This paper tries to establish an analysis and design method for internationally intelligible Japanese business manuals compilation, using a theory of transformation between a natural language and a systems language which consists of DFDs (Data Flow Diagrams), ERDs (Entity Relationship Diagrams) and Mini-specs. In Japanese enterprises nowadays, business manuals are virtually a kind of policy statement or a list of “kitei”, or regulations which do not specify detailed business procedures. On the other hand, a typical American business manual defines step-by-step business processes in greater detail. Moreover, unlike American companies, Japanese enterprises are not utilizing business manuals for the purpose of analyzing and design of computer systems and software. Recently, however, because of the now de facto global standards in terms of quality control (ISO9000s), environment protection (ISO14000s) and accounting procedures (IAS) or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) computer application package which contains some parts of these standards, Japanese enterprises have come to realize the importance of incorporating American style business manuals. With this background in mind, this paper firstly defines the major characteristics essential for an “ideal” business manual that on the one hand takes into consideration current global business standards and on the other hand is compatible with the notion of systems analysis or design. Also, optimal business manual written in a natural language should be able to be transformed automatically into systems language expressed in DFDs and ERDs and Mini-specs. Finally this paper tries to establish a transformation theory called Structured Manuals Analysis and Design Theory. First of all, in researching preceding works related to systems language, this paper found that the current systems languages are designed to easily be translated directly from natural language (English) with only several basic transformation rules. Secondly, this paper found that the structure of a typical American business manual is closely related and coherent to the structure of a systems language, i.e. the policy part corresponding to ERD, the procedure part to the DFD and the process part to the Mini-spec. Thirdly, to apply the transformation rules to manuals written in the Japanese language, this paper utilizes such linguistic concepts as “surface structure” and “deep structure” (N.Chomsky) with “structured inter-language” which will be defined precisely later in this paper. To convert a natural language into the systems language, the structured inter-language supported by “Deep Case Theory” (C.Fillmore) plays the most important role in terms of verifying the semantic equivalence between natural and systems languages. Finally this conversion theory is computerized into a software package named SMAD (Structured Manuals Analysis and Design). The SMAD has already been successfully applied to Japanese enterprises’ business procedures and proven to be valid. The transformation theory also covers reverse transformation, i.e. from the systems language into a natural language – in our case, English or Japanese. Although there are some points to be improved, the transformation theory will contribute to Japanese enterprises that are about to be globalized by letting them utilize an effective business procedure manual.
Masuzawa, Yoichi, "On Structured Manuals Analysis and Design for Japanese Enterprises" (2000). AMCIS 2000 Proceedings. 296.