MIS 2101.730 – Courtney Minich – Spring 2018

Weekly Post #2

Leave your response as a comment on this post by the beginning of class on February 1, 2018. 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:

This week, we reviewed Swimlanes and ERDs as methods of analyzing business processes and using visuals to tell a story.  In your current career or major, which tool do you think would be more helpful and why?  

25 Responses to Weekly Post #2

  • I think Swimlanes are more helpful in my current major because we can use Swimlanes charts to identify different tasks. The diagrams also help in communicating with other people who may not have much knowledge or not as familiar.

  • Of the two recent charts we discussed in class, I believe Swimlane’s may be most useful to me. Several projects and tasks I work on require multiple levels of approval and checks before being finalized. Using Swimlanes would certainly help organize the approvals needed for the various tasks. This would also help the process become more efficient as there would be no guess work as to who has the task next. ERDs would seem to actually help for individual projects, but Swimlanes seem like a powerful high level tool.

  • I think both are very helpful. The Swimlanes would be more helpful for my clients where the ERD’s would be useful for myself as an agent The process of buying a house can be very complicated and overwhelming for both buyers and sellers. It can be especially stressful for first time home buyers. A simple swimlane in this situation would be very helpful as a visualization tool. For organization purposes the ERD would be great to keep track of client, property, lender, and other important information.

  • Of the two tools we reviewed in class I think that the swim lane diagram would be more useful in my current position. In fact, we have developed diagrams and flow charts that are similar, but might be even more user-friendly and helpful in planning if we turned them into swim lane diagrams. I find it helpful that each “actor” is identified clearly and the process can be followed from one person/department to another. I work in Human Resources, so we have quite a few processes that must be planned and roles that must be identified. This is definitely a tool that will be helpful!

  • I think in my field of cardiac sonography that a swim lane would be affective for visually distinguishing a plan of care and responsibilities for pathologies of the heart. For example if somebody has aortic stenosis what level of stenosis the patient has dictates the plan of care (observation, medications, surgical interventions. ) So when the patient stenosis progresses or is determined to be severe by going through the steps of the swim lane than they go from seeing a cardiologist to seeing a cardiothoracic surgeon.

  • The company I currently work for is a manufacturer of fiber optic and custom cable assemblies. I feel that swim lane diagrams would be very useful for the business as there are certainly places we could improve our manufacturing process. Because swim lanes highlight and outline jobs and responsibilities of each actor within a process it would make it easy to see where steps in our manufacturing process are duplicated or more complicated than they need to be. We could then eliminate these duplicates and create a more efficient system.

  • I think in my current career the swimlanes method would be the best one to use, but it would be best if I had to incorporate another department into the process. It would have to show how another department interacts with the processes of my department so that everyone can be on the same page. I had previously created a workflow process chart for my department but it was more of a top to bottom flow, not a left to right flow because there were only 2 characters-employee and manager.

  • I think using swimlanes would be best for my job because it is easier to keep track of tasks and duties. This would be easier to breakdown which department does what and how it effects the other departments. This would be mostly useful for the upper management so that they can keep a detailed list of what the departments do and how they are supposed to flow together.

  • In my day to day I deal with so many things, so many people and many types of technologies, I feel that depending on which day I could use both, nonetheless, Swim lanes would be primary. I could use swim lanes for detailing and streamlining processes to make my job and others easier, especially to bridge the indolence amongst departments. Meaning when a request comes in for us to interact with various departments and specifying responsibilities. I could see myself using ERDs to track our software, hardware and our users though.

  • For my school career i feel Swimlanes would be more beneficial. It would allow me to map out the processes i need to have in place to be a successful student. It also allows me to map out my courses that i am required to take in order to complete my degree.
    As far as my career goes, i can see both being essential. ERD’s can help me in identifying the career path i want to take viewing the characteristics. Swim lanes can help further my insight by showing the job description or responsibilities of the career path. Currently on the hunt for a new job i now have a new ways to chose and think about my choice.

  • I think swim lane diagrams would be more effective because they can help increase efficiency. I work for a company that relies heavily on efficient production in order to get a deliverable to the client as fast as possible. If we mapped out the workflow using a swim lane diagram, we could easily identify and correct any place an inefficiency was present.

    I think that ERD’s would be less important, unless we were trying to figure out more information about who are clients are, and the trends they posses. If we knew that information, I think it could benefit the company by repairing markets that lack revenue, or generating more business by focusing only are markets that have the best return.

  • I think both Swimlane diagram and ERD’s can be helpful in my career. I could use Swimlanes to illustrate the flow of business operations. Swimlanes can be helpful in representing different kind of information: who perform the activity, what should be done, etc. ERD’s can be very helpful in organizing the information. I could use them in tracking customers and orders.

  • I think ERDs and swim lanes work for me. Retail has a lot of customer profile tracking taking into account any points accumulated in store and online, purchase history, etc. there I can see ERDs working best. Online order fulfillment I see swim lanes working better.

  • As a Legal Studies/Pre-Law major, I think a swimlane diagram would be the most helpful when analyzing a situation. When I think about it further, a swimlane diagram could display the relationships between various parties involved in a legal dispute. Analyzing cases visually could help me work through legality issues diligently as an attorney in the future.

  • At my current job I feel that swim lanes would be more helpful. In fact, I’ve used swim lane diagrams several time over the course of the past year. Every 3 month we have these events called “Kaizen events” where we try and take a manufacturing process and and eliminate waste, making it more efficient. The first step we usually use to determine where waste is in the production process is to create a swim lane diagram. Once the diagram is completed, it is usually fairly easy to pick out any obvious waste that can be eliminated from the process.

  • In my line of work I think ERDs would be a more helpful tool. Working in retail, my job is to sell to either new or existing customers. ERDs will show the relationship we as a company have with a particular customer and thus can help me as a sales person to offer new or enhance the services that we have. The ERD would present a flow of products and services that I can then leverage to the customer as I am interacting with them.

  • I work for a technology company and our processes are best mapped out with a swimlane diagram. I often assist our purchasing department. For every order, the project manager must send a request to have an order entered. Once the order is entered with the required information, purchasing sends it to the customer to approve. This process continues and eventually leads to the materials being purchased and installed for the customer. Having this mapped with a swimlane diagram allows for tasks to be designated for who does what and everyone can understand their responsibilities.

  • A swim lane diagram is also 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 am currently in banking and find swim lane diagrams useful to help clarify responsibilities and appropriate referrals to work with other departments. Entry level positions such as bank tellers see majority of the customer throughout the day. At times it is difficult to know or understand what our partners in different departments are capable of handling. Therefore, a swim lane diagram can be used to direct specific questions to the right professional within the organization.

    • I am currently in banking and find swim lane diagrams useful to help clarify responsibilities and appropriate referrals to work with other departments. Entry level positions such as bank tellers see majority of the customer throughout the day. At times it is difficult to know or understand what our partners in different departments are capable of handling. Therefore, a swim lane diagram can be used to direct specific questions to the right professional within the organization.

  • I work in a warehouse at the moment, so I believe that swimlanes are more useful. There are multiple departments, so the swimlanes would be the diagram to use for almost every situation. It shows a lot of information and is very easy to read. A swimlane could be used to show the movement of a product off of a truck and to the customer, and a simpler function like what to do with a damaged product coming off the truck. Every warehouse situation can be made into a swimlane for an easy to read diagram.

  • As an accounting major, I believe swim lanes will prove to be more useful to me in my career. I currently work as an accounting coordinator in a small accounting department of Four full employees including the Accounting manager, and one of our goals for 2018 is to electronically update our procedures. (we have a few dozen and most if not all are very outdated) I believe a swim lane diagram would prove very useful in situations with multiple contingencies and that involve multiple departments, which is something rather difficult to explain to a new employee in paragraph or even bullet point form. I sincerely look forward to implementing swim lane diagrams in my current and future positions.

  • In my current career, as a guest services manager in hotel industry, i think Swimlanes diagram would be very useful. It will be harder to communicate through the ERD method. Swimlanes diagram includes more information and it is easily readable by anyone.

  • I am currently working on the fundraising team at my internship, and I actually think that both could be helpful in different ways. ERDs would be a great way to organize major donors with their donor ID, contact information, and some statistics about their giving history. Then we could connect them to their solicitor and present the solicitor’s information, ID, and statistics. I also believe that swimlanes would be helpful given where our organization is currently. This past summer we updated many of our systems, which involved many transitions. At the same time, some key employees left and new people came in who needed to be trained in our business processes. Because key employees left at the same time that we switched systems, we are still finding inefficiencies and tasks that were not completed correctly or at all. Swimlane diagrams would be a user-friendly way to train new employees and to ensure that we are eliminating inefficiencies and completing every task.

  • For my area of work, swimlane diagrams are the most effective. It can be a high overview that allows non-tech people to visualize processes. This also allows us to see inefficiencies in work flow. Despite our best efforts to automate, there is a ton of manual user intervention involved. ERDs would be more useful, but that would generally be at the engineering level for the databases.

  • I think in my major of supply chain management that swimlanes would be more useful in analyzing the logistical process of an actual supply chain.

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