DFD Example
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The Involvement Matrix can identify the distribution of responsibilities and identify roles in a group or team. Use the Involvement Matrix to specify roles and responsibilities of actions in problem solving. ConceptDraw Office suite is a software for corrective actions planning.Involvement matrix - Sale problem solution - Business Diagram
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Structured Systems Analysis and Design Method (SSADM) with ConceptDraw PRO

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