Management Information Systems in Organizations

Weekly Question #2

Leave your response as a comment on this post by the beginning of class on September 23, 2016. Your response only needs to be about three or four sentences. These weekly questions should reinforce class discussions, readings and show some insight.  

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Here is the question:

We’ve spent the last couple of weeks looking at various diagrams that will assist an organization in decision making, increased efficiency and adding value…  Of the tools we’ve reviewed thus far, which do you think is more beneficial?  Why?  How can you start using them now?  (Swim Lanes, ERDs)


37 Responses to Weekly Question #2

  • Per our previous discussions I bet you could guess which I intend to choose.

    I believe that swim lane diagrams (SWD) are more beneficial for several reasons; the deconstructing of processes via SWD can give rise to shortfalls in how a certain activity is done, it can also identify redundancies and possible disconnects that could be remedied using the SWD as a roadmap to the process. In addition, the SWD can be used as a training tool for new employees, as it is tangible way to create standard operating procedures to ensure that no matter who does the job, it is being done in the correct manner. Another benefit of the SWD is that if there is a quality issue, the SWD can be used in reverse to find where something may have gone wrong in the process.

    ERD’s are a necessary part of the data collection side of business, but once you identify the data to be collected and the relationship between entities, its usefulness declines significantly.

  • I think swim lanes are more beneficial because 1) they are widely used in most organizations, especially when listing the overall staffing organization in showing how each management member is responsible for a group/groups of employees. 2) The diagram is easily understood and there is no guess work in how to connect each box, such as the ERD’s. Each swim lane symbol- circle (actor), rectangle (activity in process), arrow (flow of the process), diamond (decision making) and cylinder (stored data) denotes a specific action. Clearly, no sign of becoming confused or repeating things twice. I can use swim lanes as a point of contact –list of primary contacts for general or business purposes or a blueprint to create a new business idea or refurbish an old one with enhancement. For fun, I could use it to organize various hobby interests while keeping track of my inventory.

  • In my opinion, swim lane diagrams are more beneficial because they show a process and we are easily able to understand it. In ERD, there are information given to each entity that are not required during a process and it hard to determine if an attribute is required. But while using swim lane we can start with an actor doing a specific activity and how the activities flow between actors, and the required information needed for each activity is given. It makes it clear for the reader to understand the process step by step. I can start using swim lane diagrams in my legal studies class in which there are many processes involved, like a case start from a plaintiff filing a complaint and ending in a district court or even higher.

  • In my opinion, swim lane diagrams are the most beneficial because they use lanes that are assigned an actor (individual, department, division, group, machine, or entity) making it easy to follow the process of certain work or activities. A swim lane diagram flows very well and explains each step. One way that I could start using a swim lane diagram today would be at my job. I work for an insurance company and we could use a swim lane diagram to explain the process of how a policy is created and the steps it takes before an insured gets a policy.

  • I think that the swim lane diagrams are more beneficial. ERDs are important however before you can start gathering information, you should know if the process or system you are using is any good. Swim lanes allow for this to happen. It allows you to see if any of the steps within the system are redundant or don’t make sense which should be the initial priority. I can start using swim lanes in my everyday life. With something as simple as running errands, I can use a swim lane to figure out the most direct route that would make the day go smoother.

  • I believe that swim lane diagrams are more beneficial than ERDs. I believe this because the lanes which are assigned to a particular actor such as an individual, group, or division allows one to see who or what is in charge/responsible for a particular activity, or task. The flow of the diagram is particularly easy to follow, and always for an easy way to identify different phases in a particular business process. It is also very beneficial to be able to determine problems when they arise when going through a process or completing an activity/task and swim lane diagrams always one to identify problems, redundancies, and inefficiencies during the process, and not after they have already occurred. I also think swim lane diagrams are beneficial because they are not complicated to design and can be made fairly quickly if need be in order to complete a task in a timely manner.

  • Using the swim lane tool is more beneficial than the ERD tool. The swim lane divides and organize specific duties for each part of the organization. It is very easy to clarify what each department is functioning for the company. Also, they are all stated step by step, so you can just follow up the process to figure out the whole project at a glance. The swim lane can be used for anything that requires the step-by-step process.

  • I find that the swim lane is utilized more the ERD. In the industry I work in there are many lengthy, detailed tasks that most be performed correctly or the company could lose money. The swim lane breaks down a process and provides decisions for different circumstances. I have found that the swim lane is very beneficial in a manufacturing plant.

  • I find that swim lane diagrams are the most beneficial. I think this because it is easier to follow; it divides all the steps up and lets you know which step to take and when to take it. It lets you know where your start and end is and which direction to go to get there. I also like that you can create a swim lane for everything and make the process of following steps and directions much easier even in a complicated situation.

  • I believe that swim lane diagrams are more beneficial. Not only do they provide detailed information about different roles played within a certain situation, they are also concise and to the point. Swim lane diagrams can be used for many things if not everything. For example, a student may find it useful to make a swim lane diagram to map out the school year detailing the classes they are taking and how they will affect their choice of classes going forward.

  • Based on the diagrams we’ve been learning I would have to say the swim lane diagram is a more detailed and overall more beneficial than the Entity Relationship Diagram depending on the type of information we are classifying. The Entity Relationship Diagram according to the research is better suited with complex database used in software engineering and IT networks. While its counter part, the Swim Lane Diagram can be used in almost every aspect of the business, to eliminate redundancies by simplifying the process and clearly mapping it out until the desired result . Swim Lane Diagram are easier to map out and comprehend with the right guidance, and can be used in most situations dealing with problem solving. So basically the Swim Lane Diagram can be used in almost everyday situations, to assist in solving something as simple as a study schedule, all the way up to a outline for a small business.

  • Of the tools we’ve reviewed so far in class, I think swim lane diagrams are the most beneficial because it shows all the details within the information that flows across multiple departments or groups. They not only help you see problems, but they also help you fix them and apply the right situation to the right problem. ERD’s are beneficial as well, but only if it is dealing with a more complex database. A swim lane diagram is useful in helping clarify responsibilities and help departments work together in a world where departments often don’t understand what the other departments do.

  • I definitely believe that the use of Swim Lanes is the most beneficial diagram/process to use. It provides a more thorough and concise breakdown of the “process” and the “What ifs” that can take place during the process. It also provides a summary on the flow of how day to day processes and back end steps are taken and where the responsibility lies for each entity.
    I can actually use them in the process of preparing and organizing the “Blocks” {6-8 week process/curriculum} for the 2nd year Medical Students. The Swim Lane will give clear direction on each step and what action can be taken for each, as well as what person/department handles each step. I also feel that I can use this in keeping track of household chores/issues that may arise and this will allow everyone to be in the same place with clear direction on who is responsible for each thing.

  • I think the Swim Lane Diagrams are the most useful and practical process we’ve learned thus far. Swim Lanes can be used for a variety of functions to analyse the process of which things are done and who does them. For me personally I think a swim lane would be practical to use in my current organization that I work for because it would lay out the duties and responsibilities for each employee more clearly. I work for a nonprofit organization and its easy for jobs to overlap into multiple departments. Having a clear view of who should be doing what is important to any successful organization or business.

  • Swim lane diagrams are more beneficial than ERDs. Swim lane diagrams are most widely used and provide the greatest clarity for each organizations. ERDs are sometimes up to more subjection than Swim lane diagrams where the direction of each actor within the organization’s process remains the same. They depict department responsibility and where the direction of the responsibility goes next. For organizations they can easily look up sections in their flow if failures occur in order to fix the issue or edit responsibilities to further function.

  • I find that Swim lane diagrams can be much more useful than ERDs. The structure and organization from a Swim lane diagram is unparalleled. While the ERDs have no true beginning or end point, the swim lane diagram gives a step-by-step instruction as to how to execute each task depending on the previous step. I’m not entirely sure how I can go about utilizing the swim lane diagram in my current job, but hopefully it can be very beneficial after college.

  • I think the swim lane diagram is the tool among all that makes me feel most easy to use and most beneficial for an organization because SLD could help an organization to figure out the process of the business, make all departments understand what other departments are doing, and most importantly, SLD show the process with its logic. If there is any unreasonable logic existed in this process, it is very easy to find out where it is and optimize the process. Further more, it could be applied to many organizations and many other situations.

  • Personally, I find swim lane diagrams to be more beneficial than entity relationship diagrams.. At work, I have been using SLDs at times to visualize the process of receiving and selling inventory between our restaurant locations. I had been using them for a few years, before I took this class and knew the specifics of SLDs. If anything in the shipping process went wrong, we were able to pinpoint the actor that did not complete their task fairly quickly. Also, I personally find SLDs to be easier to navigate than the data in ERDs, While ERDs can be extremely useful in certain fields and businesses, that is not necessarily the case at my current job.

  • Swim lane diagrams are used at my current employer. Therefore, for me, I would have to say that the swim lane diagram is more beneficial. Using the swimlane diagram lets you diagram an entire process from the start to the finish. Through using the Swimlane diagram my company can divide into several categories and departments. In an example, I work in a machine shop in the quality department. Using a swimlane diagram you could see the flow and process of a part from receiving inspection(quality) to a lathe department or milling department. You could follow it all the way back to quality in the end to shipping to the customer. By following the swimlane you can see if there any unnecessary steps along the whole process. I will continue to use the swimlane diagrams at my work, but could also see the opportunity to using the ERD.

  • I believe that both swim lane diagrams and ERD’s are very effective in their own way and provide much needed information. Personally, as we have practiced these two different diagrams i have found it more interesting to complete an ERD because of the specific information for each entity that is labeled throughout the diagram which may not always be found in a swim lane. However, in terms of which diagram may seem more beneficial to everyone swim lane would be my choice because it is much more readable and to the point. The swim lane diagram can be used by any business that wants to establish a plan or goal and set a process that they need to follow in order to get to their goal. For example, recently i sat down with my academic advisor in order to plan for the future. We discussed which courses must be taken at a certain time (prerequisites) so that i will be able to then take other courses in the future. In making a swin lane diagram, i could have certainly mapped out the options i could take towards eventually meeting my goal, graduation.

  • I think that swim-lane diagrams are the most beneficial. A lot of companies use these diagrams and for me personally it is easier to read and comprehend than a ERD. It is also easier to keep track of inventory and to be able to find a problem within it. It is also better organized and has columns for each individual actor or subject. If I ran a company I would definitely use a swim-lane diagram. It would also be a lot easier to teach it to my employees than a ERD. I’m sure ERD’s are good for a lot of specific things, but overall SWD’s are just better, at least in my opinion. ERD’s have more steps so it is also easier to make a mistake if you are using it.

  • In my opinion, the most beneficial tool that we have covered thus far is the Swim Lane Diagram. The Swim Lane Diagram offers a more direct approach to following how a system works, as well as making the necessary corrections to the system if it is not operating at its full potential. I also find that the Swim Lane Diagrams are much easier to follow than the ERD, which allows for a person with little to no experience to identify each individual actor, activity, or decision within the system, and follow the process throughout its entirety.

    When it comes to personal application, I have already used a swim diagram at work. I am a manager and bartender of a small business. I recently used a Swim Diagram to point out a flaw in our operating procedure to my general manager and the business owner. We are currently taking steps in order to rectify the hiccup.

  • Of the diagrams we have discussed as a class, I would have to strongly consider the ERD as the most beneficial and useful. I believe this to be the most beneficial because of it ability to give a framework to entities, organizations, and communication. Specifically, it gives us a clearer definition or understanding of a what an entity can and should be, as well as its role within many types of organizations, from the laissez faire to the more disciplined of organizations. In addition to this, it illustrates the more efficient ways in which each entity can communicate in order to accomplish end goals. As for the utility of Entity Relationship Diagrams, it allows us to better work on something as simple as a group project, in which each member may have different skill sets or a more complex project in an organization. For example, multiple departments may need to interact with one another based on actual unit sales and costs. The accounting department can receive efficient communication from production, subsequently relaying the information to the receivable/payables department.

  • As we saw in class last week, both the Swim Lane Diagrams and the Entity Relationship Diagrams can be used in tandem to demonstrate, clarify, establish and improve processes. After working through our group “cake” exercise together, and using these two diagrams, I believe that both can be equally beneficial depending on the process/result the user is trying to achieve. Incidentally, these two learnings have helped me greatly with recent projects at work. One involves using Swim Lane Diagrams to review and improve upon various business process due to a reorganization, and the other involves using ERD’s to establish processes related to the creation of a new data warehouse that will collect information from various systems and produce outputs. As you can imagine, our class readings and exercises have been key for me… and perfect timing ;)!

  • Both the Swim Lane Diagram and the ERD are beneficial. I believe that based on the primary purpose of developing a diagram, determines which one is best for one to use. Personally, for my businesses and school activities, Swimlane would be my best choice. It is easier for me to use and I can see myself finding much pleasure in creating swim lanes with the various tools and software. However, I believe that I can use ERDs for my businesses in the future in which I would have employees. Here is ERD, in my opinion, would be more beneficial for me because I would be able to employees and their information with the proper id.

  • I believe ERD’s are more beneficial especially when needing to collect and categorize data. An ERD can be extremely helpful as a way to start a database for an event or firm. I could use an ERD in order to figure out what data I need to collect from people to succeed in housing out of chapter brothers of my fraternity for our annual philanthropic soccer tournament. It would make it much easier to organize all the names and contact information I need to pair with brothers from my chapter.

  • Both diagrams have their place within data analytics and both can be used to achieve a different portrayal of systems. ERD’s can effectively convey systems regarding databases or used to organize systems from a data analytics perspective. SWD’s can clearly display the different actors within a process and what they are responsible for. SWD’s seem more simple to understand in most cases and can be used to simplify a process to onlookers who might not be privy or interested in the finer details of a process. I believe the restaurant I am currently employed at, can use a SWD diagram to better divide responsibilities between servers, bussers, and the kitchen staff.

  • Of all the diagrams I think the swim lane diagram would be most beneficial to me because I could use it in my everyday activities to help me prioritize my tasks. I could use swim lane diagrams to help me decide which tasks at work to complete first. by using a swim lane diagram I could see the outcomes of each decision I make. this could help me in the future when I need to make similar decisions. I think the swim lane diagram is also good in helping me organize homework and class assignments that are due each week.

  • I would consider that the Swim Lane Diagrams is more beneficial than the Entity relationship. It divides a complicated process into small pieces and that’s the way it clarify the processing map. Business analysis clearly needs this kind of diagram to let everyone knows what they should do on their position. What’s more, the best part of Swim Lane diagram is that it is much more easier for us who has little experience about MIS to follow. But what I said does not means Entity relationship Diagram is not a perfect tool to understand the system. They are just standing for different things. When we need to know market data, ERD is perfect for us.

  • I saw a company uses swim lane diagrams before, so in my opinion, swim lane diagrams are more beneficial than ERDs. Swim lane diagram has actor like individual, department, or group, that are divided to what kind of job they should do so they won’t get confused of who is doing what. I feel like swim lane can be use for anything that need step to step process and it will make the organization/company runs much smoother.

  • I find swim lane diagrams to be more beneficial than the entity relationship diagram. Swim lane diagrams are easy to understand and shows you each individual or actor who helps detail a process. I believe that ERM is beneficial but it is the visual representation of broad data for a company. The swim lane gives more information in detail about each step involved in a process.

  • My summer job of landscaping could use this to better divide responsibilities between employees and just be better organizerd.

  • My summer job of landscaping could use this to better divide responsibilities between employees and just be better organized.

  • I thinking using the ERM diagram is more useful, for me since im a visually person. This diagram have many steps that describe all the process on a visual diagram.

  • I believe that the swim lane diagram is the most effective because their use lanes makes things easy to follow when looking at specific tasks that each “actor” does. The whole flow of the diagram makes it easy to follow. One way that I think I could start using a swim lane diagram today would be for looking at a sports team. You could use a swim lane diagram to explain the role of each coach, athlete, trainer, and manager to see how they all flow together.

  • I believe that the swim lane diagram is more beneficial when relating to processes. It is easy to follow and provides a lot of informative information that will allow almost anyone to complete a task. ERM are best for filing systems

  • I really think Swim Lanes diagram is the most efficient diagram of all, as it can simplify an extremely complicated process into a visualizable and understandable steps. I am working on my start-up and we’re building a learning system, and learning about swim lanes diagram makes it so much easier to communicate with my teammates.

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