The capture and clarification of a business’ processes is a critical step in change management. If done properly the rest of the change process will run with much greater ease. Nail this step and change will follow.

The IDEF0 process mapping language can be a real help here. Although BPMN programs have advantages in certain specific areas, IDEF0 negates the complex language used by BPMN that only the few fully understand.

Most analysts communicate using a BPMN structure which bridges the communication gap between business process design and implementation. However as BPMN is only understood by the few, the rest of the workforce is often left confused and alienated when they are asked to interpret workflows written in a BPMN style. This leads to frustration and often mistakes: slowing change rather than accelerating it.

An IDEF0 structure creates an ease of understanding by communicating process activities in their simplest form without the complex BPMN language that only a handful of specialists understand.

Activities are broken down into inputs, activities, and outputs; with each parent activity able to be simplified into multiple subsidiary (or “child”) activities. This creates a hierarchical structure which is clearer, simpler, and more effective than a simple workflow. In particular it enables cause and effect to be better understood - in detail and by all.

A hierarchical structure also lends itself to the creation of vertical value streams which, because they are derived from the hierarchy rather than mapped in isolation, have the added advantage of facilitating cause and effect analysis. They act like a golden thread, linking employee actions to corporate goals. Through this mechanism, employees at all levels can understand their value to the business and how that might be improved. As a result, everyone becomes an engine for change. The holistic improvement which results from such an integrated approach to process mapping helps the business develop a deep kaizen culture.

Nail the capture and clarification stage with IDEF0, involve the workforce, and the rest will follow.

If you would like to know more IDEF0 systems then please follow the links below. 

E Squared website:


Alternatively we are now hosting a selection of breakfast meetings across the company that cover similar topics: