Last edit: 05-03-17 Graham Wideman
|"Flow of Services" Model
Article created: 98-07-17
I drew the model below to illustrate, at a coarse level of detail, the
relationships between the four SDSU Divisions.
This model focuses on the functions of the divisions and how services and
resources flow through the organization, ultimately to our customers (on this
diagram, generally "downwards" -- in a previous version I had the diagram
flipped vertically so that customers were at the top, but it was too distressing to have
the flow upwards).
This arrangement is much better than the org chart in conveying the essential nature of
the roles played by each division.
Information Systems and Communications Implications
There are several important information systems and communications implications:
- Each flow of service is accompanied by communications ("transactions") between
the "service requestor" and the "service provider". There may be an
initiating request, followed by one or more communications in either direction regarding
the delivery and acknowledegment of the service. Much of the job of operational
information systems is to communicate and keep track of all this.
- In many cases, the service provider has put in place an operational information system
for their own use, while in most cases the service requestor (ie: customer) does not have
such a system -- perhaps keeping track of requested services on paper or spreadsheet --
eventually accumulating many such informal tracking systems in conjunction with each
service. This suggests that across the organization, collectively there is a significant
need for service requestors to be able to interact with service providers' information
- For some "composite tasks", such as "arriving as a new student" or
"moving office", service requestors must often request numerous services
individually. Each service provider has different procedures for requesting a service.
This results in significant inefficiency and confusion which could be alleviated with a
more global and holistic-customer-task approach to the design of how services are
presented (and hence would call for work-flow analysis and systems development).
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