Everyday, we strive to communicate with the outside world. Our thoughts, beliefs and discoveries are often misinterpreted or difficult to convey. “A picture paints a thousand words”, but a diagram can help direct the responder’s to your ideas. One of the most effective diagrams are flow charts, which can be produced easily with flow chart software on computers.
Flow chart software allows you to represent an algorithm or process, the different steps of the diagram allowing the reader to reach a concise conclusion. Unlike flow charts, mind maps are used to represent ideas around a central theme and are usually used to approach a problem from different perspectives. Flow chart software, however, is most commonly used to help the reader understand a process and perhaps stumble upon any flaws.
From a single problem, called the “start”, arrows lead to different solutions or situations represented through rectangular boxes. Decisions are offered in the flow chart, denoted by diamonds, allow the readers to see the different situations that arise when they make decisions. At the end are the solutions that were reached by making the various decisions.
The key selling point of flow chart software is the ability that it grants its readers to be able to visualise all the possible outcomes of a problem. Flow charts should be utilised when you want to consider all the variables, eliminate unnecessary risks and choose the most suitable method. Alternatively, flow charts can be quite useful when depicting a strategy or method to a problem that has already been solved to an audience that requires the information.
Flow chart software, as its name suggests, is done on a computer. There are many sources where you can acquire them. Microsoft’s Word and Power Point, Flowchart.com, and SmartDraw’s free Easy Flow chart Software, are some of the noteworthy ones. Many are available as an internet download, while others require you to visit a store to make a purchase. Of course, a simpler and readily available option, is to manually draw up a flow chart on a drawing program such as Microsoft’s Paint, albeit without the features and ease of flow chart software.