Tips on Using TeamFlow Effectively

These tips are provided by David W. McComb, President of McComb Inc., a provider of process improvement consulting to the automotive and other industries.

  1. Begin every phrase in a box with a verb.

  2. Use the arrows to show who is responsible for pushing the process forward, not who is doing the work at any step.

  3. To keep the path of responsibility clear, try to show an arrow entering and leaving a task or meeting box in one column; show changes in leadership responsibility between boxes. Ask, "Whose meeting is this?" - and then show it.

  4. Indicate the purpose of the meeting in the text–show the questions to be asked at the meeting. Use bullets (alt-129) to highlight points. Try to avoid using the word "review" as a verb when it is not descriptive.

  5. Metrics come from "diamonds" and documents. Use diamonds and reports whenever possible for improved expression. Ask, "What decisions are made as the result of a meeting?" - and then show such decisions as the step following the meeting.

  6. For consistency in using diamonds to indicate yes-no decisions, show the "yes" path coming from the bottom of the diamond whenever possible.

  7. If you have difficulty starting, put down milestones first, and then work backward to show the steps needed to reach the milestones.

  8. Keep each individual page simple, unless you have a specific reason for doing otherwise. Use "detail" feature freely.

  9. Use Dawn Castle (Dom Casual) all caps. It compacts well and reads well. Further, it is an informal font that helps demonstrate that TeamFlow is a live working document owned by several and is always changing.

Remember, the purpose of a flowchart is to tell a story. Construct each flowchart with its specific audience in mind.

 Last Update: November 4, 2009