How do I make a flowchart in Microsoft Word?
A flowchart can be used to:
- Document an existing process;
- Design an “ideal” process;
- Determine whether the steps in a process are logical;
- Identify bottlenecks and unnecessary complexity;
- Uncover duplication of effort;
- Identify opportunities to improve the process.
When you are creating a flowchart for a process, consider the following:
- Plan a gathering with all the stakeholders who are involved in the process you want to flowchart.
- Put a few larger (A3) sheets of paper on the wall.
- Select the basic type of flow chart format.
- Decide the start, point of beginning, and the endpoints of the process (What inputs deliverables, what is the outcome produced by the process?).
- Use post-it (sticky notes) to label the various steps in the process that you can place on the diagonal to label decisions.
- Begin by writing one step or decision at a time and placing it on the wall. Keep going until you have completed the steps in the process.
- Use a marker or arrow flag to indicate the direction the process flows.
- Discuss the activities in the process:
Validate the completed flowchart with the user(s).Draw a final, polished version of your flowchart, either by hand or using available software drawing tools. Here are some hints:
- Did flowcharting help to clarify orders, steps, and roles?
- Could changes improve the process and output?
- Any bottlenecks or problems that need improving?
- Are there other processes we want to flowchart?
- Keep symbols the same distance from each other.
- Make notations simple, concise, and clear.
- Avoid crossing flow lines whenever possible.
- Have two flow lines coming out of decision symbols.
Use this ready-made Flowchart creator in Word to visualize your processes.