What Is the Purpose of a Flowchart?

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People use flowcharts to represent ideas in a graphical manner. Flowcharts make it easier to see how complex systems work. While they are often used with computer programming, they can be used in a wide range of fields.

Flowcharts use a system of symbols and text to represent complex ideas. When systems have multiple parts that must work in concert with each other, understanding how parts relate to each other can be challenging. Flowcharts also make it easy to explore different means of structuring these parts.

Complex programs are often represented with flowcharts. Each node of the chart represents an object or other discrete part of a program. They are especially useful for people new to a project, and project managers often update them and explore different ways of tying components together.

Flowcharts are also popular in the business world. People dealing with logistics, for example, might use them to map manufacturing, selling and shipping cycles. International trade and the Internet have made business more complex, and flowcharts are a common tool in the business world. Fortunately, flowcharts are relatively simple to understand and knowing what different symbols mean can help students and new employees learn how to interpret business reports.