Best Use of Flow Diagrams At Work
by: Clyde Hart
Flow diagrams are not new to most of us. In one or the other way, we have used them in our daily lives. Flow diagram is not only a term it refers to the diagrams of various types and designs. It is a broader concept that is used to depict the flow of process or data in the system. All these are used to represent the processes in a sequential manner. Flow diagrams first present a process in a graphical manner that is then described in detail and analyzed for its performance. If any errors or bugs are found is then rectified and the best alternative system is chosen for the process.
Flow diagram consists of set of boxes and symbols used to represent the flow of information or data or sequence of components in a process that is to be followed. Various decision boxes are also used to represent the runtime solutions for various decisions. All the boxes are followed in sequence, that is, one after the other. All the components are linked and related to each other. In other words, we can say that all the components in a flow diagram are interrelated to each other. Flow diagrams are very useful as it helps to understand the concept of the process and the way the system would function in a clear and concise manner.
Flow diagram refers to the state diagram, process flow diagram, data flow diagram and flowchart. It includes all the diagrams of state of the process, the way the process flows in the system, data flow within the process and the basic flowchart. That makes flow diagram a concept that covers all the aspects of process, data and state of any system. All the parts of Flow diagram have different uses and importance. State diagram represents the state of the process in a given situation or condition. The process flow diagram depicts the process flow in a system. Similarly, the data flow diagram shows the way the data would flow in the system, where it would be modified, files required or manipulated etc. is shown here. At last, flowchart is a pictorial representation of the components of the process and their relationship.
Flow diagrams are used in software companies while developing computer projects, business or industries while implementing any process (such as sales, manufacturing, purchase etc.), accounting firms as accounting flowchart etc. to increase the understandability of the process. Technical drawings are also created using flow diagrams in various manufacturing fields.