A User’s Guide to DFC for Know-how Capture and Process Design
by David Howard
"Draw a flowchart for whatever you are doing. Until you do, you do not fully understand what you are doing. You just have a job." "Words have no meaning unless they are translated into action, agreed upon by everyone. An operational definition puts communicable meaning into a concept." "The first step in any organisation is to draw a flow diagram to show how each component depends on others. Then everyone may understand what their job is. If people do not see the process, they cannot improve it." W Edwards Deming (1900-1993) --------------
"The manager's job has changed. The people work in the system. The job of the manager is to work on the system to improve it continually, with their help." Myron Tribus
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Introduction Getting Started Timescale The DFC Symbols Mapping the Process Example of Process Mapping Methodology & Worksheets Conclusion 5 8 10 12 13 20 27 32
An early FlowMap for Getting the Work done on time and to Plan
Figure 1 - The author’s ‘deployed flowchart’ for a major facilities project he led for a US client in the early 1980s. It pioneered the first conjunctive use of systems thinking and process working in the construction industry in the UK. A team of some 15 construction professionals delivered the 170,000 sq ft project on-time, on-cost and on-spec in half the usual time and at half the usual professional services fee. The contractor delivered the commissioned complex in 16 months rather than the traditional 30 months for such a project
Figure 2 - The Milton Keynes project upon completion in mid-1983. (Ref: Management Accounting February 1985 pp36-38)
1. INTRODUCTION This pamphlet introduces, with a typical example, a simple but very powerful business process mapping technique known as deployment flowcharting (DFC). Deployment flowcharting, sometimes called swimlane or matrix flow-charting, is increasingly being recognised today as the preferred technique for capturing the operational details of business activities. The Service Title : Job Handling Process Revision: 0 Company Chart No. : JHP-1 Sales Assistant Jane L Job Planner Jennifer M Project Manager Jack K Job Designer John H
Process Owner: SM Date: 17 06 03
Job Finisher James W Customer
Open Job File
Res olve iss ues with Cus tom er
Provide additional data
Proces s client details & plan job
Details confirm ed?
Job Process 1
Job Process 2
Com m iss ioning Tes t Record
Job Com pletion
Finalis e Job Record
Product Releas e for Delivery
Client Acceptance Proces s
Figure 3 - A typical deployment flowchart. Note the header details, cast of characters and the disciplined layout of the charting. Connecting links are always horizontal or vertical, never inclined. Horizontal links denote co-operation; vertical links, time and shadowed drop-chart links, increasing detail.
Level of Detail
Figure 4 - A deployment flowchart provides process understanding by virtue of the three vectors shown above - teamwork, timing and detail.
Figure 5 - As process dependencies are mapped a heterarchy forms which graphically represents how an organisation is actually connected (i.e. many-to-many mappings). By contrast traditional organisation charts are hierarchical (i.e. one to one mappings) and show responsibilities but not the vital, often informal connectivities of process working.
The strength of a deployment flowchart lies in it's ability to display process knowledge clearly and insightfully. It thus encourages the subsequent improvement of process performance and...