When it comes to running a business, you should know that different tasks and activities have different processes that need to be done. Although there are some employees that can easily remember how to do them, there are those that need visual reminders that will act as their guide to completion.
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That’s why it is important for you to be able to come up with the right kind of flow chart that can help these employees out. This article will teach you all that you need to know in regards to how you should go about in creating the flow chart you need.
Elements of a Flow Chart
1. Flow Chart Symbols: Every action or step that needs to be in the flow chart must be designated with their own symbols. These will indicate the different things that need to be done. Make sure that each of these symbols contains descriptions which details what these actions or steps are. For example, one of the symbols in a work flowchart might say something like “conduct inventory on all items”.
2. Ordering Indicators: A flow chart must be able to indicate each step of the process in order. That’s why it’s important that there are indicators which guide readers from one step to the next. These almost always come in the form of arrows as it’s the easiest way to show direction. In the event that a particular decision requires that the employee goes back a step, then the arrow will need to loop back to the previous symbol that it is supposed to.
3. Decision Diamonds: There are instances wherein certain processes have two alternative paths. What this means is that an employee might be required to choose between two different actions after completing one; both will still need to be finished, but the employee has a choice in which he/she wants to start with first. These decision points should be indicated by diamond-shaped symbols to make the alternating path clear to the employee.
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How to Make a Flow Chart
1. Using Google Docs: If you want to use Google Docs to make your flow chart, then you’ll firsts need a Gmail account; you can register for one by simply going to Google’s main site. Once you’ve made it or if you already have one, then here’s what you will need to do:
- Access Google Docs and open a document, presentation, or a spreadsheet.
- Select the Shape icon and click on whatever shape you wish.
- Drag the mouse on the canvas to insert that shape.
- Go through the options to do things like change the fill colors, the line width, and other properties.
- Double-click the shape to insert text.
- Select the line tool and pick either an arrow or connector to connect the shapes.
- Click on Save and Close to insert the drawing into the document.
If you already have experience using Microsoft Word, then the drawing toolbar section in Google Docs should feel familiar to you. Know that you can also use Google Docs to create other types of documents should you ever wish to do so.
2. Make the order of the flow chart clear: Remember that you want employees to know how the process of a particular activity or task begins and ends. This means that you need to consider the order by which you will be displaying these steps. As you are making your flow chart, think about where certain symbols and shapes should be. Know what shape you’ll use as the starting point and from there you can figure out the rest.
3. Format your chart: As you’re making your flow chart in Google Docs, you want to make it stand out enough so that viewers can easily figure out the way the process was meant to be done. So you’ll need to think of the format that you’re going to use. What this means is that you need to consider the shapes that you’ll be using and what size they should be in to ensure that the text is visible and readable. If you like, you can check out the many different samples of flow charts to give you an idea on how you should go about in formatting the one you’re making.
4. Color code each shape: Since there’s the possibility that your flow chart will contain alternate pathways, it’s best that you provide certain shapes or symbols with specific colors. That way, you can indicate where an employee can make a choice during the process. This can also be very useful for pointing out the beginning and the end of the entire process.
Types of Flow Charts
In the event that you want to learn more about the different types of flow charts or should you wish to learn about other documents, then you simply need to search our site for the articles that can help you.
Flow Chart FAQs
Does every process need a flow chart?
Although not all business processes require the use of a flow chart, those that contain many different steps or ones that are too complex will definitely require the use of the chart.
What are subprocesses within flow charts?
If there are processes that are too complex, then they can be broken down into subprocesses. These will make it easier for the viewer to understand how a particular step in the process should be done. So if there are a lot of difficult steps, then expect to put in a lot of subprocesses in the flow chart.
How do I easily create a flowchart?
If you want to make it in the most convenient way possible, then you should definitely consider using a blank flowchart template. There are many different types that you can choose from and once you acquire them, you simply need to make the changes you want to make until you are satisfied.