How to create a process flowchart
Today we’re taking you through some basic simple steps to identify the inputs, the process and the outputs in your organisation. In this article you'll learn how to find key examples for your industry, key examples for the specific steps for your industry and your organisation, and we're going to take you through how to understand and undertake an analysis using a process flow for your organisation, and your industry.
Please note, the article is complemented by the video which can be accessed here.
I'm just going to show you the process that I go through to school myself on what's involved in establishing a process flow, find out a bit about that industry, and a bit about that organisation. Check out our process flow tutorial video for how to put this process that we're going to go through into practice in your organisation. I’m going to use our website as an example, which lists the the different ISO standards that we work with here: quality, OH&S, environment, information security, food safety- we do lots of work helping organisations to grow, to be fun to be profitable, to be safe, customer-focused have good data security, good food safety. It's a lot of fun here every day Best Practice, we have a lot of fun shooting videos and writing out our learning resources to help clients to achieve those amazing outcomes.
That's our website, so I would have a look at the website of an organisation - I'm going to use us as an example there's our website there for Best Practice - now, over on the next page
I've got google open to do a quick google search. I would probably do three-to-four google searches an hour through my workday, looking for information and trying to find out what's going on. It's important to understand what we're doing, and we're using this great tool that can help us fun some critical information we're being presented from the search.
Today, we just want to touch on the basic steps of conducting a process flow, so I'm just going to type a quick google search of what does a process flow diagram look like. Wikipedia's got some commentary which I think is a fantastic resource- obviously Google is saying that in this in the result search result that we've been served by Google, images and lots of people looking at process flow images so we can see those we can see those there.
Going down here, as I move through the search results I don't click straight away into something, scroll down the page and look for themes and trends in the black text. This is what's been picked up by an SEO search - search engine optimization - and and the web crawlers at Google crawling over all of the different websites around the world.
If you're a marketing person: there's a tip if you want to get good results. I'm telling all of our subscribers and viewers to hit the images button, so we've got eighty-nine thousand results. We're not going to go through those, we're looking for the top ten, so we'll click across into images and we're going to see lots of different process flows.
So for your industry you can see there's chemical refinery, just as a couple of examples across these green boxes here, so we could say: ‘what does a process flow diagram for construction for a construction company look like?’
If you're in a construction industry, or manufacturing, service, call centre, hotel, automotive parts, maintenance, maintenance workshops any of the organisation in any of you guys that
watch these videos, just do the Google search of your industry, and see how you can make improvements. It is important to try and limit your time in terms of how much time you spend on each one, but give yourself adequate time to do your investigation, but also be critical. I always recommend looking at 12, I think 12 is a good number because you know if you look at one, two or three, you might get hung up on just one example. If you can look at 12, you get a wider sample size. However, it means you’ll need to allocate 20 minutes, and divide that 20 minutes into twelve parts. I'm going to spend a couple of minutes on each one, I'm just checking out what's going on. You'll get a feel for what you like and don't like. I'm going to jump onto this one: it just gives me a good a good gives me a good sense something about region 4 highway work permit process. It's public document, let's click on it and see where it's come from. So, we've got New York State here, we've gone all the way to the other side of the world New York state's got their permit process guide and flowchart setup on their website; so thank you New York State, looks absolutely fantastic.
So with this example, you’ve got a whole bunch of information here about building your roads, construction work, and it's the department transport for New York State, so let's go back to the diagram, consultants and the consultants stage. D.O.T rules and D.O.T business: you've got contractors in there, a good example of the process flow, so good first step to get a sense of what to do.
Okay, so how do we make the link, and how do we start to pick a piece of software that you guys would like to use? I'd highly recommend a Google Docs: open a blank Google document and start creating boxes, and then connecting those with arrows so you know if you want to sit in on a screen and do that. I personally prefer a whiteboard, and if you want to look at some of the other process flow tutorials here at Best Practice, we do them on a whiteboard; I think better when I'm standing… I'll bring different people in from the organisation just to discuss and make subtle changes and incorporate their opinions, for how we're going to go forward.
So I'd recommend doing some initial searching here, making some notes and taking some screenshots, printing off the ones that you like to use in the future as an example. Have a have a go at drawing your own on a whiteboard or creating a document; one word of warning, and a quick caution here: If you go and start creating these flowcharts yourself on a screen, you're potentially going to slow your process down, so something really simple on a whiteboard you can then get some assistance to actually turn that into a public, you know desktop published document, so don't get too caught up.
Keep it simple, and as always, keep improving every day.