Business Modeling Techniques


These modelling techniques are useful for business change. They are divided into Stakeholders, As Is, Processes, To Be and Project.


Stakeholder radar - Used to agree on stakeholders engagement levels

Stakeholder Venn diagram - Understanding our stakeholders and their importance to the situation

Personas - Enables us to understand other peoples’ perspectives and appreciate their views.

As Is

  • Rich picture - Used to show what is going on at the moment both within and without the organisation. Can also be used to show a future state.

  • Customer journey - A key part of UX and enables the understanding of the pains and gains that a customer experiences dealing with our product.

  • Value proposition - Explains what our products do to help your customers

  • Value stream map - Fits with the capability map and helps the business understand how value is created for the customers.

  • Capability map - Show our business capabilities as well as our strengths and weaknesses within these capabilities.

  • Fishbone diagram - Good for root cause analysis when investigating a specific problem.

  • Decision tree - An excellent technique for showing the business rules.


  • Processes map - A high level diagram showing the key business processes and how they relate to each other.

  • Swimlane diagram - Shows the interaction between various teams as to how an individual process can work.

  • BPMN - Business process modelling and notation. Another version of a swimlane.

  • Task activity diagram - This is for use and by individual departments to show the work that teams within that department undertake. It is shown on a swimlane diagram as one task.

To Be

  • Business Activity Model - This helps the business stakeholders define what they expect the new changes to the business to look like. It aids understanding & consensus.

  • Force Field analysis - Show the forces for and against change. Excellent tool to help management make decisions.

  • Benefits dependency network (Benefits map) - This ensures that before deciding on the IT change that the benefits are agreed and the business changes align with those benefits.


  • Scope diagram (Context diagram) - A simple diagram showing the main objectives of the project.

  • Use case diagram - A more detailed version of the Scope diagram showing the functional requirements of the new system and the people who will have access to them.

  • Use class diagram - Show the way that information (data) is stored within the system and the relationships between those key elements.

  • Entity relationship diagram - Same as use class diagram but different format.

  • Burndown chart - Shows graphically how your team is progressing with their workload and gives a rough idea as to when the tram will achieve its goals.

  • State machine diagram - The entities that are shown in the data models may benefit from the understanding of the changes that occur to each individual record within its lifecycle.


Rod Simpson image
Rod Simpson
Independent consultant / trainer / coach
Rod has worked in a large variety of organisations helping to deliver business change both via technical projects as well as non technical solutions. He is passionate advocate for a wide variety on business modelling techniques.
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