The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) set standards for flowcharts and their symbols in the 1960s.
Any drawing program can be used to create flowchart diagrams, but these will have no underlying data model to share data with databases or other programs such as project management systems or spreadsheet.
The underlying graph structure of a flowchart is a flow graph, which abstracts away node types, their contents and other ancillary information.
The first structured method for documenting process flow, the "flow process chart", was introduced by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth in the presentation "Process Charts: First Steps in Finding the One Best Way to do Work", to members of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in 1921.
Similarly, in UML, a standard concept-modeling notation used in software development, the activity diagram, which is a type of flowchart, is just one of many different diagram types.
Nassi-Shneiderman diagrams and Drakon-charts are an alternative notation for process flow.
This diagrammatic representation illustrates a solution model to a given problem.
Flowcharts are used in analyzing, designing, documenting or managing a process or program in various fields.
A flowchart can also be defined as a diagrammatic representation of an algorithm, a step-by-step approach to solving a task.
The flowchart shows the steps as boxes of various kinds, and their order by connecting the boxes with arrows.