Flow Charting

Subject: Flow Charting
From: "Miller, Lisa" <Lisa -dot- Miller -at- ANHEUSER-BUSCH -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 09:47:36 -0500

Techwr -ls:

The current phase of my documentation project is mostly flowcharts of system
processes, interfaces, and dataflows. I am using Visio to create these
flowcharts. The charts will be used in an electronic help system. Each chart
will contain hyperlinks that connect the user to additional diagrams (process
-->interface-->data flow) and supporting information.

I had a hard time creating a suitable set of symbols and definitions for each
type of flow chart. While I investigated several flow charting methods, no one
method seemed to address what I wanted to do, and my audience wasn't proficient
in any specific methodology. I chose to create my own legend of symbols for
each type of diagram and use it as my standard. I also created a stencil with
its own help based on the legend.

This whole process seemed rather arduous. Granted, I haven't been "schooled" in
a particular methodology, but this is the first time it's been so hard to find
one to "fit" what I was doing. Because it's very possible I'm not doing it
"right" because I don't know enough about flow charting, I have some questions.
Are there books on flow charting? (Visio's symbol help isn't.) What have been
your experiences with creating and using flow charts? How have you used flow
charts in your documentation?

Lisa Miller
Technical Writer
lisa -dot- miller -at- anheuser-busch -dot- com

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