Scenario Mapping – An Exceptional Business Methodology for Database Design.
Scenario mapping has been introduced into the current database design methodologies to assist database designers with the task of compressing complex data into byte-size chunks and thereby help simplify the project process of developing database applications.
Traditional project management methods do not provide for individual creativity and innovation because metadata and scenario metrics are seldom even mentioned in the planning process.
Project management is an area of expertise that has undergone some significant development in the last decade. A database design project can have a far-reaching effect on the business and result in either tremendous improvement in the ability to function in the marketplace or a significant setback to that business entity.
The idea of a formalized project management approach such as defined by the agility of scenario mapping has been around in very small groups of systems analysts and application developers for quite some time.
But the method has not gained prominence, so it is not uncommon for any manager to find themselves learning the discipline of a structured project management system as a substitute for these storyboard ideas. This substitute project methodology takes any given database design project through the same standardized steps from conception through implementation.
Whether or not the scenario mapping approach represents a boon or a bust to the business world depends to a large extent on individual applications of the methods, measurements and observations as to whether the method itself introduces efficiency in the process of project management or just another layer of bureaucracy.
Those individual project managers who have gone through the certification process can be depended on to implement any system effectively in each business setting. As such, the process of finding qualified project managers becomes simplified because the certification process alone communicates to the business that it can expect the scenario mapping system to be implemented correctly.
By putting into place an external method of certification and measurement of excellence, the project manager career begins to take a high level of professionalism similar to that in the legal and medical fields. So the scenario mapping movement represents a maturing of the database design and project management disciplines as they move toward greater levels of accountability and control.
The dangers come in implementation of the scenario mapping strategy on a project by project basis. In order for a certified manager to live by his credentials, all projects must conform to a standard mold. The unique nature of each project may not easily fit into the standard process of systematization.
In addition, the traditional requirements-mapping system is heavily dependent on a large amount of meetings to document the fact that the project is adhering to standards and a methodical documentation process from which there is little room for variation or accommodation.
The typical requirements-mapping procedure represents a complex methodology that introduces bureaucratic tool sets whose tracking procedures can be expensive and difficult to use.
The outcome is that the introduction of the pseudo mapping methodology system can cause the actual business objectives of the project to take on a secondary priority that is not cost effective.
Project leaders working under the requirements of a pseudo mapping methodology can become more accountable to the methodology itself and lose sight of what is good for the business or what is efficient in terms of getting the project completed. This does not occur when using the genuine methodology.
Currently, there is very little room for creativity or individual judgment within the confines of the traditional design methodology and that is problematic because the nature of business problems have historically depended on the judgment and creative problem solving skills of individuals within middle management.
By dominating the project process with the needs of the weak story-board mapping technique, excessive cost is introduced as well as cumbersome requirements that do not benefit the business or the project itself.
Keep in mind that metadata has the main purpose of placing business-data ahead of computer-metrics and provides for a continuing business-data approach through out the course of populating the database with appropriate information.
An agile scenario-mapping methodology devised and executed by an individual designer is the only pattern that offers the more innovative opportunities to appear and therefore must be considered in the vision for a better database driven business application. Just as too many directors spoil a good movie, too many designers spoil a good database.
Author: Tom Gruich