Online Flow Charts
Flowcharts have traditionally been created, printed and distributed on paper. However, creating and publishing flowcharts online has many advantages. Today, flowcharts can be shared online with individuals, teams, customers, or anyone else in a variety of ways. The use of online flowcharts is gaining in popularity and it's easy to see why.
Online flow charts offer four major advantages over printed charts:
- They are easier to view.
- They are interactive.
- They are always up to date.
- They can be broken into a collection of smaller flowcharts that are linked together.
Online Flowcharts are Easier to View
Flowcharts can become large and complex. As this happens, it becomes difficult to print the flowchart on a single page and still be able to read the text, no matter how tightly it is formatted. You can print the chart on a larger sheet of paper, or on multiple sheets, but this becomes cumbersome.
The diagram's size is not a problem when published online. Simply zoom out to view the entire chart and zoom in to read the details. To view another area, it's easy to zoom out, scroll, and zoom in again.
Online Flowcharts are Interactive
A flowchart provides a visual representation of the steps in a process. It makes the process easier to understand, follow, and carry out with greater precision than a written or verbal set of instructions. But an online flowchart takes this to a whole new level.
Online flowcharts can be accessed from anywhere: a remote computer, tablet, even a smart phone. They can include pictures, links and attachments. These might be documents with back-up supporting information. Photographs that help to show a process step. Or they could be hyperlinks to web pages or even other, related flowcharts.
Online Flowcharts are Always Up to Date
Often, process flow diagrams need to be updated or expanded. In the past, this meant creating a new set of charts, printing them out and distributing them to all of the people who use them. Online flowcharts make staying up-to-date easy. Once the changes are made, the new versions are saved online. All of the links, notes and attachments remain intact. And updating everyone can also be done online, automatically.
Online Flowcharts May Be Broken Into a Collection of Smaller, Linked Charts
A very large chart is cumbersome to view, even online. A flowchart that details a very large process-or a related series of processes-is just too big and complex to be useful. A more manageable approach is to break the chart up into smaller pieces and then link them together. For example, here is an example of a flowchart of top-level processes.
Each of these main processes links, when clicked, to another flowchart that breaks the process down into more detail. This may continue for multiple levels, with each of these sub-charts also linking back to its parent chart. Setting up linked flowcharts in this manner, which are saved online, make them each to access and navigate.