Home / Model Driven Delivery – Engage


Enagement delivers better outcomes

So you have decided what your deliverables are, harvested lots of great stuff, and done some wonderful modelling, and generated lots of excellent documents. Job done ? Not quite.

You may have the best model ever made, and the finest specification document ever created, but if it’s the first thing your stakeholders have seen from you, they might not be impressed.

But you won’t do that – you’ll be interacting with your stakeholders right from the start of the project, showing them what you’re doing, and getting their feedback. And way before you create the project deliverables.

But how to do this in an environment where all your work is inside a model?


Models are complicated – after all, we only need to use modelling when problems are hard. If they were simple, we’d just draw a simple picture, or keep it in our heads.

So complicated models are needed to help us understand complicated problems. But we also need people to engage with these complex models in a way that THEY understand. They need to see what we’re proposing, and be able to comment or approve it. Only then can we be sure our deliverables will be acceptable.

To achieve engagement, where your stakeholders can understand and contribute to your model, you need to think about curating some views of the model for them. This means thinking about

  • the level of detail they need,
  • the breadth of the model they need to see,
  • and the way they can interact with it.

Some stakeholders will need lots of detail, other just an overview. Some might need a wider view, across many projects, others just a small part of a single project. Some will be OK with a document, others might benefit from a web-based, interactive experience, just like the other tools they use.


Talk to all the project stakeholders.

But not in the same way you probably do normally.

Not just a discussion about the content of your model, but about how you can make that content engaging. Experience suggests that most stakeholders have been waiting for this discussion for years, if not decades, so they will have LOTS of opinions. And lots of requirements, which you might not be able to satisfy. And remember to include all kinds of stakeholder: sure, the important ones who you need to give formal approval later on, but also the stakeholders who just need to be informed about what you’re doing, but who may also have useful contributions to make.

Benefits / Outcomes

The outcome of thinking about engagement is simple.

  1. Feedback,
  2. Feedback,
  3. More feedback

Stakeholders who really understand the implications of the knowledge in your model, and are engaging with it will give you feedback.

No feedback probably means no engagement. So the appearance of feedback – even if its negative - is a good sign, not a bad one.


  1. Defining success is a good place to start when thinking about engagement. Otherwise, you’ll have no idea what you’re aiming at. Maybe it’s getting feedback from an especially busy stakeholder, or having people understand a tricky part of the model and disagree with it.
  2. Then, you need to educate yourself about what’s possible. Sure, you can write draft documents or presentations, but you can also generate documents direct from your model, or create curated dashboards in Prolaborate with a live view of the information they need. Whether document or dashboard, you can create different outputs for different stakeholders, and get integrated feedback straight into your EA model.
    All this is helping you to get happy with what your project budget & timescales, and your own skills, are able to deliver.
  3. Now you can create some kind of demonstration/prototype. And make sure it has content which people can recognise. So create an early version of a personalised document or of the curated website, and see what people think. And be prepared to change how you do things. Don’t even imagine you can get it right first time.
  4. Curation, Curation, Curation. This is where you use your knowledge of the model, the stakeholder, and the kind of engagement you need to create a really engaging user experience. There isn’t space here to explain all the different ways to curate your model, but treat it as a different process to creating and refining the model. This is all about explaining it to other people, wo don’t have your experience of modelling languages and tools, but do have the real-world experience you need to engage with.
    So be imaginative….
    …Tell a story…
    …use colors…
    …simplify exotic notations…
    …show them examples….
  5. Once you have a working solution, start using it. It won’t be perfect, but “good enough” is good enough. And ‘good enough’ is what the audience say is good enough. The main thing is to get something reasonable in front of your target audience, and start the engagement process.
  6. Feedback the feedback. If you manage to get feedback, then make sure whoever gave it to you can see that you’re actually using it. Show the feedback on your next document, or make it visible in Prolaborate. And show how their feedback has caused to you make changes, then can they will be confident that it’s worth their time to give more feedback in future.

The other elements of Model Driven Delivery:

Deliver  |  Harvest  |  Model