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The Four Most Common Types of Flowcharts

Drawing clear and easy-to-understand diagrams depicting the logical order of a process is what flowcharting is all about. Flowcharts aid in the communication and documentation of processes and sketching out the logical phases in a process that helps discover methods to enhance it. In the business world, flowcharts are necessary and used for various reasons. In the past, these flowcharts were created manually using a pencil; however, through the advent and advancement of technology, various diagramming tools and flowchart makers allow one to create a diagram online.

Flowcharting is a snap with these diagramming software since they provide a dedicated library for flowchart symbols, easy-to-use swimlanes, and a plethora of flowchart designs. All you have to do now is think of flowchart concepts.

Various types of flowcharts can get used in the representation of data. However, while there are many other types and variants of flowcharts, four are particularly common.

These four popular diagrams are essential for showing business, manufacturing, and administrative operations. And demonstrating how an organization works and how different departments interact.

  1. The process flowchart

The process flowchart, also known as a flow diagram, is the most adaptable of the four standard flowchart types since it can get used for almost anything. Process flow diagrams and process mapping may get used to describe how something is done in your company rapidly. These flowcharts can employ a standard language or notation, such as Business Process Modeling and Notation.

Use a flowchart to:

  • Get clarity, map out the roles and responsibilities inside an organization.
  • Describe the manufacturing process or the inputs used to create a completed product.
  • Better understand the scope and phases of a new process or project, write a proposal.
  • Demonstrate how you get ready in the morning.
  1. The workflow chart/ diagram

This chart helps you understand the flow of documents and data in your company. A workflow diagram depicts how a business or process works. Using a workflow diagram, you can:

  • facilitate new employee training
  • find out about potential issues
  • organize or design a new standard operating procedure for your team.

By displaying a high-level perspective of business activities, you can better understand how things work.

  1. The swimlane flowchart

When you need to demonstrate different information flows side by side, the swimlane flowchart comes in helpful. Swimlane diagrams may appear quite similar to process diagrams, but the essential difference is that they enable you to divide activities into several categories. A swimlane flowchart or diagram is crucial for documenting a comprehensive process. And that involves many teams or interactions with different parts of an organization.

Each department inside a business or a cross-functional team might have five, six, or even more swimlanes in more intricate diagrams. However, because the purpose of swimlanes is to explain and simplify a flowchart, don’t add too many lanes and keep things simple.

  1. The data flowchart

A data flowchart, also known as a data flow diagram, depicts how data is processed. It’s useful when you’re trying to develop or assess a system. Although it’s commonly used for software development and design, it may also get used for information evaluation flow, such as how data flows through a company.

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