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Models, Documents, and Source Code Let's start with understanding the relationships between models, documents, source code, and documentation, something depicted in Figure 1. From AM's point of view a document is any artifact external to source code whose purpose is to convey information in a persistent manner. This is different from the concept of a model, which is an abstraction that describes one or more aspects of a problem or a potential solution addressing a problem.

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AgileModeling Agile Modeling AM is a practice-based methodology for effective modeling and documentation of software-based systems. As you see in Figure 1 AM is meant to be tailored into other, full-fledged methodologies such as XP or RUPenabling you to develop a software process which truly Active essays on the web your needs.

In fact, this tailoring work has already been done for you in the form of the Disciplined Agile Delivery DAD process framework.

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AM enhances other software processes. The values of AM, adopting and extending those of eXtreme Programming v1, are communicationsimplicityfeedbackcourageand humility.

An Introduction to Agile Modeling

The keys to modeling success are to have effective communication between all project stakeholders, to strive to develop the simplest solution possible that meets all of your needs, to obtain feedback regarding your efforts often and early, to have the courage to make and stick to your decisions, and to have the humility to admit that you may not know everything, that others have value to add to your project efforts.

AM is based on a collection of principlessuch as the importance of assuming simplicity when you are modeling and embracing change as you are working because requirements will change over time.

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You should recognize that incremental change of your system over time enables agility and that you should strive to obtain rapid feedback on your work to ensure that it accurately reflects the needs of your project stakeholders.

Furthermore, you need multiple models in your intellectual toolkit to be effective. A critical concept is that models are not necessarily documents, a realization that enables you travel light by discarding most of your models once they have fulfilled their purpose.

Agile modelers believe that content is more important than representationthat there are many ways you can model the same concept yet still get it right. To be an effective modeler you need to recognize that open and honest communication is often the best policy to follow to ensure effective teamwork.

Finally, a focus on quality work is important because nobody likes to produce sloppy work and that local adaptation of AM to meet the exact needs of your environment is important.

Fundamental practices include creating several models in parallelapplying the right artifact s for the situation, and iterating to another artifact to continue moving forward at a steady pace. Modeling in small incrementsand not attempting to create the magical "all encompassing model" from your ivory tower, is also fundamental to your success as an agile modeler.

Because models are only abstract representations of software, abstractions that may not be accurate, you should strive to prove it with code to show that your ideas actually work in practice and not just in theory Active stakeholder participation is critical to the success of your modeling efforts because your project stakeholders know what they want and can provide you with the feedback that you require.

The principle of assume simplicity is a supported by the practices of creating simple content by focusing only on the aspects that you need to model and not attempting to creating a highly detailed model, depicting models simply via use of simple notations, and using the simplest tools to create your models.

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You travel light by single sourcing informationdiscarding temporary models and updating models only when it hurts. Communication is enabled by displaying models publiclyeither on a wall or internal web site, through collective ownership of your project artifacts, through applying modeling standardsand by modeling with others.

Your development efforts are greatly enhanced when you apply patterns gently. Because you often need to integrate with other systems, including legacy databases as well as web-based services, you will find that you need to formalize contract models with the owners of those systems.

I would argue that AM is an agile approach to modeling, that at its core AM is simply a collection of practices that reflect the principles and values shared by many experienced software developers. With an Agile Model Driven Development AMDD see Figure 2 approach you typically do just enough high-level modeling at the beginning of a project to understand the scope and potential architecture of the system, and then during development iterations you do modeling as part of your iteration planning activities and then take a just in time JIT model storming approach where you model for several minutes as a precursor to several hours of coding.

Another way to look at Agile Modeling is as a collection of core practicesas you see in Figure 3. The best practices of Agile Modeling.by Milton Friedman Introduction, Leonard Read’s delightful story, “I, Pencil,” has become a classic, and deservedly so.

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