By Elizabeth Spain at November 17 2018 10:56:03
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.
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.
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.
In medicine, programs have been developed that analyze the disease symptoms, medical history, and laboratory test results of a patient, and then suggest a diagnosis to the physician. The diagnostic program is an example of so-called expert systems-programs designed to perform tasks in specialized areas as a human would. Expert systems take computers a step beyond straightforward programming, being based on a technique called rule-based inference, in which preestablished rule systems are used to process the data. Despite their sophistication, systems still do not approach the complexity of true intelligent thought.