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SZ
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Registered: Apr 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 492

Agile Tip #2: Using an Easel for UML

Today, most leading figures in the object technology profession advocate agile UML modeling. What this usually means is drawing UML diagrams on some physical surface to promote discussion amongst a group of developers.

Frequently the recommendations made are to use a whiteboard or sheets of paper attached to the wall and then to take digital pictures of the results.

We have found a better 'surface' to use, one that is far more practical and easy to work with - an easel pad.

The easel pad works because:

1. There are a lot of sheets on a pad and it is easy to flip through them. This promotes productivity because you can create large designs spread over a number of pages.

2. The surface of the pad is large enough to create a reasonably sized diagram on each sheet.

3. The easel is easily transported to a meeting room and then back to a developer's desk area, where the designs can be transposed into a UML tool or directly to code.

4. An easel pad itself can be easily transported to another easel in another location, making it easy to move an entire set of designs.

We use the easel pad to create UML class and sequence diagrams. Sometimes it is tedious flipping back and forth between the class and sequence diagrams while doing static and dynamic modeling in one session (a best practice). To make this easier it would make sense to have two easels and alternate between one for static modeling and one for dynamic modeling, allowing the class diagram to be visible while creating sequence diagrams.

An easel pad is also ideal for capturing use case text during elaboration meetings.

If you do get an easel pad, avoid the ones with sticky glue on the tops of the sheets for attaching to a wall because they are a pain to flip over the easel as they are always sticking together.

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Old Post 06-09-2005 04:23 AM
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ScottAmbler
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Registered: Aug 2005
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Posts: 7

Yes!!!!!

Use the Simplest Tools is a core practice of Agile Modeling. I'm a firm believer in using simple tools such as easels or whiteboards for modeling, and the reality is that most modeling is done with such tools.

- Scott

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Old Post 08-07-2005 08:45 PM
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