Flow Process Chart

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 509
  • Published : March 14, 2008
Open Document
Text Preview
A flowchart (also spelled flow-chart and flow chart) is a schematic representation of an algorithm or a process.

A flowchart is one of the seven basic tools of quality control, which also includes the histogram, Pareto chart, check sheet, control chart, cause-and-effect diagram, and scatter diagram (see Quality Management Glossary). They are commonly used in business/economic presentations to help the audience visualize the content better, or to find flaws in the process. Alternatively, one can use Nassi-Shneiderman diagrams.

A flowchart is described as "cross-functional" when the page is divided into different "lanes" describing the control of different organizational units. A symbol appearing in a particular "lane" is within the control of that organizational unit. This technique allows the analyst to locate the responsibility for performing an action or making a decision correctly, allowing the relationship between different organizational units with responsibility over a single process.

Contents [hide]
1 History
2 Software
2.1 Manual
2.2 Automatic
3 Examples
4 Symbols
5 References
6 See also
7 External links

[edit] History
The first structured method for documenting process flow, the flow process chart, was introduced by Frank Gilbreth to members of ASME in 1921 as the presentation "Process Charts—First Steps in Finding the One Best Way". Gilbreth's tools quickly found their way into industrial engineering curricula. In the early 1930s, an industrial engineer, Allan H. Mogensen began training business people in the use of some of the tools of industrial engineering at his Work Simplification Conferences in Lake Placid, New York.

A 1944 graduate of Mogensen's class, Art Spinanger, took the tools back to Procter and Gamble where he developed their Deliberate Methods Change Program. Another 1944 graduate, Ben S. Graham, Director of Formcraft Engineering at Standard Register Corporation, adapted the flow process chart to information processing with his development of the multi-flow process chart to displays multiple documents and their relationships. In 1947, ASME adopted a symbol set derived from Gilbreth's original work as the ASME Standard for Process Charts.

According to Herman Goldstine, he developed flowcharts with John von Neumann at Princeton University in late 1946 and early 1947.[1]

[edit] Software

[edit] Manual
Any vector-based drawing program can be used to create flowcharts. Some tools offer special support for flowcharts, e.g., ConceptDraw, SmartDraw, and Dia.

[edit] Automatic
Many software packages exist that can create flowcharts automatically, either directly from source code, or from a flowchart description language:

For example, Graph::Easy, a Perl package, takes a textual description of the graph, and uses the description to generate various output formats including HTML, ASCII or SVG. The example graph listed below was generated from the text shown below. The automatically generated SVG output is shown on the right:

A simple flowchart, created automatically.graph { flow: south; } node.start { shape: rounded; fill: #ffbfc9; }
node.question { shape: diamond; fill: #ffff8a; }
node.action { shape: rounded; fill: #8bef91; }

[ Lamp doesn't work ] { class: start }
--> [ Lamp\n plugged in? ] { class: question; }
-- No --> [ Plug in lamp ] { class: action; }

[ Lamp\n plugged in? ]
--> [ Bulb\n burned out? ] { class: question; }
-- Yes --> [ Replace bulb ] { class: action; }

[ Bulb\n burned out? ]
-- No --> [ Buy new lamp ] { class: action; }
There exist also various MediaWiki Extensions to incorporate flowchart descriptions directly into wiki articles.

[edit] Examples

A simple flowchart for computing factorial N (N!)A flowchart for computing factorial N (N!) Where N! = 1 * 2 * 3 *...* N. This flowchart represents a "loop and a half" — a situation discussed in introductory programming textbooks that...
tracking img