When does a business need to draw Information Flow Models (IFMs)?

IFMs are drawn when the business needs to understand how information flows around an enterprise or between the enterprise and the outside world.

They show how information is created by one Function and used by one or more other Functions within the enterprise. They also show how information created by Functions inside the enterprise is passed to and received from “External Entities”, such as suppliers, customers, government, etc., in the outside world.

An IFM consists of two parts:

An Information Flow Diagram (IFD)
Definitions for each element on the IFD

Elements of an IFD

The following are the only valid elements that can appear on an IFD:

Business Functions:

These will be Business Functions from the Function Catalogue.

External Entities:

These are entities external to the enterprise, such as Customer, Supplier, etc.

Information Flows:

These are the flows of information between Business Functions inside the enterprise or between Business Functions and External Entities.

Title Box:

A box with a Title and a Descriptive Name for the IFD.

Focal Function Box:

A rectangle indicating which Function of the diagram is the Focal Function.

All Business Functions in an IFM must come from the Function Catalogue – so make sure that you build this first (as a good business analyst you will have done that!)

Information Flow Modeling is an essential modeling technique to have in Business Systems Analysis, Business Process Modeling and BPM. However, it is a secondary, rather than primary, model.

The Integrated Modelling Method provides a set of rules an tools to enable you to carry out IF Modelling quickly and effectively.


John J Owens – John is an inspirational business entrepreneur with a unique talent for seeing the simplicity and elegance underlying any enterprise – even if it is hidden …
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Business process modeling