For those of us who do business analysis (BA) work in laboratory informatics, whether as a full-time BA or as just one of the many tasks we perform on projects, I usually run into the most basic of tools.

Last night, I attended a meeting of the Cleveland Chapter of the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) to learn about a different tool for gathering business process information called “decision modeling.”

First off, why bother with a new tool, at all, some would ask? Here’s a question to that question: have you ever sent two business analysts to model the same process and gotten two different results? The answer to that is often “yes” and decision modeling is supposed to prevent that. In fact, decision modeling is also supposed to be much easier to understand for all involved, which helps get more and quicker buy-in. It’s supposed to work with all methodologies, including Lean and six-sigma.

The idea behind it is that you have criteria and conditions and each of them is simplified to the atomic level (which means that it can’t be simplified any further and still have meaning). Because it’s decision-based, it removes any order to steps that was meaningless, which means that the process is simplified.

While most of us are doing BA work that’s fairly simple and can be done without a new tool, if you’re looking for something that can help you with larger tasks, this could be useful to you. However, the speaker at the meeting told us that decision modeling is appropriate for everything and that even small tasks are improved by using it, especially where it comes to presenting your work to others. If you’re interested, this is all based on this book:

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises