Home > Sample chapters

Visual Models for Software Requirements: Selecting Models for a Project

  • 7/15/2012

Thinking About the Audience

Consider who the audience is when you select your models. All RML models are designed to be understood and used by all audiences. However, when you ask someone to review or use models, you should still select models that are most appropriate to them.

  • Asking a vice president to review models that are very detailed might not be a good use of her time. Conversely, creating only very high-level models for developers and testers to use will not provide them with enough information to do their jobs.

  • You might find that business stakeholders have a hard time telling you all of the systems and their integrations, whereas architects might not be very familiar with business processes or how the product manager intends users to use the system.

Regardless of who creates, reviews, and uses the models, you should make sure that your development teams are aware of the full set of models and requirements that you do create. Models linked to requirements provide additional information beyond just the checklist of requirements to be developed. Although models represent a way to organize and present information, it is still necessary to verbally communicate with all stakeholders to ensure that they understand the material. Handing over models without discussing them with the technical teams is a recipe for failure. You will never be able to capture every iota of information in the models.

Table 25-2 describes the most common stakeholder audience scenarios. The types of stakeholders who will directly help with creating a model are marked with a C, those who will be more likely to only review what you give them are marked with R, and those who probably won’t use it at all are blank. The analyst is not listed in this table because it is assumed that he will help create and review all models.

Table 25-2 Model Use by Audience Type

Model

Business

Technical

Executive

Objectives Models

Business Objectives Model

C

R

C

Objective Chain

C

R

R

Key Performance Indicator Model (KPIM)

C

R

R

Feature Tree

C

R

R

Requirements Mapping Matrix (RMM)

R

R

People Models

Org Chart

C

C

R

Process Flow

C

C

R

Use Case

C

R

Roles and Permissions Matrix

C

R

Systems Models

Ecosystem Map

R

C

R

System Flow

R

C

UI Flow

C

C

Display-Action-Response (DAR) model

C

R

Decision Table

C

R

Decision Tree

C

R

System Interface Table

C

C

Data Models

Business Data Diagram (BDD)

C

R

Data Flow Diagram (DFD)

R

C

Data Dictionary

C

C

State Table

C

C

State Diagram

C

C

Report Table

C

C

R