Copyright 2014 Nikolas S. Boyd. Permission is granted to copy this document provided this copyright statement is retained in all copies.
In the context of this Model, Value
measures some quality of importance or concern for a Business, or
measures the monetary worth of (or to) a Business.
There are (generally) two kinds of Value,
a quality that matters (and is thus worthy of concern and measurement), and
a monetary worth of some fungible item (tangible or not).
Sometimes, there can be direct translation between these two kinds of value, as when depot safety (or lack thereof) translates into a monetary value. For example,
a depot closure due to a safety violation => expenses ($$) to bring the depot into compliance, reopen, and resume operations.
Sometimes, there are less directly tangible quality concerns that can still be measured quantitatively, with an appropriate choice of measures. For example,
a reputed employee => number, kinds, and sources of awards, honors, and acknowledgements from peers and industry groups.
Both thematic business qualities and technical qualities are valuable to businesses. Thematic business qualities are often the subjects of concern in business governance and policy statements, both mission and vision.
Properly identifying and highlighting those qualities of greatest concern to a business is a key step in understanding the business mission and vision, and key to aligning its activities and any proposed improvements with the purpose(s) of the business.
As suggested above, qualities generally show up in (English) language through the use of descriptive adjectives, adjectives of degree, and descriptive adverbs. Such described qualities are generally measurable, and thus have associated quantities and units of measure.
Having encountered a quality within a problem or business domain, it's usually useful to ask: how is it measured, what are its metrics, what are its useful boundaries (if spectral), what are its states (if discretely quantized), what are the associated business improvement goals (if any), and what are the costs assocated with its measurement?
Together, mass nouns, units of measure and measurements form a measurement framework. Measures and measurements (numerical values) partition continuous masses into discrete units. These units can then be operated upon as individuals, similar to the instances of a class. In fact, for this reason, mass nouns are sometimes used as class names in object-oriented designs. For example, Money (wealth) is sometimes modeled as an amount + a currency (dollars, franks, pounds, etc.).
Many object attributes are expressed in terms of mass nouns and their units of measure. For example, physical objects usually have physical properties such as color, position, length, duration, temperature, speed, etc. Domain models that include representations of physical objects often include and operate on some of the properties associated with the physical objects.