Creating a Business Model: Walk the Walls!
In running facilitated sessions, we like to create each kind of business model on a different wall. We find that the physical act of walking or shifting focus from one wall to another helps participants rapidly grasp and remember what each wall represents. It also helps business leads and Business Analysts identify disconnects and gaps in the business solution more readily.
We call this walking the walls. Our definition: managing complexity in developing a business model by figuratively, and as much as possible literally, addressing each primitive as a separate concern (i.e., on a different wall)
In physically walking the walks, we usually put business process model(s) on the left wall and the structured business vocabulary (concept model) on the right wall. On the front wall we put reminders about the strategy for the business solution (Policy Charter) and on the back wall we capture business rules.
Aside: Business rules go on the back wall to help resist the temptation of wordsmithing, which is better done offline.
In an ideal world, there would be one surface for each of the six primitives of the Zachman Architecture Framework. (Alas the ceiling and floor are hard to use.) Business rules, serving as integration relationships, would occupy the 3D space between the six surfaces (even harder to use!). Our approach approximates the notions well enough in practice.
Tags: business analysis, business model, business requirements, facilitation, managing complexity
Ronald G. Ross
Ron Ross, Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rules Solutions, LLC, is internationally acknowledged as the “father of business rules.” Recognizing early on the importance of independently managed business rules for business operations and architecture, he has pioneered innovative techniques and standards since the mid-1980s. He wrote the industry’s first book on business rules in 1994.