Process Flow Charting
A Flow Chart is a pictorial representation showing all the steps of a process. They provide excellent documentation of a process and can be invaluable for examining how the various steps in a process are related to each other. By studying these charts you can often uncover loopholes which are potential sources of trouble.
They can be applied to anything, from the travels of an invoice or the flow of materials, to the steps in making a sale or servicing a product. Action Teams working in administrative operations will almost certainly find them invaluable.
Flowchart for Recruitment
Flow Charts can and often are compiled by individuals following the above procedure, but used by an Action Team (in the form of Process Mapping) they can become even more powerful.
People often know the steps and procedures for their own sections but not those of others. One approach we used was to bring a working team around a large wall or sheet of wallpaper, and get them to create a Process Map of the procedure and then analyse it, perhaps using it to brainstorm problems.
Simple Process Map
Journey of the Customer
Most Flow Charts follow an internal process through the organisation. Another approach, illustrated in one of the examples, is to use it to map the “Journey of the Customer” through your organisation and map not just one process, but the multitude of processes that they go through.
Process Map - Journey of the Customer through a Hotel
The general procedure for Flow Charting is:
Step 1 - Define the Process
- Listing all the Key Steps involved.
Step 2 - Draw the Diagram
- Place the process steps in boxes linked by arrows to each other.
Step 3 - Check the Logic and Analyse the Flow Chart.
Look at the Flow Chart and ask:
- Are all the Steps Necessary? Can any be taken out?
- Are any Steps Missing?
- Where can Delays occur?
- Can the process be Simplified?
- What Steps can be taken in Parallel?
Brainstorming | Rating & Ranking | Fishbone Analysis | Process Mapping | Pareto Analysis | Mind Mapping | Case Study | Checklists | Concentration Diagrams | Histograms | Pie Charts | Run Charts | Scatter Diagrams |