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Guess what? Diagrams can help with simple processes

Do you ever have problems following the work flow of a process from start to finish? Sometimes just remembering what you did or have to do next isn’t enough. You don’t always have to create large documents or help files to help people understand a process. Creating simple notes or checklists can help but I found that creating a simple flow diagram based on each phase of a process even at a high level can help you quickly remember what you did or what you are trying to do and can help keep momentum going.
In this example I have 7 steps identified in a 10 phase process. The flow is as follows.

Step 1 – Requested
If a client requests a ticket to be completed I will write down the ticket number and place it in this area.

Step 2 – Identified
This area is for work that has been identified as something that should be worked on

Step 3 – Data collection
Once I have identified work that I plan to do I start doing the research on it. I will move the sticky note from the Identified section and move it here to the data collection section.

Step 4 – Client engagement
This section is used when I have started working with the client. The client will help with the investigation, requirements, feedback or whatever the work calls for with respect to client (stakeholder) interaction.

Step 5 – In progress – Prep
We use ticket tracking software at the current contract I am on. All work is tracked with unique identifiers. While I am getting the tickets ready to be processed and assign spin-off tasks to assign to other project members I will move the sticky notes here. This lets me know that I have not yet completed the tickets so the work us unable to be worked on until this is complete.

Step 6 – In Progress (Active)
The work tickets have been created and assigned to other stakeholders. This step accounts for 3 phases in the project that I am working on. Assigning work, Monitoring the work being done, and verifying the work is complete. For this diagram they call all be put in the active section because the ticket is still active.

Step 7 – Complete
Once all the work has been completed by the stakeholders and verfiction is complmete I will move the sticky note to the completed section. Once all of the sticky notes are in the complete section, the entire process will be complete. This can be used for simple processes, agile iterations, project phases, milestones, weekly, tasks, or a number of other activities.

You can customize each diagram to include any number of steps or phases you want to use and you can customize your own headers. Be creative but keep it simple. Often having a visual on your cubicle wall can help give you a little extra push that you may need in your day. Have fun.

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