What You Need To Know About Process Diagrams

What is a process diagram? What does a process diagram do? What are its different types? This is a short introduction to process diagrams.

management planning

Published 12 Jun 2022

What is a Process Diagram?

A process diagram, also known as a flowchart, is a visual representation of the steps required to complete a given task or achieve a desired outcome. They can be used by anyone from business owners to managers, team members, customers, and suppliers.

Management planning

Process diagrams are commonly used in factories and other manufacturing settings, but they can also be applied in other areas such as service delivery, healthcare, research, and education.

What is its Purpose and When is it Used?

The purpose of a process diagram is to show how a process works and the different stages it goes through. They are used to improve communication within a team, identify areas for improvement, and track progress.

The icons and symbols used in process diagrams vary depending on the type of diagram it is, but all share a common goal: to show the sequence of events and activities required to complete a task. Process diagrams can be used for illustrating everything from the manufacturing process of a new product to the steps involved in cooking a Thanksgiving dinner.

What are the 4 Types of Process Flow Diagrams?

There are 4 main types of process flow diagrams each with its own specific usage:

Process Flowchart

Also known as the communication flow chart, a process flowchart or process flow diagram can be used to explain how something gets done in an organization. This type of flowchart can be adapted to nearly any process and it can help quickly explain the steps involved in a process.

Workflow Diagram

A workflow diagram helps recognize and understand how data and documents progress within an organization. It demonstrates the way how a business functions. It is often used to train newly hired employees, discover possible problem areas, organize and clarify business operations, and many more.

Swimlane Flowchart

A swimlane flowchart is a useful tool when you need to depict multiple flows of information side by side. Swimlane diagrams are similar to workflow diagrams, but the key difference is that swimlane diagrams allow you to create different categories for where the activity takes place.

A swimlane flowchart or diagram can be helpful in documenting a process that interacts with different segments of an organization or requires collaboration among different teams.

Data Flowchart

A data flowchart or data flow diagram can be used to show the way data is processed. This tool can be helpful when you want to design or analyze a system. Although data flowcharts are most often used for software development and design, they can also be used to analyze any type of information flow, such as how information moves through a business.

How Do You Create a Process Diagram?

Though some may think it’s complicated to create one, it’s actually rather simple especially when you are using templates or software like iAuditor. Below are some steps to help you create a process diagram:

Step 1: Determine the problem.
Step 2: Decide the activities that need to be included.
Step 3: Analyze the boundaries such as when or when the process will start and end.
Step 4: Identify the steps and arrange them accordingly.
Step 5: Draw the basic symbols.
Step 6: Finalize it!

Shella Marie Ang

SafetyCulture staff writer

Shella Marie Ang

Shella Marie Ang is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. Cultivating her experience in social media marketing, virtual assistance, and SEO has helped her create compelling content for websites and blogs. Her medical background also has given her an edge when it comes to writing medical and health-related content. She loves reading in her free time and being around other creatives.

Shella Marie Ang is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. Cultivating her experience in social media marketing, virtual assistance, and SEO has helped her create compelling content for websites and blogs. Her medical background also has given her an edge when it comes to writing medical and health-related content. She loves reading in her free time and being around other creatives.