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Day 4 – Process Modeling: Leveling DFDs. Today’s Tools Root Cause Analysis by Consultants More on DFDs Leveling DFDs Exercise 5 – in class Introduce TA’s. Root Cause Analysis for Consultants. Root-Cause Analysis for Consultants.

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Day 4 – Process Modeling: Leveling DFDs

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day 4 process modeling leveling dfds
Day 4 – Process Modeling: Leveling DFDs

Today’s Tools

  • Root Cause Analysis by Consultants
  • More on DFDs
    • Leveling DFDs
  • Exercise 5 – in class
  • Introduce TA’s
root cause analysis for consultants
Root-Cause Analysis for Consultants

This is a fundamental part of a consultant’s job and a key skill we look for in our candidates and employees

  • Who uses this?
      • The entire consulting team, from entry level all the way to Partner
  • When is it used?
      • Everyday!
  • Why is it used?
      • To provide insight into issues that companies face
root cause analysis
Root-Cause Analysis

Use a standard methodology that provides a consistent approach to address a company’s issue

  • Identify issues faced by company
  • Determine scope of project/issue
  • Gather business requirements and perform analysis





Performance criteria

example root cause analysis
Example: Root-Cause Analysis

Background: Global multi-billion dollar manufacturing/ distribution company has implemented an Accounts Receivable system

day 4 process modeling leveling dfds1
Day 4 – Process Modeling: Leveling DFDs

Today’s Tools

  • Review Root Cause Analysis
  • More on Process Models
    • Leveling DFDs
  • Exercise 5 – in class
  • Introduce TAs
dfd diagrams
DFD diagrams
  • Context Diagram
    • A simplified data flow diagram (DFD) of the scope of an organizational system that shows the system boundaries, external entities that interact with the system and the major information flows between the entities and the system
  • Fig-0 Diagram
    • A data flow diagram (DFD) that represents a system’s major processes, data flows and data stores at a high level of detail. It is decomposable.
celis brewery example of a context diagram
Celis Brewery Example of a Context Diagram

This high level DFD shows the system and its environment.

Environmental elements in squares

One unnumbered process bubble (name of system)

Order Requisitions


Order Confirmation



Order Cancellations





Shipment Date Changes

Summary of Removals

Critical Levels Report


Of Free Beer

Beer Donation letters


Order Log Report

Inventory Log Report

Thank You Letters

Inventory Discrepancy Report

Arrows show data flow to and from the environmental elements.

data flow diagramming rules
Data Flow Diagramming Rules
  • Inputs to a process are always different than outputs
  • Processes must have both an input and an output
  • Objects always have a unique name

In order to keep the diagram uncluttered, you can repeat external entities & data stores on a diagram

  • No more than seven processes on one diagram
  • A process has a verb phrase label
  • Data only flows in one direction at a time
  • Data flows are nouns
  • Data must be transformed by a process (cannot be moved directly from one store to another or from an external entity to a data store).
  • Data store has a noun phrase label
the data flow diagram figure 0
The Data Flow Diagram—Figure 0

Standard rules apply however,

  • It is OK to have no actors on Figure 0, if appropriate

Remember: No more than seven (7) processes on one diagram

  • Use multiple levels to describe what is going on
overview of a leveled dfd
Overview of a Leveled DFD

Context Diagram

Drill down to show more detailed processes, data flows, and data stores.

Fig 0 Diagram

Level 1

Fig 4 Diagram

Level 2

Fig 4.5 Diagram

asta dfds

How many external elements interface with the Proposed Skill Set System?

How many data flows are going to and from the system?

compare figure 0 and figure 3
Compare Figure 0 and Figure 3

# 3.1

Level 1 dfd

# 3.2

celis figure 3 dfd
Celis Figure 3 DFD

Reminder: This is a Level 1 DFD.

Note that process & data store numbers read left to right and top to bottom.

celis fig 3 2 dfd drill down detail
Celis fig 3.2 DFD -- drill down detail

Notice that DFDs read from left to right, and top to bottom, like a written page.

celis fig 3 2 dfd drill down detail1
Celis fig 3.2 DFD -- drill down detail

This is a Level 2 DFD.




The Data Store #’s should match the higher level DFDs.

dfd summary
DFD Summary
  • The data flow diagram (DFD) models the processes of an information system
  • DFDs consist of processes, external entities, data stores, and data flows
  • DFD modeling begins with the Context Diagram, which depicts the entire system in a single process symbol surrounded by external entities
dfd summary1
DFD Summary
  • The first-level DFD (Figure 0) shows the major functional components of the system as processes, connected by data flows to external entities, data stores, and other processes
  • As needed, successively more detailed levels are developed to promote complete understanding of the system
  • As you drill down, figures are named by the Process, not the level.
reality dfd creation
Reality & DFD creation
  • DFDs are usually created from messy notes.
  • What you think initially might be the best organization of the process usually isn’t what will be the final version.
  • So, assume you will start with a messy first draft and then clean up the process by leveling the DFDs:
    • Figuring out what the major processes are for the Figure 0 DFD

and then creating the lower level DFDs with the details

  • TIP: DFD Summary and Rules on Resources page
caution about group project dfds
Caution about Group Project DFDs

Unlike the Client Project, you read text to create your DFDs.

Instead of leaving the leveling process (the drill down process) wide open, the text was written with a sense of what the main processes are. The assignment is very specific.

Best approach?

  • Maybe create a messy detail DFD, then look back at the process bubbles listed in the requirements.
  • Or maybe start with the process bubbles in the requirements and figure out what needs to be added.
  • No one “right” way…
reminders tips
Reminders & Tips
  • Send email to both professors for faster response
  • For Next class – bring your laptop
  • Group Project #1 due Wed., Jan. 29th, 2pm to one of our offices (CBA 3.404 or 3.416) or to the IROM Dept. office, CBA 5.202
  • Tomorrow -- select and register your team for the Client Project
    • One person is admin
    • Team name doesn’t change
    • Teams of 5
group project 1
Group Project #1
  • Do not bind your report
    • Put team number in footer w/page number
  • Peer evaluations are due on Wed by 3pm
    • Don’t give all 10’s.

You have a chance to explain, so if you feel this was the Best Group In The World, you can tell us.

      • It does not improve your grade
      • It makes you look bad
      • No one will ever see it except your professors
tas chelsea baskin michelle patterson
TAs – Chelsea Baskin & Michelle Patterson



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