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New Post 10/19/2009 12:41 PM
User is offline Tony Markos
493 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Models to Functional Requirements 

Panofoot:

What is partitioning?  If one goes to a desktop or on-line dictionary and looks up the word "analysis", chances are that the first listed definition will state basically that "Analysis is the partitioning (i.e., dividing up) of an entity into its parts, and then examining the parts and their interrelationships".   If I were to rigorously analyze a physical entity like, for example, a coffee maker, I would take it appart; look at all the individual parts; and - most importantly, evaluate  how each part interrelated with other parts.

(Note:  Once we properly partition a system, we can then decompose each function (i.e., part) downward.) 

Tony

 
New Post 10/20/2009 12:24 AM
User is offline panofoot
11 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: Models to Functional Requirements 

Hi Tony,

But what exactly are you partitioning? You mention "parts", but what atomic units are you referring to? Yes, it's fair to say that it's an analyst's job to break down a problem, explore processes, look for interrelated problems etc. Yet what I was questioning was the method of "partitioning" that you're referring to. Or are you looking at partitioning more of an abstract concept, as opposed to a structured approach?

The reason I enquired originally, was that you seemed to imply that there was an art to partitioning a system, which alluded to an approach.

Pano

 

 
New Post 10/20/2009 11:49 AM
User is offline Tony Markos
493 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Models to Functional Requirements 

Pano:

Great questions!   In function/process  modeling, the "parts" are typically called functions on data flow diagrams, processes on buisness process maps, and use cases on a use case diagrams.  (Key point:  There is no logical reason to refer to the same thing by different names; don't be mystified by the mechanism (i.e., whether or not the process/function is automated or not))   

If you are a data flow diagrammer, there definitely is a formalized approach to partitioning a system.   Key elements to that approach are:

*  A logical, natural partitioning of the system.  (For further details on what a logical, natural partitioning is and how to do one, please refer to my previous posts on such.) 

*  Further refinement of the natural, logical partitioning based upon evaluation of each discovered function's interface complexity (i.e., if a function has too many inputs and outputs, it is a clear sign that further partitioning of it is needed).

Use cases do not employ a formal approach to partitioning.  The default approach to formal partitioning is called brute-force partitioning, or forced, artificial partitioning (which I have also discussed in previous postings).   Business process mapping techniques espouse partitioning largely based upon sequencing and flow of control considerations.   Such an approach is mainly appropriate for more smallish efforts. ( I have discussed why in previous postings.) 

Pano, as I  stated, you ask some great questions!   Reason:  As analysis is literally defined as partitioning, unless we primarily position analysis techniques relative to each other in terms of their approach to partitioning (or lack thereof), we will get mixed-up notions as what technique to use when.  

Tony

 
New Post 10/21/2009 4:22 AM
User is offline Kimbo
454 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Models to Functional Requirements 

 Tony,

Am I the only person in the world bored with this partitioning mantra that you keep mentioning. Use cases work, DFD's work, an abacus works, etc. You make a lot of assumptions about the use case approach in your incessant posts about this. A lot of your assumptions aren't true but I can't be bothered arguing them with you.

Give us all a break and change the record. Have something original to say. Its boring!!!

Kimbo

 
New Post 10/21/2009 5:16 AM
User is offline Craig Brown
560 posts
www.betterprojects.net
4th Level Poster




Re: Models to Functional Requirements 

There is something in your comments for everyone.

When you get good at someting and continue to get good results from using it, it's easy to stick with what you know.

However it's important to continue to expand your knowledge and skills.  Sharpen the saw.

I've spent most of this year doing just that and feel I have elevated myself to a new leval of capability.  I recommend it to everyone who feels that they are good at what they do.

 

 
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