Describing a complex process


1 : Describing a complex process

  • Many complex processes aren't linear; they can take various twists and turns, depending on the particular situation, and also on "how things go." Flowcharting is a technique for describing such processes succinctly and accurately, using a prescribed, clearly understood format.
  • Think of a complex process that you've had to perform. What sort of written documentation, if any, did you have to guide you? Did it help you deal with the "twists and turns?" Why or why not?

2 : When a flowchart doesn't flow

Discuss the problems you encountered (or, perhaps, are still encountering) while completing the Case exercise. Would you expect to encounter the same problems if you were drawing a flowchart of a "real-world" process? Why or why not? Explain in the context of an actual process with which you are familiar.

List some feature of a process that may make it difficult to depict using a flowchart. Here are two:

  • A flowchart depicts a sequential series of processes. There's no good way to show simultaneous processes.
  • A flowchart has a start point and an end point. When describing a real process, those points may be arbitrary.
    There are more. What are they?

Discussion General Expectations:

  • In your first posting, you should show a basic understanding of the issues involved in the module. In your second and subsequent postings, you should demonstrate a clear understanding of the material covered in the module.
  • Critically apply your understanding to the examples provided by others. Do those examples clearly illustrate the concepts being discussed? Why or why not?

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Business Management: Describing a complex process
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