MIS 2101.702 – Courtney Minich – Fall 2017

Weekly Question #2

Leave your response as a comment on this post by the beginning of class on November 2, 2017. Your response only needs to be about three or four sentences. These weekly questions should reinforce class discussions, readings and show some insight.  

Hint: If you sign into the site using your AccessNet ID and password you won’t have to fill in the name, email and captcha fields when you leave your comment.

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?  

32 Responses to Weekly Question #2

  • Currently I am a server at a restaurant, while this is not something I plan on doing forever, I enjoy it for the time being. I believe that the Swim Lane Diagram would be the more helpful option. When it comes to a restaurant, you have the front of house staff such as servers, bartenders and hosts, then there is the back of house staff which includes the cooks and dishwashers and then there is the management and all of the companies that restaurants order food, liquor, materials and uniforms from. I think with all of the different departments a swim lane diagram would best simplify the process and communication between everyone.

  • Hi Everyone. As I mentioned before I am currently in my career and I use swimlanes all the time most of the time as I focus a lot on processes and job sharing. The swimlanes clearly tell the flow of what and who of a particular process. As an example, I work with Fox Chase Cancer Center because some of their patients come to Temple to participate in clinical trials. For this to happen, a process needs to be in place to ensure the billing for these services are done correctly and ensure that Temple University Hospital and Temple University Physicians receive payment if the clinical trial study is paying for any tests or procedures.

    • I think it is interesting how intricate the medical field is and how much business plays a role in what doctors and hospitals do. This is a great reason to have a ERD and Swim lane.

  • Im majoring in Risk Management and Insurance. If I had to chose, I would use an E.R.D. because it is simple and easy to follow. The swim-lane diagram seems like it has a lot of unneccessary steps. However, I do not see myself using either in the future.

  • I’m currently majoring in entrepreneurship and I see myself using both in the future if I were to create a business. The swim-lane diagram to define the roles of my employees and the ER diagrams to describe the relationship between the customer and the product as well the process in which the customer receives the product.

  • My major is Human Resource Management and I currently work at Wegmans as an assistant front end manager. I will more than likely use both of these diagrams or apply them to my daily work as well as continue to use them as I grow my career. I can use a swim lane diagram when mapping out how employees can grow with in a company. For example, I would first list the lowest position and show them the path to get to the highest. My company uses something similar called a “Bubble Chart”, in which they show the job title and all of the skills required to be in that job title.

  • I am currently a sales person at a department store. I have decided to keep this career until after college, when I am capable of entering a new one. I can use ERDs in order to understand and organize the process and results of my sales. I work in the shoe department and one tool we use is the ability to call other stores and have them send the shoes, in the size we don’t have, directly to the customer. Using an ERD, I can analyze the beneficial information gained from the customer, the actions being taken to get the product to the customer and the resources we use. An ERD would help me be able to analyze the big picture of the store department and network.

  • Before my time here at Temple I was a Sergeant in the Marine Corps. I was in charge of 70 Marines in a maintenance section. I unknowingly made a swim lane diagram for each of my marines and their jobs. I focused on this approach because of the high turn over rate in the Marine corps. Marines were being pulled from my sections for deployments, their contracts were up, and so on. Having a fail proof set of “directions” (swim lanes) allowed any Marine the ability to work and job in my maintenance section. Swim lanes especially helped out our younger Marines who were just trying to understand life in the military.

    • Evan,

      That sounds like a great tool and it helped in two different areas. I’m sure if you shared this document others would of found it useful as well. Great job.


      • Karen,

        Unfortunately it was all saved on government hard drives that I no longer have access too. I really would have never guessed that I would be using them again!


  • I am a business management major, and I work for the public works department, and fire department for a local municipality. In both departments we use swim lanes and ERD’s to better understand what person does what and what department handles specific tasks. In the fire service the version of a swim lane is referred too as a chain of command. It is broken up into multiple sections such as, departmental officers, company officers, department organizers/trustees, and basic firefighters. When this swim lane is utilized properly in often chaotic situations (building fires), everyone understands who to report too, what task to accomplish, and what the overall mission is. The swim lanes I listed above are just the tip of the iceberg in the fire service. Within those swim lanes are smaller sections such as, below a company level officer is a truck company, engine company or rescue company. Within those companies they are comprised of 3-7 men & women. This is where an ERD would be helpful because it would establish direct correlation to what person was connected to the other. For example, if a home owner who had a fire we would direct them to insurance and insurance would then direct a contractor, and so on. This would explain to victims of home fires what happens next after the fire department accomplishes their goal in your emergency. Having organization of this magnitude helps victims, firefighters, and officers understand and explain what happens and why it happens.

  • My major is Human Resource Management, the swim lane charts are a commonly known and used concept when it comes to HR. They cover almost all aspects of an HR department and all of the branches linked to that. I followed a similar management style document when I was the director of a summer camp. This method was also used in regards to my catering company where you have a staffing coordinator, then the manager of the event with the bartenders and servers. On a personal more work level eb and flow I feel that the entity relationship diagram. This diagram can be placed in pretty much any degree of the business environment, especially in the correlation between customer and product.

  • I am currently majoring in Risk Management. When I worked at Tesla the swim lane diagram could have been helpful mapping all of the positions. Because there were a few different departments there was a lot of opportunities going in different directions. I’m sure using programs like salesforce ERDs would be very helpful in the future. I think ERDs would be the most helpful in showing your ability to analyze whatever business process your involved in, thus your potential to move forward.

  • I am majoring in Accounting, but as of now I have worked more in the customer service area. I think that ERD is be very helpful in my current job position. I have to manage customer complaints and request, and direct them to different departments. Therefore, I have to depend whether the problem will be resolved or returned for verification and later resubmitted.

  • I am a marketing major and swim lane diagrams could be very useful when creating a marketing plan in which different entities need to gather data and make decisions about the company’s marketing strategy, but overall I think an ERD diagram would most helpful in a marketing environment because marketing a product involves interacting with all aspects of a company to achieve the best outcome when it comes to creating the marketing mix.

  • I am a marketing major as well and see both swim lane diagrams and ERD’s as being extremely resourceful. Swim lanes would provide a simple chart of who does what and when and help make any business practice more efficient. This would be more useful within a business. An ERD would probably be used more in my projected field because marketing is about how different entities interact and why. The ERD visually represents that process.

    I have had a few jobs in the past where both diagrams would be used. I worked in sales and didn’t even know we were using swim lane diagrams, but now I know what they were. It is kind of funny because I have been a nanny before and I think about how even a child can look at these diagrams and discern what is going on for the most part. I have managed and bartended at restaurants as well. Swim lanes would be a perfect managerial tool to outline everyone’s processes within the restaurant.

  • I am currently an MIS major working in the IT department of a construction company. At work, we have many processes outlined on our company intranet that follow the exact diagram of the swimlane diagrams we went over in class. I think these diagrams are the more helpful of the two, as they more directly state the responsibilities or tasks of certain parties and show the exact order in which they need to be accomplished. From a construction standpoint, it doesn’t make sense to start welding before you have the pipes fitted together. Certain tasks can only be accomplished by steamfitters, and others by boilermakers, etc. Swimlanes show these tasks divided, and the order, more clearly.

  • I work at The Women Veterans Center in Philly and I could see us using an ERD for keeping track of what the ladies need. For instance, some women need toiletries and come need clothing or food. I could also see myself using a Swinlane diagram for the same processes but I would have to say the Swimlane would be easier in my case.

  • I am currently an entrepreneurship major and both the swim lane diagram and the ERD will be useful for not only running my business but also starting it. Swim lane diagram will be useful to define the different roles within the company. The ERD diagrams are important for describing the relationship between the customer and the product. Both of these diagrams will be useful in starting and running a business.

  • I am a business management major and to be quite honest I am not sure how I would use either in. I am not sure what I will be doing once I am done college.

  • I am currently a double major in Marketing and Real Estate, with hopes to eventually become a commercial real estate broker. With that in mind, I feel like a swimlane diagram would be more efficient in my field. Since there are multiple “actors” in a real estate transaction, I feel like the use of actors having different phases would be helpful because of how many things are happening during a transaction.

  • I work for a successful community bank in my area and I am currently a supervisor. I am above a normal supervisor in my bank because I get to work at all 11 of our branches, an operations building and our headquarters. Not only am I a supervisor but I also train our new hires and people who get promoted into new positions. With this background and having the capacity to view and instruct my bank I get a full picture of our operations. With this being said and seeing how the banking industry works, I would say that an ERD method would be appropriate. Banks use so many different systems that include mostly management systems that a more complex method needs to be utilized inorder for the right decisions to be made. Let me know what you think about the banking systems management systems that you are aware of.

  • I run a small winery in SE Pennsylvania.. With only a handful of employees, I can’t really see swimlanes or an ERD method as being particularly useful at the moment but as we continue to grow I imagine they could be helpful. in the future. I think perhaps swimlanes might become the most useful to outline to employees the steps of the wine growing, harvesting and making processes. When only a couple people are involved, it doesn’t seem like a big deal to write it all out, but as more people get involved we will want to be sure that everyone is on the same page and following steps in the correct order.

  • Hello, I work as a car salesman and I think the swimlanes method would be the most helpful method of the 2 for my current job and for the future. As I don’t want to be a salesman forever, I do want to be in marketing and finance somewhere close to the money with a marketing aspect. Swimlanes is best because it outlines the many different lanes that can be taken in the car buying process and where I fit in and how. Swimlanes can be used to breakdown the whole dealership and analyze it.

  • I currently work as a tutor and a personal trainer. I’d probably prefer ERD over SWIM just because SWIM looks weird and my freelancing isn’t that complicated. If I ever expanded into something bigger I might use SWIM. I don’t see myself using either in the future though.

  • I am a Finance major and I think that Swimlanes would be more helpful in my career path. I see myself as someone working to be a financial analyst and I think Swimlanes are an easier method. Seeing that they can be be very efficient tools in relationships for businesses, I am sure I will run into them again in the future.

  • I am an Accounting Major and I feel that a Swimlane diagram would be more effective in a career in accounting because it is important to note and understand which person or department does what in the accounting process. A Swimlane would also come in handy at the restaurant I currently work at because yet again it is extremely important to not only outline multiple processes, but identify what group carries them out.

  • As I finance major, I believe that Swimlanes would be more helpful. I think Swimlanes are the easiest tool o keep track of work that needs to get done, and which person or group of people need to do that work. It also helps one understand what will happen after they perform a certain task.

  • I am a bank teller and usually we use ERD’s to visualize our commercial goals. It is very convenient because it is easy to understand and see a “bigger picture”.

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