What is a Flowchart, and Why Is It Important?

Flowcharts are visual representations which use symbols to illustrate the different stages of a procedure in order of sequential. They’re a tool both programmers and business users rely on for many uses. For instance, a programmers can create a flowchart process map to assist an individual understand the way data is entered into through a program, how it is transformed inside the software, as well as how the data transforms into an output.

Why are they so popular?

One of the reasons for the increasing appeal of flowcharts is that they help users to explain the way they will establish the business requirements of a new procedure or application. A flowchart maker can also assist in analyzing the process from beginning to completion. So, you can make sure you don’t miss to record steps that cover crucial inputs, outputs and processes.

Different types of Flowcharts

Swim Lane Flowcharts

Swim lane flowcharts divide various functions into distinct lanes. For instance, you could make a flowchart for a swim lane that includes routes for tasks performed by different departments like human resources, accounting, and operations.

Cross-Functional Diagrams of Flowcharts

The cross-functional flowcharts indicate who is responsible to ensure that different tasks are completed and when they occur. If you’re dealing with a large complex, multi-faceted process that involves multiple teams, individuals and departments using a cross-functional flowchart, it can assist users in understanding the flow of information between various areas.

Specification Language and Description Diagram (SDL)

An SDL diagram depicts the modeling language used to illustrate how applications that are event-driven work in real-time. SDLs are often employed in the medical, communications, aviation and automotive industries. SDLs are great for describing the behaviour of software that is complex.

Influence Diagram (ID)

Influence diagrams provide visual representations of the decision-making process. They highlight key elements such as roadblocks or objectives that must be met at various points.

Basic Flowchart symbols

A flowchart symbol represents the representation of a graphic element of the workflow. There are a few typical flowchart symbols:

End and Start

The terminal is an oval-shaped symbol utilized in a flowchart process to show the moment when a program begins stopping, or stops, or comes close to a complete stop. It is often used to illustrate programming logic that has errors. Terminals are the primary and final symbol in an flowchart.

Decision Making

The decision symbol, which is typically depicted as a diamond represents the moment in the process when a decision is required to be taken. The process generally involves a yes/no choice or true/false. The sequence of the program may change based on the decision made by a user, or an automated process.


The shapes of parallelograms typically indicate outputs and inputs. They are used to indicate the location the place where software receives or communicates information. People rely on the shapes to indicate actions like typing in data, displaying it on the screen or printing it out to the device of their choice.


Connectors on a flowchart indicate entry and re-entry points in an application or process. They’re represented with tiny circles with numbers that correspond to other functions. Connectors can be helpful in situations in which users must be able to account for an application that doesn’t support the continuous flowchart format.


The symbol of display represents the text to display to the user via an interface.


The Process symbol, which is represented by an equilateral triangle or a square box is a way to define specific functions in an application. For instance, a programmer could add an icon of a process to their flowchart in order to explain how their program calculates the tax on sales for an eCommerce shopping app.

Example of a Flowchart

Let’s suppose you want to create an application that would compare two numbers input by a user, and showed the one with the highest value. Here’s an outline of the way you could create a flowchart.

The user is required to add an arrow symbol in the beginning of the program, which indicates the program’s launch.
The user can add an input/output symbol in order to indicate that the user is required to input the initial number.
The user is able to add the display symbol, which contains the words, for example “Please start with one number.”
The user is required to input a symbol which accepts the first number that is entered by the user.
The user can add an image that displays the words, for example “Please input the 2nd number.”
The user is required to input a symbol that accepts the second entry by the user.
The user can add an icon for the process that indicates which program is used to compare two numbers.
The user can add an algorithm that determines to see if the initial number greater than the second. If so the program will display that first number. If not it should show the second number.
The user is able to add an icon that displays which is the more significant than the other numbers entering.
The user is able to add an exit symbol to indicate the conclusion in the application.

Benefits of Using Flowcharts

Flowcharts can help engineers to explain more intricate processes within the system. They also be used as guides to create the blueprint to design the next program. Many programmers employ flowcharts to aid in the process of debugging.

Visual flow and the arrangement of forms in a flowchart makes it easy to identify irregularities and conduct analysis. Flowcharts can also be a useful tool for helping users to maintain the proper standards of documentation while working on projects. Flowcharts are a great tool to help developers and users in becoming more efficient as they are able to effortlessly track the flow of data through an entire process.

Strategies for Creating Better Flowcharts

Although flowcharts can be a fantastic method of providing clarity to an enterprise procedure, they could cause confusion or causing misinformation to other people. Avoid these mistakes by adhering to a solid flowchart layout.

Use the same design elements. For instance, if for example you choose to use an oval to represent the beginning of a plan and you want to also include an oval for the conclusion. Also, make every shape of the same size and ensure that the spacing between elements of the flowchart to be consistent.
Make sure that everything is on the same page. Try to put the entire flowchart on the same page. If you’re concerned that you’re running out of space you can try reducing the size the flowchart. It is also possible to alter how your flow is flowing. For instance, you could move elements in a row from right to left then shift to the right to begin the next row.
Utilize split paths instead decision symbols. using a split approach instead of the diamond symbol to signify the decision makes it easier to keep your flowchart flowing between left and right. This helps people to understand what is happening in your diagram without needing much explanation.