Ubiquitous Language – a Choice of words

Chris Matts originally suggested using

As a role
I want the system to do something
so that I get this business value

While it flows well, it emphasises the role and make the business value a result. One of the tenets of feature injection is that we start with the business value and pull our actions from that. Liz Keogh suggests in her blog using

In order to <deliver some business benefit>
As a <role> I want <some other role>
to <do something, or use or be restricted by some feature>

I have found that by adding the 5 Whys to the end at all levels of the design helps clarify the intent.

Why? <drilling down to the core value>
Why? <drilling down to the core value>
Why? <drilling down to the core value>
Why? <drilling down to the core value>
Why? <drilling down to the core value>

This is the default template I have used for uSDLC. It is easy to change as thinking in this area progresses.


2 thoughts on “Ubiquitous Language – a Choice of words

  1. Thanks for the correction Liz. Google page-rank is a de facto first measure of authority. Plus I appreciate the clarity of your writing. I am actually experimenting with the “Five Why’s” approach from vision to feature in uSDLC (again using your listing of the design steps). Early results are interesting. It not only helps focus on business value, but provides a take on documentation in that it provides clarity of purpose. I am currently working on guide by example for uSDLC that works through this process. I will blog about it when it is ready.


  2. Paul, the “In order to… as a… I want…” template is actually Chris’s. The “As a… I want… so that…” template originally came from the team at Connextra (Tim McKinnon, Rachel Davies et al). I think I blogged about the Feature Injection template first but it was definitely Chris’s invention.

    Glad you like it, either way. I definitely like using the 5 why’s to discover the larger-scale goals, though if the project *starts* with the core value it’s even better!


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