DEFINITION of 'Functional Decomposition'
A method of business analysis that dissects a complex business process to show its individual elements. Functional decomposition is used to facilitate the understanding and management of large and/or complex processes and can be used to help solve problems. Functional decomposition is also used in computer engineering to help with software design.
BREAKING DOWN 'Functional Decomposition'
Basically, functional decomposition takes something complicated and simplifies it. The individual elements of the process and their hierarchical relationship to each other are commonly displayed in a diagram called a functional decomposition diagram. Other common business methods for simplifying complex problems and processes include decision trees, which allow users to consider multiple possible solutions to a problem, and flow charts, which show the sequence of a process.