Flowcharts represent, in a step-by-step fashion, a workflow or a process. They are tools to support decision-making and problem-solving. They allow viewers to identify how the combination of different conditions or events can lead to different outcomes.
Contract readers are busy people and need quick, clear answers from the contract to inform their actions. But it’s often difficult to find straightforward answers for at least two reasons:
Readers need simple ways to have all relevant information at hand, and see and understand alternatives and exceptions.
Flowcharts are useful for clauses that describe processes where different decisions determine possible alternative outcomes (e.g., price change, change management, complaint escalation, remedies to contract breach).
Flowcharts break down complex decisions, processes, or assessments into a series of simpler steps. Readers do not need to keep in mind all the information they will need at once, but can consider one step at a time. Relevant decision points, alternative paths, and possible outcomes are visible at a glance. This is useful not only when reading a document, but also when creating it: a flowchart is a good way to audit whether a process, a provision, or a rule is logical and covers all necessary contingencies.
© 2019 Stefania Passera, Helena Haapio, and WorldCC