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There is a hidden gem in Enterprise Architect (I am using version 13), but this gem is available in previous versions (I believe version 11 and version 12).
This is an element called a Requirements Checklist, although it could be used as a checklist for other elements.
A Requirements Checklist allows the modeller to create a list of check-boxes, which can be used against an element (or elements), to manage at least the following:
- Element completeness.
- Element quality.
This article introduces the Requirements Checklist and illustrates how such an element can be used and customised.
A Requirements Checklist element can be added to a model diagram (the element can be found on the Requirements Diagram Toolbox) or added directly to a package within the project browser.
When added to a diagram, the Requirements Checklist has the following appearance:
Double-clicking opens the following dialog:
Clicking on a checkbox will check the checkbox as shown below:
Then upon clicking Close, the Requirements Checklist element will display on a diagram as shown below:
Using the dialog invoked via double-clicking, the appearance of the check box can be modified as shown below:
|Checked Item Style <none>||Checked Item Style Strikeout||Checked Item Style Greyed|
Relating to an Element (or Elements)
Elements can be related to Requirement Checklist using any of the usual techniques in Enterprise Architect, namely:
- Quicklink on a diagram.
- Toolbox relationship on a diagram.
- Relationship Matrix.
Which Relationship to Use and which direction?
Using the diagram Quicklink, the modeller is presented with the following choices:
- Information Flow.
Which relationship to choose to up to the individual modeller, but ideally, the modeller will choose a relationship that “makes sense” to all stakeholders in the project.
My own personal choice is Dependency drawn from an Element to the Requirements Checklist.
The most important issue is:
No matter what relationship is used and no matter which direction is used, the same type of relationship and the same direction must be used consistently throughout the entire model by all modellers.
The main reason for this statement is for the production of documentation and reporting (covered in a future newsletter).
Configuring the Requirements Checklist Element
Although not immediately obvious, is the ability to customise the list and text of the check boxes.
A modeller can define their own list of checkboxes by using the following steps:
- Double-click the Requirements Checklist to show Dialog.
- Right-click on a check box entry and select Edit (to modify), Delete (to remove) this checkbox item. An example of such a modification is shown below:
- Click Close to apply the changes.
Re-using Requirements Checklist
Different elements may require different checklist elements, therefore I recommend the following modelling strategy:
- Create a Package in which to create / store all the different configurations of the Requirements Checklist element. (A list of “master checklists)
- When wishing to use one of these checklist elements:
- Right-click a checklist element (or checklist elements) and select Copy to clipboard > Full structure for duplication.
- Select another package in the project browser, right-click and select Paste Element(s) from clipboard.
In this article I have presented an overview of an often overlooked element in Enterprise Architect, namely the Requirements Checklist. I have also described how such elements can be customised and re-used from a library of “master checklists”.
In a future article I will describe some techniques for producing documents which detail elements and their related checklists.
Dunstan Thomas Consulting
You’ll find lots of useful Enterprise Architect videos on our YouTube Channel.