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IDEF0: Practical variations

The Quality Toolbook > IDEF0 > Practical variations

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


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Practical variations

  • As well as data items, glossary pages can be written for activities, especially those that are not decomposed further. Identify these as for data glossaries, but with a 'T' instead of the 'G'.
  • Add description pages in the form of figures, pictures or diagrams. Identify these as for data glossaries, but with an 'F' instead of the 'G'. This can be used to show such as examples of completed outputs.
  • Produce 'special' one-off diagrams for reviews which highlight lines and boxes for discussion. These may also have extraneous detail removed.
  • Add property labels to activities and items to describe important properties, such as the temperature of an input to a chemical process. Show these property labels as a number in a square box, followed by the description. Connect this to the activity or item with a wavy line. Glossaries are another good place for describing properties, particularly if they are less important.
  • Combine all Glossary pages into a single glossary, sorted in alphabetical order.
  • Data Flow Diagrams, as illustrated, are a similar tool to IDEF0, but do not show controls and mechanisms. They also recognize that some things do not travel directly between processes, but are put into storage, where they may be accessed as required by other processes. They can be useful as a simpler and possibly less formal way of describing processes or systems.
    The top-level diagram is called the context diagram, as it describes the inputs to and output from the overall process. Subsequent diagrams decompose the detail of each sub-process (similar to IDEF0), with circles showing processes, parallel lines showing storage and curved arrows showing inputs and outputs.


Fig. 1. Data Flow Diagrams



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