Flow chart is the most familiar tool to understand processes. It is used to identify a sequence of events in a process. Using flow charts require six deliberate actions:
1. Set boundaries: It is very important for individuals or team to decide what has to be considered in the flow charting effort and what has to be excluded. The level of detail to be obtained should also be decided.
2. Determine the steps in the process: The basic framework of inputs, decisions, output activities have to be identified before attempting to draw the chart.
3. Establish the sequence of process steps: The flow or sequence of the various processes has to be understood. Involving a team in this step will result in different views of the sequence.
4. Draw the flow chart: Various automated tools are available to do this. These tools include various symbols to represent elements in a chart. Test the flow chart for completeness and accuracy.
5. Finalise the chart: Put the chart in final form using proper graphic alignments and consistent fonts.
Figure : Flow chart that shows the flow of a documentation project.
Process performances can be observed overtime using run charts. It is a line graph with data that vary around a centreline, usually the mean. It is used for processes that repeat, where performance is expected to be stable.