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New Post 1/28/2009 3:32 PM
User is offline Adrian M.
729 posts
3rd Level Poster

Re: UML and BA 
Modified By Adrian M.  on 1/28/2009 5:33:53 PM)

While I agree with Craig & Guy, in principle, please do not discount the value of UML.

It's like asking: "How valuable/important is drafting software for an architect?"

Are you less of an architect if you have not used drafting software?  Of course not!

Are you better off if you do know how to use drafting software? Probably?

Same goes for the BA...  UML is just another tool in your toolbox which you can use at the appropriate time.  So I would say that UML is important beyond just having it in your resume.  If you know how and when to use the tool then it's a good thing to have.

Can you be a good architect with a pencil, paper, and a ruler?  Yes - but why would you want to do that...

UML is at the same level as: BPMN, Data Flow Diagram, Use Case Model, Use Case Narrative, CRUD matrix, Storyboard, RACE chart, etc.  These are all tools and they are only useful if you know how to use them and when to use them.

So - if you think that UML will make you the best analyst in the world then you're wrong but if you want to add one more tool to your toolbox then do so as you will not go wrong.

Just my 2 cents.

- Adrian

Adrian Marchis
Business Analyst Community Blog - Post your thoughts!
New Post 1/28/2009 11:50 PM
User is offline KJ
243 posts
6th Level Poster

Re: UML and BA 


UML is the new kid on the block describing the old imperatives in new spin!

At the end of the day, you need to know ENTITIES (things) and PROCESS (actions). You can divide the 13 diagrams in UML into these two categories.

Over the last many years these two imperatives morphed into new tools such as UML; I wonder whats coming next year (mmh, I miss my old Nassi Schneiderman charts )

Back to your question, do you need to know UML as a BA? I'd say a little - (things) Static Classes and their relationships; and (actions) activity diagrams and use cases.

Wouldn't life be simpler if users could speak UML . I guess thats wishfull thinking.

warm regards,


New Post 1/30/2009 1:04 PM
User is offline BA Trainer
18 posts
9th Level Poster

Re: UML and BA 
Modified By BA Trainer  on 1/30/2009 3:06:10 PM)



As a BA you need to know part of UML.

Some of the UML diagrams like use case diagrams, activity diagrams, sequence diagrams are very necessary for a BA to know.


Let me knnow if you need to learn these and master yourself.


Contact :





New Post 1/30/2009 1:37 PM
User is offline David Wright
141 posts
7th Level Poster

Re: UML and BA 

I wasn't going to weigh in on this discussion, because if UML or anything else works for you, use it.

But, I believe it is overstating the case to say UML is necessary for BAs to know. It makes me think about what UML is;

  • my understanding is that it was created for Software Modelling. not for Business Modeling or Requirements Management.
  • the core of UML is the Class, everything else in it is used in order to get to the definitions of Classes, from which software is built or generated
  • Use Cases were 'invented' separately from UML, but the latter adopted it; i think the Activity diagram might be the same; Sequence diagrams are definitely UML
  • So, Use Cases can and are used by BA's whether or not core UML is to be used.
  • I know, people have written books on Business Modeling with UML, I have read them and always find them trying to stuff a square peg in a round hole

So, UML might be handy, but necessary for BA's? I think not.

David Wright
New Post 1/30/2009 11:17 PM
User is offline TankFish
25 posts
9th Level Poster

Re: UML and BA 

Thanks for the feedback. I guess that the post about it being a useful tool is the toolbox sums it all up. It cant hurt, but its not required. My question was really driven by me looking into buying Enteprise Architect by Sparx Systems which seems pretty much UML based but I think you can get away without it.

Thanks once again.

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