When you analyze a business process, it helps to visualize its elements in a diagram. Learn how to create process flow diagrams that will cover many of the processes in your business.
- [Instructor] When you analyze a business process, it helps to visualize its elements in a diagram. In this movie I will show you how to create process flow diagrams that will cover many of the processes in your business. As my sample file, I will use the process flow diagram workbook. You can find that in the chapter one folder of the exercise files collection. The canonical example for a process flow diagram, at least as used in today's business classes, is the coffee shop, or a sandwich shop.
You have customers come in and they place their order and they are served in various ways throughout their visit. Then they take their order and they leave. If you want to diagram that type of process, you can use the elements I have displayed here in this workbook. In a process flow diagram, any station where work is done is depicted as a square. And you can see that here in the legend of items. Any place there's inventory, and in the increasingly impersonal world of business, yes, that can include customers who are waiting, that area is depicted as a triangle.
So here we have customers, here we have them waiting, and so on. You can depict movement throughout the process by using arrows to indicate how individuals or units are moving between stations. So you see here that the customers enter, they go to the counter, place their order, they wait, and then they pick up their order. And again, this is a very simple diagram. I created these shapes by going to the insert tab of the ribbon.
And then in the illustrations group, clicking the shapes button. And then under recently used shapes, I clicked the rectangle and I was able to draw from there. So if I want to draw a rectangle I can do that just by dragging with my mouse. If you want to keep the sides equal, that is to draw a square, you can hold down the shift key. And when you do, Excel will draw a square for you so you don't have to worry about being too precise.
After you release the left mouse button you will see the drawing tools format contextual tab of the ribbon. And from here you can change the fill, the outline, or the effects of your shape. Or you can select a style from the existing style gallery, which is here. You can see the entire gallery by clicking the more button at the bottom right corner. And you can select a style. I prefer simple diagrams so I use the theme style at the far left, which has a black outline and black text.
So you can see that I have that there. I can also type within the shape just by selecting it and then, for example, typing work. Although you can see that the text doesn't necessarily fit so I might want to select the edge or the border of the shape to select the entire thing, go back to home, and decrease the size of the text until it all fits. And you can also middle align and center align.
In most cases, though, the shapes will be small enough that you can't put any meaningful information in them. And in that case, you should go below your labels and type the information there. So for example you could have a maximum of 10 customers waiting at one time. You probably also noticed that I have the grid lines for the worksheet turned off. I did that by going to the view tab of the ribbon and in the show group, clearing the grid lines checkbox.
So if I check grid lines, they come back and it's not too distracting. But if you want to turn them off, just uncheck the box and you'll have the entire worksheet to work with. Because most folks will put their text into Excel worksheet cells, you might consider using another tool for creating your process flow diagrams. You could draw them freehand on a piece of paper or you could use another program such as PowerPoint, which is very popular for this type of application as well.
- Drawing process flow diagrams
- Calculating process capacity
- Identifying bottlenecks
- Determining cycle time and idle time
- Calculating labor
- Calculating utilization
- Analyzing batch processes
- Calculating optimal order quantities