Organization decomposition diagrams (organization mapping)

An organization decomposition diagram describes the links between actors, roles and locations within an organization tree. An organization map should provide a chain of command of owners and decision-makers in the organization. Although it is not the intent of the organization decomposition diagram to link goal to organization, it should be possible to intuitively link the goals to the stakeholders from the organization decomposition diagram.

This diagram can also describe the definition of actors and their responsibilities. The organization is presented in terms of connections between actors, or between actors and organization units showing hierarchical links, communications and responsibilities.

Missions and responsibilities within an organization can also be highlighted, by presenting the main information flows circulating between the major participants of the enterprise. This shows which information is received, processed or emitted by whom in the organization, thereby illustrating the responsibilities of organizational elements.

Organization decomposition diagrams are also used to define the different roles assumed by actors.

In the example shown in Figure 1, locations, roles and actors are represented. The head office is in Dallas, but there are three branches in San Francisco, New York and Chicago. Organization units have been allocated to the different locations. The majority of services are concentrated in Dallas. The IT department is based in San Francisco. The sales department is split over each of the branches. Through their responsibility links (role to role or organization unit), the geographica locations of roles is often implicit. Please note here that the CEO and the sales director are both located in Dallas.

Through the "assumes" links, we show here which roles are played by which actors. Some actors play several roles. A single person is simultaneously finance manager, HR manager and accounting manager. A single person is in charge of salaries and invoicing. Sales people are split over each of the sites, and their location is specified.

organization-decomposition-diagram
Figure 1 - Roles, actors, locations and organization units are represented in organization decomposition diagrams

internal-actor-32Internal actor: An actor that belongs to the enterprise.

headquartersHeadquarter location: Geographically defines where the elements of the enterprise are deployed (organization units, hardware devices, actors, etc).

site-locationSite location: Geographically defines where the elements of the enterprise are deployed (organization units, hardware devices, actors, etc). Generally, an enterprise has one headquarter and several sites.

organization-unitOrganization unit: Describes one unit that breaks down the organization of the enterprise. This can be, for example, a department.

localization-linkLocalization link: Localization link of an element of an enterprise (actor, business unit, hardware device, etc) in a location. Alternatively, the localized element can be embedded into the location.

As shown in Figure 2, the definition of roles and their responsibilities is a good means of presenting the functioning of an enterprise in a general way. The actors of the enterprise and their interactions provide an overview of the organization.

An actor can represent several people within the enterprise, just as one person can correspond to several actors. Certain actors represent a group of people or actors, as in the example of "management committee": this is an instance which groups together the directors of different departments. But like any actor, it has responsibilites and makes decisions.

Actors who are external to the enterprise are useful for showing how they are positioned with regard to the organization itself: who interacts with them.

Elements present:
•    Responsibility links which describe the hierarchy
•    Responsibility links to organization units, which indicate who is responsible for which organization unit
•    Communication links, which indicate who communicates with whom
•     Composition links, to show the constitution of composite actors.
•    Internal actors, who are actors who take part in the functioning of the enterprise
•    External actors, who are actors outside the enterprise but who interact with it (here: client and partners)

 

organization-decomposition-diagram-2
Figure 2 - This model provides the organization chart, enriched by information on responsibilities and communication

organization-unitOrganization unit: Describes one unit that breaks down the organization of the enterprise. This can be, for example, a department.

internal-actor-32Internal actor: An actor that belongs to the enterprise.

external-actor-32External actor: An actor that is external to the enterprise.

communicates-with-linkCommunicates with link: Indicates that two roles or actors communicate together to realize their work.

composed-of-linkComposed of link: Indicates that a role is composite, and is made up of other roles.

responsible-forResponsible for link: Indicates hierarchical responsibilities between roles or actors, and responsibilities of organization units.

Figure 3 presents the main information flows that circulate within the enterprise. They are received from or sent to actors and/or organization units. This example focuses on flows emitted from/sent to external actors, and on the main organization units involved in their processing.

organization-decomposition-diagram-3
Figure 3 - Main information flows within the enterprise

Elements used:
•    Actors
•    Business Units
•    Information flows: Information can be related to business entities to express that these are the exchanged data (Bill and Order in this example).

organization-unitOrganization unit: Describes one unit that breaks down the organization of the enterprise. This can be, for example, a department.

external-actor-32External actor: An actor that is external to the enterprise.

information-flowInformation flow: Defines the flow of any kind of information (business entity, event, product, informal, etc) between active entities of the enterprise.

Figure 4 shows which roles are assumed by the actors. An actor assumes a role to perform a task. The usual or expected function of an actor, or the part somebody or something plays in a particular action or event, are modeled here.

organization-decomposition-diagram-4
Figure 4 - Roles assumed by actors

Elements used:
•    Actors
•    Roles
•    "assumes" dependencies

internal-actor-32Internal actor: An actor that belongs to the enterprise.

external-actor-32External actor: An actor that is external to the enterprise.

internal-roleInternal role: Role played by an internal actor during a given action (task).

external-roleExternal role: Role played by an external actor during a given action (task).

Figure 5 shows the same kind of model, but presents a great level of detail, focused on two actors. Such a detailed model per actor provides a detailed definition of each actor, showing its missions, responsibilities and rights. This figure presents the goals assigned to the sales manager, his/her responsibilities (business units, managed actors), and the business processes that he/she owns. It also provides all the details on the "Sales person" actor, showing his/her locations, the assumed roles, the application components that he/she uses, the other actors with whom he/she interacts, and the business entities he/she accesses with his/her rights.

organization-decomposition-diagram-5
Figure 5 - Detailed model of actors, focused on Sales manager and Sales person

business-entityBusiness Entity: Describes the semantics of the entities in the business, independently of any IS consideration (e.g. storage, technology, etc).

functionFunction: Describes one function of the organization.

external-actor-32External actor: An actor that is external to the enterprise.

internal-actor-32Internal actor: An actor that belongs to the enterprise.

internal-roleInternal role: Role played by an internal actor during a given action (task).

site-locationSite location: Geographically defines where the elements of the enterprise are deployed (organization units, hardware devices, actors, etc.). Generally, an enterprise has one headquarter and several sites.

headquartersHeadquarter location: Geographically defines where the elements of the enterprise are deployed (organization units, hardware devices, actors, etc).

organization-unitOrganization unit: Describes one unit that breaks down the organization of the enterprise. This can be, for example, a department.

togaf-process-32Business process: As presented in process maps (event diagrams). The business process is detailed in flow diagrams.

workstationWorkstation: Workstations are connected via network links to the IS. Application components can be deployed there.

interaction-application-componentInteraction application component: Represents the top level components that manage the interaction with elements outside the IS. In most cases, it is a GUI component, such as here a web interface.

assumes-linkAssumes link: Dependency between an actor and a role. An actor generally assumes several roles.

data-flow-crudData flow: There is one active element on one side (ex: actor, process) and an element carrying data on the other side (entity, event, product). Habilitation can be expressed on these flows, expressing which access and rights the active element has on data.

communicates-with-linkCommunicates with link: Indicates that two roles or actors communicate together to realize their work.

consumes-linkConsumes link: Expresses that a participant (e.g. an actor) consumes an element of the IS (service, operation, application component).

assigned-linkAssigned link: Assignment of a goal to an element of the enterprise, typically an actor, an organization unit or a business process.

localization-linkLocalization link: Localization link of an element of an enterprise (actor, business unit, hardware device, etc) in a location. Alternatively, the localized element can be embedded into the location.

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