A flow chart is a graphical or symbolic representation of a process. Each step in
the process is represented by a different symbol and contains a short description of
the process step. The flow chart symbols are linked together with arrows showing
the process flow direction. This diagrammatic representation illustrates a solution
to a given problem, was developed by Herman Goldstein and John von
Neumann in the 1940's.
Flowcharts are used in analyzing, designing, documenting or managing a process
or program in various fields. Flow charts are used in designing and documenting
complex processes or programs. They help visualize what is going on and thereby
help the viewer to understand a process.
A flow chart can therefore be used to:
Define and analyze processes.
Build a step-by-step picture of the process for analysis, discussion, or
Define, standardize or find areas for improvement in a process.
SYMBOLS USED IN FLOW CHART:
Different flow chart symbols have different meanings. The most common flow
chart symbols are:
Terminator: An oval flow chart shape indicating the start or end of the
Process: A rectangular flow chart shape indicating a normal process flow
Decision: A diamond flow chart shape indication a branch in the process
Connector: A small, labeled, circular flow chart shape used to indicate a
jump in the process flow. (Shown as the circle with the letter “A”, below.)
Data: A parallelogram that indicates data input or output (I/O) for a process.
Document: Used to indicate a document or report