Content Modelling - Step 5 - Create relationship diagram

This is a combination of the information from Steps 2 through 4 captured in a single relationship diagram. It consists, at it's most basic, of a sketch of circles with object names attached and arrows indicating the relationships.

A relationship diagram is similar to an object role diagram.

The model is where the objects and relationships come together in a single diagram. It captures the foundation of all work to follow. If there are mistakes in the model, there will be problems down the track. However, if you get your client to sign off on the model, then if something changes, you have concrete justification to change the budget and timeline (although the client is rarely happy about this!). It helps to protect again the evils of scope creep.

The example displayed is based on the concept of an object role model and is an effective way to capture and define an object model (for more information see http://www.orm.net/). An object role model is "a fact-oriented approach used to conceptually model information systems" ( http://www.objectrolemodeling.com/AboutORM/tabid/34/Default.aspx). Given what we are doing with a content management system is modeling content (or information if you wish), the ORM approach works well. But, it's not the only way to capture a model, it's just one way to do it. If you have your own approach to modeling, that's fine as long as you capture the information in a way that you, the client, and the developer can understand. That's the key here, to get a common understanding of how things relate to each other.