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Flowchart in Lean Management

Understanding Flowcharts in Lean Management: A Guide to Process Visualization

Flowcharts: Window into Process Dynamics

A flowchart is a diagram that represents a process or workflow. Various standard figures like rectangles, ovals, and rhomboids are used to illustrate movements step by step. This diagram is internationally recognized and used to document workflow or processes.

Flowcharts follow the guidelines outlined in a “Business Process Model and Notation,” a process-management methodology commonly used in Business Process Management. Kaoru Ishikawa (1915-1989) used flowcharts in his quality initiatives. The Flowchart is celebrated as one of the “seven basic quality tool.”

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Flowchart:

Identify the Process: It is critical to identify which process you will be creating the flowchart for, whether it is a portion of the entire process or the entire workflow, and to work with people who have a full understanding of it.

Determine Detail Level: Flowcharts at lower levels should be detailed, including sub-tasks, which is consistent with Lean’s principles, allowing for more detailed sub-tasks and activity mapping.

Activity Naming: These provide simple staging constructions of nouns and verbs. Decisions should be used as yes / no questions. Start a workshop with SMEs.

Mapping the Flow: First, you’ll need to have all the tasks and decisions lined out and ordered from start to finish, reflecting the process flow. Here are some of the typical symbols you’ll find:

  1. Sub-tasks grouped and rooted bowtie style at the top,
  2. Tasks and decisions organized below the insignificant task.
  3. The tasks and decisions connected by a line or an arrow.


In conclusion, a clear and descriptive title is essential for enhancing the usability and understanding of flowcharts. By providing concise yet informative titles, users can quickly grasp the purpose and scope of the flowchart, facilitating effective communication and analysis within the organization.

A well-defined title serves as a guiding element, ensuring that the flowchart fulfills its intended role as a tool for process visualization and improvement.

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