The Flowchart is the most popular tool among the 7 QC tools. Today’s topic is the 5 steps of how to make a flowchart. Also try the free Flowchart template from the link in this post.
DOWNLOAD ← Click this to download the “Flowchart” template file.
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- Today’s topic is the 5 steps of how to draw a flowchart.
Today’s topic is the 5 steps of how to draw a flowchart.
Hi, this is Mike Negami, Lean Sigma Black Belt.
In the Improve Phase, you made a high level process map using a Value Stream Map. Then, you can use a Flowchart for designing more detailed processes of your new business flow.
You can also use a Flowchart for many situations such as describing current detailed processes, using it as an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) and so on.
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Just click the link in this video’s description to download the Flowchart template.
- DOWNLOAD ← Click this to download the “Flowchart” template file.
This is the template. Here are the 5 steps of Flowcharting:
(Click the image below to enlarge the image.)
1) Consider the purpose of your Flowchart.
Who is your audience and what action do you expect from them? Write that down.
2) Consider the beginning and end points of your target process.
The beginning is especially important. Clarify what triggers the start of your process. Example: when a specific time or day come around, or when you receive some document or information.
3) Decide the number of swim lanes.
Like a swimming pool’s lanes, each department has an area on a flowchart. Count how many people or departments deal with the target process. Maximum is 4, but you want less than that.
If you have more than 4 departments, you have to combine some of them into the same lane. Enter the number of lanes you decided on in this cell, then the display of the template will change.
4) Break down your process and draw all process shapes and text.
Enter general information and the department names you decided, like this.
Then, double-click ‘Beginning and End Icon’. Customarily, a Flowchart starts and ends with ovals. Enter the process trigger, or just “Start”. In my example, “A delivery driver brings a returned product.” is the beginning.
Next, double-click ‘Process Step Icon’ and enter each step’s content in each box. Usually, you omit the department name from the box. However, in this example, since 3 departments share the lane, it’s better to have the department names specified.
Double-click ‘Arrow Connector Icon’ and connect boxes. Drag the edge of the arrow onto another shape and release your mouse on the black point, then it will change to a green point. Do the same thing with this. They are now connected.
Some steps have different outcomes depending on each situation. In that case, double-click ‘Decision Icon’. Here, I entered “Purchaser checks if they are resalable or not.” and “Restockable” and “Un-Restockable”.
If you want to use other flowchart shapes, in the menu, click ‘Insert’ –> ‘Shapes’ and there is the Flowchart section. Select and use a shape that you like.
As a good practice, don’t mind position arrangement at the beginning, but fill out all shapes and text, like this.
5) Lastly, lay out all shapes’ positions and arrows, then it will be complete.
There are two Excel tips here. We would like to straightly align these shapes. While pressing the control key on your keyboard, click all the shapes. Select ‘Drawing Tools Format’, ‘Align’, ‘Align Center’. You can get that done very easily.
For the second tip, since all arrows have connectors, these straight lines don’t look nice. Right-click on the line and select ‘Connector Types’, ‘Straight Connector’. It will become a straight line. After completing all steps, you are done.
I’ll introduce the last icon. You may have a process that you can’t complete in one page and want to continue to the next page. In that case, double-click the ‘To Other Page Icon’. You’ll get a circle icon. Connect this to the process. Scroll up and take a good look. The next page was generated automatically. You can continue your work on this.
We’ve learned how to draw a flowchart, which is used very frequently. Thank you very much for viewing. Please click the ‘Subscribe’ button. Also click and watch my other related videos. Thanks.