Formal representation of a part of the reality
Introduction to the notion
One of the principles upon which Praxeme relies – as with any method – is that of rationality. The enterprise approach rests on the following credo: to decide well, you have to understand; to understand well, you have to represent. Hence the importance that Praxeme gives to modeling techniques. They extend the rationality principle by adding the effects of formalism to it.
Praxeme’s philosophy – especially the rationality principle – instills in our practices a state of mind of rigor and the concern of having a detailed understanding of the Enterprise System. This requirement naturally drives modeling practices, which aim to rigorously describe things, in an effort to fully comprehend everything.
That does not necessarily mean that we do not confuse the model and the reality. The passion for modeling is tempered by the epistemic humility. We know that a complete representation is not possible and we must be wary of the illusion of having said everything there is to say and knowing everything there is to know.
A model, no matter which one, will never be able to cover the totality of an aspect. It would be a Herculean job. In general, the model is developed in a specific context, dependent on an aim, often within the scope of a project. The criterion to counterbalance the modeling effort is therefore that of pertinence. It is simply not materially possible to describe the whole enterprise reality fully and with an extreme level of detail. We will only do it as a need, remaining fully aware of what escapes us.
A model is developed with a precise intention, often in the context of a project. It thus concerns one part of the Enterprise System, delimited by an immediate need. Nevertheless, this pragmatic attitude must not lead us to abandon the overall quality of the system. To aim for this quality leads to consequences and requirements on each individual model. This ambition results in the primacy of architecture over modeling and, in consequence, over the execution.
Related terms: representation, representation framework.