What is a flow chart
A flowchart is a common chart / diagrammatic representation that represent an algorithm or process showing the sequence of steps using various symbols and their order by connecting the operations performed within a system & sequence in which they are performed.
Shows inputs, tasks/actions and outputs of a process.
Can be used for business processes as well as production processes.
Flow-charts are used in analyzing, Designing, Documenting or managing a process or program in various fields.
The first structured method for documenting process flow, the ‘Flow Process chart’ was introduced by Frank Gilberth to members of ASME in 1921 as the presentation process chart and quickly found way in to industrial Engineering curriculum
It describes what operations required to solve a problem. It is akin to blue print of a bldg. A programmer prefer to draw flow chart prior to writing a computer programming. They can help identify process that need improvement
The flow chart helps decide what steps need to be controlled & where the overall process require improving
what are the uses of a flow-chart
Enhances the common understanding of a process.
Standardizes and documents reliable processes.
Helps identify measurement points.
Helps identify sources of variation in the process.
Helps generate ideas for improvement.
Aids in identifying waste and nonvalue-added steps.
Types of Flow-Chart
- Decision flow-chart
- Logic flow-chart
- Process flow-chart
- Document flow-chart
- Data flow-chart
- System flow-chart
- Program flow-chart
Types of flow chart commonly used in Quality improvement projects
–DEPLOYMENT – Shows control in a program within a system
The main difference in deployment flow-chart is they assign steps of a process to the individual who performs them. Begin by making column for each member of the process.
–E.G. If the process step is ‘Patient arrives at the clinic’ put this step under the ‘Patient’ column with the phrase ‘arrives’ at clinic
How to construct a process flow chart
For Creating a flow chart, it is important you map the process as accurately as possible.
1)Define the process
2)Identify steps in the process
3)Draw the flow-chart
4)Determine time or distance for each step
5)Assign a cost for each step