Flowcharts are the Perfect Visual Solution to Problem Solving

“Every problem has a solution. You just have to be creative enough to find it.” – Travis Kalanick

The idea of brainpower can engage our attention and imagination at many levels; human brains have evolved over many eons to emerge as superb demonstrators of creative ability, intellectual acumen, problem-solving skills, modes of ideation, sites of decision-making, and much more. The brain also represents a complex, multi-stage phenomenon that distinguishes the animal kingdom from other species on the planet. It is possible to expand the use of brainpower to focus on problem-solving initiatives; in this context, the considered use of flowcharts may enable thinkers to construct strategies, and present a perfect visual solution as an outcome in these endeavors. Flow-based diagrams can help us develop the initial scaffolding of initiatives, and subsequently build super-structures that can address crises situations, solve a variety of problems, and spur the emergence of interesting forms of resolution.

  • The Initial Stages

Defining a problem, its scope, and its contours within flowcharts represents a starting point to devising the perfect visual solution. Various aspects of a problem could be illustrated in layers of connected diagrams, spotlight any lines of congruency, and subsequently design the outlines of a potential solution. This endeavor takes on an intrinsically visual nature, wherein designers can utilize spaces to prosecute a given problem. In addition to rendering clear definition, the act of utilizing flowcharts enables designers to consider alternatives to problem-solving techniques, thereby creating various layers/levels of resolution. These layers may be assessed independently for function and utility. The perfect visual solution may also require designers to re-visit the original problem, find new avenues of exploration – in a bid to regain perspective, build interesting stances for analysis, and refresh the ideas that may aid such ventures.

  • Importance of Standards

Creating sets of performance standards is critical when human beings envisage the mechanics of a perfect visual solution. This is especially true when we embark on problem-solving activities in the domain of modern manufacturing, for instance. Designers may consult a variety of quality parameters in this industry prior to devising the solution; this stance enables emerging solutions to conform to performance standards endorsed by modern manufacturers. The flowchart empowers designers to undertake such actions, fashion the outlines of potential solutions, and test the outcomes prior to implementation inside manufacturing processes. Meanwhile, additional versions of connected diagrams can aid designers to validate the scope of perfect visual solution – for instance – the demands that may emerge in the course of the ongoing evolution of manufacturing systems, standards, and practices.

  • Multiplicity of Resolutions

Alternative expressions of resolution could embellish and enrich the efforts of designers working to attain the perfect visual solution. Thus, it would be helpful to consider developing a range of flow-based diagrams, each encasing an alternative solution. The idea of alternatives may hinge on developing various perspectives, each of which can find rendering within the spaces of flow-based diagrams. These diagrams may also feature separate panels that detail recommendations sourced from the experiences of problem solvers, as also the outlines of innovative problem-solving initiatives. The emerging imagery can spotlight a composite of the perfect visual solution and enable multiple instances of competent outcomes to take shape within flowcharts. Additionally, it would help to compare the merits of alternative resolutions as part of pursuing solutions etched in visual spaces.

  • Documenting Methods of Problem Solving

The best solutions can take refinement, iteration and reflection to come out.” It would serve well to devise a perfect visual solution by embarking on a series of minor flowchart-centric projects focused on the overall objective. These ventures may include developing a document of the processes undertaken in the interests of solving problems, tracking the various forms of learning that emanate therefrom, and implementing a variety of ideas in the course of this venture. The minor flowcharts enable an effective form of envisioning architecture that lends itself to refinement and reflection. Meanwhile, teams of design personnel may collaborate to locate the perfect visual solution and cement its contours as part of the undertaking. Designers may also create custom sets of visual cues (and other aids) that help trace the contours of the endeavor as it proceeds toward an eventual resolution.

  • Conducting Analyses

A visual version of root cause analysis – when rendered inside flowcharts – may spur the effective creation of perfect visual solution. This is an interesting aspect of exploring options within problems and seeking resolutions. Thus, analysts or investigators could develop multiple frames of text-based narratives that embody the journey of the root cause analysis. These frames can be strategically affixed inside flowcharts, serve as originators of original insights – and help construct a linear narrative that describes various aspects of potential solutions. The stages of said analysis could establish connections with projections of problem(s) undergoing analysis. This empowers analysts to anticipate future versions (or extensions) of problems and adapt the perfect visual solution to frame a working solution.

  • The Primacy of Many Perspectives

Potential solutions must be weighed or assessed from multiple points of view. These may include timeliness, the element of risk, manageability, expense, effectiveness, and other points of view.  Therefore, it can be inferred that a perfect visual solution must represent the outcome of an exploratory process that incorporates each of the above. The connected spaces of flowcharts could assist with these ideas, enable analysts to build different components of solutions, and vet their inter-operability with regard to conditions that prevail in the real world. In addition, the visual element assists analysts to develop comprehensive views of outcome – this is part of intangibles such as exploration and ideation. Process experts, on their part, may offer inputs into problem-solving ventures – and this may add complexity to diagrams.

  • The Utility of Re-Defining Problems

Re-defining a problem could represent a productive approach in certain scenarios. This implies that perfect visual solution may emerge when analysts undertake to view different facets of a problem, and seek re-definition as starting points. This stance may be focused on different stages of a problem or situation, implying an ongoing attempt at re-definition and seeking multi-mode solutions. For instance, business analysts may work to re-define a supply chain situation; they may examine the viewpoints of vendors, service providers, contractors, customers, and other stakeholders. Re-definition can elevate levels of transparency, thereby enabling the perfect visual solution to take shape within spaces of flowcharts. This stance can also generate multiple solutions that distinguish the problem-solving initiative.

  • In Conclusion

These readings can guide our thoughts on crafting the perfect visual solution through flow-based diagrams. Each instance of such illustration can empower the idea of applying thought and method to problem-solving initiatives. Further, it would help to experiment with new methods that may reinforce the human ability to address problems and scenarios, and the prototypes of such methods may take shape within flowcharts. The learnings generated therein can guide future efforts at visual problem solving and also help to incorporate such learnings into the structures of mainstream methods and techniques. Certain observers have noted the utility of disaggregating visual spaces in a bid to boost the performance of problem-solving mechanisms. This in itself may comprise a new venture in the use of visual spaces and may impart new momentum to the primary venture.

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