Project Management Process Flow Chart
A flow chart in project management is a visual representation which assists in understanding the methodology used to manage the project. The diagram shows the interdependent and parallel processes over the course of the project’s life cycle.
Project managers use a flow chart to offer a clear picture of process and to find ways to improve project efficiency. A flow chart displays graphically the project’s objective and seeks to more logically order the activities therein. But, a flow chart can also help with monitoring progress and even status reporting.
The project management flow chart is one of the many tools needed by a project manager to control the project. With the right project management software, management can be even more productive and efficient.
A flow chart outlines whatever is required for the project to be successful. A flow chart can be just for the initiation process, for example, which would start with the initiation and flow to the project charter, it’s approval and whether that approval is given or not. That would then lead to two different streams: if the project charter isn’t approved, either adjust or cancel the project, which leads back to the initiation at the top of the flow chart, or it terminates in project cancelled. If the project charter is approved, then the planning process can continue.
The planning process is more complex. It starts with planning, collecting requirements and the development of scope. That can go either to project level indicators or a project scorecard, both of which lead to the project plan. That plan, of course, leads to resources, budgets, schedules, etc. Each of those subsets leads to another point in the flow chart, such as the communications or risk plan, which in turn flows into the change control plan and quality management. Eventually approval is reached, which leads to the executing process, or if no approval, then back to the beginning.
Executing can be a whole other flowchart, leading to the development of the project team, securing resources for quality assurance and the manner of communication distribution. Meaning there is either an adjustment, cancellation or can continue, and depending on which is chosen, it leads back to the beginning, cancelling that phase or moving on to the next procedure.
There is naturally a flow chart to note the monitoring and control processes of the project, which starts with monitoring and control and leads to an integrated change control plan. That leads to quality control, which flows into reporting risk and issues, and so forth.
Closing a project is a process, and therefore can be visualized in a flow chart. Commence with the close of the project, and then the activities that flow from that, including the verification and acceptance of project deliverables and operations, and then the transition to lessons learnt.
If preferred, the whole project process can be captured in a project management flow chart that can be used in congress with the others or as a standalone visual. This macro-flow chart would start with the whole project, leading from the project creation, documentation, task assignments, meetings, agendas, reports, etc. Each of these can lead to its own stream, such as project creation flows into monitoring the project status, while documentation leads to budget, schedule, etc.
Using a Visual diagram is important because it can aid in the understanding of complex systems, which helps easily drive projects to successful ends. As noted, a flow chart is flexible and can suit a variety of needs. In fact, a flow chart can assist, by creating a visual that helps visualise progress more quickly and intimately than a stack of documents can.
The flow chart can assist in all manner of project processes, such as the planning of a new product, documenting that process and modelling the business process for the project. It can also help manage workflow, data, the auditing process and anything else that is process-based.
Then there are different types of flow charts that can be used to diagram processes. A basic flow chart is a simple diagram that represents a series or sequence of steps that involve decision. The swim-lane flow chart breaks up the flow into columns, which is helpful for organizing activities into separate visual categories that illustrate different responsibilities or roles. Value stream mapping is a lean flow chart used to analyze and design the flow of materials and information at the system level, mostly used in manufacturing and product development. There are many more types of flow charts, but they all share certain elements, such as visualizing a process to understand that process at a glance.
Flow charts offer the visual clarity needed to make multiple processes clear and easy to communicate. They can be used to replace meetings in many cases as they clarify process. A flow chart also sequences events to reduce the possibility of over tasking teams, which saves time and resources. This leads to increased efficiency and effective analysis, which makes for better problem solving.
There is a difference between Work Breakdown Structure and flow charts. A work breakdown structure shows the tasks in a project. It is not good for showing process, like a project flow chart. A work breakdown structure is a hierarchical decomposition of the project scope that must be done by the project team to create the required deliverables.
A project management flow chart is better equipped to handle project process. They better communicate the process to everyone involved in the project and can be more effective in analysing problems. They also serve as a good source of documentation and guide through the project’s process. Flow charts even help in the debugging process and maintenance by placing effort where it’s most needed and in a more efficient fashion.
Work breakdown structures have their place in a project plan, but they are designed for a more specific task. The flow chart is a more flexible tool, but it is also an instrument for the overall process of the project as opposed to the individual tasks that make up the project.
The project management flow chart is just a map, really, a guide to how the project is going to proceed throughout the life-cycle. For the best implementation the right tools are needed. With the right PM software features, planning can be better, implementation, monitoring and closing of the project by following the flow chart. For example, with a real-time dashboard from Projectmanagementcompanion.com, a project can be tracked as it progresses through the planned flow chart.
Flow charts help with the visualization of the project, and project management software provides the tools to take those visuals and execute them as planned. Sample a project management flow chart as a template to start using it in projects.
If project management software is required to assist with the implementation of a flow chart and keep projects on track, then look no further than Projectmanagementcompanion.com, where there is a selection of cloud-based tools with features to steer each phase of a project to a successful end.