Simplifying Complex Business Process Flowcharts

Counter narratives – and the seemingly subversive motifs they represent – elicit interesting effects from the human psyche. This stems from the new possibilities, contrarian views, and alternative ideas propagated by counter narratives that assail the original edifice described by an accepted narrative. In a sense, counter narratives attack our sense of the world and incite the gray cells to reassess and re-evaluate our place in the universe. One of the popular narratives in the world of evolutionary biology concerns the growth and diversification of single-celled organisms into complex biological beings equipped with billions of living cellular structures. Widely accepted in the civilized world, this theory bears the stamp of scientific research and empirical validation. Similarly, business process flowcharts find representation as complex, jargon-ridden diagrams that dominate certain aspects of the world of modern commerce. Hailed as the epitome of business methodologies, they apparently comprise the cornerstone of modern business systems and processes. However, emerging thought seeks to impose a counter narrative in the form of simplifying overtly complicated business process flowcharts with a view to drive fresh efficiencies and unearth new possibilities.

Any initiative that aims to simplify business process flowcharts must drive efforts to list the various components inside such a flowchart diagram. The intent that powers such actions rests explicitly on a resolve to reduce the expanse of space covered by said diagram. This technique may require a dose of re-envisioning the structures and mechanics that animate modern business process flowcharts. In line with this, designers may work to create stacks of associated stages that further said efforts of abbreviation. For instance, business process flowcharts that describe an expense claims process may require designers to stack stages that involve actions, such as filling and submitting expense claims forms, the receipt of the said form, applying for authorization, etc. The outcome of such efforts is an altered visual that promotes process efficiency and reduces the spatial imprint of such a flowchart. In addition, designers may create fresh categorizations inside the diagram in a bid to accommodate the processes described above.

The human eye is engineered to detect a wide range of tints, shades, and colors. In keeping with this, designers and analysts can simplify complex business process flowcharts by deploying colors. Groups of allied stages, when shod in different colors, help to guide the attentions of readers and reviewers. This technique essentially demarcates areas of the flowchart, thereby spurring easy consumption in the visual sense. Preparatory stages, for instance, can be colored green. The immediate set of following stages can appear in a shade of ochre. This manner of creating visual groups allows designers of business process flowcharts to reduce visual complexity. They may append additional information to various stages in the diagram in keeping with the requirements of adequate description. Connectors inside the flowchart may appear in a dour shade of gray; the intent is to allow readers to retain their focus on the operational parts of the depicted process or system.

Further to the above, designers and creators of business process flowcharts may adhere to a single vertical axis in a bid to design simplified versions of said diagrams. This illustration essentially resembles the schema of a tree with roots and branches. The multiple stages of such a flowchart can appear stacked on the vertical axis; however, certain stages may emerge (as appropriate) on both sides of said axis. The connectors inside such a diagram represent the critical elements that animate the depicted system. In pursuing this line of design, creators are essentially driving an agenda that seeks to eliminate complexities without impacting meaning and rationale. They must work with process experts and domain specialists as part of efforts to portray perfect business process flowcharts. Text plays a critical part in such a project, wherein each connector must explain its actions through text positioned parallel to it. The overwhelming accent on linearity may confuse certain readers; however, a close perusal of the illustration helps them to decode the intended meaning.

A confluence of text-based notations and a stack of large unidirectional arrow heads can assist the project of simplifying business process flowcharts. However, this design approach presumes thorough knowledge of the mechanisms and finer points of systems (or processes). In line with this, creators can organize the relevant information into stacked arrow heads. Contrasting colors, once applied to these vessels of information, project visual finesse and allow readers to navigate this manifestation of business process flowcharts. Stylized action figures can signal the general tone of each stage located inside this illustration. The designers may also insert graphical images in a bid to elevate the quality of communication that emanates from this illustration. When executed in a digital medium, the image allows designers the proverbial elbow space to affix web links that connect to external repositories of data or information. That said, intelligent designers are advised to revise the final illustration with a view to clear any blemishes that may emerge from such a diagram.

Sub-tasks (and sub-processes) hold the key to greater comprehension when designers set out to create simplified versions of business process flowcharts. The creators may elect to assign exhaustive depictions of sub-tasks to separate spaces that remain distinct from the master illustration. This approach renders the illustration into different stages, each of which may be viewed separately by readers and reviewers. The business benefit of this technique is resident in the clarity that emanates from the individual depiction of complex interactions between stages and their sub-stages. In addition, designers may add fluidity to the illustration by affixing digital signage inside the canvas. Such signage directs the reader to connect with the appropriate view once he or she has completed reading one segment of the diagram. Intelligent designers may also work to add serial numbers in order to convey the full expanse of the illustration. An additional benefit stems from the designer’s ability to overhaul a section (if required) without disturbing the allied segments of said illustration.

Vertical panels rendered in mild tints can help create swimlane diagrams that simplify extant instances of business process flowcharts. Individual labels affixed to the top of these panels can serve as general indicators of meaning. The ensuing stages and their myriad connections can describe a modern business process without resorting to complex imagery or circuitous connectivity. This technique shines when designers choose to depict a high level view of modern business processes. Readers and reviewers that are interested in detail can refer to special notes that accompany the body of said illustration. These notes may manifest as symbols on the flowchart in a bid to preserve the minimalist view. In addition, designers can add certain elements of digital animation as a means to steward the attentions of readers and reviewers. This element promotes interactivity, thereby reducing the chances of visual distractions.

The foregoing paragraphs have sought to illuminate certain techniques that promote simplification in the construction of business process flowcharts. The creators must revise the elementary tenets of design in order to create outstanding illustrations that complement the sensibilities of modern audiences while retaining a definitive business impact. However, such projects remain work in progress because simplification can be rendered in multiple stages. Businesses and enterprises that commission the creation of such illustrations must remain sensitive to these factors.

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