By Katie Thacker, Communications Manager
Every day, we are seeing more and more members of “non-traditional” markets become curious about systems engineering, particularly model-based systems engineering. They are downloading the MBSE Primer, watching webinars, and asking for advice about how software could possibly not only help them get organized in their projects, but see potential problems before they arise, improve processes and products, and save time by simplifying the complicated process of coordinating ideas.
As much as we explain the benefits, it can be a tough concept to comprehend until you’ve actually gone through it. As a non-engineer (although I am married to one!), I could hear about the benefits our clients were getting from our software and methodology, but I couldn’t quite see how the benefits were applicable to how I work as a marketer until recently.
Complexity? Confusion? Bring on CORE
Our Customer Care team at Vitech is constantly working to provide resources to our customers that help speed up the adoption process of the software – from our University Program students to our large commercial enterprises. One of the ways we are evaluating the state of our resources, and who knows about them, is to conduct a survey – a complex, mapped survey, to assist us in getting the feedback that will guide our future efforts.
I sat down with my survey tool ready to get everything laid out and ready to go, and things went downhill faster than I would have ever guessed. The tool we’re using is great – excellent logic options, question suggestions, etc., but I couldn’t fully “see” what I was doing. I wanted to understand how each question in the survey was relating to the other questions, see how our respondents were going to travel through the questions, and get to the final destination.
In comes the CORE model. Although well outside the traditional use, CORE worked perfectly for my needs. I was able to use an EFFBD and the easy-to-understand drag-drop feature to build a model of my survey easily. I stuck to an extremely simple approach build the map, but could have gone so much further if my needs called for it. The EFFBD came to me relatively easily with my business background, which helps get me started in understanding the other diagrams as well. For the questions I did have, (How do I get out of this node two ways? Ah yes, an exit function.) the Vitech Customer Care team brought me under their collective wing to get me on the right path.
So why use CORE? Why not just a standard flow-chart tool?
I’ve always admired a well-done flow chart but never had luck using them. I felt like the entire thing had to be mapped out in my head before I could start building; otherwise I would spend all of my time rearranging boxes and arrows to get everything to fit and makes sense. CORE’s automatic building tools pulled these problems out of the equation all together.
The value of the model proved to be huge, even as simple as it was. In the process of building I noticed issues with how my questions were laid out, found some areas for questions that I had previously left out, and could bring my diagram export to my next meeting to share with my team where they could understand my survey plans.
Using the Model
Now that I have the model, how have I used it? First, I exported the EFFBD and was able to show it to the wider Customer Care team for review, and the members could see where I was going with my survey. Then, when it came to survey-building I was able to put my model up on one monitor with my survey tool on the other, and I could walk through the building process one node at a time. I was confident that I didn’t miss any questions, any logic routes, or any possible combinations of responses.
Looking forward to more everything
Are you a CORE owner who has used CORE for a non-traditional application? Let me know! Email me at email@example.com.