The understanding the process flow diagram (PFD) as the graphic representation of the separate steps or activities of a process which are arranged sequentially and adaptable to any process developed in both industrial and service companies, helps us to see it then as a tool of great utility and versatility.
Currently, it represents a powerful tool for the majority of the companies that pursue the creation of its methods or systems, including the study for its continuous improvement after already having created them.
For systems, considered as a set of interrelated processes and sub-processes in an organization, often complex, with a large number of functional areas, departments and people, the process flow diagram gives us the opportunity to organize, simplify, and document Information. The human brain recognizes drawings very easily. A good process flow diagram replaces many pages of text.
In this way, the process flow diagram can be used when it is necessary to have knowledge in relation to what the process does, which will give us the benefit of correctly understanding its phases and operation, additionally after defined said diagram, when studying that process, the tool will allow the visualization of activities that are not necessary and at the same time verify if there is a balanced distribution of the burden between the participants or performers in order to improve it.
On the other hand, once the diagram is defined and available to each one of the members of the organization, departments, section or area of the organizational structure, it will give us the benefit of becoming a powerful instrument of documentation and communication of how the process is currently working.
In this way, each person can be located as a client or supplier within an already defined process, giving a clear, technical and standard language to refer to the processes themselves, facilitating the identification of any activity regarding the improvement thereof and promoting at the same time the communication between the teams of work and people of the organization, considering that these participants could have a long trajectory in it and even stands out as a tool of formation and induction that could be used for those people who are just entering.
Emphasizing that it is necessary to train those responsible for the diagrams to achieve the best results, once the participation of the staff has been achieved and after promoting the understanding in the design and study of these diagrams, will allow us to have responsible people motivated, creative and empowered who propose ideas for continuous improvement.
In addition, and as a variant of the process flow diagram, it can be used when planning a project of any type, such as a Six Sigma project, for the purpose of developing a group of connected activities, in order to anticipate which actions Execute according to each of the situations that could happen, giving options to favor convenient events or counteract problems. This will allow to choose the best possible solutions or contingency actions to achieve the desired results, under the premise that the process can be developed according to different alternatives.
The process flow diagram could also be used during the measure phase of a Six Sigma project, in order to achieve a comprehensive development of an operational definition, demonstrating which part of a process a particular KPI (Key performance indicator) refers to.
Finally, by getting each of the people involved in the processes to understand it and work under this standard, a synergy effect will be achieved in order to achieve more efficient processes with the least possible amount of wastes, which will allow a competitive advantage as an organization with more efficient processes in today’s economic environment.
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