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.
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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 ChartsFirst 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... [continues]
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