Monday, 6 February 2017


An Enterprise Process Architecture Model provides a high-level, structured overview of an organisation’s set of business processes. It enables you also to identify candidate processes subject to business process change.

When initiating such a business process change project consider creating a Scope Diagram to analyse how a business process-in-scope interacts with its environment. 

The main purpose of a scope diagram is to define and agree on the boundaries of a process. It is also an ideal tool for enhancing the communication to the stakeholders. 

As a business process practitioner, you can choose between different types of scope diagrams. An overview.

IDEF0 Diagram

An IDEF0 model represents how process activities interrelate, how resources are used by an activity, and what the result or output of each activity is. The model consists of simple box and arrow graphics and associated text supporting the graphics.

The essence of an IDEF0 model is that it allows you to to focus on how the process interfaces with its environment. An IDEF0 model describes four types of interfaces:

  • Inputs from people or other processes
  • Outputs to people or other processes
  • Interactions with sources that control the process
  • Interactions with mechanisms that enable the process


IGOE Diagram

A variation of IDEF0, is the IGOE diagram. The acronym IGOE stands for Input-Guides-Outputs-Enablers

The model is used to define the scope of a process including the types of problems one might face in the analysis of the process-in-scope. Besides the relationships between the process-in-scope, upstream or downstream processes, relevant documents, stakeholders etc this diagram focuses also on issues like:

  • input problems
  • output problems
  • problems with controls
  • problems with enablers

This framework could be used for capturing and documenting the IGOE’s of what an organisation does.

  • Input - information, materials, people
  • Guide - policies, strategies, regulations, law
  • Enablers - systems, equipments, tools, assets
  • Output - results, deliverables, products, information, people


SIPOC Diagram

A popular scoping technique with (Lean) Six Sigma practitioners is the SIPOC diagram. It represents a high-level view of a process. It shows the SuppliersInputsProcessOutputs and Customers.

  • Customers receive or use the outputs of a process; customers are not just buyers of a product or service, but are also recipients or users of the outputs produced at every step in the process. They are regarded as stakeholders.
  • Inputs are the key requirements needed for the process to work and represent what suppliers provide.
  • Suppliers are those who provide inputs; they are also stakeholders.
  • Outputs are the results of process steps and can be used as basis of discussions with customers to identify their requirements.

SIPOC diagrams are useful for focusing a discussion and helping project team members agree upon a common language and understanding of a process for continuous process improvement. In Six Sigma, SIPOC is often used during the “define” phase of the DMAIC improvement steps.


Business Interaction Model

The purpose of a Business Interaction Model (BIM) is to provide a helicopter view of the business interactions between identified actors that play a role in the business domain-in-scope.

A common development approach is as follows:

  • identify actors within the business domain-in-scope
  • identify customers and their interactions
  • identify suppliers and their interactions
  • identify relevant competitorsregulators and external parties as required

Like a Rummler-Brache Relationship Map this diagram provides a convenient way to graphically establish boundaries on the processes to be considered for further examination. 



The common characteristics of the presented scope diagrams are that they all try to get a better understanding of the business process-in-scope and enhance the communication to the stakeholders.

Undoubtedly it is a very useful but underestimated modelling technique among business process practitioners. Indeed, ideally, ‘scoping’ should be done first before embarking on extensive process mapping initiatives.

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