Re: Data Flow Diagrams

Subject: Re: Data Flow Diagrams
From: "Guy A. McDonald" <guy -at- NWLINK -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 14:20:48 -0800

Anthony Markatos wrote:
>Anyone using Data Flow Diagrams as a tool for end user task analysis for
software products?

>Data Flow Diagrams are based on the concept that <snip>

DFD's (synonyms include bubble chart, transformation graph and process
model) are also based on conventions and guidelines normally outside most
end-user knowledge sets. I seriously doubt that many of our users know the
difference between Gane/Sarson symbol sets and DeMarco/Yourdon notation... a
trivial matter sometimes argued to the point of near death by many young
analysts. <eg>

My squiz on your question? Show a group of users a DFD or ERD and you will
receive... "Oh, a flow chart!" Anthony pointed out that "by following the
flow of data is it possible to understand the underlying logic of the tasks
accomplished by the end users and how all the tasks interrelate." I agree
and conclude that models used in business, IT, engineering, etc., have
similar appearances. But there are differences, so why muddy the water in
the document? As always, we must consider our audience. Mine can barely
turn on a computer. <Not this audience of course> ,-)

Guy McDonald
guy -at- nwlink -dot- com

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