Stock and flow diagram #process

Stephen Bounds

Hi brains trust,

I'm seeking advice on ideas for a good way to represent a stock and flow diagram. I thought that I should be able to find something in the Kanban literature but I am coming up with nothing except this, which doesn't pass the readability test for me:

A basic stock-flow structure and corresponding mathematical

The general problem I am trying to represent: A person is passing through a system, each stage of which requires certain prerequisites to be met to proceed. To take the example of a person attending a conference:

  • A set of people want to attend a conference
  • Purchase stage: They cannot buy a ticket until an allocation of tickets is released (prerequisite)
  • Registration stage: Once they buy a ticket, they proceed to the conference venue and have to be allocated a conference booklet and lanyard (prerequisites). (Another parallel flow illustrates how the conference booklet itself requires sourcing of speakers, content, and graphics before being provided to the printer, who produces the booklets.)
  • Conference stage: On in the conference, attendees attend sessions (prerequisites: speakers, projector, lectern, etc), and breaks (prerequisites: hot and cold snacks, drinks)
  • Post-conference stage: After the conference, confirmed attendees receive follow-up surveys and the resulting surveys are combined into a conference performance report

Ideally the diagram should effectively show flow factors like throughput, cycle time, and parallelisation as well.

Before I go and invent the wheel again, does anyone know of an approach to effectively visualise this problem? A Gantt chart is the typical go-to solution but (1) to non-project managers, people's eyes just glaze over and (2) it doesn't really represent flow constraints.

Thanks in advance for your help!



Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096

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