Learning to Program – IPO Charts (Stage 1)

This entry is part 3 of 22 in the series Learning to Program

Creating an IPO chart is the first step in going from the problem to the coding of the program.  An IPO chart represents an Input Processing and Output chart.  You will base the information from the IPO chart off of your problem definition (or PAC) chart.  Typically a PAC Chart is presented as a table similar to below:

Given DataRequired Results
Constant shippingCharge = 8.95
Constant freeShippingLimit = 25.00
Numeric orderAmount
Numeric totalAmount
Order total including shipping
charges (if any)
Processing RequiredSolution Alternatives
Get the order amount and determine if
it qualifies for free shipping (at least

You list the variables (both constant and changeable under the Given Data, then the processing that you will perform, the required results, and any solutions that may need to be considered.

This is all part of Stage 1, which is defining the problem and proposing solutions to it.

The second portion of this is the actual IPO Chart which will look similar to this;




Determine if the order amount qualifies for free shipping (>= 25.00)
“Qualifies for Free Shipping”
”Does not qualify for free Shipping”


In the IPO chart, you will list all of the possible variables that you need.  This will make it easier for you to transition into Stage 2 (or Stage 3) and create the flowchart and pseudocode.

Next we will take a look at Stage 2 and the various symbols and flows used in Flowcharts.

Have a great day:)

Edited to show the table borders and resize the tables. 10:06 am 12-28-09

Series Navigation<< Learning to Program – Some Terms You Should UnderstandLearn to Program- Flowcharting (Stage 2) >>

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