Flowchart

Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
 
Flowcharts allow you to draw a picture of the way a process actually works so that you can understand the existing process and develop ideas about how to improve it.
 
A high-level flowchart, showing six to 12 steps, gives a panoramic view of a process. These flowcharts show clearly the major blocks of activity, or the major system components, in a process. High-level flowcharts are especially useful in the early phases of a project.
 
A detailed flowchart is a close-up view of the process, typically showing dozens of steps. These flowcharts make it easy to identify rework loops and complexity in a process. Detailed flowcharts are useful after teams have pinpointed issues or when they are making changes in the process.
 
Using a flowchart has a variety of benefits:
  • It helps to clarify complex processes.
  • It identifies steps that do not add value to the internal or external customer, including: delays; needless storage and transportation; unnecessary work, duplication, and added expense; breakdowns in communication.
  • It helps team members gain a shared understanding of the process and use this knowledge to collect data, identify problems, focus discussions, and identify resources.
  • It serves as a basis for designing new processes.

 Documents

Documents
Featured Videos
Flowcharts (Part 1)
Robert Lloyd, the Director of Performance Improvement at IHI, uses his trusty whiteboard to dissect the science of improvement. In short videos, he breaks down everything from Deming's System of Profound Knowledge, to the PDSA cycle, to run charts.
Flowcharts (Part 2)
Robert Lloyd, the Director of Performance Improvement at IHI, uses his trusty whiteboard to dissect the science of improvement. In short videos, he breaks down everything from Deming's System of Profound Knowledge, to the PDSA cycle, to run charts.
The Science of Improvement on a Whiteboard!
Dr. Robert Lloyd, Vice President at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, explains the key elements of the Science of Improvement using a white board in these short videos.

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