By Laura Cleland at November 08 2018 20:40:57
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.
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.
The key to process improvement is to clearly communicate process definitions (the way in which the company wants the processes to be carried out) to the people in charge of their execution (through training, process descriptions publication, etc...). The better process participants understand the process definition, the higher the probability that the process is carried out according to it. They are better implemented through obtaining buy-in than through imposing directives.
Flowcharts can be very useful for a technical writer. If you're working on a complex process, a flowchart can show you the various steps involved in that process. For example, you could be working on a manual on how to troubleshoot the Autopilot Flight Director system for the Boeing 747 aircraft. There are various steps involved in troubleshooting this system. Each step has multiple sub-steps. By creating a flowchart, you can quickly see which step takes place at what stage in the process.