Explicit, verified structure
With correct naming, clear signposting and simple navigation, new users may have found their way to exactly the content they need. But if the models they find are inconsistent, then all your good work might not help: new users will still be confused. If sometimes you link things together using one connector, but elsewhere use a different one, that won’t help. If you use lots of stereotypes inconsistently, that will be confusing.
You need to state clearly, with examples, how your model is structured:
- what elements types and stereotypes you use,
- which connectors and where,
- which EA standard EA attributes users should expect to see populated
- and which tagged values
This is the ‘meta-model’ which your model obeys, and, like the model itself, is best explained by a set of diagrams, and even better, with examples which show the model structure in action.
For a complicated model, this is really hard to do manually: there may be 100s or even 1000s of examples of a particular element type, and you probably don’t have time to check them all by hand.
Tools do exist to make this easier: Model Expert (one I built earlier) will firstly tell you the meta-model which you are using – which can sometimes be a surprise – and then guide you through finding and fixing the places where you need to do a bit more work to make it consistent. (P.S. Checking of this kind shouldn’t be done just at the end!)