A flowchart can be more than helpful in a business setting. It can help communicate ideas more efficiently, steer the project in the right direction and so on. However, this is only the case if the flowchart is good. If it’s confusing – it’ll do a lot more harm than good. So, on that note, here’s how you create a successful business flowchart.
Keep It Simple
Even though we understand that sometimes you cannot keep things simple, you have to aim to keep it as simple as possible at least. That means not using 16 different colours, 11 different shapes and overlapping paths on your flowchart. These will bring nothing but confusion and anger to those trying to read it. So, keep it simple!
Use Different Shapes For Different Processes
We know we said you shouldn’t use many different shapes, but some variance is needed. You need a sense of progression when you’re following the flowchart, and you can achieve that by highlighting the differences in processes by using different shapes for different steps. However, remember not to go overboard with this one. Find a theme for each shape and stick to it!
Let us start by saying that single-coloured flowcharts can be very efficient as well, but then again, some colour variance can go a long way. It will help generate the same feeling as the varying shapes, only this will be even more noticeable, as most people tend to focus more on colour rather than the shape. With that in mind, you’ll also have to find a way to keep consistent with your colours and have them at least mean something similar.
Go From Left To Right Or Up To Down
When you open up any Flow Chart creator you’re going to notice that it always flows either from left to right, or from up to down. That is the “proper” flow in the western world, since we read from left to right, amongst many other things. So, whenever you are creating a business flowchart – make sure it flows in that direction.
Keep It All On One Page
If by the time you’re done with your flowchart, you’re looking at two pages – scrap it and do another one. A flowchart must fit on one page. Otherwise, it is just too cluttered and confusing. If the flowchart has to be large because of specific steps -make a separate flowchart for those steps. Once you do that, insert a link to the secondary flowchart into the main one. That should help keep things tidy.
Use Split Paths
Even though traditionally you would use a diamond shape to present a decision – you might want to steer clear of that. Unless you have four possible outcomes, use split paths instead of a diamond. Considering that most people don’t understand the subtext behind specific shapes, a diamond will just be distracting because of its four points, whereas a split path will easily lead your eyes in the right direction.
There you have it. As you can see, it’s not hard to create a successful business chart – you just have to follow these simple rules.