A flowchart is the visualization of a system or process consisting of five basic objects:
- An oval represents a start or end point.
- A line is a connector that shows relationships between the representative shapes.
- A parallelogram represents input or output.
- A rectangle represents a process.
- A diamond indicates a decision.
A flowchart is one of the seven fundamental tools of quality control, and the basis for many business graphics.
Whenever it is necessary to visualize, share, or modify information, whether about a process or not, a flowchart is a highly efficient tool. Flowcharts are also very effective for visualizing deficiencies in a process, and making decisions. Learn more about SmartDraw's flowchart software.
- Start your chart. Define the start point the process or system to be visualized.
- Add a line. Draw a short downward line from the bottom of the start point (oval).
- Add a process. Draw a rectangle and write a brief description of the first process at the end of the line.
- Add a line. Draw another downward line from the bottom of the process (rectangle).
- Indicate input and output. If the process generates an output, or needs an input to move on to the next process, add a parallelogram. Label the parallelogram with the output or input.
- Continue the process. /strong> Moving down the page, continue to add rectangles and parallelograms until everything necessary has been documented.
- Verify accuracy. Consult with all stakeholders to verify accuracy.