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In discussions with customers, it often came to light that the task of centrally filing retrievable information by all employees represents a value in itself that doesn’t really need to be explained or justified. And yet numerous applications and effects result from this type of platform that many people are not directly aware of. 

It definitely helps when you have a dedicated section where you can search for and look up information, so you can access the latest knowledge. The ability to access a central point of reference gives you and your employees security that goes far beyond just the actual information. For example, you can now be sure that certain information doesn’t actually exist yet. That means you don’t have to live with the uncertainty of maybe performing a redundant task that another team has thought through in detail for a long time. 

Let’s take a closer look at this. The larger your organization is, the more valuable things are that improve the core infrastructure. Communication channels, for example, are used by a lot more people in a large company than in a small company. In a large organization, however, it is much more difficult to find out whether a team of colleagues has already completed work on the infrastructure project you’re planning to start. 

Most companies try to solve this problem with what are called “clear responsibilities.” For example, as the department head, May is responsible for marketing. And Miller is responsible for sales. And Smith does complaint management. If you now plan a core customer communication process ranging from the initial contact to after-sales following the initial order and implementation, you have to win over Miller, May, and Smith for your project and probably even the people from production. This is particularly difficult in a large corporation because departmental heads are very busy people and rarely have time all at the same time. An intranet project is characterized by a similar level of complexity. You can’t even do it in passing, because if you introduce it properly, it impacts everyone in the company.

However, if you had a modern intranet to design and drive forward your customer process, it would deliver many advantages. Within the scope of referencing, you could first find out which accompanying, related, or very similar projects have been completed in the past and who worked on them. You then talk to these people and ask them about their experiences and the current status of their projects. These people can usually provide you with valuable insights into political blockades, existing and perhaps established competitive systems, claims and interests, and many other aspects that people would rarely offer you on a silver platter in large companies. 

Preparing and Sharing Organizational Charts and Diagrams 

A picture says a thousand words. This statement is trite but still true nevertheless. And what you often find in the world of business: things that are written are really boring to read most of the time.

A concept may be extremely important for you personally, and for your project and organization. This makes it all the more frustrating when you find out that your managing director can’t be bothered to look at your idea. In fact, they don’t even appear to be interested in hearing what you have to say! You simply get overlooked – and perhaps not just by the management, but by many other departments in the company as well. The situation is as frustrating as it is an everyday occurrence. It doesn’t matter whether it concerns legally compulsory compliance with security measures or a scientifically proven improvement to a process that promises to increase profitability: as soon as things get complicated, it’s difficult for us to make others understand our ideas.

And this is where visualizations come into the picture. Visual communication makes learning and understanding easier. A flowchart allows you to clearly present complex issues. Sure, creating a good chart or infographic can be tedious and time consuming. And if your idea is easy to understand and as convincing as a sure-fire success, then you won’t need a diagram. However, who has simple ideas like that all the time? 

It lies in the nature of modern well-paid jobs to encounter complexities and contradictions on the path to success. Other people, groups, departments, and even entire societies exist that don’t want what you want or want to achieve. A proposal and an idea alone are simply not good enough. Even if the idea is easy to understand, motivated and committed antagonists are often ready to reject it offhand. 

What I’m not trying to tell you here is that you won’t have any success without charts. However, when you think about your sales process, for example, it may occur to you that you don’t actually have a diagram that everyone sticks to. Would you consider that an advantage? Probably not. Codified processes facilitate harmonization and standardization. They facilitate discussions about waste and savings potential. The visualization of a process creates a common understanding and – sometimes for the first time – a constructive opportunity to exchange ideas. 

As an entrepreneur, it is not in your interest when consultants and salespeople make a science out of their activities. You want people to share information about what works and what doesn’t. 

The more documentation and information exchange you have, the better your work processes can scale and serve your business. And process visualizations help you to do this. 

We could probably fill another evening discussing the wide range of options available to you for visualizations, both in the technical area and in all-round business terms. Here are several different types of diagrams and charts that, one of our products for Atlassian tools, supports: 

  • Business process modelling based on BPMN 
  • UML diagrams for software concepts
  • Flowcharts
  • Structure diagrams (for example, for organizational charts) 
  • Mind maps
  • Network topographies
  • Wireframes and mockups for software interfaces and concepts in the web environment 
  • Smartphone shapes for planning mobile apps 
  • Set diagrams 
  • Gantt charts 
  • Rack diagrams for server cabinet usage planning 
  • Sequence diagrams 

I’ll show you a few of these options as examples below:

Example: Business process modelling.

UML diagram from the area of software development.

A flow chart in a company.

A flow chart in a company.

A mind map for a business topic.

The topography of a network.

A wireframe model for a website.

A mock-up for a smartphone display.

A set diagram that visualizes intersections.

A Gantt chart showing processes on a timeline.

A visualization of server cabinets and the layout of the hardware in them.

A sequence diagram for software planning.

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