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I am designing web applications to replace a series of individual tools that our internal users currently use in their workflow. There are many decision points throughout the workflow and handoffs between the system, the user, and other teams. I have been diagraming some of the relevant processes in the system but they are complex, large, and often times certain parts of a process are repeated in other workflows.

The goal of replacing these tools is to:

  • create a more cohesive workflow for the user
  • automate repetitive tasks
  • increase user efficiency
  • reduce user errors (errors in the data)

What is the best or standard way to lay out this information (via diagram, document, most relevant method) so that I can better identify the current process and develop recommendations for improvement?

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I would say a flow diagram or mind map, with a mapping tool like coggle.it. You can create the map and demonstrate visually the complexity and show overlapping and redundant processes (this is how I do it anyways). I use the mind map as a tool for both myself and the company. I don't belive a best practice exist yet, so use what you know to document the problems and identify deficiencies in the application. If what you do works then it simply works and nobody can fault you for doing something different from the rest. I am in the same boat as you in a way. I document and fix very complicated, redundant and overly intensive workflows sitting on a mountain of big data. I try to streamline the usabilty whilst juggling the UI design for a large content and heavy reporting / management application. I too am very interested for the answer to this. I struggle trying to visualize and analyze big data and big work flow problems, mind maps help in discovery and planning and especially help to get the decision makers to see the problem and will definitely get you moving towards solving the issues at hand.

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