ERAF Systems Diagram

Entities, Relations, Attributes, and Flows.

Systems thinking. Have you ever had to tackle a complex problem? This type of visualization helps clarify relationships between elements within a system. It’s a rather intuitive process that often gets left behind by long conversations.



I recently tried this when consulting  for, a Human Rights organization in NYC. Our conversation had been circling around their multi-sided platform and where users were getting stuck. After drawing it out, we all circled around and the conversation began to dig deeper as we pointed at the diagram.

IMG_0199As you can see above, this diagram only has Entities and Flows, no Attributes or Relations. Something I’ll keep in mind and add next time.


This method was originally learned from the 101 Design Methods Book:
Kumar, V. (2013). 101 design methods: A structured approach for driving innovation in your organization. Pages 146-147. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.