Making a Cross Functional Flowchart

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Vehicular traffic has emerged as one of the emblems of modern industrialized civilization. Passenger cars, commercial vehicles, sports utility vehicles, buses, scooters, trucks, and motorcycles represent the main constituents when we examine any stream of modern road-borne traffic. The rising numbers of such vehicles have forced transportation planners and designers to create four-lane, six-lane, and eight-lane roads that convey multiple streams of traffic through various routes of transit. Each lane is designated for vehicles of a certain tonnage, while certain lanes are designated for high speed traffic. This classification of modern road systems allows for smoother passage of vehicles, thereby reducing the chances of traffic gridlocks. In a similar vein, the cross functional flowchart is an ideal vehicle that has been defined as “a business process mapping tool used to articulate the steps and stakeholders of a given process.” These diagrams, when properly designed, enable organizations to create a visual document that outlines the various duties and responsibilities associated with a range of professional positions.

Clarity remains the driving force that underlines the creation of a modern cross functional flowchart. Designers must work to gain a transparent view of a system or process prior to embarking on the mission to design such a diagram. Therefore, designers must work with process experts to create an outline of the various stages and their inter-connections. A series of such actions enables these personnel to create a credible image of a certain process through a cross functional flowchart. The intent behind such design may remain in consonance with the mission statement of an organization. For instance, an organization that dedicates itself to stellar customer service may create a cross functional flowchart that etches various actions that promote the interests of the average customer. A perusal of the visual that emerges must clearly reveal the mission statement of said organization. In addition, designers must work to include any updates offered by the sponsor organization. These actions allow the cross functional flowchart to remain relevant to the hierarchy at all times.

Regulators often require a business organization to delineate the chain of command that animates the corporate entity. In response, an organization can deploy a cross functional flowchart to depict the relationships between any business process and the functional units contained therein. The designers of flowcharts can deploy direct connections to fashion such an illustration to ensure that it corresponds with the exact lines of co-operation and command that operate inside an organization. Ergo, the heads of various departments can be depicted as central entities within the cross functional flowchart. Various operational positions must appear connected to these heads, thereby creating a visual dialogue that informs and illuminates readers, regulators, and reviewers. Such a diagram may also contain nested micro-illustrations that offer a view of the detail that pervades the organizational expanse depicted in said cross functional flowchart.

The vertical dimension and the horizontal expanse – both retain significance when designers seek to create a modern cross functional flowchart. The orientation of the diagram does not distract from the design project conditional upon designers retaining a sharp focus on depicting facts inside the flowchart diagram. A vertical diagram, however, can create a focused effect for readers that wish to examine the diagram on digital media such as smartphones and consumer tablet devices. Each reader can scroll through the various stages of said cross functional flowchart and gain a clear understanding of the mechanisms depicted therein. However, the horizontal expanse gains ground when the flowchart is etched on a whiteboard for the convenience of readers and reviewers. Each instance of this illustration is driven by the requirement to include a heavy dose of detail in terms of stages and their various inter-connections. Designers may also elect to design the various stages of a cross functional flowchart in separate screens in a bid to promote visual comprehension among all stakeholders.

An active collaboration between designers and process champions augurs well for the modern cross functional flowchart. The outcomes that flow from such a meeting of minds empower a business organization to spotlight and reduce delays and process failures inside an organization. In line with this, designers must examine, re-examine, and re-visit business processes that appear inside the cross functional flowchart. Such a revisionist stance creates salubrious effects that manifest in the form of refinements in extant business processes. This stance also enables the modern organization to incorporate process extensions and position new sub-processes inside legacy business operations. Hence, designers may elect to include blank spaces inside a cross functional flowchart as placeholders. This approach also empowers organizations to re-examine the structure and functioning of modern businesses. Further, an organization may require its employees to create similar flowcharts as part of prototyping actions and activities.

A consistent approach to design elements is critical to ensure the success of a cross functional flowchart. This approach conforms to the design orthodoxy that dictates the creation of such diagrams. In addition, such techniques allow creators to reduce the scope of visual distraction for the benefit of readers and reviewers of flowcharts. For instance, designers may elect to use oval shapes only at the onset and end of a cross functional flowchart. This choice of action indicates the widespread use of rectangles inside the flowchart diagram. Further, these flat shapes may be imbued with colors and tints in a bid to spur differentiation between the multiple stages of a diagram. Such practices create familiarity for the eyes of readers, thereby allowing them to focus on the information coded into the flowchart diagram. The sparing use of oval shapes indicates that rounded edges herald the start and completion of the many activities inside a process or system. The ensuing discipline also helps designers to avoid muddled choices in terms of etching design inside a flowchart diagram.

Designers that work in the digital medium can design a cross functional flowchart based on inputs sourced from a variety of digital documents. Commercially available software packages aid such designers in the project. The aforesaid digital documents may include PowerPoint files, PDF files, a range of different digital formats for imaging, etc. The inputs from such sources, when incorporated into the creation of a flowchart, allow designers and creators to tap a wide variety of digital content. The visual variety also enables creators to design an information-rich illustration that validates the design project at multiple levels. Corporations and organizations can utilize such creations for a variety of purposes. In addition, the use of digital media empowers creators and designers to upgrade the information inside a flowchart; this attribute promotes the creation of digital products that remain relevant at different points in the ceaseless flow of time.

The foregoing paragraphs have examined some of the aspects of ideating and creating a cross functional flowchart. The design ideas that animate these illustrations may be diverse but transparency and consistency retain a central role in such endeavors. These attributes empower designers to create valid, fact-based illustrations that aid modern organizations in mapping various functions, etc. Such design endeavors will likely drive the next generation of evolution among elements as diverse as flowchart design, the use of digital technologies in such projects, and the applications that drive the relevance of cross functional flowcharts.

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