By: Emily Finlay
Flowcharts provide an easy way to visualize business processes from beginning to end, enabling coworkers and key stakeholders to see an overview of detailed workflows.
Another benefit of flowcharts is that they’re comprised of individual steps, which allows people to view the finer details involved.
Using visual tools to create flowcharts enables you to see how each step affects the next, which can help you develop more practical processes that have a better chance of success.
For these reasons, flowcharts are a common choice within organizations. Their popularity is also driven by their simplicity, as they tend to be easy to create and are an ideal way to present information visually to multiple teams and/or decision makers.
In this post, we’ll explain how you can harness the power of a flowchart infographic to plan and execute better, more effective plans and processes.
4 key elements for a successful flowchart infographic
A successful flowchart diagram clearly outlines each step required to complete a particular process or workflow.
Use the four steps below to create a flowchart infographic that’s easy to understand, well-defined, and that helps set you and your team up for success.
1. Define your goals
Before getting started, ask yourself the following: What do you intend to use this flowchart for?
For example, will it visualize a workflow for a particular project type that your team often works on? Or do you plan to map out a specific business process to see which step(s) may be slowing down production?
Determining the overall reason for creating a flowchart infographic will help determine which information you’ll need to include.
If you’re mapping out a workflow diagram, for instance, you should ensure that your flowchart includes information about what individual and/or team is responsible for each step, and what tasks each step includes.
2. Define your audience
Since flowcharts are visual tools, it’s important that you design them for the specific audience that will be viewing or relying on them.
If you’re creating a flowchart to document a specific workflow with your direct reports or teammates, for example, you may not need to include as much context or background information as you would if you were creating one for a different team or department.
When creating a flowchart, you should be mindful of how much information you’re presenting to your audience. Make sure your chart is easy to read and understand by using a minimal amount of text and avoiding an overwhelming number of steps.
3. Gather all necessary information
Once you have your goals mapped out and your audience defined, it’s time to start listing out all necessary details and information to put your full flowchart infographic together.
You’ll need to know what happens in each step, including both the work involved and the intended result. Examples of this information includes:
- The problems you’re trying to solve, such as indicating where production typically stalls or which step incurs the highest costs.
- The individual tasks or processes within each step, such as what stage of production a product is at during a particular step, and where this stage of production occurs.
- Any data that offers insight into the process you’re mapping out, such as the time it takes to complete this step or how many people are involved.
To gather this information, it may be helpful to kick things off with a team brainstorming session to loop employees who can help provide the details you need.
4. Create your flowchart
Now you’re ready to design your flowchart infographic by taking all of the information you’ve gathered and visualizing it in a diagram.
MindManager® is an ideal tool for creating flowchart infographics because it provides numerous flowchart templates to choose from.
You can also share and edit flowcharts easily with your team members, making it easier to work together.
Follow the steps below to create, collaborate, and share your diagrams with ease.
How to create a flowchart infographic using MindManager
To create a flowchart with MindManager, follow these four steps:
1. Select your template
The MindManager library is filled with pre-installed templates that simplify the design process, including a dedicated flowchart template. You can preview each template before customizing it, so take a moment to explore the library in order to find the right option.
When you’re ready to begin, simply select your desired template from the library and click on “Start” to begin building it out.
2. Customize your flowchart template
You can customize your flowchart by moving elements around within it to accurately represent the steps of the process or plan you’re documenting. You can adjust the size and shape of each block to categorize each step in your diagram.
Using large shapes, for example, can be a way to indicate which steps are most important, while using different shapes for different teams can help clearly identify who is responsible for what.
You can add information to each shape within your flowchart using text, icons, and/or images. There are also options to color-code your infographic to clearly define different certain elements, such as priority level and task progress.
3. Incorporate data-linking
One of the greatest advantages of using MindManager for creating flowcharts is the ability to link to additional resources. Rather than trying cram too much data into your flowchart, you can simply include links to documents or websites with the information you need.
For example, you can link to client requirements for a specific task to ensure it meets expectations, or link to data reports that highlight performance statistics for each stage of a particular process.
MindManager also integrates with Microsoft Outlook and Office, so you can import data directly from these tools by attaching Word documents and importing tasks and emails from your Outlook inbox to add greater detail to flowcharts.
4. Collaborate with your team
With MindManager, every diagram offers an opportunity to collaborate with your team. You can add team members to your flowchart file, or share an editable link with anyone.
Since MindManager allows multiple people to edit the same flowcharts simultaneously, each worker can contribute a specific set of information as you build your diagram together.
You can also tag employees from other teams or departments if you need their help contributing to your diagram.
If you use your flowchart infographic to make changes designed to improve your processes or resolve the problems with your workflow, you can update the diagram’s file to reflect these adjustments so everything is always up to date.
Ready to start creating flowchart infographics? Try MindManager for free for 30 days.