The Process Model Paradigm

The Process Model Paradigm presumes that the Process Management Model holds at a project’s context level. The context process will never be only a customer or only a supplier.

The Process Model Paradigm addresses one of the most common analysis defects: Failure to recognize all of the relevant external agents to a process early enough in analysis to prevent significant project scope changes during design. The paradigm implies several rules which can be used to test a Context Data Flow Diagram. Defects pointed out by these tests should be corrected before further analysis is conducted on the context process.


The context process must have:

Inbound Requirements Data Flow(s) - Every process must be a supplier. As a supplier, it must have an incoming set of requirements to which to conform.

Outbound Conformance Data Flow(s) - Every process must be a supplier. Quality is conformance to requirements! To be a quality process, it must conform to the inbound requirements flow.

Outbound Requirements Data Flow(s) - Every process must be a customer. For a process to be able to add value it must ask for external help.

Inbound Conformance Data Flow(s) - As a customer, its supplier must conform to requirements. It must receive the external help that it asks for.

The Process Model Paradigm implies a process which, if followed, helps assure that all of the necessary requirements have been identified. There is no guarantee of it though! The paradigm is only a tool. It helps do the job, but doesn't remove the responsibility from the analyst to conduct a complete analysis.

The paradigm assures that at least two external agents are identified, but if there are in fact more than that in a complex project (and this is usually the case), there may still be some information missing after applying the paradigm.

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