A flowchart is a sequence of graphical symbols and shapes that create a visual map to document a procedure or set of steps to accomplish a goal based on specific business rules. Learning how to draw flowcharts can become a valuable skill when doing business analysis and re-engineering.
A flowchart can enable the person who understands the process to effectively communicate rules and guidelines using symbols, directional arrows and flow diagrams. Flowcharts have been used for over 50 years to transfer knowledge allow others to understand complex processes logic paths.
Analyzing a flowchart enables the reader to logically follow the sequence of steps, specific rules and paths they should take when certain situations are encountered. More complex flows can be broken down into basic procedural maps and then connected together. This can help the reader visualize and follow the entire process by linking the smaller processes together.
See some of the process mapping examples listed below:
Detailed process maps that defines lower level processes that can be set to establish departmental procedures, logic flows and inter-departmental processes that intersect at specific touch points.
Decision based process flowcharts define specific rules and dependencies based on business rules and guiding principles.
There are several companies who offer free downloads of their flowchart software. One company I happen to like is Edraw. They offer a quality product that is easy to use when creating business process flowcharts.
Designing approval routes can be a little cumbersome with a spreadsheet or wordprocessing application, so many customers turn to a specialized product like this one from Edraw.
It has all the templates and diagrams necessary to create functional and easy to use symbols and arrows to make decent flowcharts in a matter of minutes.
They have different products for beginners all the way up to more robust versions for heavy process mapping engineers.
In addition, you can also create organzational charts, end to end maps for the entier enterprise or departmental workflows that can be linked together for professional documentation.
No matter what your need with regards to learning how to draw flowcharts, their products are top notch and well worth the small cost for the tool.
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