Demystifying State Machine Diagrams


While state machines have been around since the 1980s (known then as Harel statecharts) and are one of the techniques included in A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) Version 2.0 by the International Institute of Business Analysis, they're seldom used by business analysts, because most haven't been exposed to them. State machines are a compact and powerful diagram type. They are easily understood by subject matter experts the first time they see one. With a little practice, they can easily created and validated in a single meeting with subject matter experts.

In this presentation you’ll explore both the simplicity and power of the underutilized UML state machine. If your data elements include one or more status codes, you’ll learn how to represent them in a state machine diagrams. If you have to deal with insurance policies, contracts, licenses, or other items with life cycles, this presentation is for you!


business analysts, business subject matter experts


The presentation provides an introduction to UML state machines. It includes examples of both representations of a state machine: UML diagrams, and state machine tables. You'll see how to use state machines to validate portions of your use case and class models as well as ways of representing the business rules enforced by a state machine.

After the session, you should be able to:



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