Before undertaking any activity with significant costs, it’s important to ask: “Why are we doing this?” This is just as much the case with modeling as with any other activity. Modeling an architecture is hard work – understanding the modeling language, making decisions about how much detail to put into the models, creating the models and then maintaining them… it’s all overhead. Apart from anything else, all models are incomplete because there’s always more details that could be included (“all models are wrong, some are useful”, or if you prefer, “the map is not the territory”). The reality is that models will provide an incomplete picture and involve effort in their creation. So it’s a reasonable question to ask – why would we expend all this effort? What benefits do we foresee?
The classic answer would be along the lines of “To gain a better understanding of the organization so that we can make decisions better.” Which is true, but it doesn’t answer provide much of a basis for a business case. More to the point, it doesn’t provide enough direction. When I’ve come into an organization and found remnants of previous models, it’s always been the same story – the models weren’t maintained, they fell out of use… and invariably the same original reason for creating the models existed - “To gain a better understanding of the organization so that we can make decisions better.”
In this white paper, Peter Harrad looks into the problems facing enterprise modeling at the early stages.