Collaborate with Technical and Non-Technical Stakeholders

Software development projects require work and input from all types of teams, from engineering, to marketing, to even executives. How do you communicate effectively to keep your own team on the same page and provide important information to others outside of your team, some of whom may not have the same level of technical expertise? Visuals simplify the process and the message so you can create alignment and go to market faster with great software.

Process modeling is how you visually document the way your team works. It can take many forms, such as a flowchart or a BPMN diagram. These models are especially important for onboarding team members, but process modeling also allows you to:

  • Establish clear processes for troubleshooting 
  • Improve cross-functional communication 
  • Identify opportunities for increased efficiency and standardization

Process Modeling

Example graphic of a business process model

When you need to communicate certain aspects of software architecture to different audiences who require different levels of context and information, it’s helpful to have all your information together in one diagram. When you create your C4 model in Gliffy, it can help you:

  • Visualize current or future software architecture 
  • Expand or collapse sections to reveal the proper level of detail for each audience
  • Place your C4 model alongside other software architecture documentation

C4 Model

Blog image for how to make a C4 Model

Software engineering projects involve many people beyond the development team, and they may need to stay informed of both current progress and future plans. Creating a product roadmap for cross-functional communication is important because it will:

  • Help your leadership team stay aware of what’s coming next 
  • Provide a framework for how developer activity supports business goals
  • Communicate progress toward important milestones to stakeholders 

Product Roadmapping

Blog image for how to make a product roadmap

Document Your Software’s Systems and Code

Clear documentation streamlines the process of onboarding new developers, pinpointing problems quickly, and planning for future updates—and visuals make good documentation even better. Enhance your software architecture documentation with diagrams that represent your software’s systems and code for more efficient work, easier understanding, and better collaboration.

Running into issues during a project can cost a lot of valuable time and resources, so it’s wise to use a diagram to create structure and share ideas before ever writing a piece of code. UML diagramming is valuable to your software team because it allows them to:

  • Delegate work more effectively
  • Identify potential problems before beginning to work
  • Understand decisions made and structure of the project after it’s done

UML Diagramming

UML Basics — Content Hub — Tile Image

Understand the structure of a database at a glance with an ER diagram, the standard for database diagramming. The more complex your data or relationships are, the more important it becomes that you can visualize this structure. When you create your ERD with Gliffy, you can:

  • Track changes and see version history of your diagram
  • Embed your diagram in other tools to manage work where you work
  • Quickly redraw lines and relationships without cluttering your diagram

Entity-Relationship Diagramming

Image Blog Draw Entity Relationship Diagrams

Capture the increasingly complex flow of information through a system with a data flow diagram. Developers and engineers use these diagrams as a framework to support their work in many ways. With the help of a data flow diagram, your software team can:

  • Provide structure before coding begins 
  • Visualize requirements as you build on existing work
  • Examine existing systems and remove inefficiencies 

Data Flow Diagrams

Feature image for What is a Data Flow Diagram? blog post

Develop, Deploy, and Support Great Software

The ultimate goal of a software team is to deliver high-quality products to the market as quickly as possible, and diagrams can be a game-changer toward achieving that goal. Keep processes running smoothly, easily support and maintain products, and reduce rework with a visual network infrastructure and standardized deployment processes.

An organization’s enterprise cloud computing services are often complex and multifaceted. Along with helping non-technical stakeholders understand the infrastructure that supports their day-to-day work, visualizing your organization’s cloud architecture with a diagram also allows your team to: 

  • Document its current state and plan for its future state
  • Troubleshoot issues more efficiently
  • Demonstrate compliance with certification standards

Cloud Architecture Diagram

Cloud Architecture Diagrams

Planning out the internal structure of your API before building it leads to more practical and efficient work. However, the planning process is a major challenge for many organizations. Start implementing your API strategy with a diagram and:

  • Build an easily replicable process for maintenance and development
  • Show both developers and non-technical stakeholders how the system will behave
  • Structure your project in a way that makes it easier to build on in the future

API Diagram

Image Blog API-First, First Map Out Your API with UML

Planning and structuring releases, managing new changes, and maximizing developer productivity are all challenges that often require a complex workflow or branching strategy. Gitflow diagrams visually describe these flows and make it easier for you to:

  • Get buy-in and feedback before implementing your strategy
  • Explain how existing workflows run within your development organization
  • Avoid time-consuming and expensive merge conflicts 

Gitflow Diagram

Gitflow Diagram Example

From Our Users

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"I do all sorts of software design and architecture diagramming with Gliffy. I am able to capture a variety of perspectives on a given system in this way and the resulting diagrams are extremely helpful for my colleagues to get up to speed on the structure of the system."
– Administrator in Computer Software

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"[We use Gliffy for] Laying out complex business and system logic required for business-critical applications. It is essential in visualizing complex flows required in our software."
– User in Computer Games

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"Gliffy is constant and reliable, quick and easy to create technical diagrams. [...] It is friendly to anyone creating the kind of diagrams I use - system architectures, domain models, process flows, and various other UML diagrams."
– Mike A. (Technical Writer)

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"As a software developer or architecture or business analyst, you probably use Confluence for documentation for keeping all the information regarding your projects. [...] Gliffy is the best among others, it provides good UI and the speed of the application is fast."
– Ramesh M. (Senior Consultant)

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