Streamlined MODELING

The Real World

An important aspect of adopting (or creating!) a software development methodology is being sure that the method will work. This section is dedicated to pointing out interesting instances in the real world that exemplify the value of the concepts and methods employed in Streamlined Modeling and general object-oriented software analysis, design, and implementation. As in the case of our first two items, these instances may not deal with software development directly. These instances point out the more general value of the concept being used.

First-Person: "Putting Oneself in Nature"

There is an old saying that tells us to truly understand someone you must walk a mile in their shoes. The Streamlined Modeling method of first-person voice suggests attempting to wear the mantle of the object (person, place, thing, or event) being examined. This is a method to get the modeler to challenge or change their assumptions.

Richard Feynman was well-known for his visual thinking. Part of his thinking process involved becoming a part of the nature he was trying to understand. Feynman took this so far as to let his thought manifest as physical motions. He would wave his arms as a way of describing a magnetic field. This may seem a bit outrageous, and we do not suggest getting quite so carried away in front of a client. But remember, through this method Feynman gained important insights that led to his Feynman diagrams and ultimately to the Nobel Prize.

See: Images and Reversals by Thomas G. West

Personification: Assume Intelligence

People make many assumptions about things they are trying to understand. Several of the Streamlined Modeling concepts attempt to get the modeler to change those assumptions as a way of getting the most reliable results. One such technique is personification: imagining a thing to have thoughts or to act similar to a human.

Jane Goodall did just that with the chimpanzees she studied in Africa. Without a thorough background in the science of the time, she assumed that the chimpanzees were intelligent, feeling creatures. She gave them names. By making this assumption she was able to fashion a more complete and accurate theory of their behavior. This revolutionized the field of animal research that, in her initial publications, even required her to call the chimpanzees "it" rather than "he" or "she".

See: A profile of Jane Goodall by Scientific American