What is a Model

Why do people want to generate or create a model?

There are various reasons why CxOs, 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 touch on very important ones.

Benefits of generating a model over creating or drawing it are:

  • Much higher productivity. You can generate several models in a few seconds. Drawing a single model often takes much more time than a few minutes.
  • More people will be able to generate models than those who can 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 can 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 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 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, and 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, concerning the goal or usage of the model.

Shoes have a product name, id, and color, 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 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:

  1. governance model (reporting model)
  2. operations model or business model
  3. strategy model (Balanced Score Card)
  4. organization structure model
  5. skills or competencies model
  6. transformation model and projects portfolio model
  7. architecture concepts model
  8. architecture principles model
  9. architecture solutions model
  10. standards model
  11. eco system model
  12. stakeholder model
  13. supply chain model or network model
  14. data model
  15. applications model
  16. application model
  17. it infrastructure model
  18. customer journey model
  19. processes model
  20. process model
  21. functions model
  22. services model
  23. capabilities model
  24. products model
  25. contracts model
  26. legislation model
  27. technologies model
  28. security model
  29. robotization model
  30. smart cities model

Of course there are many more models to think of and combinations of these models. You 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?

Interesting Things to Discover

Discover more pages to help you discover interesting things you can do with Dragon1 software.