Encyclopedia

Learn the history and popular uses for dozens of diagrams, charts, and visuals.

Step Chart

Step Charts show a procedure or a change in value over time. They consist of a set of boxes, each representing a step in the procedure, moving either across or down the page. Each box has a short title at the top and a brief description below. When the boxes are arranged vertically, they can be wider, allowing for more text. They are typically connected by arrows or lines.

Step Charts
Typical Uses

Step Charts are best used when changes in a process occur at certain times but remain stable between changes. Step Charts show this by leaving straight, horizontal lines between jumps. As a result, they are useful for planning a project in the general sense of dividing it into tasks. They are also useful for explaining a process or giving an overview.

Best Practices
  • Determine a purpose. Decide for what process the Step Chart will be made. Determine the steps necessary for this process to be carried out.
  • Create a table. Title the page with a few words describing the process.
  • Add boxes. Draw a box at the left or top of the page. Place a short title at the top of the box summarizing the step, and then add a description of the step below. It is advisable to distinguish the title from the description using font or color. Add another box either to the right of or below the first box, and continue until all steps have been added. This can be made quick and easy using the Step Chart template offered by SmartDraw.
  • Connect the boxes. Draw a line between each box. Arrowheads may be added to indicate flow, although they are not required.
  • Verify accuracy. Show the chart to coworkers or team members in order to verify its accuracy.

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