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When All You Have Is A Hammer…

October 19, 2023

In every line of work, people strive to conceptualize, to mentally simplify work. We want to understand. We want reminders of how things work. We want to continue to learn and to improve. Diagrams, drawings and pictures are tools we all use for this very purpose.

There is more than one way to approach this, to visualize relationships between time, dependencies, roles inputs, actions, cost and results. Look at these four examples and ask yourself, what is the right tool for the job?

When do we need a flowchart approach with loops and branches?


When do we need a matrix of “as is” business silos on which to analyze some new or existing workflow?

Layering: A New Approach to Business Process Mapping – isixsigma.com

When is a Gantt chart and a critical path analysis required?


When is the “front line worker” perspective (a dependency diagram and decision table) appropriate?

Operation Improvement Inc. ยป Every process has a product and a by-product.

What is the Goal? Who is the audience? How does the visualization really help you to visualize the process and its relationship to the product, any decisions and actions, and any relevant metrics and measures? Don’t make your analysis about paperwork. Make it about understanding and communicating.

You may have a favored approach, but you need to consider that everything is not a nail.

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