I recommend setting up the Event List using Excel. Remember, when I refer to your “business” it means the scope of the area under study. Here are the columns you will need along with their descriptions:
- Event ID – use a numbering system for your Events so they will be easy to track thru design and testing. I use a scheme where the main number puts the event in context and a number after the decimal point is just a sequential number within that context. For example, Event ID 3.1 where “3” represents sales events and “.1” is the first event in that context.
- “When This Happens” – this is a brief description of the event that causes your “business” to react with a planned response. For example, “Customer initiates check out”.
- “This Source” – one or two nouns describing the entity responsible for directly providing data/information to your “business”. Examples are “Associate” or “Customer”. This will match your “Suppliers” on the Context Diagram.
- “Gives Us This” – a brief description of the data/information being provided. Examples are “Time off request” or “Product ID”. This will match the input arrows on your Context Diagram.
- “Then We Do This” – the name of the business process(es) you will execute to respond to this event. For example “Time off request approved/denied” or “Record Sale”.
- “Which Creates This” – the permanent output(s) of the business process(es). For example “Time off approval” or “Product Inventory Update”. This will match your output arrows on the Context Diagram.
- “And Is Given To…” – The recipients of the output(s). These could be systems, departments, roles, or vendors. This will match the “Customers” on your Context Diagram.
Remember to keep the event items free of technical and implementation jargon so that you do not limit your design options. Note my example “Customer Initiates Check Out”. This could be in a store, online or some other means. The “How” will be decided later, in design, and not here.
In the subsequent posts I will show how to do Event Discovery to elicit a complete set of requirements.
Note: My Kindle book “Project Management For The Real World”, is available at