Drawing a Detail Level Data Flow Diagram (Exploding or Leveling a DFD)

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This KnowledgeKnugget is part of the 18 lecture eCourse “Data Flow Diagrams Simply Put!”. Take this self-paced course at http://businessanalysisexperts.com/product/ecourse-data-flow-diagrams-context-model/.
Prefer reading? Try the book version at http://www.amazon.com/Data-Flow-Diagramming-Example-Requirements-ebook/dp/B00VECCGLO/

DESCRIPTION (lecture 10)

Looking inside a complex process on a Data Flow Diagram (DFD) can reveal hidden data and uncover potential problem areas. Drilling down into a process also known as “exploding or levelling” a process on a Data Flow Diagram is a revealing exercise for the one wearing the BA hat AND for the subject matter experts that live the process. It is a critical technique for anyone who wants to analyze an existing situation, define the requirements for improvements, and understand the consequences of changing a process.

This lecture introduces a simple, repeatable, step-by-step approach for drilling down into a process, explains why you should do it, how to get started, and how to draw the detailed Data Flow Diagram (DFD) with the internal processes, flows, and data stores.

Lecture 10 answers questions like:
• What does “exploding a process” mean?
• What is the business value of doing it?
• What processes will the lower level diagram contain?


This KK is part of an eCourse (VIEW FULL COURSE DESCRIPTION AND OUTLINE at http://businessanalysisexperts.com/product/ecourse-data-flow-diagrams-context-model/). The course will answer the following questions:
• What is a Data Flow Diagram (DFD) and what does it do for you?
• What is the difference between a Rigorous Physical Process Model and a Context-Level DFD?
• What symbols can you use on each type of diagram?
• What is the business value of exploding or levelling a DFD?
• What is a simple approach for drilling down into a process?
• How can you show the internal processes and flows that produce the results?
• What does balancing a Data Flow Diagram mean and what is the business value?
• What is the most efficient approach to balancing a DFD?
• What business value do detailed process specifications offer?
• How can you express detailed specifications for processes and data?
• What is “metadata” and why do you need it?
• What does a fully balanced DFD look like?
• What value does a DFD fragment provide?

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