By Laura Cleland at December 07 2018 02:26:27
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.
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.
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.
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.