What is a flowchart? Concept, Process, Symbology and Examples

What is a flowchart?

We explain that it is a flowchart and what is the process to elaborate it. In addition, how is the symbology used and some examples.

What is a flowchart

A flowchart represents each point step in a process.

The flow chart or also activity chart is a way to graphically represent an algorithm or a process of some nature, through a series of structured and linked steps that allow its review as a whole.

The graphical representation of these processes uses, in the flow diagrams, a certain series of geometric figures that represent each specific step of the process being evaluated.

These pre-defined shapes are connected to each other through arrows and lines that mark the direction of the flow and establish the path of the process, as if it were a map.

There are four types of flowchart based on the mode of their representation:

  1. Horizontal. It goes from right to left, according to the order of the reading.
  2. Vertical. It goes from top to bottom, like an ordered list.
  3. Panoramic. They allow you to see the entire process on a single sheet, using the vertical and horizontal models.
  4. Architectural. Represents a work itinerary or work area.

Flow diagrams are a mechanism for controlling and describing processes, which allow for greater organization, evaluation or rethinking of sequences of activities and processes of different kinds, given that they are versatile and simple.

They are often employed in disciplines such as programming, computing, economics, finance, industrial processes and even cognitive psychology.

Processing a Flowchart

In this area, we speak of processes to refer to a specific sequence of activities, that is, to the steps to be taken within the flowchart.

For example, in computing, processes are sequences initiated either by programmed triggers within the system, or by system user interventions. Each has a direction, a purpose and a series of steps that it encompasses.

Symbology of a flowchart

The main conventional symbols used in flow diagrams are as follows:

Examples of flow diagrams

  • Flowchart for the purchase of a pair of shoes:
  • Flowchart for playing a DVD

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