The posts in this series so far have covered identifying External Events, which in most cases will constitute the majority of your Events. There are two other types of Events you also need to identify:
- Time-based Events
- System State Events
To identify Time-based Events you can simply ask your SME’s (Subject Matter Experts) if there are any processes that run based on time (e.g. “every X hours/days/weeks/months”, “First Monday of every month”, “Every other Friday”, etc). Some Events that run based on time are only done so due to technical limitations, either real or perceived. You do not want to classify these Events as time-based. For example, if they say “We run an interface from our HR system to our Time-Keeping system every two hours”, that is a choice, not a requirement. In an ideal world, those two systems would always be instantaneously in sync. Do not let technical limitations limit your requirements.
An example of a good time-based requirement is “We submit monthly tax reports to state and local governments”. The timing is a requirement of External Entities and must be honored.
System-State Events can be identified when you are reviewing the relevant data elements. You can ask if any change in the value of an element automatically triggers a process. For example, in an inventory system a System-State Event might be “When the on-hand quantity reaches 5, a reorder is triggered”. In an HR system, a promotion would trigger events related to pay, benefits, organization, etc.
Once you have added the Time-based Events and the System-State Events to the External Events in your Event Model, it is time to validate the model. That will be the subject of Part 8 in this series.
Note: My Kindle book “Project Management For The Real World”, is available at