Requirements Analysis Using Event/Response and Use Cases – Event Discovery Part 3

Planning

This is the third part in the series on Event discovery. In the first two parts I covered discovering Events using the Context Diagram and the Outputs listed on the Event List. In this post, I will cover using a technique known as “State-Transition”.

In specific cases of analysis where there is a central entity that moves to a variety of “states” during its life, the State-Transition diagram can be very useful in discovering Events. Let us take the example of a retail product where the project sponsor wishes to track the product in all of its possible states. The following are possible examples of the states of this product:

  • Designed
  • Ordered]
  • Manufactured
  • Shipped / In-Transit
  • Arrived at Distribution Center
  • In Inventory
  • Allocated to Store
  • Packed
  • Shipped to Store
  • Arrived in Store
  • Available for Sale
  • Sold

Each of these states has a corresponding Event that causes the product to transition from one state to the next. For example, the transition from “In Inventory” to “Allocated to Store” could be triggered by the data event “Store Inventory Level for this Product drops below reorder point”. Now that you have the Event, you can fill in the rest of the row on the Event List in discussion with the SME’s (Subject Matter Experts).

Note that it is possible and allowed for an Entity in a given State to transition to more than one possible State, depending on the Event. For example, an Employee can transition to a new job (via promotion or transfer) or transition to full-time or part-time, or transition to terminated.

Knowing all of the relevant States of an Entity can be very useful to filling out the Event List in certain analysis situations.

In the next post, I will present another Event discovery technique involving the life cycle of key Entities.

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