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The flowchart shows the steps as boxes of various kinds, and their order by connecting the boxes with arrows.This diagrammatic representation illustrates a solution model to a given problem.In addition, many diagram techniques are similar to flowcharts but carry a different name, such as UML activity diagrams.
A cross-functional flowchart allows the author to correctly locate the responsibility for performing an action or making a decision, and to show the responsibility of each organizational unit for different parts of a single process.
Flowcharts depict certain aspects of processes and are usually complemented by other types of diagram.
Many software packages exist that can create flowcharts automatically, either directly from a programming language source code, or from a flowchart description language.
The first structured method for documenting process flow, the "flow process chart", was introduced by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth in the presentation "Process Charts: First Steps in Finding the One Best Way to do Work", to members of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in 1921.
The Gilbreths' tools quickly found their way into industrial engineering curricula.
The terms "flowchart" and "flow chart" are used interchangeably.
The underlying graph structure of a flowchart is a flow graph, which abstracts away node types, their contents and other ancillary information.
Sterneckert (2003) suggested that flowcharts can be modeled from the perspective of different user groups (such as managers, system analysts and clerks), and that there are four general types: More recently, Mark A.
Fryman (2001) identified more differences: "Decision flowcharts, logic flowcharts, systems flowcharts, product flowcharts, and process flowcharts are just a few of the different types of flowcharts that are used in business and government".