What is Activity Modeling?
Activity modeling is a method used to illustrate how a system works. In an activity modeling workshop, the group works together to outline a sequence of steps and the component pieces involved in creating a behavior or result. Groups use activity models to visually represent the sequence of events that trigger a behavior. There are many types of activity models known by names specific to the type of process or system that they describe, such as Value Stream Maps, Architecture System Maps (UML, IDEFO, Node Trees), and User Experience Journey Maps.
Successful activity modeling requires preparation and benefits from facilitation. Before the session begins, the meeting leader should define the scope of the model to be built, including the specific system to be modeled and whether the model will show the systems as it is or as they desire it to become. Then, the meeting leader should find and prepare a team consisting of relevant subject matter experts and stakeholders to participate in the modeling session.
Simpler activity models can also be used to stimulate critical thinking and systems awareness. The "Draw Toast" excercise linked below provides an example.