Process flows are all about how one activity leads to another in a project. They show the flow of activities and tasks from beginning to end while providing an overview of how everything comes together. Simplifying all these is the job of a process flow chart.
While creating a flowchart may seem like a tedious task, that is not the case! Thanks to Venngage and its online graph maker, you can create a flowchart online without needing to be a pro. In this article, we’ll look at some ways you can use a process flowchart for your next projects:
1. As a Communication Tool
A process workflow chart is a graphical representation of the steps involved in accomplishing a process. It shows every action needed to reach your desired outcome, including things you need to avoid. As such, this type of chart can help you communicate the project specifics and job objectives with others. It provides everyone involved with a clear understanding of what’s required and where their involvement fits into the process.
2. As a Goal-Setting Tool
Another way to use a process flow chart is as a job planner or goal-planning tool. You can use it to estimate how much time it will take to complete a task. It can also aid in determining your team’s capabilities in terms of meeting deadlines and other requirements.
By drawing a process flow chart, you can get an idea of how much time a task takes from beginning to end. In the process, you’ll realize which processes require more attention than others. You can cut down time considerably if you know which specific parts to focus on.
Similarly, you can use a process flow chart to determine the performance of certain equipment. Are they performing to full capacity? Or are resources wasted on unnecessary steps? These are all important in making necessary adjustments should the need arise.
3. As a Training Tool
If someone has never completed a specific task before, you can use a process flowchart to guide their training. You can create a process flowchart containing a step-by-step process of required tasks. At the same time, it also allows you to monitor which process a newbie often makes mistakes on. That way, you can adjust the flowchart and help them not make the same mistake next time.
Below is an example of an easy-to-follow process flowchart from Venngage that you can use as a training tool:
4. As a Planning Tool
You can discover potential bottlenecks and other problems by taking individual processes on process flow charts. It helps you create contingency plans if something goes wrong along the way. That way, you already have an alternative course of action to follow at a critical moment.
You may even find that you can eliminate some steps with no negative impact on subsequent activities. Not only will you save time and hassle but also money in the end. Take a look at this simple Venngage process flowchart you can use as a template for your planning process:
5. To Flag Risky Steps
Process flow charts also help spot steps in the process where there are potential issues. Therefore, it can identify which tasks need more attention or need some tweaking. This attention to detail can help ensure your project stays on track and meets its goals while minimizing unnecessary risks.
It’s especially beneficial when it comes to implementing new projects that involve unfamiliar tasks. Process flowcharts help reveal trouble spots early on for you to take corrective action before they become critical problems.
6. As a Quality Control Tool
Following a process flow chart is an excellent way to measure the quality of the entire process. You can use it to evaluate the execution speed and accuracy compared to industry standards or other benchmarks. In fact, you can use your process flow charts as part of a quality control system!
For example, let’s say you are following a deadline for a project. Everything has been going according to schedule until this point; there have not been any disruptions in the workflow. However, some steps suddenly start taking more time than supposed to. It could be an indicator that something unexpected has occurred and will require additional attention.
Whatever it may be that’s slowing down the process, it should become apparent upon one look at your process flow chart.
7. As a Risk Management Tool
A process flowchart can help identify potential issues and monitor them before they turn into full-blown disasters.
For example, let’s say you are running an office with people working from home. There are no employees located in one central office building or facility. However, all of these employees follow the same procedures for completing their tasks (reflected in the process flows).
But suddenly, some of them begin falling behind schedule on various projects. What could cause this? One possibility would be that somebody has fallen ill and is unable to complete the project on time. If this kind of disruption is unlikely, you can easily identify what’s wrong and address it immediately.
Here’s a simple risk breakdown structure from Venngage that you can modify and try out for your project:
8. As a Project Design Tool
Finally, process flow charts are useful in designing new processes outside your current project. That way, you can already identify and document potential steps for your next project. Then, constructing the process flows during the mid-planning stages would be easier.
Process flowcharts make it possible to streamline steps while maintaining maximum effectiveness and efficiency. It results in better outcomes and less wasted time and effort.
Using a process flow chart offers endless advantages in project management. Now that you have a grasp of the flow chart example above, you are now ready to make your own! Using the Venngage flowchart maker, you can accomplish your process flowchart within minutes like a pro! Good luck!