A picture says a 1,000 words... or so the saying goes, but do you really need 1,000 words to communicate a process? In truth, it depends.
Many times, on business analyst engagements, I've asked people to describe, in picture form, the basic processes that are important to their business. What I usually received was something that required a plotter to print... a huge, complicated process flow that took into account every single odd-ball anomally (even if it would only occur every 5th blue moon.) Why did this happen?
- Subject-matter-experts (SME) can talk ad nauseum about what they do.
- SME are detail-focused people; every detail is important to them.
- SME do not like to see their business processes trivialized into one or two little boxes on a process flow diagram.
- Identify the initiator and actors of the process.
- Be technology and system agnostic.
- Understand what is required to move from one part of the process flow to the next.
- Show the main process flow not the alternates.
- Understand the goal of the process.
The time will come when more detail is needed and the process will be flushed out. But I do not feel you have to start like that. Simple and elegant always win out.