TaskMap: Processes Made Easy

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Where is the Decision Diamond?

People who have drawn flowcharts or who have used other process mapping tools are probably acquainted with the decision diamond. This shape is intended to show one or more possible branches in the work process based on a decision or the answer to a question. Often the results of the decision are represented as "Yes" or "No", as illustrated in the picture below.

While the decision diamond may be adequate for representing simple decisions with two, or possibly three outcomes, it fails for most process mapping applications for the reasons listed below.

  • Many real-world business decisions have three, four, five, or more possible outcomes. Representing this many outcomes typically requires multiple, cascading diamonds, which becomes visually awkward very quickly. However, representing multiple outcomes with TaskMap is very natural, as shown below.
  • The decision diamond does not adequately reflect the Task of making the decision. The TaskMap Method strongly suggests that the act of making a decision is a Task in and of itself. There is someone responsible for making the decision and the Task may be supported by Resources, Guidelines or Supporting Roles.

The example below shows multiple decision outcomes and far more information about the work of making the decision than is possible with a decision diamond.

Refer to the TaskMap legend or the description of Task shape for details about the components of the Task shown above.

See also The TaskMap® Method.