Purpose of a Flowchart

by Tiesha Whatley; Updated September 26, 2017

Flowcharts help business managers, CEOs, project managers and organization planners assess the flow of data. Flowcharts are primarily used to help brainstorm ideas in order to build strategies in the planning stage of any new product or company. As visual representations of the flow of data, flowcharts present key points to investors, clients, customers, business partners and employees.

Definition

A flowchart graphically represents the sequence of operations or step-by-step progression of a programming or business model, using connecting lines and conventional symbols.

Function

Flowcharts can be used to determine the key points of a business or program model. It can also be used to connect those key points and establish relationships between processes.

Types

There are three types of flowcharts: high-level, detailed and matrix. While the high-level (or top-down) flowchart only gives a birds-eye view of the key points, the detailed and matrix flowcharts break down the processes and give more key points.

Uses

For a presentation where only the key points are needed, use a high-level flowchart; this is usually the case with business models. The detailed or matrix flowchart should be used when more information about the key points and their relationship to each other is needed.

Shapes

Shapes used in flowcharts include boxes, circles, diamonds and triangles. Each shape represents a certain action or conclusion of action.

About the Author

Tiesha Whatley has been writing for over 10 years. She has been published in "Marie Claire," "Ebony" and "Modern Bride" magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Science in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and has been working in the wedding planning industry for over 13 years.