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Flow Chart Conventions

Flow Chart Conventions

Flow Chart Conventions

Flowchart conventions are the conventional ways of labeling, drawing and terminating the lines that connect the flow chart symbolsin a process flowchart.

Every document/record in a process is represented with a horizontal line that begins with a Label for identification. The line flows left to right to represent the passage of time.

Alternative Paths and Correction Routines may radiated from a Decision Point on a document flow line.

Effects show a relationship between two documents in a process, and Brackets show the grouping and ungrouping of documents in a process.

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Flowchart Conventions for Graham Process Mapping


Process Flowcharting Label
The Label contains the name of the Item and is placed at the beginning of the flow line.
Line Segment

Process Flowcharting Line Segment  Process Flowcharting Corrective Action Line Segment
The Line Segments connect the Symbols in a horizontal process flow. Dotted Line Segments connect the Symbols in a Correction/Rejection routine.

Process Mapping Decision Point and Alternative Path
Alternatives display Alternative process flows. The solid circle at the start of this Convention is the Decision Point. At this point in the flow, a decision is made based on the content of the Item, where only one of the two or more lines radiating to the right of the Decision Point will be followed.

Process Mapping Decision Point and Corrective Path
A Correction/Rejection represents an alternate flow that occurs because the Item has failed an inspection. The solid circle at the start of this Convention is the Decision Point. The flow of Items that require Correction or Rejection are shown on dotted lines. An Alternative is usually placed straight-ahead from the Decision Point, representing the "Okay" path that requires no Correction.

Process Mapping Line Rejoin  Process Mapping Corrective Line Rejoin
When an Item flow line has branched as a result of a decision and the condition that caused the branching has been taken care of, the lines are brought back together with a Rejoin and, thereafter, they are represented by a single line. When a Correction routine (dotted line) is Rejoined, the Dotted Rejoin is used.

Process Flowcharting Opening Bracket
An Opening Bracket is used when Items are separated. It is immediately followed by Labels that identify the Items that have been separated. The split usually involves the physical separation of Items, but can also be used simply to display on the chart what is contained in an Item line (files, copies, parts, materials, etc.) followed by a Closing Bracket to return to a single line.

Process Flowcharting Closing Bracket
A Closing Bracket is used when Items are physically assembled. Also, when several Items that are physically together have been split for the purpose of displaying them (using an Opening Bracket) a Closing Bracket will bring them, once again, to a single flow line.

Process Flowcharting Effect
An Effect appears as a Vee that can point up or down from one Item line to another and shows one flow line supplying information that affects another flow line. The open end of the Effect is always at the line supplying the information. The point of the Effect is always at a Symbol that shows what is being done to the affected flow line. (e.g. Parts count is posted to production ticket.)

Process Flowcharting Stop/Start
A Stop/Start is used to indicate a portion of the process flow that is intentionally omitted.

Process Flowcharting Connector Label
A Goto Connector Label is used at the end of a flow line to identify linkage to further processing at another location. A Target Connector Label is used at the start of a flow line to indicate linkage from another location. Links may exist between separate charts or between locations within a single chart.

Process Flowcharting Period
A Period is placed at the end of a flow line that has been charted as far as the charter intends to chart it. Most flow lines end with a Period. Flow lines may also end with a Destroy Symbol or a Goto Connector Label.

Process Flowcharting Bypass  Process Flowcharting Bypass
The Bypass is used to show that crossing lines are not related. When a horizontal flow line crosses an Effect, a Bracket, or a diagonal line of an Alternative, Correction or Rejoin, the Bypass can be used to avoid ambiguity. The horizontal line appears to jump over the vertical lines and indicates that it has nothing to do with them.

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