KK: How To Draw a Rigorous Physical Process Model

Jump-Starting Context Diagrams, Data Flow Diagrams, Workflows, and Process Models by Visualizing Material and Data Movement within an Organization


Author: Tom and Angela Hathaway
Video Duration: 9:20 minutes

This KnowledgeKnugget™ is part of an eBook and an eCourse

Video Overview

In this KnowledgeKnugget™ you will learn how to draw a Rigorous Physical Process Model using interview notes. A Rigorous Physical Process Model is a simple, powerful tool for creating an easy-to-understand picture of how data and physical material flow through an organization. An excellent mode for presentations and analysis, they also represent a perfect entree to the world of Data Flow Diagrams, Business Process Models, and Workflow Analysis.

Video Transcript Excerpt

A Precursor to Context Level Data Flow Diagrams

A Rigorous Physical Process Model shows the movement of physical objects and data amongst the units in an organization. The idea is to represent the real world as closely as possible. Given that the proposed information technology (IT) solution will need to know something about the physical objects, these will have to be represented in data as well. The power of a Rigorous Physical Process Model lies in its simplicity.

It only allows two symbols, a circle to represent people or places and an arrow representing the movement of physical material or data. This simplicity makes it easy to implement and it is an ideal starting point for a Context Level Data Flow Diagram.

Now that you know the symbols for creating a Rigorous Physical Process Model, I would like to walk you through the exercise of analyzing a situation to create one using a standard scenario from our instructor-led class. We will use a transcript of an interview with the Manager of the Order Entry Department, Mary (the project sponsor).

My approach is to read the text and look for people and places that I want to represent in my diagram. I will try my best to identify all of them, but do not have to be perfect as this is my first cut at it.

Here is the narrative we will be using.

… [end of excerpt]


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