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Visual Models for Software Requirements: Selecting Models for a Project

  • 7/15/2012

Tailoring Models

When you are selecting requirements models, it is possible to get stuck trying to fit information into a structure that is not appropriate. It might be necessary to make small adaptations to the structure of some models based on the specific needs of a project. Each requirement model is flexible enough that the components can be tailored to the specific needs of the project.

The most common types of customization we see are the addition of coloring to highlight particular types of elements or the addition of elements, such as fields to a Data Dictionary or a particular shape from Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) to a Process Flow.

Avoid modifying the models unless it’s absolutely necessary to communicate additional information that the model does not normally contain. If you do need to modify them, do it in such a way that an untrained user can still consume them easily. If a model must be modified, the tailoring should take place before the start of the project rather than during the requirements process, to reduce the amount of rework and to avoid inconsistency in the requirements documentation. Often you might not recognize that a model needs to be modified until you have done a significant amount of work. In those cases, you will have to use your best judgment as to whether it is worth it to go back and fix the prior work.