What is a Model
Why do people want to generate or create a model?
There are various reasons why CxO's, managers and project workers in a company generate or create models.
A few of them are:
- Viewing a system from different perspectives.
- Reducing the chance of miscommunication on what is what when discussing a problem or solution, especially when things are getting abstract.
- Improving understanding at a large scale in a group or organization about how a business, service, product, process, application or system is structured or organized.
- Being able to investigate and resolve risky and unwanted dependencies and relationships in a business, service, product, process, application or system.
- Making people such as vendors, employees and new workers much more knowledgeable on a specific topic in less time.
- A model allows you to communicate visually and effectively with other people about something complex, instead of having an abstract discussion.
There are many more reasons to generate and create models, but these touches on very important ones.
Benefits of generating a model over creating or drawing it are:
- Much higher productivity. You can generate a number of models in a few seconds. Drawing a single model often takes much more time than a few minutes.
- There are more people who will be able to generate models than who are able to create models. Less knowledge and skills are needed.
- You avoid errors that can be made by typing over a list of entities, relationships and attribute names and values.
- Created or drawn models often have fewer details, such as populated attributes.
- When generating a model all the focus is on data collecting and improving data quality.
- New versions of the model can be realized much more quickly. Like maybe even in real-time. Redrawing a model always takes up more time.
And also here there are many more benefits of generating a model overdrawing or creating it.
What are Models?
In Dragon1, you have the ability to work with models.
In short, a model is a set of related entities.
More precise, a model is a set of related entities that represents a part of the real world, phenomenon, object, process, system, or concept in order to be able to study better and communicate better about that part of the real world, phenomenon, object, process, system, or concept.
A model is often a perception and simplification of what is observed.
Every line that connects two shapes represents a relationship and every shape represents an entity.
A model is a simplified representation of a part of the real world in order to communicate effectively about it.
If you look at a company, a company often has goods, products, and services that are a result of the business processes. These processes consist of people with skills using applications other means and facilities.
All the nouns used in the paragraph above here qualify as entities that are part of a company. And if we do an inventory of the types of entities, like the type of products, services, processes, with that we can create a model, or technically speaking, a user model.
Suppose the company produces and sells eco-friendly shoes made from waste materials. the waste materials, the production process and the shoe products are related. This is what we call a dependency relationship. This type of relationship is important because if the company runs out of waste materials, it can no longer produce eco-friendly shoes. So the company should focus on always having enough waste materials in time to produce enough shoes to meet the demands of the market.
All entities in a company are related to other entities. Almost anything is related to anything else, directly or indirectly. It is up to the modeler to find out what entities and relationships are important to model, with regards to the goal or usage of the model.
Shoes have a product name, id and colors and processes have an identity and take time and materials have an identity and cost money. All these characteristics of entities we call the attributes of entities. In a model, we always want to capture to most important attributes, because that will enable us to really measure, analyze and improve the quality of parts of the company.
Types of Models
With regards to enterprise architecture the following top 30 models are often of interest to make. And for each of these models Dragon1 provides a reference example:
- governance model (reporting model)
- operations model or business model
- strategy model (Balanced Score Card)
- organization structure model
- skills or competences model
- transformation model and projects portfolio model
- architecture concepts model
- architecture principles model
- architecture solutions model
- standards model
- eco system model
- stakeholder model
- supply chain model or network model
- data model
- applications model
- application model
- it infrastructure model
- customer journey model
- processes model
- process model
- functions model
- services model
- capabilities model
- products model
- contracts model
- legislation model
- technologies model
- security model
- robotization model
- smart cities model
Of course there are many more models to think of and combinations of these models. You can can create and generate any model you like. Some models will be more like overviews of a subject and some models will be more like detailed insights into a subject.
Did you know that if you create a good model of the supply chain of a hospital, you can help to reduce shortages of equipment in that hospital?