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For those of you out there that are involved in software development, have you ever thought about using diagrams for software development processes?

In order to better document and work through the process of optimizing an app for Linchpin Intranet in Confluence, the Linchpin team used diagrams to help them stay on track.  With all the potential outcomes it was important to be able to play out all scenarios.

The goal was to improve the usability of the Language Manager app for Linchpin: basically, the journey from its first iteration to sophisticated and professional software. There was a lot of potential in that first iteration of the software, but it became clear there were some bumps in the road that had to be smoothed out.

In order to regroup and refocus the process where it belonged, on the customer, the team turned to They wanted to visualize possible scenarios with diagrams and through this process, solve the issues that were standing in their way. What does the user want to achieve? How do they want to achieve it? What are the obstacles?

Those of you in the same line of work know that the task of wrangling and taming an app is challenging enough, but being able to display the process on top of that can be tricky.

By using a hybrid of an Entity Relationship diagram and a UML diagram, they were able to take the stray parts of the process and put them together so that it was cohesive and easy for everyone on the team to follow and see how everything was related to each other:


Once the initial hurdles were cleared and the team was further along in their process, they again had occasion to use a diagram, this time a simple flowchart:


The team could then take any of the paths and extract the individual test cases directly out of the the diagram and, if need be, write them down as pseudo code.  The diagrams were then exported as a SVG file and committed alongside the code in Bitbucket in order to have both the code and documentation near each other.

Content Links SVG

From the planning to the implementation stage of a software sprint, the team was able to refine and facilitate their process by using diagrams.  Do you use in a similar way? Let us know!

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