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IDEF0: Examples

The Quality Toolbook > IDEF0 > Examples

When to use it | How to understand it | Example | How to use it | Practical variations


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The quality management team of a furniture company selected IDEF0 as a consistent and well-defined way of describing processes for their quality management and improvement system. They decided to use a functional decomposition strategy, in which one of the major subsystems was the design and build of customized furniture. They got three people trained as IDEF0 authors, one of whom was assigned to the 'custom build' project. This author then worked with the people who used the processes which were to be documented, producing a complete IDEF0 description. Some diagrams and notes that were produced are shown.

One of the benefits of they found from doing this was that the understanding of some of the lesser known parts of the process was significantly improved, with the result that a more consistent level of work became possible.

Several possible improvement projects were identified during the diagramming, and key ones were later implemented. The IDEF0 diagrams enabled problem areas and measurement points to be quickly identified, and were later modified to reflect actual improvements.



Fig. 1. Example IDEF0 Diagram


Other examples

  • The final inspection group on a rubber goods production line identifies significant variation in shape of the final product. They use IDEF0 to selectively break down the injection process, as a part of an effort to understand what actually happens. During this, they find that the cooling process has no control of temperature gradient, which is causing the subsequent mis-shapes.
  • A road construction company uses IDEF0 as a standard method of describing their processes, from planning through to excavation and laying, along with a set of keyed checklists. This helps them to ensure that government standards are followed and checked at all stages.
  • The customer training department of a major computer manufacturer uses IDEF0 to map out the processes for development and delivery of training. They include feedback loops, which ensure that lessons learned during delivery are fed back to the development process.



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