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Business Flow Diagram

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A graphical notation technique for understanding each task that makes up the business process and the relationship between them, including order of implementation. Q-BPM is used to evaluate internal controls based on the SOX Act and for process management by computer recognition.

Business Process Diagram (BPD). Business Flow Diagram (BFD).

Simple Business Flow Diagram


Summary of Business Flow Diagram

Multiple tasks, multiple organizations and persons (actors) and multiple resources (including information) often connect to make up one "task." The Business Flow Diagram uses simple diagrams to represent these relationships (order of tasks and responsible actors, input, timing etc.) in graphic form. There are numerous graphical notation techniques (for example, rules regarding what diagram signifies what). In Japan, textbooks for diagnosing small and medium size corporations have introduced the followings:

  • JIS flowcharts (JISX0121) (Programming language education)
The SOX Act
Federal legislation in the United States, which imposes stricter guarantees of the accuracy and transparency of corporate accounting processes and financial reporting.
  • Sannodai flowcharts (Operational process manual)
  • NOMA flowcharts
  • Japan Management Association flowcharts

However, recently there has emerged a growing need for the Business Flow Diagram as an in-house visualization tool for understanding internal controls in the internal control reporting systems based on the SOX Act, and for a ready-to-use document format for information systems development (particularly, BPMS), and a range of notation techniques have been weeded out while others are evolving in the midst of worldwide standardization. Listed below are the main notation techniques.

Internal Control Reporting Systems
A system whereby management evaluates internal controls for financial statements, and the results of the evaluation are audited by a chartered accountant, to try to secure trust in financial statements that are publicly released.

  • IDEF 0 (IDEF ZERO) (Since the 1970s, at the time of introducing the ISO9000 etc.)
  • EPC (Event-driven Process Chain) (standard for the ERP package SAP etc.)
  • UML Activity Diagram (systems design)
  • XPDL
  • BPMN

The Business Flow Diagram is also referred to as "a flowchart," "a business process diagram," "a process model diagram," as well as simply "a process diagram." There is no particular fixed expression. In official J-SOX documentation from the Financial Services Agency, it is referred to as a "Business Flow Diagram." In the specification documents for BPMN it is defined as a Business Process Diagram (BPD).

International Standards Bodies

OMG and WfMC are the main bodies involved with the standardization of graphical notation for business flow diagrams. The diagram below illustrates developments in the main standards bodies.

  • OMG (Object Management Group): BPMN
  • WfMC (Workflow Management Coalition): XPDL
  • OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards): BPEL
  • W3C (World Wide Web Consortium): HTML, XML
Development in Standards Bodies
Development in Standards Bodies

The Relationship between Business Flow Diagrams and BPM

One of the goals of introducing BPM is to strengthen internal controls. The SOX Act and corresponding legislation in many countries require that business content data and risk evaluation data be submitted in the form of documentation. The J-SOX legislation recommends that corporations submit three sets of data: a business flow diagram, a business description document and responses to risk and control. The Business Flow Diagram can be used to create a visual understanding of the flow of business processes. Consequently, the Business Flow Diagram has an important role in strengthening internal controls and it is also extremely important for the implementation of BPM.

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Workflow Sample:Hints on Defining Workflows for Business Analysts and Managers.

General nouns | Proper nouns | General-purpose business process | Core business process | Business process for support administration
Q-BPM This website was started by Questetra, Inc. for businesspeople all over the world, who are interested in BPM, but spend a great amount of time on the search of a lot of books, documents, and difficult terms. By saving the trouble of looking up a number of related terms or the time of searching documents, Questetra, Inc. hopes to contribute to businesspeople, interested in BPM, all over the world. Questetra Inc. Q-BPM exemplifies various Sample Processes regarding Business Flow in companies, and support Business Flow Diagram making. (* Business Flow Diagram: Business Flow Chart/Business Diagram/Business Process Diagram) This is Cloud-Source type information sending website that invites collaborators all over the world. In principle, contents in this website are public on the basis of the license called “CC-By SA,” which means “possible to copy under specific conditions.”

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