PART 2: 15 mistakes you would unintentionally make with flowcharts

This is the final post of our two-part series on Flowcharts. Part 1 can be found here. Remember what really matters is having clarity and attention to detail when drawing flowcharts. In keeping with this train of thought, check out the rest of the interesting mistakes that we have compiled below.

9. Define alternate paths clearly

In certain flowcharts, processes do tend to fork. For the sake of clarity, it is best that you specify whether one branch needs to be followed or all of them.

10. Beware of loops

Processes may not run forever. However, make sure that you do document processes that may be too excessive that it affects the clarity of the flowchart.

11. Be descriptive

It is suggested that you use a footnote, a call out or even a separate document to offer more detail for those process step descriptions that may need more detail.

12. Use a flowchart key

One of the best practices of using flowcharts is to have a flowchart key describing the symbols that are used.

13. Battling inaccuracy

When drawing flowcharts, remember that verifying the flowchart steps is critical to avoid any inaccuracies.

14. Stick to one level of detail


It’s best that you stick to a certain level of detail, e.g. a high-level, mid-level (like the diagram above) or detailed flowchart.

15. Don’t leave room for any uncertainty

Planning ahead would mean that you avoid any unwanted mistakes. So ensure that you ask questions like, “What happens next?”, “Is there a decision made now?”, and “Has the process description been complete?”

We hope this series has been useful. For more information on flowcharting, you can check out our site. If you got any queries or comments, please do get through to us.

Author

rohitha

Rohitha Perera is a Community Evangelist at Creately.com, a collaborative diagramming software for teams. When he’s not working on marketing strategies for web start-ups, he spends time reading, watching movies, jogging, gardening and cooking. You can follow him on Twitter:@creately @ForzaRP

Comments

  1. […] 15 mistakes you would unintentionally make with flowcharts ( Part 2 ) […]

  2. Ethne

    Point 9 recommends that when a process forks, we “specify whether one branch needs to be followed or all of them.” How can this be done?

    • Rob

      Referring to rule 11: bedescriptive, it may be best to do so in a footnote or callout.

  3. Benjamin Cooper

    Shouldn’t all links have arrowheads for clarity?

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