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 headquarters are in Paris, and there are three branches in Nantes, Toulouse and Lyon. Organization units have been allocated to the different locations. The majority of services are concentrated in Paris. The IT department is based in Toulouse. 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.

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

internal actorInternal actor: An actor that belongs to the enterprise.

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

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.

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

business actorBusiness actor.

locationLocation.

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 "board of directors": 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 of actors diagram
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 actorInternal actor: An actor that belongs to the enterprise.

external actorExternal 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 of linkResponsible for link: Indicates hierarchical responsibilities between roles or actors, and responsibilities of organization units.

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

business actorBusiness Actor.

meaningMeaning.

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 flows

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 actorExternal actor: An actor that is external to the enterprise.

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

organization decomposition diagram flows

Figure 3 - Main information flows within the enterprise

business actorBusiness Actor.

business objectBusiness Object.

flowFlow.

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 role allocation

Figure 4 - Roles assumed by actors

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

internal actorInternal actor: An actor that belongs to the enterprise.

external actorExternal 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).

roles played by actors

Figure 4 - Roles assumed by actors

business actorBusiness Actor.

business roleBusiness Role.

assignment linkAssignment.

Figure 5 shows the same kind of model, but presents a great level of detail, focused on one actor. 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 director, his/her responsibilities (business units, managed actors), the business processes that he/she owns, 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 role diagram
Figure 5 - Detailed model of actors, focused on Sales director

goalGoal: This is a goal or objective of the enterprise.

internal actorInternal actor: An actor that belongs to the enterprise.

headquarter locationHeadquarter 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.

bpm macro processBusiness macro process.

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

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

owner of linkOwner of link.

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.

organization role sales director
Figure 5 - Detailed model of actors, focused on Sales director

business actorBusiness Actor.

locationLocation.

business processBusiness Process.

assignment linkAssignment link.

influence linkInfluence link.

goalGoal.

association linkAssociation link.

aggregation linkAggregation link.

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