By Laura Cleland at November 23 2018 19:24:37
For a technical writer a flowchart can be a very useful tool to illustrate various operations and processes. Before you start your next project, see if you can illustrate the process via a flowchart. It will make life easier for you and your manager or client. The end result will be a better project which is good for your target audience. Note: Microsoft Visio is a good software for creating flowcharts. If you can write a simple sentence in English and organize your thoughts then technical writing may be a rewarding field. You can easily make it a second income stream in your spare time.
Diagrams : A diagram can show a process, hierarchy, or other relationships. You can use AutoShapes and arrows, the flowchart shapes with connectors (in the Lines category in PowerPoint 2007; otherwise in the Connectors category), or the SmartArt feature of 2007. Charts/Graphs : Charts (also known as graphs) visually display data, especially data showing a trend. Use only the data that supports your point, not all the data in the Excel spreadsheet where you got the data. If the data is too complex, it won't be comprehensible on a slide. What to do? Print it out and give it to the audience as a handout.
How to create a flowchart When you're working on a complex project, creating the flowchart itself may be a time-consuming task. Here are six simple steps you can follow to create even complex flowcharts: Start by defining the end result of the process or project. The end result could be anything such as completing a user manual, writing a complex software process, installing a new part, or performing a test. List the various steps involved to achieve the end result. This will take some research. In complex processes, each step could have a series of sub steps. The steps involved to create a user manual could be: a. Meet with SME ; b. Research existing documentation ; c. Videotape the procedure ; d. Take photographs ; e. Create illustrations ; f. Develop the user guide ; g. Test the user guide ; h. Make changes/adjustments ; i. Deliver final product.
All process instances are executed in a very similar way and it is easy to draw a flowchart detailing the sequence in which tasks are executed. It is also possible to formalize the business rules that guide decisions, normally based on the evaluation of some process variables. But recently other kinds of processes have caught the attention of process management specialists. They are known as knowledge processes, or knowledge-based processes. Knowledge processes can be defined as "high added value processes in which the achievement of goals is highly dependent on the skills, knowledge and experience of the people carrying them out". Some examples could be management, R&D, or new product development processes.