Why Do Project Managers need UML?
by Mo Haque, MSEE, MSEE, PMP
Project Managers primary task in planning is to “Collect Requirements”. It is often a very challenging and daunting activity. Collecting Requirements is an “Art” and perfecting this art is difficult, since projects are non-recurring hence difficult to apply the same method for different projects.
A project manager would use various tools for requirements collection. The best method available to any project manager is to use a modeling technique since it provides visual depiction of user’s interaction with a system. The UML – Unified Modeling Language provides such a visibility. For system analysis, a model depiction can identify, clarify, and organize system requirements. A model plays the same role in system development like the blueprints play in the building of a skyscraper.
UML is a form of eliciting and documenting requirements. It defines interaction between objects. Using a model, the system developers can assure that the business functionality is complete and correct. The end-user needs are fully defined, and the system design supports requirements for scalability, robustness, security, extendibility, and other characteristics before implementation. Modeling helps you specify, visualize, and document system requirements.
Modeling is one of the most effective ways to visualize a design and check it against requirements before the system is developed.
UML uses objects – things (nouns / names that have a meaning) are modeling elements and the behavior of the objects is a verb. Grouping of objects are the packages. The objects can have a note (annotation).
There are two parts of a UML, (1) static structure – describes the type of objects, (2) dynamic structure – describes how the objects collaborate. UML structure contains objects, relationships, and diagrams.
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