Curious Cat Management Improvement Library - Dictionary

Flowchart - Process Flowchart - Flow Diagram - Flow Chart

Flowchart - pictorial representation of a process. Flowcharts are a great tool to aid in process improvement. In documenting the process you often discover many people had different thoughts about what the process actually was. Often just having a flowchart results in some improvement as people learn how what role they are suppose to play in the process.

In addition, the flowchart simplifies the process of locating and eliminating non-value added steps. Also it can aid in determining the proper points at which in-process measures would be helpful to accessing the performance of the process. They also can be used as training aids and help prevent the straying from the proper procedures that often occurs without process documentation. And flowcharts indicate steps along the way where delays occur - steps that may provide improvement potential (see throughput)

The process flowchart is also an aid that can help when trying to find potential causes of problems when results fail to meet expectations. The simple flowchart obviously has a wide variety of benefits and is a great tool for management improvement.

Related Terms:
  • Deployment Flowcharting - A flowchart that displays organizational entities at the top of the chart. The individual process steps are show under the appropriate organizational entity. This makes obvious the interactions required between different parts of the organization. It can also make apparent processes that may have become too involved and are ripe for streamlining (lean thinking).
  • Fishbone Diagram
  • Gantt Chart
  • Process Improvement
  • Systems Thinking
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