Re: Complexity, Languaging & Design LO1136

Dickover - Melvin E. (
Wed, 10 May 1995 11:57:33 -0400 (EDT)

Following-up my own LO1099 --

In response to several requests, I am posting this additional information
on IDEF0 methodology.

I have used IDEF0 since 1977, back when it was called SADT. I was a
Softech (Doug Ross at Softech invented SADT) employee then, and helped
develop some aspects of the method.

I have used it for requirements analysis, project plans, software design,
and workflow analysis, and business process reengineering. It works for
requirements analysis because it is (used well) easily understanable to
non-software people. Other methods are mostly intelligable only to systems
professionals, and get uninformed consent from users. It works for
planning better than PERT, since a PERT diagram with flaws looks similar
to one without flaws. Flaws in an IDEF0 plan are easily spotted. The IDEF0
planning model is also a WBS, and it can easily be converted to PERT for
schedule analysis. It works for workflow analysis because it makes
processes clear to users, it surpresses control information (by focus on
constraints) that complexifies flow chart schemes, and higlights tasks and
how they relate. The keys to IDEF0 success are: (1) simple diagrams to
get low ink/paper ratio) (2) Reader/author cycle to create concensus and
shared reality.

Here is some reference information.

> IDEF0 is a methodology extensively used in the government Corporate
> Information Management (CIM) program, as well as in commercial
> manufaccturing and many other applications. Here are some resources.
> IDEF0/SADT - Business Process & Enterprise Modeling
> by David Marca & Clement McGowan (ISBN 0-9638750-0-0)
> (Irecommend this book, but it has gone out of print and is not normally
> available in bookstores. Due to popular demand, it is reprinted by and
> available from
> Eclectic Solutions Corp
> 764 5th Avenue, Suite B
> San Diego CA 92101
> 619-696-7529
> Eclectic Solutions also offers an IDEF computer tool called COINS.
> Concise Guide to IDEF0 - Practical Techniques for Business
> Process Engineering by Lee Robinson and Stephen Hill (This book is new in
> bookstores, I haven't read it)
> Computer tools that support IDEF0 can also
> be obtained from:
> Meta Software Corp
> 125 Cambridge Park Drive
> Cambridge MA 04240
> 800-227-4106
> (a tool called Design/IDEF)
> Wizdom Systems
> 800-494-9366
> (a tool called IDEFine-0)
> Triune Software
> 200 Presidential
> Drive Fairborn OH 45324
> 513-427-9900
> (a tool call AblePM)

"Dickover - Melvin E." <>