By Sophie Dulhunty at September 21 2018 07:12:41
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.
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.
They are more difficult to implement through discipline than administrative human-centric processes (although some discipline is needed). It is better to focus on obtaining buy-in from the people affected by the processes through early involvement, communication and expectations management. It is a known fact that knowledge workers are reluctant to change their habits. Some say knowledge workers don't like following procedures because they feel it limits their creativity; but most of the time they will be happy to follow a procedure as long as they see value in it, perceiving that it helps them work better and produce a better process output.
In all cases, however, the task that the algorithm is to accomplish must be definable. That is, the definition may involve mathematical or logic terms or a compilation of data or written instructions, but the task itself must be one that can be stated in some way. In terms of ordinary computer usage, this means that algorithms must be programmable, even if the tasks themselves turn out to have no solution. In computational devices with a built-in microcomputer logic, this logic is a form of algorithm. As computers increase in complexity, more and more software-program algorithms are taking the form of what is called hard software.
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.
Tables : When your data doesn't clearly show a trend, use a table. You may have this data in Excel, and can even link to the Excel file. Quotations : Quotes are very powerful when they come from authorities or well-known individuals. In a persuasive presentation, you can use testimonials from other customers, for example. Stories : Stories are powerful when they support your message. They can be personal, related to current events, examples from other customers, and so on. They can be full-blown situations, or simple examples. Collect stories as you hear them and keep them in a file for use later.