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Chapter 1. Why We Model

In this chapter

A successful software organization is one that consistently deploys quality software that meets the needs of its users. An organization that can develop such software in a timely and predictable fashion, with an efficient and effective use of resources, both human and material, is one that has a sustainable business.

There's an important implication in this message: The primary product of a development team is not beautiful documents, world-class meetings, great slogans, or Pulitzer prize-winning lines of source code. Rather, it is good software that satisfies the evolving needs of its users and the business. Everything else is secondary.

Unfortunately, many software organizations confuse "secondary" with "irrelevant." To deploy software that satisfies its intended purpose, you have to meet and engage users in a disciplined fashion, to expose the real requirements of your system. To develop software of lasting quality, you have to craft a solid architectural foundation that's resilient to change. To develop software rapidly, efficiently, and effectively, with a minimum of software scrap and rework, you need to have the right people, the right tools, and the right focus. To do all this consistently and predictably, with an appreciation for the lifetime costs of the system, you must have a sound development process that can adapt to the changing needs of your business and technology.

Modeling is a central part of all the activities that lead up to the deployment of good software. We build models to communicate the desired structure and behavior of our system. We build models to visualize and control the system's architecture. We build models to better understand the system we are building, often exposing opportunities for simplification and reuse. And we build models to manage risk.

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