Author Topic: Best Practice for showing a document that has to be updated at multiple steps.  (Read 6084 times)

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DanK

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Hi all,

As a flowchart rookie, I have a rookie question.

I have a process in which I need to update a document (which tracks the stage of completion) at many steps.  I am not sure how to show the updating of the document without making a very convoluted flowchart with every point having a connector to that document.

Could you please suggest what the best approach would be?

I have attached a quick document with 3 examples of how I considered doing this.  Please let me know if any of them is correct, or if there is a different method entirely.

Thanks in advance.

Warmest regards,
Dan

Yacine

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For what it is worth (I don't do this kind of diagrams).
The first one shows best the intermediate operation.
As it keeps the actual important flow visible without the reader being forced to follow any complexe path.
Number 2 looks like a decision is to be taken, but all end in the update block.
Number 3 is understandble, but requires reading, which makes the understanding more difficult.

Cheers,
Yacine
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 12:32:15 PM by Yacine »
Yacine

DanK

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Thanks, Yacine.

It sounds like you are not too keen on the 2nd option either.  From everyone I spoke to, and empirically (connectors get tangled if you try this with a larger process flow), I'd agree that the 2nd is the worst.

I was thinking that there were enough manually tracked processes that there would be a well defined best practice around this. 

Thanks again, the input is appreciated.

Dan

Yacine

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Not so long ago, Paul Herber adviced for a very similar request to google best pratices in diagramming.
I do agree with him, as Visio is just "the tool of choice". The layout itself is up to the "drawer".
Yacine

wapperdude

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Definitely not Option 3:  don't think it keeps with flow charting at all (my opinion).  Problem with 1st option, it's not clear that each step is updating the same document.  Problem with Option 2, looks like whenever the update is done, that's the end, regardless of which step took you to the update.

Does the completion of each step require the document to be updated before going on to the next step?  Or, can, for example, step 2 proceed to step 3 without updating?  If that's a possibility, then, a decision block needs to be inserted between steps.  Somehow, need to show a return to the next step.

As Yacine says, Paul gives good advice, google re flowcharts.
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DanK

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Thanks wapperdude and Yacine. 

-Wapperdude, I like your thoughts about using decision blocks & trying to return to the next step.  In my case the document should be updated at each step (to keep track of the process), but the process itself technically should not break if its not.  It would just increase administrative work down the road trying to figure out what was done when.

-Yacine, I definitely agree that I need to educate myself on the best practices more.  Naturally, Google was my first go to.  I also asked a buddy who has done a process flow a while back, and a subscription to Lynda.com will prove helpful, I'm sure (although I have not had time to fully view all videos.

At the end of the day, however, since this is a community for people using or interested in Visio, with many extremely proficient/expert users, I would think this is the perfect place to ask for help educating myself on best practices.