Templates for Continuous Process Improvement


Flow chart template

Choose the right flowchart template to graphically depict the flow of the thing being transformed

Comparison of Flowchart Templates

When to use a flowchart template vs. other Lean tools

Flowchart template

Excel Flowchart Template

A simple flow chart (without swim lanes)
is probably the most familiar of process mapping tools
to graphically illustrate 'who does what',
and what decisions need to be made along the way.

And we all know how many words one picture is worth.

Functional Flowchart

Cross Functional Flow Chart

The swim lane cross functional flowchart
is ideal for designing and documenting processes with medium-length cycle times.

(For example a sales order process, engineering changes,
or any process that takes days or weeks rather than minutes)

Download free trial cross functional flowchart

Value Stream Mapping flowchart

Value Stream Map

Your Value Stream Mapping template is a strategic tool
that uses special symbols and Lean metrics to depict the flow of a product or service
through an entire stream of value-adding processes — each of which might drill down
to further details illustrated using one or all of the following tactical tools.

Download free trial value stream map

Block diagram template

Block Diagram

Use your Block Diagram to create a visual, high-level sketch of a process —
showing only Major Steps, sequence, operators, inventory, cycle time,
and perhaps just a little more optional information.

Layout Diagram template

Spaghetti Diagram

also known as Standard Work Chart or Layout Diagram

A Spaghetti Diagram is a process mapping template
that shows a floor plan of your work area, and graphically shows
the walk paths of each worker, and which operations are done where,
and how much of the thing being transformed is stored where.

Download free trial spaghetti diagram (within Standard Work template)

Standard Work flowchart

Standard Work Combination Sheet

The Standard Work Sheet is the ideal tool for
designing and documenting Lean processes with short cycle times.

(For example a manufacturing process that takes five minutes,
or a loan approval process that takes 2 hours)

Download free trial Standard Work

SIPOC Diagram Excel template

SIPOC Diagram

The center of a SIPOC diagram includes a very simple process flowchart —
with columns for Suppliers, Inputs, Processes, Outputs, and Customers.

Use this tool to identify and eliminate wastes of any type:
hazardous wastes and emissions, energy, scrap, packaging...

Download free trial SIPOC template

Process Flow Diagram template

Process Flow Diagram

Prior to creating a PFMEA
use the Process Flow Diagram to identify Sources of Variation, and desired Deliverables (ideal Functions) for each Process Step.


A3 Illustrator

A3 Illustrator

The A3 Illustrator uses stick figures
to illustrate PowerPoints or A3 Reports for
Lean Office and Lean Healthcare processes
in ways that are more intuitive than traditional flow charts or other lean tools.

Own them all

It is not uncommon for a company to buy their Systems2win templates
for the Value Stream Mapping, or Standard Work, and then notice a year later...

that the templates they actually use most
are the simple flowchart and the Cross Functional Flow Chart

Fortunately, with the Systems2win process flowchart templates, you don't need to choose.

You get every one of these flow chart templates when you purchase the entire suite of tools.

Bookmark= Training

How to use your

Flowchart template

Systems2win menu > Systems2win Templates

Find and open your template

Find and open your Flowchart template (Flowchart.xlsx)
in the same way that you find and open
your other 150+ Systems2win templates.

Save your working document, following the usual
document storage and naming conventions
established by your leaders.

If English is not your native language

Switch to your language, just like every Systems2win Excel template.

Systems2win menu > Open a Blank Sheet

Open a Blank Sheet

When you're ready to start doing your own real work...

click the button to 'Open a Blank Sheet'

Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win tab > Open a Blank Sheet

This blank sheet is where you will do your real work

(not on the Sample sheet)

Rename your new sheet

Create your 'As Is' Flow Chart

Videos: How to use Excel
as a drawing tool

Watch these training videos >>>>>>>>>>>

to learn how to draw using Excel as a drawing tool
without the cost and learning curve of Visio

Tip: Insert all of your 'Snap To Grid' shapes first.

Then turn off Snap To Grid to add arrows and other shapes.

Analyze your 'As Is' process

Get consensus that your 'As Is' process
accurately represents the way things really are now.

Improve the process

Systems2win menu > Copy Sheet

The single most important part of the process

is to pause to think, ponder, and reflect
on how to improve the process.

Tip: Use the special Systems2win Copy Sheet utility
to copy your 'As Is' sheet to serve as the starting point for your 'To Be' version.

Bookmark= variations

of the simple flowchart template

The modest simple flowchart serves as the Swiss Army Knife of any lean toolkit — being ideally suited for:

The simple flow chart template can be used to create many popular variations — including:

Macro Flowchart

aka high-level process map

Only 3-8 major steps of the process.

Process boxes are usually labeled with just a noun (such as "Order Entry", or "Credit Check"),
unlike more detailed flowcharts, where labels usually consist of a combination verb and noun (such as "Enter Data")

Top-down flowchart
Top-down flow chart

Top-Down Flowchart

Top row of process boxes consists of only major steps

Similar to macro flowchart,
but usually with verb/noun labels...

Beneath each process box for each major step,
there is one more box itemizing a short list
of the most important sub-steps for each major step.

Detailed Flowchart

aka process map or micro map

Shows major and minor steps, delays, decision branches, loops, inputs, outputs, documents, termination points, interfaces to other processes, and any other details to clearly depict how a process is done.

Decision Tree Flowchart

aka Decision Process Flowchart, Logic Diagram, Logic Flowchart

A sequenced set of alternate paths that lead to a correct decision for what to do in different circumstances.

To create your Logic Flowchart — an expert of group of experts does the following:

  1. Come up with a Title to succinctly describe the situation where this decision guide should be used.
  2. Perhaps starting with cards or sticky notes until your Logic Diagram starts to take clearer shape — brainstorm questions that must be answered to reach the correct decision, and arrange the cards in branches for each possible answer.
  3. Rearrange your cards into a logical sequence.
  4. Review and test your Decision Process Flow chart for different scenarios and situations — modifying as you go — and transferring your sloppy note cards into a clean flowchart template.
  5. Tree Diagram templateGive your Decision Tree Flow chart to people without expertise, and ask them to use it to make decisions. Improve your masterpiece based on their experience.
  6. Release your finished tool — and set up a system for feedback and continuous improvement,
    and possibly a system for non-experts to get quick answers from experts for anything they find confusing.

Some simple Decision Trees might also be created using the Tree Diagram template.

Mix Logic Flowchart

The Mix Logic Flowchart is a specific type of Decision Tree
for Mixed Model Value Stream Maps with high variability of demand and mix —

to guide your Scheduler with yes or no logic paths for what to do in any circumstance.

Cycle Time Chart

A graph whose primary purpose is to visually depict how much time is spent at each step of the process.
Might also optionally show costs, and/or differentiate value add time from non-value add time.

Tip: If you use the Cross Functional Flowchart (rather than the simple one),
then all of these can be automatically calculated, even if you use a only single swim lane.

Critical To Quality Analysis

Use critical-to-quality CTQ analysis to examine a detailed flowchart
to identify quality issues most important to the internal and external customer.

After flowcharting a process...

Critical To Quality Analysis Flowchart
  1. Add shapes to the output side

    in unused space around the already-drawn flowchart

    Tip: You can use any custom shapes that your team desires. Popular shapes are suggested. Usually all of these related shapes are formatted the same color and line thickness — to differentiate these shapes from the regular flowchart shapes.

    • Who receives each output? (cloud shape)
    • Where (on the flowchart) is it received or used? (fat arrow) (how to draw a curved arrow)
    • What is the output? (words on the arrow)
      Outputs might be product, service, approval, information, paperwork, acknowledgement...
    • When is it needed? (oval)
      (time or frequency)
    • How critical to customer satisfaction?
      Rate the criticality of each "what"and each "when".
      (use a star or burst, perhaps with a legend to clarify your rating scale of criticality)
  2. Add shapes to the input side
    • Who provides each input?
    • Where (on the flowchart) is it received? Used?
    • What is input?
    • When is it received? (time or frequency)
    • How critical is it? How critical is timing?
  3. Create a Critical To Quality Analysis Matrix (using a matrix template)
    • For each output — list your customer's needs (e.g. on time? complete? accurate?)
      and assess whether each need is met.
    • For each input — list your own needs (as the internal customer)
      and assess whether each need is met.

    Your custom matrix consists of 3 columns:

    1. Input or Output
      (which can be words for each "what", or numbers correlated to each "what"on the chart)
    2. Customer Needs
    3. Met? (yes or no)
  4. On the flowchart, highlight (using colors or symbols) those steps that are critical to quality

    then study those critical-to-quality steps —
    looking for problems or ideas to improve your process.

  5. Optionally also create & analyze a Critical To Quality Tree Diagram.

Cost of Quality Analysis

Cost of Poor Quality template

Use Cost of Poor Quality Analysis to identify opportunities to improve quality, and reduce the costs of doing it.

After flowcharting a process...


Have you ever calculated the
real cost of "free" templates?

Download ROI calculator

  1. Draw a red circle around all steps that incur costs of quality:

    to inspect, control, or fix damage.

  2. If few or no steps have red circles, ask,

    "What can go wrong? How would we know?
    How would we deal with it?"

    Then add steps to show how problems are handled.

  3. For each red circle, ask,

    "What process step, if done perfectly, would allow us to uncircle or eliminate this red-circled step?"

    Draw a green circle around those steps.

  4. Optionally calculate approximate costs of red-circled tasks,
    as one factor to consider to prioritize.

    But don't spend too much time calculating cost of quality,
    keeping in mind the words of Dr. Edward Deming:

    "The true cost of poor quality is unknown and unknowable."

  5. Analyze and improve the opportunities identified in the green–circled steps,

    and the root causes in the red-circled steps.

FMEA Excel template

Boundary Diagram

The Boundary Diagram is a graphical illustration of the relationships between the subsystems, assemblies, subassemblies, and components within the object as well as the interfaces with the neighboring systems and environments.

It is sometimes a mandatory component when creating a Design FMEA.


Flowcharting & Process Mapping Tools

  Features & Benefits
 Lean-specific tools

Systems2win offers ALL of the types of flowcharting tools described above
so that you have the right tool for every process and phase of continuous improvement

 Pre-programmed Lean metrics

After the pretty pictures have been drawn, how do you answer your boss's show-me-the-money questions
to get approval for your suggested improvement ideas?

  Ease of use

Everything you know about Excel — you can use in these flow chart templates
Everything you learn about these templates — you can use in any other Excel worksheet

 Online help

a) Pop-up help for every row &column heading
b) Sample with learning exercises
c) Free Excel online training
d) Video training

 Online education

On-line education to ensure that your people understand
the foundational teachings of Lean & Kaizen

 1 year free Technical support

So your people have the support they need — so they can focus on solving your problems
rather than troubleshooting their home-grown spreadsheets


Steep quantity discounts and volume licensing for unlimited users —
to empower every one of your team members
with all the tools they need to improve their own work


Own all of these flowchart templates for a price that is low enough to empower every team member


menu bottom





Download a dozen trial templates


























Hammered thumb

If your toolbox contains only
a hammer, then everything seems to need hammering.

Why not use your
Tool Selection Matrix
to choose the right tool?






















Your Systems2win templates come with free New User Training to quickly learn features that are common to all 150+ templates




One huge benefit of owning your Systems2win templates is Support when you need it




Your Systems2win templates come with Training & Videos to help you get the most from your process improvement tools





































Join a free live webinar







If your organization has not yet provided a license, own yours now