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Project Management using UML/Data Modeling

Has anyone ever used data modeling (UML, ERD, etc) as a means to track and communicate project schedules? I’ve never done this, but I have a vision as to how it would look.

Let’s take a simple 3-tier ASP-SQL app as an example.  Using the output from the ERD and UML I would create 5 columns.

- The 1st column would be the UI and list each of the forms in the app.
- The 2nd column would be the code behind each UI and list each of the methods and event handlers required.
- The 3rd column would be a UML block for each of the COM components and list each class and its methods.
- The 4th column would list any stored procedures or views.
- The 5th column would be the output of the ERD and list all the tables.

The diagram could be as simple or complex as the user wanted. Additional middle columns could be added as needed for each tier.  Lines could be drawn to show data flow between the elements. Man-hour estimates could be placed next to each element along with a target completion date. Perhaps for large applications this diagram could get too large to make it practical, so maybe it would only work well for smaller applications.

Once complete, the diagram would provide a map of the architecture, a project timeline, and communication tool to show managers / clients that the UI elements are only the “Tip of the Iceberg.”

Can anyone see any basic flaws with this idea? Or, am I just re-inventing someone else’s wheel here?

Nick Hebb
Thursday, May 16, 2002

Nick,

I've done some VERY simple work using Activity Diagrams for scheduling. What they do well, of course, is handle alternative paths and stuff. It seems workable, but I haven't applied it on a project yet.

Your ideas sound interesting, but I'm having trouble visualizing the diagram. Do you have any sample diagram you would like to share?

Martin L. Shoemaker
Thursday, May 16, 2002

Martin,

I could email you something, but trying to create and post a plain text version of the diagram to this site just isn't feasible.

I'm just trying to come up with a way to show both the application structure and the project timeline/milestones in one easy to digest snapshot.

Nick Hebb
Friday, May 17, 2002

Nick,

If you like, I'd appreciate an emailed copy. I think it sounds intriguing. Thanks!

Martin L. Shoemaker
Friday, May 17, 2002

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