Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Reference Models are meant to be referred to

I have seen many organizations adopt, and in some case pay money, for reference models - with no real idea of what a reference model is and how it should be used. Reference models should be referred to not just instantiated and bastardized.

For example an industry reference model may indicate a set of functions that are common to an industry (or a set of information objects an industry will usually need). The reference model should have within it the relationships between the reference models functions and the reference models information.

If a business relates its functional to the RM-Functions and its information model to the RM-Information that analysis if possible of inferred relationships and gaps.

If a business just copies the RM-Functions, RM-Information objects, etc. and makes its own hacked versions of those their business-models, information-models; abandoning in the process the ability to link their models to the Industry Reference models they lose the ability to "refer" the RMs and updated versions of them. They can no longer easily determine where they differ and why. They fundamentally don't understand what a "Reference" model is.

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