Building a Hierarchical Work Process Model

Many TeamFlow work process models are simple enough that they can easily be built on a single worksheet. Other models are so complex or so lengthy that a flat representation would produce a wall-sized deployment flowchart. Large models that cannot easily be printed on a single sheet of paper are good candidates for being divided into a number of smaller models that may then be connected together to form a hierarchical work process model.

A good mental picture of a hierarchical work process model is to think of a task as some discrete amount of work that one or more team members will perform. This work can conveniently be represented by TeamFlow as a deployment flowchart. Indeed, you can think of any TeamFlow process model as representing the detail work necessary to accomplish some task. Conversely, you can think of any task as the summary representation of an entire TeamFlow process model. The IMF model you just built is no more than the detail of a task whose title might be "Rescue the prisoner".

Each task on the IMF model may represent an entire project. Barney's "Develop Fake Death Serum and Antidote" task may involve laboratory work, meetings with pharmaceutical companies, and several decisions, all being worked by a team that likely will include members not shown on the model you just built. Barney may well be using TeamFlow to model the process of developing the serums necessary for this mission.

TeamFlow allows you to easily build and maintain a hierarchical work process model. One way to do this is to identify an existing task that you want to detail on its own TeamView worksheet and then create the necessary detail.

Click on the task "Develop Fake Death Serum and Antidote" to select it. When you do this, a button in the tool bar that looks like a down arrow superimposed on a TeamView worksheet will become active. This Detail button will navigate down to the detail-level worksheet of the selected task.

Click on the Detail button. A new blank TeamView worksheet will open. The title of the detail-level worksheet is the title of the higher-level summary task that it represents.

Notice that the org chart is unchanged. That is because all the worksheets of a particular TeamFlow model have the same org chart. You may if you wish drag team members into the team field of this worksheet and construct a process model to describe how Barney will accomplish this task exactly as you did earlier for the top-level model.

Now that we are no longer on the top-level worksheet, two more tool-bar buttons have become active. Both buttons appear as an up-arrow superimposed over a TeamView worksheet.

The left button of these two - the one being pointed at in the figure above - is the Return to Summary Level button. This button will navigate upwards one level in the worksheet hierarchy. It provides you with a quick way of getting back to the worksheet that contains the summary task of this detail worksheet. The summary task will be centered in the window and will be selected.

The right button of the two, whose up-arrow bumps against a ceiling, is the Return to Top Level button. This button will navigate upwards all the way to the top-level worksheet. The summary task in whose detail hierarchy this worksheet resides will be centered in the worksheet window and will be selected.

Click either of the up-arrow buttons to return to the top-level worksheet of your IMF model.

Since we will not require access to the org chart for the remainder of the tutorial, we can remove it from the screen to give us more room for the deployment flowchart. The second of the four pane-control toolbar buttons shows both side panes grayed.

Click this button to remove both the org chart and the Gantt chart panes, leaving the deployment flowchart pane to fill the entire window.

Continue with Lesson 2.

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Last Update: October 24, 2005