Suggest the major benefits of utilizing a flow chart to define and improve a work process. Outline the key steps required to construct and develop an effective flow chart.

A flowchart is a graphical technique used to create a descriptive picture of an operational system (Lewis, McGrath & Seidel, 2011). General systems flowcharting requires the ability to define when a complex process starts and stops, even if the process or operation is continuous or repetitive. The work process should be complex that involves at least two or more people engaged in at least two or more steps to accomplish some predetermined objective. Flowcharts are quality improvement tools used to document, plan, or analyze a process or series of tasks. The flow charts represent specific activities. Lieu and Sorby (2015) suggests, there are several benefits of utilizing a flow chart to define and improve a work process such improving the process development, to show how a process is done, display actions performed, random behavior and the process.  The flowcharts and flow diagrams can help people who learn through seeing comprehend the relationships between objects or steps (Kimber, Cromley, Molnar-Kimber, 2018).

The key steps required to construct and develop an effective flow chart is as follows:

  • the task list is to specify in the order the individual steps and sequencing in the overall process
  • adding decisions, files, documents, and other aspects of the process creates the general systems flow chart.
  • Making sure the Flow data is from left to right and top to bottom
  • Make sure it is all on one page
  • Use lines to determine the direction on the chart

References:

Lewis, J.B., McGrath, R.J., & Seidel, L.F. (2011). Essentials of applied quantitative methods for health services managers. Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Lieu, D. K., & Sorby, S. A. (2015). Visualization, modeling, and graphics for engineering design. Nelson Education.

Kimber, O., Cromley, J. G., & Molnar-Kimber, K. L. (2018). Let Your Ideas Flow: Using Flowcharts to Convey Methods and Implications of the Results in Laboratory Exercises, Articles, Posters, and Slide Presentations. Journal of microbiology & biology education19(1), 19.1.22. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1477

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