Process Flow Chart symbols - Meaning, Importance, Types, Process & Example

Published in Marketing and Strategy Terms by MBA Skool Team

What is Process Flow Chart symbols?

Process flow chart symbols are shapes or pictorial representation which when used sequentially or step-wise help create a business decision flow or a process flow. The basic symbols consist of shapes like oval, rectangle, arrows and diamond. Some of the advanced flow chart symbols include a circle, triangle, hexagon and dashed arrows.

Importance of Flow Chart Symbols

These flow chart symbols when combined in a series are useful for understanding a business process or a manufacturing process, and gives an understanding of the initial step, key stages, decision steps and the final step. It gives a pictorial and detailed understanding of a process or decision making journey. This type of a process flow chart helps in improvement of existing processes, identifying bottle necks and ensures efficiency in operations.

Types of Flow Chart Symbols

The table below gives the most commonly used symbols while drawing a process flow diagram:

Every shape represents a unique step in the process, which can be explained below:

Start / Terminator

This is the oval shape in the process flow chart. This represents the start or end of any process diagram.

Flow line

Arrows are used to show the direction or flow of inventory, raw material or even information. Arrows help in understanding what the next stage is there in the process flow chart.


Processes or execution stages are represented by rectangles. In this stage, certain actions are completed based on the process flow.


The decision box is represented by a diamond shape. The importance of this shape is to have two or more options as the next step depending upon the outcome of the decision for the question. Mostly, the decisions have to be selected between Yes and No.

These are basic process flow chart symbols which can be used to create a step wise and sequential business process.

Example of Flow Chart

Consider the process flow of a simple restaurant or fast food chain. The start is when a customer comes in and orders a food. If food is available, you continue to make food and the give it to customer. Once the customer eats the food, then if a customer pays the bill, the process is completed.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Process Flow Chart symbols along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Browse the definition and meaning of more similar terms. The Management Dictionary covers over 1800 business concepts from 5 categories.

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