Many find that flow charts are a great tool for organizing their own thoughts since it helps one to map out the entire process step by step. It helps one digest and examine their own thoughts on various stages of the process and makes it much easier to notice where improvements or adjustments can be made. Flow charts used in organizations allow all those with access to the chart to understand the process and use it as a point of reference as well.
Flow charts are commonly used to allow a process to be defined and analyzed. It provides a clear picture of the entire process and makes it easier to communicate, discuss and analysis particular ideas. Sometimes looking at the entire picture or final goal can be very daunting and block creativity since we are overwhelmed by various ideas. When flow charts are created, it allows one to focus on the stages one at a time and focus attention where and when it is required.
There are certain symbols used in flow charts to represent different stages. These symbols are accompanied by a brief description regarding the stage. Arrows are used as representation to direct the train of movement in a chart. The various symbols used in flow charts represent different things. While there are many symbols out there, the most commonly used ones are: oval, rectangular, diamond and circle.
The oval symbol stands for the beginning or final stage of the process. A regular symbol shows a typical process stage. A diamond symbol indicates where the ideas branch within a chart. An example of the diamond stage is if two or more options are available in the process. The circular symbol would be used to outline the option connected to the diamond stage that does not have further processes if it is chosen.
Many organizations and individuals choose to use flow charts in order to analyze the flow of information. It is a great tool when it comes to planning and brain-storming ideas as well as for developing strategies and solutions.
Shruti Bhat PHD MBA Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt is an Enterprise Strategist and Business Process Improvement Mastermind.
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