Visual Modeling - Start simple, Start messy !

A shared vision is the answer to the question, "What do we want to create?"

Visuals can be used as tools for eliciting requirements. This technique will help conducting discussions on topics for which we are seeking clarity.

Visuals act as metaphors for our life situations, our goals, our hopes, our dreams, and our ideas. People tend to think in patterns, which are how we organize, create, and execute processes. Patterns are most easily understood visually.

Use visual models to facilitate understanding

  • Visual models minimize prep time required and present the material in a format that is easy for stakeholders to understand. One thing that has worked well with my team is to distill the functional requirements/user stories/whatever into a few slides of visuals with process flows and mock-ups with callouts showing conceptually how the requirements would be met in the system.
  • This gives the stakeholders a chance to see the requirements in a context they understand without having to go through the jigsaw-like exercise of piecing together a cohesive view of what we’re trying to accomplish from tens or hundreds of hierarchical requirements.

What the customer really needed?