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Block Diagramming

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  1. Block Diagramming A Training Presentation By Brad Lewis

  2. Presentation Agenda • Block diagrams defined • Brainstorming exercise • The nuts and bolts of block diagrams • How to construct a block diagram • Examples of block diagramming • Application exercise • Presentation summary • Readings list Block Diagramming

  3. Block Diagrams Defined • A block diagram: • Is a simple, specialized, high-level type of flowchart. • Provides a quick and uncomplicated overview of a process. • Is used to design new processes or to simplify and understand existing processes. • Is a starting point for process improvement. Block Diagramming

  4. Brainstorming Exercise • How can block diagrams be used in our organization? • Examples: • Organization Chart • Process Development Team • Quality Improvement Team Block Diagramming

  5. Start Stop The Nuts and Bolts of Block Diagrams • Elongated circles are used to represent “start” and “stop” points. Block Diagramming

  6. The Nuts and Bolts of Block Diagrams • Rectangles or “blocks” are used to represent process steps. • The first word in the block should be a verb that describes the action taken in the step. • For example: Prepare Invoice Block Diagramming

  7. The Nuts and Bolts of Block Diagrams • If conditional statements are necessary, start the step’s label with “if” instead of a verb. • For example: If payment not yet received, prepare a second invoice Block Diagramming

  8. The Nuts and Bolts of Block Diagrams • Arrows are used to represent the relationships between process steps and/or information flows. • Both full-line and dotted-line arrows may be used to denote two different types of flows or connections. Block Diagramming

  9. How to Construct a Block Diagram • Identify the process to be diagrammed. • Have relevant individuals to describe the process to you. • If possible, “walk through” the process to verify the accuracy of these descriptions. • Make note of which individuals play what roles. Block Diagramming

  10. How to Construct a Block Diagram • Begin diagramming by labeling the diagram and indicating the “start” point. • Map the process steps in the order in which they occur. • Connect process steps with arrows to denote relationships between steps and/or information flows. Block Diagramming

  11. How to Construct a Block Diagram • Map the “stop” point to represent the end boundary of the process. • If desired, indicate the key individuals responsible for each process step. • If possible, again “walk through” the process to verify the accuracy of the diagram. Block Diagramming

  12. Examples of Block Diagrams in Use Start 1. Recognize Hiring Need 2. Approve Request to Hire 3. Provide List of Internal Candidates A block diagram of a company’s hiring process 5. If Candidate is Suitable, Go to Activity #10 6. Conduct Outside Search 4. Interview Internal Candidates 7. Screen Candidates 8. Interview Candidates 9. Prioritize Candidates 12. Introduce New Employee to the Company End 11. Wait for Acceptance to Offer 10. Submit Employment Offer Block Diagramming

  13. Examples of Block Diagrams in Use Process Steps Key Participants Start A block diagram of step 8 in the company’s hiring process 1. Invite Candidate to Interview HR Director 2. Schedule Interview Date and Time HR Director 3. Conduct Informal Interview Over Lunch Manager and Direct Supervisor 4. Conduct Formal Interviews Manager and HR Director 5. Administer Employment Test HR Director 6. Obtain References HR Director End Block Diagramming

  14. Examples of Block Diagrams in Use President/CEO An organizational chart of a real estate brokerage VP of Sales Chief Operating Officer VP of Operations VP of Business Development VP of Client Services VP of Business Services Director of Business Development Director of Career Development Modesto Sales Manager Riverbank Sales Manager Manteca Sales Manager Merced Sales Manager Fresno Sales Manager Turlock Sales Manager Stockton Sales Manager Commercial Sales Manager Block Diagramming

  15. Application ExerciseProblem Statement • It is a Friday afternoon in May, and a three-day weekend is fast approaching—Monday is a national holiday. Plus, the weather is finally becoming sunny and warm. What does that mean? Barbecue time! Construct a block diagram for a barbecue with friends. Block Diagramming

  16. Application ExerciseSolution A block diagram of a barbecue with friends Start 1. Decide to Have a Barbecue 2. Develop Invitation List 3. Telephone Guests 6. Prepare Food 5. Buy Food and Supplies 4. Develop the Menu 7. Set Up the Eating Area 8. Cook the Food 9. Eat the Food End 11. Clean Up Outdoors 10. Do the Dishes Block Diagramming

  17. Presentation Summary • A block diagram is a simple, high-level type of flowchart that provides quick understanding into an organization’s processes. • Block diagrams are the starting point to business process improvement; they may also be used to design new processes. Block Diagramming

  18. Presentation Summary • Most organizations use block diagrams to illustrate their internal hierarchy (organizational charts). • Block diagrams may also be used in organizations by process development teams or process improvement teams. Block Diagramming

  19. Presentation Summary • Constructing a block diagram involves walking through the process to verify the diagram’s accuracy. • Where applicable, organizations should indicate in the diagram who the key participants are in each step of the process. Block Diagramming

  20. Readings List Harrington, H. J. Business Process Improvement: The Breakthrough Strategy for Total Quality, Productivity, and Competitiveness (San Francisco: McGraw-Hill, 1991). Juran, J.M., Frank M. Gyrna, and Richard S. Bingham, Eds. Quality Control Handbook, Ed. 3 (San Francisco: McGraw-Hill, 1974). Block Diagramming

  21. Readings List Bohl, Marilyn. Flowcharting Techniques (Palo Alto: Science Research Associates, Inc., 1971). Block Diagramming

  22. Readings List The following websites also contain a cursory level of information on block diagrams: • http://www.asq.org/glossary/b.html • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Block_diagram • http://thequalityportal.com/q_block.htm • http://web2.concordia.ca/Quality/tools/3blockdiagram.pdf Block Diagramming