Henry Ford

Henry Ford


How to Model a Process Part Two

First off sorry that it has taken me a little bit longer then expected to come up with part two.  Let's begin shall we.


At each step in the process or workflow you need to determine what information is collected, displayed, allowed to be modified, validation rules, business rules the list is a bit long.

Let's start at the smallest unit at least in our system, the question.

You need to determine a lot about a question and its corresponding answer.  At a minimum you need to determine:

  1. What it should look like
  2. Where it should appear on the page
  3. Is this question repeated
  4. How should it be stored in a database
  5. Where should it be stored in a database
  6. How does it behave / business rules
  7. Does it react to answers supplied to other questions
  8. Does is have default or automatically calculated values
  9. Does it have a list of static or dynamic options available as answers
  10. Who gets to see, edit the answer

Once you have determined all the questions being asked you need to group them together so they can be stored in the database in a logical way. 

Here you need to determine if the groups of questions you are asking are answered only once, an indeterminate amount, a determinate amount.  This contributes to how you should layout the group of questions on the form. 

You may also need to determine if logically one group of questions can be considered as having a parent-child relationship with another group of questions.


In other steps of the process you may need some sort of data manipulation to happen.  I.e. data is translated from one system to another and back again.  The main things you need to be asking yourself are:

  1. For each column (or field) what is it, how is it stored, does it need to be parsed in some way and where is it going.
  2. For each row (or record) does it need to be broken into multiple records in the new system or do multiple rows or records need to be combined in some way into the new system.


In these types of gates where information is displayed or sent to users the questions you need answered are simply:

  1. What do you want to see
  2. How do you want it presented (layout, color etc)
  3. Who do you want to see it
  4. When do you want them to see it
  5. By which method (email, webpage) do you want it presented