Agile Modelling with Sparx Enterprise Architect

Welcome to 2016 and some exciting developments at Object Training!

Agile software development is now mainstream. More and more projects are now conducted using some agile variant. A question often posed by attendees of our UML Modelling courses is, how do you resolve the generally time-consuming and labour-intensive practice of producing and maintaining analysis and design artifacts with the collaborative and lightweight emphasis of agile? As it turns out, the answer is not in what we as modellers do, but in why and how we do it.

This why and how was codified by Scott Ambler in the practice known as Agile Modelling. He discussed the reasons behind why we produce models and introduced an agile mindset in building the simplest and most effective models needed to achieve the intended purpose. He proposed principles and practices for producing and maintaining just-in-time artifacts in a collaborative and evolutionary manner.

While the principle of “Travel Light” and the practice of “Use the Simplest Tools” would imply that whiteboards and flipcharts would suffice, larger teams and/or more complex projects would almost certainly require the selection and proper application of a modelling case tool. A tool repository can easily maintain a “Single Source Information”. Collective ownership and tight collaboration is aided by a tool with concurrency control features and versioning. A good tool should also be able to support traceability when working with multiple aspects of a model or models.

Agile modelling also requires flexibility in a tool such that anything from the simplest of throw-away diagrams to formal artifacts can be produced and maintained as needed. Active stakeholder participation requires the ability to publicly display the most current model for all to see and discuss, and a tool that can produce hyperlinked representations of the model, or even publish to a wiki, would be very useful. Finally, a tool that supports forward engineering and simulation will allow executable prototypes to be generated from the model for spiking and/or proof of concept.

One of the most feature-rich and popular modelling case tools that would easily provide such support is Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect. In addition, the tool supports a multitude of modelling languages which include UML2, SysML, BPMN2, Archimate, and architectural frameworks/templates like the Zachman Framework, TOGAF, UPDM2, DoDAF and MODAF.

At Object Training, we have noticed the increasing adoption and popularity of Enterprise Architect based on the growing number of Enterprise Architect training courses that we ran during 2015, in both public and in-house courses. We have two standard UML-based Enterprise Architect courses for Business Analysts and Software Developers respectively. We also have a SysML version for Systems Engineers on request, and, of course we also have modelling courses based on UML and BPMN2. Please refer to our 2016 Course Schedule

For those of you who have already completed our UML Modelling and Sparx EA Training course, you may want to check out Agile Modelling in more detail.

And please contact us if you have any queries about our courses on 1300 360 203 or info@objecttraining.com.au

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