5 Must Dos for Successful Modelling on Agile Projects


Models are a vital part of any Agile BA toolkit and come in many shapes and forms.

The purpose of modelling is typically to:

Improve visibility, create transparency, generate questions,  define business rules, check completeness & crosscheck consistency.

toolkit 2

Models are:

  • An early and low cost means of checking that the project is on the right track.
  • Referred to as the solution develops and updated as and when required.
  • A means of communicating with project stakeholders.

Let’s take a look at 5 must do things when it comes to successfully modelling on an Agile project.

 1. Iterate levels of detail

In terms of value, there’s no need to create the ‘perfect’ model, bursting at the seams with detail in the early stages.  Start simple and build your model up throughout the project.

2. Build collaboratively

By developing your model iteratively and collaboratively with business users and other members of your team, you will bring greater understanding of the problem and help inform iterative development of the solution.

3. Make sure models are fit for purpose

This may seem obvious but it’s crucial.  Select the best option based on your particular scenario.  What do you hope to achieve from the model?  Will it provide the result you need?

 4. Understand the audience

Agile projects work with teams of mixed specialisms and experience, and as such, you will have to consider the wide range of skills your audience processes in order to gain full effectiveness of your modelling approach.

5. Consider the following perspectives:

  • What: The information within the solution area, data, relationships and business rules.
  • How: The functions, features and processes within the solution area.
  • Where: The locations in which the solution operates.
  • Who: The people – customers, users, stakeholders, suppliers.
  • When: The events of importance to the business (times and scheduling).
  • Why: The business needs & objectives, business value & strategy as related to the project

Lets take a look at some common modelling techniques:

Modelling TechniqueMain Focus
Business Canvas/Lean CanvasStakeholders, Goals
Business Domain Model (Class Diagram)Data, Business Rules
Business Process Diagrams (using swim lanes)Process, Locations, Actors
Context (Scoping) DiagramScope of study or change
Customer Journey MappingEvents



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