- Modeling process flow using diagrams
- Quality and Reliability Engineering International
- Volume | Issue number
- 26 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Amsterdam School of Economics Research Institute (ASE-RI)
Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics (KdVI)
In the practice of process improvement, tools such as the flowchart, the value-stream map (VSM), and a variety of ad hoc variants of such diagrams are commonly used. The purpose of this paper is to present a clear, precise, and consistent framework for the use of such flow diagrams in process improvement projects. The paper finds that traditional diagrams, such as the flowchart, the VSM, and OR-type of diagrams, have severe limitations, miss certain elements, or are based on implicit but consequential premises. These limitations restrict the applicability of traditional diagrams in non-manufacturing areas such as service and healthcare processes.
We show that a rational reconstruction for the use of diagrams in various disciplines regarding process flow boils down to a generic framework of elements, definitions of generic process metrics, and three classes of applications, namely the ‘as-is’, ‘could-be’, and ‘should-be’ analysis.
The goal is not to replace all currently used diagrams, but merely to discuss the role of diagram usage in process flow modeling. This paper provides an explicit framework that is unambiguous and flexible, and has the potential to serve as a guideline for the practitioner, in manufacturing as well as in service and healthcare. Besides, it may serve as a starting point to develop an ontology of business processes.
- go to publisher's site
- This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Kemper, B., de Mast, J. and Mandjes, M. (2010), Modeling process flow using diagrams. Quality and Reliability Engineering International, 26: 341-349, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/qre.1061 .
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