This content is an extract from GetAhead in Business Analysis - the FULL course is in eBook and multimedia CD-Rom format.
Identifying Elementary Processes.
Some processes are complex, whereas others at the same level may be simple or ‘elementary’. These elementary processes can occur at any level, at or below level 1, within the business model. Conversely, a complex high level process may require analysis through a number of levels of diagram in order to break it down into functional components that are sufficiently low level to be termed elementary processes. If there is sufficient interest in any given process to analyze it further, then clearly it is not an elementary process. Elementary processes can be described in elementary process descriptions (or EPD's). These are typically about half a page of narrative and can add useful detail to a business process model.
Elementary Processes – Illustrated.
Elementary processes are identified by the addition of an asterisk in the lower right hand corner of the process box – as illustrated on the next page.
In the example shown, all the level 2 processes would almost certainly be 'elementary', as they have simple and specific names. This level 2 diagram has been developed from the level 1 process 'Local Driver Administration'. However, another level 1 process 'Fill Booking Sheet' can also be identified as being an elementary process, illustrating the point that elementary processes can occur at numerous levels within a business model.
Firstly, check that every process has a simple and meaningful name, that reflects its' role in the business system. Next, check that each process has at least one incoming data flow and at least one outgoing data flow. Make sure that all data stores have logical names, indicating their content, and not their organization or medium. Check that all data flows either start or end at a process. Tracing the data flows backwards, they should originate either from a data store or from an external entity.
Check that all data flows terminating in a process on a high level diagram terminate in at least one of the processes on the associated lower level diagram.
If this is not the case, then an inconsistency has arisen that will need to be rectified. Do this by re-checking the details against both levels of diagram.
Remember, the drawing of business process diagrams is not an exact science. It is also useful to apply the following subjective checks: Firstly, look to see if there a large number of flows between any two items on the diagram. If so, their relationship may require closer analysis. For example this might represent a single process that has been artificially split in two. Finally, if there are no flows between two areas of a diagram this may indicate that it could be split into two separate diagrams.
This content is an extract from GetAhead in Business Analysis - the FULL course is in eBook and multimedia CD-Rom format. TOP
All Material - Copyright Interactive Training Technologies (2000 - 2005). All Rights Reserved.