Drawing Business Flowchart: Flowchart Drawing Tool

Source: Internet
Author: User
Tags define object definition comparison window

Article Description: What is a flowchart? What is the difference between flowcharts and other charts (such as wireframes, concept diagrams, frame compositions, use case diagrams)?

Figure 1: A simple flowchart with instant sticker and whiteboard

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Foreword: Recently some time, busy sorting out the business flow chart, during, the drawing method and the tool regarding the flow chart also with the internal team and outside did the exchange of experience, just, personal life also involves in buying a house, wedding, hukou migration and so on process. Unconsciously, accompanied by practice and reflection, personal knowledge of the system tends to complete, today the weather is very good, sitting in a window corner, listening to or several birds singing, occasionally a glimpse of the window of the everywhere shade, really feel is a write something day. So just sort it out, and if it happens to help you, it's really good.

The actual process involves the company's unpublished plans, not open, so in this article will use a simple case substitution (this case, that is, planning to write the first 30 minutes before thinking, if not considered, please forgive me), but only to convey the concept and method, but also enough. Well, Shing, let's get started.

This article will contain a few pieces of content:

1. What is a flowchart? What is the difference between flowcharts and other charts (such as wireframes, concept diagrams, frame compositions, use case diagrams)?

2. Why do I need a flowchart?

3. The classification of the flowchart?

4. How do I draw a flowchart?

5. Flowchart Drawing Tool

Depending on the length of the text will be slightly divided into series, please pay attention to and a lot of exchanges.

The first part: What is a flowchart?

1. Define

To understand a thing, I used to start with its definition. As for why, you can see my previous blog post: http://heidixie.blog.sohu.com/161709085.html

Because we loathe ten years of education and hate to recite various theorems and definitions, I find that many people in life and work hate to define a thing and to refer to it. So you will find that a lot of people in a quarrel together, listen carefully, originally is're same page, not on a channel. For a description of a thing, there is not a common language, there is no so-called term. It is well defined and you collectively cite a definition to find that the definition is problematic, OK, to supplement the definition, and to expand to more people. of course, if anything is too much, let's remind each other.

So what is a flowchart? To say the word is a good way to understand the definition. Flowchart = Process + diagram, as shown below:

Figure 2: The definition of the flowchart

Process: Flow refers to a series of operational processes in which a particular subject has a specific logical relationship in order to satisfy a particular need, and the process naturally exists. But it can be irregular, can not be fixed, can be full of problems. So it can cause seemingly no flow. Not long ago, everyone in the team to work on a business team to investigate the process, feedback to my process there are some deficiencies. When asked, the owner feedback to my reply is: This piece of business they have no process. In fact, strictly speaking, the business has been carried out, it is impossible to have no process, just say there is no fixed process or the object of your research is not clear.

Figure: Chart or Diagram, is the basic curing has a certain regularity of the process of dominance and writing, which is conducive to the dissemination and precipitation, process reengineering reference.

From the definition can be seen, as long as there are things and tasks, the process will have, but not all processes are suitable to use the flow chart of the way to performance, suitable for the flow chart to show the process is a certain degree of fixed rules can follow, the key link in the process will not be capricious.

2. Comparison of flow chart and other charts

We also use or hear many other types of charts in our work, such as wireframe (wireframes), information architecture or site map, which developers often say use cases, or E-R diagrams, which are often said by interactive designers. What is the difference between what these different graphs have to say? Simply make a comparison, as shown in figure:

Figure 3: Flowchart vs Other Common charts

If you want to string to a project, you can understand:

Use case diagram:

Shows a role in the system to complete the activity is what, such as the user's role and ATM machine interaction process, the user needs to complete activities have to save money, withdraw funds, inquiries and so on. And save this activity can be further subdivided into cards, input password, input amount, ATM bills, user receipts, cards and other activities. The use case diagram can not consider the sequence of user action, but only extracts some key verb-object phrases, mapping out the function points that the system should satisfy. The people who use use case diagrams are product managers and development engineers.

The flowchart indicates the order of each activity of the user, for example, the user must first insert the bank card before they can enter the password, and the flowchart must show all kinds of abnormal judgment, for example, when the password is wrong, what prompts, the password input error more than how many times, what prompts and moves. The people who use flowcharts are product managers, designers, or anyone who needs to tell how the business works.

Information architecture Map, sitemap (site map):

Performance in order to do such a system, the function and content of the level of presentation, such as the user after entering the Welcome page navigation How to design, whether directly appear withdrawals, deposits, inquiries, or other navigation? The Common information architecture diagram is the designer. But the common organization chart is HR.

Wireframe (Wireframe):

The content layout and weight of each interface are expressed, and some interactive details are designed, such as how to prompt the next action when the password is wrong. People who use wireframes are designers.

Entity Relationship Diagram (E-R diagram):

It is the work of the database schema that represents the relationship of the entity time in a business system or scenario, such as the relationship between a depositor and a bank card that is attributable to more than 1 pairs, and is associated with a card-opening event. Generally speaking, the rectangle is used to represent the entity, the Ellipse identifies the attributes of the entity, such as the property of the entity of the depositor: surname, name, mobile phone number, address, etc. And the attributes of the bank card are: Account Bank, account name, bank card number and so on.

All of these charts have experts in the field, and I'm not going to swim for it.

So what is the key to the flowchart that reflects his definition of variance? Summed up the flowchart of the 6 elements, I hope you can remember that these 6 elements can be reviewed in future articles, you can also take to determine what you see the flow chart is professional.

Figure 4: Flowchart 6 major elements

    • Participant: Who is in this process? It can be a system, it can be a printer, it's more of a role--it's usually someone with a certain type of job. For example, customer service also has small A and small B two people, but if they work the same nature, then in the flowchart only need to write a customer service role on it.
    • Activities: What to do, such as ordering meals, checkout and other activities.
    • Order: How do these things happen, and which tasks are preconditions for other tasks? For example, if the guest does not checkout, it will not produce the activity of giving him a discount card.
    • Input: Each activity starts with what kind of input or data, for example, when the chef starts cooking, he needs to get a specific point menu.
    • Output: After each activity, what kind of documents or data will be passed to the next party, for example, after the chef completes the dish, how to let the person responsible for the dish know that the dish is ready?
    • Standardization: Use a standardized set of symbols to deliver your flowchart so that audiences can understand it faster.

The standardization of flowchart is not mandatory, in fact, we have seen many kinds of flowcharts, as long as we can convey the understanding of the task and order is actually categorized in the flowchart. As shown in the following figure:

But if you are in a company environment, your flow chart of the audience is very much, the adoption of standardized symbols will bring a lot of communication benefits, in short you understand.

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