Flowcharts are important tools used for analyzing processes and systems. As mentioned, flowcharts use many symbols to portray the information given and to give sense to the chart itself. Flowcharts use a terminal, flow line and a document. They use further shapes to give information such as an input/output, a process and a decision.
An input/output is a slanted rectangular shape. It refers to a point at which information is entered into the flowchart, or displayed in the flowchart. A process is a regular rectangle shape. It denotes a process to be carried out by the system and indicates that an operation is due to be carried out on the data. A decision is diamond in shape. It indicates a possible decision to be made and there are two possible alternatives. In programming terms it indicates the program should continue along two branches. A predefined process is another rectangular shape that is used. This refers to a process that is better defined in a separate flowchart portion.
There are four different types of flowcharts. A systems flowchart, deployment flowchart, top-down flowchart and logic flowchart. A systems flowchart is generally the most well known and used flowchart.
Flowcharts can be extremely effective in that they successfully allow a quick view of an entire chart on one page.
cathaldoyle.com Lecture 15- Flowcharts