It wouldn’t be the first time that while we are explaining a strategy or a practical task, the person we are talking to doesn’t understand us and expresses the need to visually unfold the process behind it. According to several studies, this is the main reason why in these years the diagram concept has increased its attractiveness. At first it might be perceived as redundant or even as a waste of time, but it has been proved to be a quite common need.
A diagram is a symbolic representation of information using visualisation techniques and it is designed to demonstrate or explain how something works and to clarify the relationship between the parts of a whole.
There are various kinds of diagrams, with distinct functions and objectives. One of the most important types is the flowchart, a diagram that shows the stages of a process. It represents an algorithm used to solve a task. This can simplify the comprehension with its intuitive visual representation.
If we focus on the decision-making process, we have to use the process flowchart. A business process consists of various steps that are necessary to successfully complete a task and the process flowchart is the way to visually represent those steps.
A process flowchart is created and used to understand the basics of any business and it is a fundamental representation that can explain the steps that are to be taken to make the business successful.
A tree as a successful example
According to different types of flowcharts useful in the decision-making process, if you want to graphically show the different decisions and their possible consequences, you have to use the decision tree.
It is a specific type of flow chart that helps to better understand choices and potential outcomes. It serves to examine decisions in a methodical way, in order to help people to figure out potential outcomes, to assess various risks and, finally, to predict the chances of success.
The visualisation of the decision-making process allows people to assess different opportunities and the desired outcome. With this analytical tool is possible to make an informed decision on the best course of action.
Decision trees are obviously inspired by a tree. They usually start with a single node from which several branches emerge. Each branch leads to another node that represents a single decision or opportunity arising from the node of the initial question. Branches usually represent the action or answer to a question that, if taken, will lead to the next node. This format makes it possible to map out decisions and actions that will lead to different outcomes in the future.
Decision trees are fundamental in the companies decision-making process when different projects and strategies need to be evaluated. It helps them decide which ones to prioritise and which ones to drop. Visualising decision outcomes can help teams make informed strategic decisions, improve long-term planning and visualise long-term planning clearly and concisely. But even a simple decision tree diagram can help decision-making in daily life.
Having the ability to summarise a concept and make it easy for everyone to understand, without removing its meaning or distorting it, is a quality that is increasingly in demand.
The ability to schematise and visualise the main topic allows people to look from the outside at something that would be abstract. By doing this, there is the possibility to rethink all the steps taken and those still to be taken, trying to consider all scenarios.
All tools have advantages and disadvantages, strengths, and weaknesses. People always have to use several different tools in order to be able to try to replicate the situation perfectly and to be able to develop decisions in an informed manner. Perhaps the possibility of seeing something that one could not see helps us in the decision-making process.
Written by Riccardo Pandini.
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