Project Management Workflow Charts: What Are They?

A project management workflow chart is a visual project management tool that displays the planned sequence of project activities or tasks until the project reaches completion. Although it works like a project management plan, the project management workflow chart focuses more on the sequenced actions to take to complete the project rather than focusing mainly on the overall project planning method. So if you are a project manager in need of a well-written process map and easy-to-read visual structure to accomplish a successful and efficient project management, rest assured, you are getting nearer to your goals using project management workflow charts.

According to a survey, four out of five project managers agree that they hardly keep up without an effective project management.

Why Is a Project Management Workflow Chart Important?

Has it ever crossed your mind as to why project managers need to prepare a project management workflow chart? It is more than just using creative flowchart symbols because there are tons of reasons as to how important such a chart is. And in this section, you will learn more about the importance of project management workflow charts.

Easy-to-Follow Structure

What makes project management workflow charts stand out is how easy to follow they are. There is visual clarity in presenting your project’s workflow. In fact, the whole chart presented in one document could already cover all sorts of project tasks from the easiest activities down to the most challenging ones. If you are familiar with how project flow charts work, then you can associate them to project management workflow charts when it comes to mapping processes with a creative flow.

Smooth Communication Flow

Speaking of a creative flow, a project management workflow chart is capable of assigning tasks to the workforce smoothly. By referring to the instructions and presentation of the chart, it is easy to communicate what the whole team should do from start to the finish of a project. Hence, there is room to insert your project communication plan for instant communication in the chart. That way, you won’t have to worry about presenting the task designation and being transparent with the project operations.

Timely Coordination

Another special aspect in relying with project management workflow charts is you can meet deadlines. In fact, you can even finish earlier than the deadline. Workflow charts serve as your preparation of what to achieve punctually. There is no need to waste time and other resources if you can manifest the target sequence of events in a project. So if you want to manage tasks in a timely approach, you can’t go wrong with a project management workflow chart. That naturally happens when you have prepared a visual schedule of the project as well. Hence, don’t just disseminate tasks because you also need deliverable timelines while working.

Visual Analysis Tool

Most importantly, you can look over into your project through data analysis. The charts are a reliable reference when you need to evaluate or check the progress of operations. For example, how sure are you that the step-by-step project workflow is actually flawless or feasible enough to accomplish? And that is just one question to answer upon analyzing a chart. Leverage the use of these visual tools such as adding better project management strategies. That is because a chart can be relevant from pre-project to post-project.

What Makes an Effective Project Management Workflow Chart?

While it is easy to say that project management workflow charts are very helpful for your project management goals, you can’t deny that it takes wisdom and effort to form a dependable chart too. So if you need to develop such a chart effectively, there are actually crucial elements involved. And the following elements are what you need to formulate top-notch project management workflow charts:

Project Title: Of course, you need to determine the title of your project followed by the words “Project Management Workflow Chart.” Simply having “Project Management Workflow Chart” as the title looks incomplete because it could refer to any project at all. For classification purposes, write the complete project title. If you are not sure with the project title, do refer to the project proposal or talk with any project head to correct it.Statement of Purpose: Any project is not made for naught. So it is crucial to remind the workforce about the main vision or mission of the project management objectives. A clear statement of purpose would suffice. This part should clarify what the whole effort spent for the project is for and why it is critical to accomplish it. Answering the crucial questions will drive the entire team as to how their contributions eventually pay off in the end.Itemized List of Tasks: Of course, what is a project workflow without the actual task list? The sequenced list of tasks is crucial and they are to be arranged thoughtfully in your project management workflow chart. The best approach is to be specific as you need not write complete or long sentences in each shape of your chart. And you should display the connection of the tasks until there is a sequence to be seen. It is typically displayed through arrows where you will know what happens first until last.Chart Symbols: What makes any workflow chart distinguishable is that they display graphic shapes, symbols, or figures. And they are to be presented carefully in your document. Just like flow charts, you would see some bars, arrows, circles, and any other shape.Legend of Symbols: A common mistake committed by people is when they insert different chart symbols in a document and assume that the audience knows what every symbol means already. Your chart’s document should introduce the legend of these symbols or what the symbols signify. For example, an oval or circle means the start or finish point, a line or arrow connects or displays the relationship between symbols, a parallelogram is either the input or output, a rectangle represents a process, and that a diamond signifies decision. You can also customize your own symbols and legends as long as you introduce it in your document.

Project Management Workflow Charts and Its Types

Did you know that project management workflow charts have many types? And they each tell you what the chart is for. So in this segment, learn about the three common types of project management workflow charts.

Construction Project Management Workflow Charts

From the term itself, construction project management workflow charts are meant for projects that need to be built or constructed. Most importantly, this type focuses on construction-related projects. The chart will showcase the whole construction project process for a smooth construction project execution. So the moment you receive the instructions from a construction work proposal, begin setting the actions to be taken in a detailed construction workflow chart.

Academic Project Management Workflow Charts

Meanwhile, school-driven projects are categorized under academic project management workflow charts. This chart is often used by students for their school researches. Students could be undergraduates or even those who are taking graduate school. And the workflow chart helps them achieve any school project as required by their different subjects. School project proposals could definitely use some academic project management workflow charts to succeed excellently.

Community Project Management Workflow Charts

On another note, community project management workflow charts are mainly used by community leaders and workers to help in community development projects. A visual tool such as a workflow chart is much easier to understand rather than giving community members complex instructions. Just make sure the steps and data presented in the chart aligns with the community project proposal or community development plan.

How to Make an Effective Project Management Workflow Chart

Now for the main course, are you ready to create your own project management workflow chart? Don’t feel intimidated with shapes you don’t understand first because you can customize it afterward. In fact, it will run easily when you follow these six basic steps to make a proper project management workflow chart:

Step 1: Download a Premade Project Management Workflow Chart Sample

Take time to explore and pick any sample project management workflow chart listed in this article. Rest assured, such samples are pre-formatted and professionally made so it has the standard structure of how project management workflow charts should look like. Your only goal is to edit the template’s details until you can make it as your own. Remember those elements that make up a correct project management workflow chart from the project title to the legend of symbols? Those are what you need to personalize. Also, you can explore any editable template as well such as a life cycle flowchart template, Gantt chart template, and a concept map template. Or you depend on other key project management tools including flowchart examples and infographic templates. has your back for different project management templates!

Step 2: List All Necessary Tasks and Assign Roles

Now that you have selected your preferred template, begin to edit its content. And listing tasks is the first concern. Expect to outline every single task that needs to be achieved. A tip is to use a simple to-do list as your draft. Complete the list of all activities and tasks expected to finish for the project until it gets easier for you to assign roles later on. Also, take advantage of using different resources such as quality assurance evaluations and using ideas recommended by stakeholders. And to make the list more organized, start arranging them in the proper order. The whole list or draft you created here will be used as reference later on in finalizing the workflow chart and even for documentation purposes.

Step 3: Understand Your Purpose and Workflow Diagram

Be reminded of the main reason as to why you are making the project management workflow chart in the first place. This step helps you confirm if all the information you inputted in the document actually meets the purpose of the project or not. Oftentimes, the chart coincides with the project management action plan‘s specifics. Hence, review the original details from the main plan until you can adjust how your workflow chart should end up like. Also, this part confirms what type of workflow diagram you are making whether it is for construction, academic, community, or any other function. Then, use the appropriate design of a project management workflow chart sample that meets your purpose and standards.

Step 4: Divide the Project into Smaller Stages

The key to making every task easier is by breaking down the project tasks into smaller and more workable stages. Maybe tasks were too general like in saying one task is for risk management action. Be more specific on how the risk management action happens instead. And you can even group similar tasks altogether to make the project more organized. Bear in mind that you will spread the items in a task list or activity sheet per shape in a chart. So make it easy to read such as separating and grouping activities.

Step 5: Add a Realistic Timeline for the Project Workflow

You should know by now of how important a project schedule is for your project management workflow chart. Scheduling makes the deliverables more achievable since there is a timeline set per task. Without setting the timeline, it is possible that the workforce gets lazy because they won’t feel any pressure with the work duration and project deadlines. So for the good of the project, add feasible time frames to the chart so the tasks would be followed timely and strictly.

Step 6: Test and Observe Results

Once you are through with dividing the projects, adding timelines, and designing the overall chart, your next task is to observe carefully. You wouldn’t want to assume that everything goes exactly as planned. You have to test and observe the outcome. As you push through with the project workflow according to the chart, you can set an evaluation report afterward. And that report carriers helpful feedback and observations that can help assess if the project is actually a success or needs improvement. Also, tracking results is part of the process to ensure that people followed the specifications presented in the project management workflow chart.


What is a flow chart in the concept of project management?

A flow chart is known as the visual or graphic aid in project management. And it aims to help you understand and handle the project gracefully from project planning to the outcome. That remains true if the flow chart diagram coincides with the project plans.

What are the common symbols in a workflow chart?

Common examples of symbols used in workflow charts are the start or end symbols, process or action symbols, document or multiple documents symbols, decision symbols, input or output symbols, preparation symbols, connector symbols, summoning junction symbols, merge symbols, collate symbols, sort symbols, subroutine symbols, manual loop or loop limit symbols, delay symbols, data storage symbols, database symbols, display symbols, and off page symbols.

What are the six elements of a flow chart?

The six elements of flow charts are the participants, activities, input, output, order, and standardization.

Like Gantt charts, flowcharts, and different measurement charts, project management workflow charts are reliable tools when it comes to increasing the success rate of project operations. These charts have special visual displays that make it easier for audiences to follow the process and go through the sequenced steps of tasks seamlessly. So the next time you find project management to be a challenge, feel free to download a sample project management workflow chart template anytime at And watch the growth of your project flourish no matter how small, complicated, or huge a project is.