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 Regional Contact

Christian Förster
MFG Innovation Agency for ICT and Media

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Modelling Guidelines

As models are used as a knowledge communication and collaboration platform both for humans and machines, their creation and documentation must follow thorough guidelines. 

Models address a wide array of possible questions - as presented in the graph below - thus structuring them in a easy communicable, comparable and understandable way in of vital importance for their acceptance in user communities, inlcuding those dealing with ITSM. 

How to model?

The Modelling Guidelines, where developed, at the University of Münster (Research Group Prof. Becker) in 1995, in analogy to the "Principles of Orderly Bookkeeping". They are a method-independent framework offering six principles of orderly modelling, which ensure a high model quality. 

 (1) Principle of Correctness

  Requires models to be both syntactically and semantically corect. 
  Consistency must exist both within the model and between different models. 

 (2) Principle  of Relevance

  The model has to achieve the modelling goals (which requires explicit    

   Important aspects:
   (a) What is being modeled? (which part of reality), and
   (b) How it is being modeled? (which level of abstraction). 

   A model should contain as much information as required and as little
   information as possible. 

 (3) Principle of Economic

   Whatever effort is necessary to model something which is higher than the
   benefit/ROI of the model, should lead to a change or dropping of the
   modelling goal. 

 (4) Principle of Clarity

  Requires that models have a clear structure (e.g. all models are modeled
  in the same direction) and that they are intuitively accesible (comprehensible).

  Clarity requires also that models are readable (e.g. the names of objects are 
  not to long, they are descriptive and clear in the context of the model used). 

 (5) Principle of

  Refers to comparability between

  • the current state and the desired/target state of the model
  • the current state of the model and a reference model. 

  Comparability can only be determined relative to other models. 

 (6) Principle of Methodic

  Demands for integration of different model views: 

  • A common, view-overlapping metamodel is required. 
  • Thus when creating an isolated view, this has trade-offs for other views. 

  The principle requires the consistent use of modelling elements. 


Training material

 Please use the training material below in order to get yourself acquainted with the specific application of the modelling guidelines,    during your concrete work.  

 Training Material Modelling Guidelines