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Personally I use quite a lot sketch like UML and find it very helpful for clarifying complex environments or ideas that are not clear yet. Most of the time sketches are just boxes, circles and lines, but those communicates and clarifies the problem for others very well. I don't use lot of time when sketching, system can be described graphically very quickly, just to get the idea out or it usually goes too detailed. We have also built a tool that helps sketching systems with remote teammates (https://sketchboard.me).



Are you sure you are not actually using dataflow diagrams by another name?

http://www.visual-paradigm.com/tutorials/data-flow-diagram-e...




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