In order to support flow and effectiveness, people in the different functions need to have a common understanding of what the collaboration do and why it does it. No matter if you are operating the service or designing changes in it, you need to see things in about the same way.
This can be done by looking at the domain.
The domain is the arena where all of the services that your collaboration provides play out. It is like a stage in a play. There are characters (user and providers of the service) that have needs and wants and direction, and there are certain limits that everybody relates to.
In practice, the collaboration can and should form a group, a Steward Function, consisting of people that can represent all relevant aspects of the collaboration's services: market needs, business needs, technical needs et cetera. The Steward Function takes full responsibility for
- The full life cycle
- of all of the collaboration's services
Therefore, it is the responsibility of the Steward Function to maintain the domain: decide what facts about it that should be considered canonical and continuously incorporate new insights about the needs and how the collaboration should try to meet.
The domain can be maintained in a number of ways, but a common form is for the Steward Function to be the owner of a set of documents that tries to describe the domain in a clear and relevant way. The documents may vary but often includes:
- A persona gallery that describes key user groups and stakeholders. Also anti-personas: the groups we are NOT designing the service for.
- An information model with a domain dictionary that models the key terms and definitions together with their relationships, cardinalities, and main attributes.
- A list of important business rules that affects the behaviour in the domain.
- Descriptions of the main ways for the personas to create value: important flows and journeys.
New ways of modeling domains are being invented all the time and the Steward Function explores what they feel should be the best way for them to maintain it.