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>From techwr-l -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu Thu Mar 19 07:43:47 1998
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>Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 16:43:25 +0000
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>From: Jennifer O Neill <writer -at- ARITECH -dot- COM>
>To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Hi there,
>Does anyone have any experience of doing flowcharts for the general
>public or know where I could get info on it? The ones we currently use
>work very well for the installers of our equipment but I'm not so sure
>about using them for the general public. Do most people have
>experience using flowcharts? What should I consider?
By far, the best "general public" flow charting tool to use are data
flow diagrams. I have extensive experience using them and have found
them very appropriate for communicating with everyone from the "guys of
the recieving dock" to top management.
Data flow diagrams were specifically designed to facilitate
communication with the general public. They are based on the principle
that only by following the flow of data is it possible to capture the
underlying logic of a system. And only by effective communication of
this underlying logic is it possible for the common man to understand
what the system does. This is especially true for complex systems.
Regular flow charts (i.e., the IF-THEN-GO-TO type) were designed to show
flow of control. They are meant to be used as a communications tool
between system designers (who supposedly already understand the
underlying logic of the system).
Data flow diagrams show WHAT the system does. This is what the "general
public" wants to know. Regular flow charts show HOW the system
accomplishes its tasks. The general public really does not care about