What is A Flow Chart?

What is A Flow Chart?

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A flowchart is a schematic representation of an algorithm or a process. The flowchart is one of the seven basic tools of quality control, which include the histogram, pareto chart, check sheet, control chart, cause-and-effect diagram, flowchart, and scatter diagram.

Flow charts can be created by hand or manually in most office software, but they specialized diagram drawing software has emerged that can also be used for the purpose.


A typical flowchart may have the following kinds of symbols −

  • Start and end symbols, represented as lozenges, ovals or rounded rectangles, usually containing the word start or end or another phrase signaling the start or end of a process, such as submit enquiry or receive product.

  • Arrows, showing what's called flow of control in computer science. An arrow coming from one symbol and ending at another symbol represents that control passes to the symbol the arrow points to.

  • Processing steps, represented as rectangles.

    For Example − "Add 1 to X" "replace identified part" "Save changes" or similar.

  • Input/Output, represented as a parallelogram. Examples: Get X from the user; display X

A flow chart is a graphical or symbolic representation of a process. Each step in the process is represented by a different symbol and contains a short description of the process step. The flow chart symbols are linked together with arrows showing the process flow direction.

Flow charts are a useful tool in these situations, as they make a process easy to understand at a glance. Using just a few words and some simple symbols, they show clearly what happens at each stage and how this affects other decisions and actions.