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How to make a flowchart: An easy step-by-step tutorial

Making a flowchart in Miro

Your guide on how to make a flowchart

Flowcharts, with their visual simplicity and structured layout, are indispensable tools for conveying intricate processes. They help break down complex information into simple, easy-to-follow steps. However, creating a flowchart can seem daunting, especially if you're unsure where to start or what tools to use.

In this simple five-step guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to make a flowchart.

Whether you're creating a flowchart to explain a complex process to your team or creating one for yourself to organize your thoughts, this guide will help you create clear and effective flowcharts that anyone can understand.

How to create a flowchart in 5 easy steps

Learning how to create a flowchart may seem daunting at first, but by following these five easy steps, you'll easily map out any process or workflow. You can make a flowchart from scratch or use a flowchart template where the shapes and arrows are pre-loaded on the board.

Step 1: Determine the purpose and scope of the flowchart

Defining the purpose and scope is crucial, as it helps to focus on what needs to be in the flowchart and what shouldn't be. It also guarantees that the flowchart accurately represents the process it is trying to depict.

Step 2: Identify the steps and sequence of the process

Breaking down a process into smaller basic steps should involve anyone who's part of the process. Identifying the correct sequence and avoiding missing critical steps or duplicating others is important.

Start by adding all the steps that need to be covered as shapes on a blank board, then begin arranging them in the correct order.

Step 3: Choose the appropriate symbols and shapes

Once all the steps are laid out, you’ll need to make sure they’re represented with the right shape. You can easily change existing shapes on your board to correspond with the right flowchart symbol and what it represents.

Step 4: Draw the flowchart

Drawing the flowchart is where the creative process begins. With the shapes arranged in the right sequence, begin adding connection lines and arrows between steps. You can add labels to the connection lines and easily move the elements around to adjust the order as needed.

Step 5: Test and improve the flowchart

Testing the flowchart is important to ensure it accurately represents the process. This includes reviewing the flowchart with others involved in the process to get their feedback. Once feedback is received, the flowchart can be improved and modified accordingly.

Why you need a flowchart

Now that you know how to make a flowchart, let’s talk about why it’s beneficial to begin with. A flowchart is useful for visualizing complex processes and identifying bottlenecks or refinement areas.

Flowcharts are found in a variety of industries, from software development to manufacturing and logistics. They map out processes and identify opportunities for optimization.

They're also used in project management to help teams understand the sequence of tasks and the dependencies between them.

Additionally, flowcharts document processes, which are crucial for:

  • Training new employees

  • Improving quality control

  • Following regulations

  • Understanding a business process

  • Identifying bottlenecks and inefficiencies in a business process

When to use a flowchart

Flowcharts are useful in a variety of situations to help with planning and decision-making. Here are some common types of flowcharts and their applications:

Process flowchart:

  • Use it to: plan a new project, a basic process, or map out an organization.

  • Helps to: better inform decisions by depicting a process step-by-step.

  • Mostly used by: engineers and software designers.

Workflow chart:

  • Use it to: manage workflows and map business functions.

  • Standardize procedures by: integrating automated processes with manual tasks.

  • Mostly used by: business and project managers.

Swimlane flowchart:

  • Use it to: manage workflows across different departments.

  • Enhances collaborative processes by: picturing processes in different parts of an organization.

  • Mostly used by: cross-functional teams.

Data flowchart:

  • Use it to: bridge communication between systems and users.

  • Helps to: inform data-oriented decisions by showing how data is processed.

  • Used by: a range of professionals, from engineers to marketers.

Asset generated from Bynder: https://dam.miro.com/media/?mediaId=54E8484C-90FD-4B35-AEBBE5383FEA590D

Asset generated from Bynder: https://dam.miro.com/media/?mediaId=54E8484C-90FD-4B35-AEBBE5383FEA590D

Use Miro to easily create a flowchart

Flowcharts are powerful tools that help you visually communicate complex information in a simple, easy-to-follow format. By following the simple steps and strategies outlined here, you can master the art of creating clear, concise, and informative flowcharts. Sign up for free to Miro to get started today.

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