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27 August, 2015 - 15:05

When you learn to read, you first learn individual letters, then string them together in words, and finally the words collectively make sentences. It is only when you practice reading that real understanding occurs, and you open up a new path to learning. These diagramming techniques are another pathway, one that gives a visual overview of complex organizational relationships.


This chapter begins by showing you how to read data flow diagrams, systems flowcharts, and entity-relationship diagrams. Then, in the appendices, you see how to prepare data flow diagrams and systems flowcharts. You will use these documentation tools throughout the remainder of the textbook. Don’t be a passive observer; work along with the text and practice these tools to develop your skills.


Although we discuss drawing diagrams as if you were to draw them with pencil and paper, keep in mind that professionals using these techniques prefer using specialized flowcharting or documenting software. Specialized tools produce highly professional-looking diagrams that are much easier to update and share. You may have access to one of these tools through your instructor or workplace.