Preparing Steps to Planning a Project Using Flowcharts

“First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.” – Aristotle

Large, diversified undertakings in the various fields of human enterprise require a systematic, planned matrix of activities under the moniker of a ‘project‘. This umbrella term, when appended to proper nouns, could denote specificity or anonymity, as required by projects of various hues. The act of planning a project proceeds in multiple dimensions, propelled by a host of actors and stakeholders that seek to drive action by operating the proverbial nuts and bolts of a project. Time schedules and analytical tools such as flowcharts enable said actors to achieve measured progress in a modern project. The use of analytical tools empowers project operators to gain a bird’s eye view of the different levels of planning and execution that animate a project. Certain organizations can undertake the act of planning a project and executing it manually, or may deploy project management software in such matters. That said; the flowchart remains a necessary tool that raises the chances of success in project planning and execution.

Deliverables represent a key aspect of activities when actors and entities are planning a project on multiple planes. In effect, a quantified, tangible deliverable must comprise the end-stage of each sequence of planned activities. Flowcharts designed with the objective of planning a project can outline a sequence of developments that culminate in the attainment of deliverables. Such illustrations must necessarily include multiple moving parts divided into stages, each of which is appended to a timeline. This makes for complex imagery, which is necessary to describe the movement of a project. In line with this, designers may elect to create clusters and sub-clusters of activity inside a flowchart; such depictions enable readers and reviewers to discern meaning with greater clarity, thereby contributing to a time-bound achievement of project objectives. In addition, designers of such flowcharts must clearly position the required deliverable at the end of each sequence, with a view to drive all actors to perform the required actions.

Views from a very high level are crucial when designers are planning a project with ultimate success as the business objective. These views allow project workers and managers to effect course corrections as appropriate, steer the general direction and velocity of a project in progress, and assess the scope of constructive outcomes even as the project proceeds toward its avowed goal. Flowcharts can help this mission by allowing supervisors to visualize the various stages, map a multiplicity of project parameters, track the status on a day-to-day basis, maintain quality of the applied effort, and assess the work performance of various actors. Such a flowchart, when designed in the digital domain, can provide crucial impetus to the stages subsequent to planning a project. Additionally, such an illustration emerges as an action tool that engages actively with every aspect of a modern project. Further, intelligent designers can actively collaborate with project experts and domain intelligence to effect optimum outcomes.

Risks and alterations in work schedules represent some of the unplanned facets of modern project execution. In line with this, project planners must work to accommodate these factors inside the visual matrix while planning a project. The flowchart plays a central role in managing emerging risks and changes in certain stages of project execution. Therefore, designers can create illustrations that include blank stages as placeholders for such eventualities. These ‘blanks‘, when connected to proximate stages, allow designers to create buffer zones inside flowcharts. These buffers represent an important aspect of planning a project because they afford project participants scope to adjust to sudden (read unforeseen) developments. In addition, designers of these illustrations can work to factor in redundancy as a matter of clear prudence. The net outcome of such efforts is a project plan securely buffered to deal with the unseen, various Acts of God, or sudden changes requested by the client. Experts note such preparations are vital to ensure the velocity of project activities, while creating certain levels of assurances for all manner of stakeholders.

Resource planning, budget planning, scope planning, and developing a project schedule represent vital actions that contribute to planning a project with a high measure of success. These multiple lines of action merit separate illustrations that can feed into the master diagram that animates an actual project. Resource planning, for instance, can emerge as a sequence of stages that describes the sourcing of resources critical to ensure the success of a project. Similarly, budget planning and scope planning require appropriate inputs and thorough descriptions that ultimately spur the enterprise of planning a project. Each of these flowcharts exudes a different flavor; however, each must be meticulously designed to further the interests of achieving successful project execution. We note the designers of such flowcharts must reserve visual space for inputs suggested by project experts at different stages of project execution. At the same time, such illustrations must dovetail flawlessly into the master diagram in the interests of ensuring smooth operation of the multiple moving parts inside a project.

The use of qualitative language can amplify the efforts of actors when they set about planning a project. Such language can appear in the form of digital notations inside a flowchart etched on an electronic display device. The choice of such action allows all stakeholders in a project to input their views, suggestions, opinions, and thoughts on the various operational aspects of a modern project. Every stage of such a flowchart can accommodate these inputs, leading to an improvement in the overall contours of project execution. Following the completion of each stage, project managers can elect to compile such input and assess them for value and subsequent application to the future stages of an ongoing project. In addition, the flowchart can serve as a repository of such inputs, thereby elevating the illustration to the level of a strategy document. Useful learnings can help guide future efforts at planning a project; these can amply augment the technical notations and cryptic modes of communication typical of such flowchart diagrams.

Reporting hierarchies must find some form of representation inside blueprints designed to further the enterprise of planning a project. Such hierarchies are necessary to define the chain of command that animates a modern project. A flowchart can help delineate the stages of project manager, project executives, supervisors, process specialists, business associates, workers, etc. The duties of each position can be clearly appended inside said illustration. This representation lends itself to being a legend inside the flowchart. An interesting aspect emerges when designers connect the legend to various processes and sub-processes inside a given project. This action promotes transparency in terms of work responsibilities and drives an adherence to established timelines. We note such actions spur the overall stance of all actors involved in a certain project. Additionally, actors may undertake to circulate these illustrations to all members involved in the execution of a modern project.

A clear picture emerges, of the sheer utility of deploying flowcharts in the process of planning a project. Business operators could use these tips to suit their specific requirements of planning a range of projects. Intelligent users of such illustrations may elect to re-interpret the designs with a view to promote clarity, and decompose master stages into separate sub-stages. Such innovation can heighten the relevance of flowcharts in project planning initiatives.

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