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When to Use Literate Modeling

LM is particularly useful in situations in which you have a UML model that you need to make accessible and comprehensible to a very wide range of stakeholders, some of whom are non–UML-literate. I have used it very successfully in creating large Enterprise Object Models (in fact, that’s where it originated), creating libraries of archetype patterns (reusable and configurable business micro-architectures), and in larger UML modeling activities.

I’ve often been asked, "Is LM agile?" I’m a pragmatist—LM is just a tool that can be used in any type of project provided that it delivers real business benefit. The issue of "agility" or "non-agility" is a non-issue for LM. To me it’s a bit like asking "Is a screwdriver agile?"

LM is also a powerful technique for improving the quality of your modeling. Writing a Business Context for a UML model is a great way of improving your modeling technique. The first time you do it, it will likely be quite a difficult process, but you will learn so much about how you model, how you write, and how much you really understand about the business domain that it’s an exercise well worth undertaking!

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