Select a specific data flow model or system. Then describe the advantages and disadvantages in terms of general project management. In your opinion, how does the data flow model impact your ability to manage a software development project?

A data flow diagram (DFD) is a visual representation of how raw data is collected, stored, processed, and coverted into informaton. Think of it as the supply chain for manufacturing information. Remember, raw data is useless, until we process into something useful, and once data becomes useful it now becomes information. In software development there are two types of data flow diagrams: the Logical DFD and the Physical DFD.

A Logical Data Flow Diagram (LDFD) is a visual representation of the activities that data flows through in order to reach its final state (information). The LDFD helps the project team understand when data is collected, along with what processes happen as it flows through the information manufacturing process (Pinto, 2020). For example, LDFD can be used to illustrate the activities that take place starting from when the user interacts with an application, providing raw data, up until the transaction is complete, and the user recieves a receipt (data coverted into something meaningful, information).

The advantages of a LDFD is that it provides project members general ideas of the activites invloved in the coverting raw data into information.

A Logical DFD (top) and a Physical DFD (bottom). The Logical DFD (top, green flow chart) illustrates the business processes that data goes through before it reaches its final state (the receipt), while the Physical DFD (below, peach flow chart) illustrates the physical and digital resources used that data flows through in order to be processed to its final state (the receipt).

The Physical Data Flow Diagram (PDFD) is influenced by the LDFD as this diagram depicts the resources implemented in the information manufacturing process(Lucid, n.d.). For example, For example, PDFD can be used to illustrate the devices, software, files, databases, and people used in the information manufacturing process, that creates the final product, which in our secanrio can be represented as a digital or phyical receipt. The advantages of creating a PDFD is that it provides project members the oppertunity to improve the resources used for more efficient information manufacturing and delivery. A good example of this is when business started to email digital receipts, rather than print phyical ones, making it more efficient for all parties involved.

In regard to general project managment, data fow diagrams can be effective tools at improving already established systems. However, to the least experienced project members and managers, data flow diagrams can become a disadvantage as it can further complicate and prolong projects, thus interting with project deadlines or budget, especially when a shared misunderstanding of data flow diagrams is present.

References:

Lucid (n.d.). Logical vs. physical data flow diagram. Retrieved from https://www.lucidchart.com/pages/data-flow-diagram/logical-vs-physical-data-flow-diagram

Pinto, J.K. (2020). Project management: Achieving competitive advanatage (5th Edition). Harlow, UK. Pearson Education Limited.