The process flowchart

 The process flowchart

All areas, manufacturing, administrative and service, manage processes, whether they are large or small scale. This will serve both employees in the execution of their tasks and managers in assessing the fluidity of activities. Have you already taken the time to document your processes using a process flowchart?    

By analyzing a process, we can quickly identify what is not working in the flow of tasks (service that takes too long, recurring errors, loss of time, missing information, etc.) and to start working together to find solutions. 

By documenting the processes, we ensure the retention of organisational knowledge and facilitate the learning of new employees or when an employee changes position. 

So, it is especially important for the solid management of the company to establish clear and precise processes. So how do you go about building one? 

My preferred tool for this activity is process mapping. And of course, it is one of the 7 basic quality tools! 

It is a flow chart that represents the different steps of a process in sequential order. Each step is analysed by including all the elements (material, service) but also the decisions that must be taken, the people involved and the time for each step. 

When should we use a process flowchart?  

In many situations!  

Here are some examples of when it can be used:  

  • For project planning 
  • To document a process 
  • To inform about a new process or a process change 
  • To improve a process 
  • To better understand the complexity of a process 

How to use this tool?  

  1. First, get some post-its, a large whiteboard or sheet of paper and some markers. 
  2. Define the process to be mapped and write its title at the top of the page/board. 
  3. Decide on the boundaries of the process: where and when does it start? Where and when does it end? Discuss and decide on the level of detail to include in the diagram. 
  4. Brainstorm to identify all the activities that are taking place. Write each one on a post-it. 
  5. Then put the activities in the appropriate order.  
  6. If everyone agrees with the sequence and activities listed, draw arrows to show the process. 
  7. Finally, review the flowchart with other people involved in the process (workers, supervisors, suppliers, customers) to get validation of the process. 

Do not hesitate to include all your partners in the process (even your suppliers, customers, and supervisors) and to involve them in your working sessions.  

The best way to take ownership of the mapping is to let the people who carry out the process do it themselves. 

Are you looking at documenting your processes and are not certain where and how to begin? We can help you bring your team together to better understand how your processes work.  


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