Flow charts are visual representations of processes that use a series of symbols and shapes to outline the steps involved. Flow charts can be utilized by businesses to demonstrate various systems including manufacturing processes and software algorithms. Below, we will tell you how to create an effective flow chart and discuss examples of flow charts depicting business processes.
How to Model Business Processes with a Flow Chart
When businesses use flow charts to model processes, they can make positive changes to boost efficiency, compliance, and effectiveness. To model a business process using a flow chart, follow these simple steps:
- Identify each step in the process.
- Put the steps into a sequence.
- Highlight the decision points.
- Identify inputs and outputs.
- Use flow chart symbols for each element above.
To create the flow chart, connect each element with arrows to show how the process flows. For example, if the first step is receiving an order, this step would go inside a rectangle. From there, you can use arrows to link to decision points.
Creating Effective Flow Charts
Two flow charts can hold the same information, but that doesn’t mean they’re both effective. The first stage in effective flow chart design is using a creating tool, which makes online flowcharting simplified and allows you to make edits and improve consistency. As well as this, we recommend using white space effectively, avoiding technical jargon, and carefully reviewing the chart once completed.
Benefits of Using a Flow Chart
There are countless diagrams that businesses can use to model business processes, but flow charts have an edge because they’re easy to create and understand. Other benefits of using flow charts include:
- Improved communication: Flow charts put each step in a process into a simple format, which others can follow easily.
- Better compliance: By mapping out processes using a flow chart, business leaders can analyze critical points to ensure regulations and standards are followed.
- Enhanced onboarding and training: New employees can see their initial journey on a flow chart.
- Reduced errors: When a certain step in the process is responsible for countless errors, a flow chart can help strengthen the operation.
Examples of Flow Charts Modeling Business Processes
There are many ways businesses can use flow charts to model processes. For example, the entire sales operation can be mapped out using a flow chart. The process may begin with lead generation, which then leads to a decision of whether they’re a good fit or not. If the lead qualifies, the salesperson makes contact and schedules a consultation/demo. Following a successful consultation, a follow-up call is made and the sale gets closed.
Another example would be the customer service process, which would begin with a customer making contact with an issue. A customer service representative then gathers information to resolve the issue. If no reasonable solution can be reached, the sales representative escalates the call to a supervisor or management.
Flow charts make it easier for businesses to track processes to make positive changes. Using the insights above, your business will benefit from flow charts in no time.