Information flow diagram

Information flow diagram

An information flow diagram (IFD) is an illustration of information flow throughout an organisation. An IFD shows the relationship between external and internal information flows between an organisation. It also shows the relationship between the internal departments, sub-system, sub-systems. Peter Checkland, a British management scientist, identifies that information flows between the different elements that compose the system. He also defines a system as a 'community situated within an environment'.

The Information Flow Diagram (IFD) is one of the simplest tools used to document findings from the requirements determination process. They are used for a number of purposes:1. to document the main flows of information around the organisation;2. for the analyst to check that he/she has understood those flows and that none has been omitted;3. the analyst may use them during the fact-finding process itself as an acurate and efficient way to document findings as they are identified;4. as a high-level (not detailed) tool to document information flows within the organisation as a whole or a lower-level tool to document an individual functional area of the business.

ee also

* Information systems
* Systems thinking

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