Human civilization has attained a complex level in its evolution and mankind currently inhabits a world deeply influenced by technology and its many applications. The fields of agriculture, science, commerce, industry, medicine, engineering, and electronics have become increasingly complex and complicated as we pursue knowledge and expand the applications of technology in these domains. Flowcharts represent an interesting attempt at capturing knowledge and delineating the various stages that define modern industrial, commercial, and engineering processes. These complex diagrams enable us to create simple and sophisticated products and promote the interactions of different workgroups. Various stakeholders such as process engineers, team leaders, managers, workflow designers, and scientists use flowcharts in their daily work routines. We will examine the top motivations that spur the use of these diagrams in the passages below.
Industrial planners, urban architects, men of science, and process designers can use flowcharts when planning a new project. This approach creates the foundations for new creations designed to apply technology in the service of humanity. A flowchart enables said personnel to create an outline in broad brushstrokes and assess the efficacy of the project. For instance, town planners and urban architects can use flowcharts to create a digital blueprint of a new township or multiple extensions of existing urban neighborhoods. Every aspect of town planning can be built into said flowcharts. The designers can assess progress at regular intervals and achieve the final blueprint. In a similar vein, industrial planners can use flowcharts to envision new production plants and intended output capacities. These flowcharts can yield insights into costing, materials required, location of the plant, and its essential connections. Men of science can create digital flowcharts when they wish to investigate natural phenomenon and seek deeper insights into the workings of nature.
Brand managers and business planners are often entrusted with a mandate to expand the scope and operations of a business enterprise. These persons can use flowcharts to model a business process with a view to achieve greater efficiencies and smoother operational outcomes. For instance, a brand manager employed by a manufacturer of pharmaceutical products can create detailed flowcharts that track the market performance of a brand or its sub-brands. Various streams of market data and product information can be fed into these diagrams with a view to impart color to the process. A close examination of the various stages in said flowchart can inform the brand manager of attaining possible process efficiencies and reducing wastage of corporate resources. We note such an examination can empower said manager to create stronger products and brands in the future that can garner larger market shares at the expense of the competition. In a similar vein, workflow managers can use flowcharts to improve business performance and ensure optimum resource utilization. For instance, a supply chain manager can create a flowchart designed to detect gaps in process performance. A close perusal of any emerging gaps presents significant scope for optimization through closer collaboration between various components that power said supply chain.
Modern commercial and business processes thrive on incremental improvements. Achieving upgrades can effect qualitative gains in process performance and result in better business outcomes. Keeping this in view, commercial operators and business organizations can use flowcharts that promote a balanced understanding of an existing business process among workers, associates, managers, strategists, and other stakeholders. Flowchart designers and creators can visually incorporate changes in the external environment and market landscape into these flowcharts. Subsequently, they can analyze the impact of said changes and upgrade multiple stages in the process as appropriate. The outcomes may include a redefinition of certain leadership roles, re-assigning responsibilities within the business organization, and steps to boost process efficiencies. In addition, the visual rendition of a work process can encourage members of the management cadre to tweak management strategies with a view to create the best business outcomes. For instance, the designers of a customer contact center process can use flowcharts to create optimum workflows while bearing in mind the demands of customers and the limitations on resource usage mandated by the top leadership.
Process documentation is a critical aspect of the operational activities that animate modern trans-national organizations. The use of standard operating procedures is important because it allows businesses to train new employees, preserve workplace continuity, and replicate business processes in multiple locations. Hence, business managers can use flowcharts to document any business process in depth and in considerable detail. The efforts invested in such activities are priceless because they help business operators to manage existing workflows, solicit new work contracts, construct processes that support the changing demands of multiple clients, etc. Flowcharts also enable businesses to gain precious expertise in architecting new workflows that add business value to client engagements. That said, we note process documentation is critical in achieving certain certifications that enable businesses to prospect for new business. In addition, regulatory mandates in many countries demand that businesses document their work processes in fine detail and make these available for regulatory scrutiny and reviews at regular intervals. In light of these facts, we note businesses must expand the scope of professional activities that use flowcharts to document organization workflows.
The intense use of corporate resources represents a major avenue of expenditure for large business organizations. Certain businesses must expend substantial amounts of corporate resources before they hit the proverbial ‘pay dirt’. For instance, oil exploration and extraction operators must invest heavily in exploration activities in terms of both time and money. They must prospect for natural gas and oil in hostile environments; such activities are very expensive but represent necessary operational expenditure. Hence, corporate planners can use flowcharts to examine past exploratory work, identify time lags, and eliminate work stages that add little economic value to the enterprise. In this scenario, the flowchart enables planners to fine tune a business process to attain the desired outcomes. That said, we note digital flowcharts can be circulated to senior management personnel to gain their views and expert opinions. Planners can incorporate such feedback to tweak workflows and process stages. In light of the above, we note modern businesses can gain substantial savings in time and expenditure when they subject extant work processes to scrutiny through digital flowcharts.
Digital flowcharts empower businesses to visualize the inputs (and the associated costs) that power a certain business process. We note major and minor inputs are critical to impart momentum and sustain the viability of a business process. Keeping this in mind, flowchart designers can digitally incorporate cause and effect diagrams that add color to the various stages populating a flowchart. Inputs cost money and a steady flow of inputs can effect a systematic drain on corporate resources. Therefore, modern businesses can assess the efficacy of such inputs keeping in mind the demonstrated outcomes in the marketplace. For instance, an operator of heavy trucks can use flowcharts to determine the impact of fluctuating fuel prices on the profit margins of the business. When plotted over time, the trends can indicate whether the business is gaining profit or facing profit erosion owing to the input termed ‘fuel prices’. This analysis affords the business operator an opportunity to review the long-term viability of the trucking enterprise.
We have examined some of the top reasons that encourage businesses to use flow charts in the above passages.