History of Flowchart:To representing step wise working processes in a graphical way using Flow charting strategy has been used for a long time. There is no individual who knows as the designed of flowchart because of its customization to fit any need or purpose.
Flowcharts were first a hand drawn chart which made changes very difficult and messy. Frank Gilbreth explained the first flow chart to the members of ‘The American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ (ASME) in 1921 to introduce his presentation “Process Charts – First Steps in Finding the One Best Way”.
Flowcharts soon made their way into the industrial engineering district. During the early 1930s, Allan H. Mogensen (an industrial engineer) trained business people by the use of some the industrial engineering tools at the Work Simplification Conference in New York.
A graduate, Art Spinanger, developed their Deliberate Methods Change Program.
Another graduate, Ben S. Graham, used flowcharting to process information with the use of multi-flow process chart to exhibit many documents and their connection with others.
After computers are able to use graphics, the first flowcharting software was developed for programmers. After the development of mouse and menu, flowcharts can be easily manipulated and altered. The Flowcharting programs are now very simple quick and easy to use. The flowchart presents in a graphical representation of the process that can be understood in seconds.
Logic flows through the process and branching and recombining decision pats. Specialized flowcharts are used for more sophisticated uses.
Definition of Flowchart:
Flow charts are easy-to-understand diagrammatic representation to showing how steps in a process fit together. This makes them useful tools for communicating how processes work, and for clearly documenting how a particular job is done. Furthermore, the act of mapping a process out in flow chart format helps you clarify your understanding of the process, and helps you think about where the process can be improved.
A flow chart can therefore be used to, define and analyze processes, provide overview, better communication, help in algorithm design, check program logic, help in coding, modification become easy, better documentation, Build a step-by-step picture of the process for analysis, discussion, or communication; and define, standardize or find areas for improvement in a process. Also, by conveying the information or processes in a step-by-step flow, you can then concentrate more intently on each individual step, without feeling overwhelmed by the bigger picture.
The benefits of flowcharts are as follows:
Flowchart is a very large area of requirement. To represent step-wise process it uses highly in education, industries, medical, business strategy planning and many more fields. As per the highly requirement of flowchart a list of benefits of flowcharts becomes very big, here we are try to maintain list of benefits of flowcharts;
- Communication:Flowcharts are best way to representing communication of all logics of a system to all concerned.
- Effective analysis:By using flowchart, distinct problems can be analyzed in more effective way.
- Proper documentation:Program flowcharts serve as a good program documentation, which is needed for various purposes.
- Efficient Coding:The flowcharts act as a guide or blueprint during the systems analysis and program development phase.
- Proper Debugging:The flowchart helps in debugging process.
- Efficient Program Maintenance:The maintenance of operating program becomes easy with the help of flowchart. It helps the programmer to put efforts more efficiently on that part.
Limitations of flowchart:
To be using a flowchart there have some limitations listed below;
- Complex logic:Sometimes, processes consists some complex logics that are quite complicated and massy in representation. In that case, flowchart becomes very complex and clumsy.
- Alterations and Modifications:after completion of flow chart process, if any alterations and modification are required then flowchart may require re-drawing completely that is high time consuming process.
- Reproduction:As the flowchart symbols cannot be typed, reproduction of flowchart becomes a problem.
- The essentials of what is done can easily be lost in the technical details of how it is done.