By Laura Cleland at October 29 2018 08:59:47
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.
Multiple inputs to the process exist : Some of them would be competition, lifecycle stage of the market, brand image, budget, etc... ; Complex decisions are made : There are many possible ways to achieve the process objectives (reach planned sales, leverage brand image, etc...) ; Each decision implies different levels of risk and potential benefits : It is the responsibility of the worker to choose the best one (low price strategy, aggressive advertising campaign, etc...) ; There are three main characteristics that make knowledge processes different from highly structured processes: Focus is on communication instead of automation.
Knowledge workers carry out these processes by taking into account multiple inputs (generally a wide set of unstructured data and information) to perform difficult tasks and make complex decisions among multiple possible ways of doing the work, each one implying different levels of risk and possible benefits. They are dependent on individuals and it is not possible to automate them. One example of a knowledge process is "Marketing a new product". The same steps are followed each time a new product is launched (benchmarking competitors, deciding pricing strategy, planning promotion, etc...), but it is the experience, knowledge and intuition of the people that drive the process to success.
Process definitions are high level descriptions instead of rigid workflows : Processes can only be defined up to a certain level of detail, and it is difficult to provide low level work instructions or to automate decisions. Because they cannot be formalised in detail, process simulation is rarely possible. Decisions are highly subjective and too complex to be expressed in a formal language, as they are taken based on intuition and not on rigid business rules.