I'm down to three classes in my BSIT. Tonight we reviewed ways to model an information system through interviews. According to authors Blaha and Rumbaugh in Object-Oriented Modeling and Design with UML, you can create a model using one of three approaches:
- back room
- round robin
A back-room method of modeling is simply interviewing the domain stakeholders and coming back with a model. It's fairly straightforward and is easier to do. The interviewees (typically end-users) don't get to see the diagrams. Grab the info and run (away) with it!
For more of a challenge and slightly faster method, consider a round-robin approach where the analyst creates the models with the interviewees and then revisits the model over several iterations.
Not for the faint-of-heart, the live modeling method is to create the system diagrams in a live everyone's-invited session. Meeting and diagramming skills are crucial for such live sessions.
Depending on the system and the audience, I've seen a mix of all three types even on the same project between myself, programmers I've worked with, and other analysts. It's nice to finally have a name to the different ways of conducting model-design interviews and sessions.
It's akin to that "aha moment" when someone describes various software (system) development life cycles (SDLC) that you've already been using.