Home / Model Expert Homepage / Support for EA Modelling With Model Expert / Insights / A model without validation is just some pictures

A model without validation is just some pictures

Why you need your models to be validated.

Models and Model Validation

Models are a great way to organize complex, multi-dimensional information. They help us to make sense of our organization in a way which spreadsheets and Visio diagrams never can.

But there’s a price to pay for all this well-structured information. A model may take 100s or 1,000s of hours to create, and a many more to maintain.

So it make sense, just like for any other product which our organization spends money to create, we need to make sure what we’ve created has the appropriate quality. And it’s amazing how few organizations, having spent 10,000s or 100,000s of (Euro, dollars, pounds) on a model don’t the spend a few 1,000 more to make sure it’s right.

In this article, we talk about content and mechanical quality, and the ways we can check for both:

  • Content quality can only be determined by the owner of the information
  • Mechical quality is some this we, the modelers, can work out.

For example, only the owner of a requirement can say that ‘All wibble shall be blue’ is the correct requirement.

That’s content quality.

As modelers, can check the mechanical quality:

  • Does the requirement have owner?
  • A business priority value, which is consnstent with the business priority values we always use?
  • Does it have a unique reference?
  • We might also check:
    • Is it part of some project, or a generic requirement oned by the business as a whole?
    • Is the requirement linked to some kind of businee goal? If not, why it even a requirement?

All these things can be checked mechanically. It’s just a question of writing down what our measure of quality are, and getting a tool to do the boring checking.

Consumers will thank you

A critical reason to check mechanical quality is that downstream consumers of your model information will depend on it being in a predictable format.

So an eaDocX document can create fantastic, readable documents, quickly and easily. And EA can create documents too. But both will only produce valid outputs if the information in your model is consitent. And a Prolaborate dashboard widget will be configured to look for specific values in specific fields. So if you decided to save the priority of your requirements in your own ‘Bus priority’ tagged value, and everyone else is using the ‘Priority’ field, then documents or dashboards based on your bit of the model will have a blank space. Or if you forget to link each requirement to an owning stakeholder, then you’ll no ony have blank space, but an ownerless requirement. *

And that may have implications later on in your project, and cost 1000s to fix.


* I’m using ‘Requirement’ as the example here just because most projects have them. Replace ‘requirement’ with your most important type of element.

More Insights

Using Derived Connectors to simplify your models

7 June 2023

..and make them more valuable

Learn More

Technical and Content-quality

1 June 2023

Maintain quality with tools to find and fix mechanical errors in your modeling

Learn More

Top 11 model quality tips for Sparx EA modelers

3 November 2022

Discover new insights into your model, and spot and resolve problems.

Learn More

How to get your EA models ready for Prolaborate

6 July 2022

To make the most of Prolaborate it's a good idea to start by doing some housekeeping

Learn More

Step by step to a tailored UI for Enterprise Architect

28 March 2022

The 'out-of-the-box' EA element properties window can be intimidating for a new user, and it's easy to get overwhelmed, miss critical data, or more...

Learn More

Only Connect - Exploring traceability in Sparx EA models

1 November 2021

This webinar looks at the importance of consistency to get value from traceability.

Learn More

Webinar - How to improve model quality and consistency

16 June 2020

This webinar from the EA Global Summit 2020 provides hints and tips for managing models as they grow.

Learn More

Hard and Soft

11 October 2017

No, not about Brexit… More about styles of Business Analyst.

Learn More

Model curation techniques for EA

6 September 2016

How cleaning, navigating and validating your EA model makes sharing and collaborating much more effective.

Learn More

Compare licence prices

Choose the licence that’s right for you and your team


Download Model Expert

Take a free, no obligation, 30-day trial of Model Expert.  Model Expert is part of eaTeamWorks, so you can also trial eaDocX, Revision Manager, eaSheets and PortfolioManager. Plus free for life features. Discover for yourself why it’s the world’s best-selling Enterprise Architect extension.