Users that are new to Skore may ask how they draw, or represent, a decision diamond commonly found in other types of process mapping. Skore is based on the Universal Process Notation (UPN) which doesn’t use decision diamonds but does have different ways to represent different types of decision points in a process.
UPN is designed to make processes understandable and accessible to the widest possible audience. It draws from Lean Principles and Systems Thinking to help people understand the complexity inherent in their organisations and find ways to improve things.
As a result, UPN uses a single shape to describe activities in a process. It relies on natural language to describe the type of activity. Every activity should also include Who and / or What does it. In addition each activity should have at least one input and one output that describes the different states that are affected by the work of the activity.
This approach means anyone reading the process does not need to learn the meaning of different shapes and symbols.
A decision is a type of activity so in most cases it can easily be represented using a normal What box in Skore. However, there are different types of decisions. These include:
- Simple decision points - these aren’t really decisions but routing points to direct the process along different paths based on a predefined rule. In traditional flowcharting these are normally represented with a decision diamond and a question with up to 3 outputs. The number of possible outputs is limited by the 4 corners of the diamond so in instances where there are more than 3 outputs a series of diamond shapes are used to create a decision tree.
- Complex decisions - these are decisions, typically made by humans, that require reasoning based on a number of inputs and experience by the operator. The outcome of the decision may be different each time but the process tends to be the same. These are normally represented as a simple activity.
- Business control points - these represent Go / No Go type decisions in a process, or escalation points in the case of Risk mitigation. Project gates are a good example of this where a key decision on whether to proceed to the next stage is made. Or where an important approval is required as a check against fraud or poor quality. These are typically brightly coloured so they stand out from other types of steps in a process and also need to be documented elsewhere for risk and financial management purposes.
Simple Decision Points
These are very simple in Skore and use 2 or more outputs (Why boxes) to represent the different choices and paths that someone needs to follow.
In this example we can reduce the number of boxes required to represent the decision point as the different paths can come straight from the preceding activity and there is no limit to the number of outputs.
This makes diagrams much simpler and easier to read while representing the exact same information.
As with other types of flowcharting, these types of decisions are typically represented as a normal activity. However, in Skore, you can also attach all the relevant information required to make that decision, including all the input data, policies and tools.
This means that anyone following the process has all the information they need at their fingertips, rather than having to go to other sources to find it.
Business Control Points
Control points can easily be represented in Skore by highlighting the box in a different colour.
In fact, this highlighting can be automated in Skore and the control information can also be stored and managed here at the same time. All you have to do is define the data you need for a control point. Then whenever that is applied to a specific step it will automatically highlight it so that all users can clearly see the control.
All control data is stored in Skore and can be reported on which means your teams do not have to manage this related data in different locations.