Using Software Requirements Models Together for Completeness

We’ve done a bit of writing on the use of requirements models, but there is much less information out there about using requirements models together. Klaas Sikkel presented a paper on this topic, “Teaching consistency of UML specifications” at REET10 that inspired me to do some writing on the topic. Klaas’s paper was more focused on how to teach someone to do this consistency checking with UML models, while my thoughts today are more about how to use RML® models together for consistency and completeness.

First of all, it’s important to understand that models complement each other and rarely should be used alone. One model might provide information that is missing in another. And there are some natural complements of models that are often used together. The key thing to realize is that all models have limitations, so you should use several to get the full picture.

For example, Data Flow Diagrams (DFDs) and Swimlane Process Flow compliment each other. The DFD might show all of the data, data stores, and data consumers, but there is no indication of the order in which data flows or when all of this happens. The Swimlane Process Flow might show how (and the order in which) the data stores and consumers interact, but this would be a limited picture associated with a single process.

To see the samples and continue reading this blog post:…

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