Re: Stock and flow diagram #process


Stephen Bounds
 

Hi,

Thanks to everyone for your generous responses and great ideas. I have to go away and do a lot more investigation now but just to acknowledge all contributors and provide a quick round-up of initial thoughts:

  • Andy: Bottlenecks and lead times are important, but a second order issue to just visualising precursor activities and dependencies in a logical way. I'm currently managing a program with a complex network of responsibilities encompassing multiple quasi-independent stakeholders (unfortunately I can't be specific). Plans appear to be in fully place, only to later realise that important precursor activities haven't been scoped or completed by an indirectly responsible party.
  • Douglas: Thanks for the pointer to IDEF. I have used something similar to IDEF0 in the past but didn't realise its origins. IDEF3 seems compatible with what I'm looking for, possibly in combination with IDEF0. A very useful resource!
  • Bruce: Thanks, I remembered Insight Maker after I posted but wasn't aware of Anylogic. Anylogic have some great diagram examples in their white paper, including a more readable stock and flow diagram (p24), which is also similar to that used by vensim.
  • David: It appears that the illustration I provided in my (take from an academic paper) is from a product called Stella Architect, which is similar to Insight Maker in its systems modelling approach.
  • Rob: Thanks for suggesting your very evocative "tap", "bath" and "sink" icons. They are a very evocative visualisation aid - I hope it is OK if I reuse them in future projects!
  • Sandra: Appreciate your suggestion of vensim. I particularly like the clarity with which it describes the types of variables in these systems.
  • Patrick: Thanks for the referral to Nolijwork. Agree with your assessment that it's in a similar space, but a new and interestingly different take. I'll get in touch with Paul.

As an aside/point of note, I will also point those in the KM community who are interested in this topic towards the site Creative Learning Exchange. Founded by Jay Forrester, widely acknowledged as one of the initial thinkers of system dynamics back in 1961, there are lots of interesting free resources published on this site including lots of curriculum materials and explainer videos.

For now anyway, I have two strong leads on what I need: IDEF3 and something similar to the systems dynamics modelling diagrams used by Anylogic and vensim. I'll report back if and when I have something more to share. Thanks again for your help!

Cheers,
Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
Cordelta
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================
On 9/07/2022 12:03 pm, Bruce Boyes via groups.io wrote:

Insight Maker https://insightmaker.com/ or AnyLogic https://www.anylogic.com/ could also be potentially useful (even if not using the simulation aspect of both of these tools).

Cheers,

Bruce.
________________

Bruce Boyes


On Saturday, 9 July 2022 at 10:46:16 am AEST, Douglas Weidner <douglas.weidner@...> wrote:


Stepen,

Have you ever looked at IDEF Process Modeling?
 I haven't used it since I modeled the KM Methodology in the late 1990s, but it is extremely robust.

Cheers,

Douglas Weidner
Chairman and Chief CKM Instructor
KM Institute

On Fri, Jul 8, 2022 at 7:48 PM Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:

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 representation.

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!

Cheers,
Stephen.

 

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

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