A flowchart is a diagram that represents processes of an application, organization, or system. Usually, it creates a basic map of the sequence and logical relations between tasks in a process. The purpose of the flowchart is to show individual steps and how they are sequenced. However, there’s much more to know about this type of diagram. 

So, what is a flowchart? - You may ask. Read on to explore this versatile and powerful tool.

What Is A Flowchart? 

A flowchart diagram is designed to illustrate a single process, a plan, or a project through steps arranged in sequential order. It has a few different names: process chart, process map, process flow diagram, and functional chart. 

A diagram of this type comprises several materials, actions, or services that enter or leave the process, called inputs and outputs. It also shows people involved in the project, the time consumed at each step, and related measurements. 

This type of chart uses many common symbols and shapes to indicate a sequence of actions like rectangles, diamonds, and ovals. They can be as simple as a hand-drawn picture or as complex as a comprehensive diagram drawn by a flowchart software

Used in several fields for different purposes, this type of diagram is one of the most popular ones in the business world. 

A flowchart looks like this

Types Of Flowcharts

The Process Flowchart

A process flow chart describes how an entire process, a project, or a plan proceeds in a sequence of steps. It offers the most versatility among the four types of flowcharts

This graphical representation should successfully explain how different jobs are accomplished in an organization with a directional flow. It can be used by a project manager to clarify a range of roles and responsibilities of an organization, a manufacturing process, the communication of information, an entire activity proposal, etc. 

process flowchart
Example of process flowchart

Workflow Chart

Also known as the workflow diagram, this type is aimed to explain how documents or data travel through an organization. A workflow chart can become handy in training new employees, finding out potential issues, organizing a team, or showcasing a business process. 

workflow chart
Workflow chart

Swimlane Flowchart

A swimlane flow chart focuses on describing the interaction between employees, processes, and departments within an organization. This visual representation allows for showing multiple information flows side by side and creating different categories in one diagram. 

This basic flowchart structure is useful when you need to document a procedure that involves different departments in an organization. It can include five or more swimlanes as needed. 

Swimlane flowchart
Swimlane flowchart

Data Flowchart

The role of a data chart is to indicate the entrance and exit of data in an information system. It helps a flowchart maker analyze or design a system. 

Data flowchart
Data flowchart

What Are Flowcharts Used For?


When it comes to education, you can use a flowchart template for numerous purposes: 

  • Planning coursework
  • Making lesson plans
  • Making presentations
  • Organizing a group or a project
  • Explaining a scientific process
  • Planning and structuring creative writing

Sales And Marketing 

Flowcharts are used a lot in sales and market as well, specifically for the following tasks: 

  • Illustrate the sales process
  • Plan strategies
  • Identify opportunities
  • Plan a survey
  • Guide salesmen on pricing packages 
  • Show policies and communication plans


Flowcharts are used in this field to:

  • Show the inputs needed to create a product
  • Illustrate the manufacturing procedure
  • Create quality assurance and evaluation procedure
  • Identify and resolve flaws in the processes

Business Operations

In business operations, flowcharts come in handy as they help:

  • Explain the order and procurement processes
  • Explain the daily workflow of an employee
  • Indicate different steps in customer behaviors in a store or on a website
  • Develop a business plan

Software Engineering Or Programming

In terms of software engineering and programming, flowcharts are created for a handful of uses. 

  • Illustrate the way code is structured
  • Show how data moves through a program/system
  • Visualize an algorithm


What is a flowchart? To sum up, this kind consists of different shapes to show the steps of a single process or the flow of data and information. 

It helps you understand the entire procedure, make plans, and bring flaws or opportunities to light. Its uses vary depending on the field and purposes, which can be programming, business, science, and other professional aspects.