Kevin Joins UWM/SOIS

I am pleased to report that I have joined The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (UWM), School of Information Studies (SOIS) as a full-time Lecturer.  I am teaching in the Bachelor of Information Science and Technology degree program.  In the Spring 2014 Semester, I am teaching the Senior Capstone course and Introduction to Information Science.  The faculty, staff, and students have given me a warm welcome. We are already in my third week of the term and I am enjoying both the work and the people.

Despite the fact that I live near Chicago, I am commuting to UWM on a daily basis. When schedule permits, I commute using the Amtrak Hiawatha Service.  Many of you already know that I am a bit of a train fan.  So, I am enjoying another chance to ride the rails. Fortunately for me, my local train station is the last stop that the Hiawatha Service makes in Illinois before continuing on to Wisconsin.  It has been both snowy and cold during these first few weeks of the spring term.  So, I believe that I am passing the commuter torture test quite well so far.

I will be continuing to teach as an Adjunct Lecturer at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois), Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS).  In the Spring 2014 Semester, I am teaching Project Management in a new 16-week format. I am expecting this longer version of the course to give students opportunity to do more practice-oriented activities than the we have the chance to do in the traditional 8-week summer semester version.

I am expecting to still do a bit of consulting and training during school breaks.  In practice, this will mean the summer breaks.  So, my longtime friends in consulting and training should start thinking about how they are going to keep me busy this summer.

I hope that everyone will stay in contact with me as I will with you.  There is extensive information on the best way to contact me on the Ligent Web site Contact page.

Kevin Makes Presentation on Use Cases at UWM/SOIS

I will be visiting The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, School of Information Studies (UWM/SOIS) on Wednesday, January 8th.  My hosts have graciously asked me to make a short presentation and I have chosen Use Cases as my topic.

I consider Use Cases to be the most significant development in system analysis methodology in the past 30 years.  Consequently, I focus several sessions of the Systems Analysis and Management  course that I teach at Illinois/GSLIS on use cases as well as the diagrams and the analyses that accompany them.  I find use cases to be important for many reasons, including:

  1. When taken as a group (as they appear in a UML use case diagram) use cases become a succinct way to express the overall scope of the project. Use cases that are included in the use case diagram are within scope.  Potential use cases that are missing from the use case diagram are outside of scope.
  2. Well-written use case specifications illustrate how actors within the use case will interact with the system to accomplish their work goals. This compares favorably to earlier methodologies that produced documents primarily focused on the information that programmers needed to construct a system.
  3. Use cases can serve as a common expression of scope and functionality for systems analysts, system users, and system builders.  This facilitates a meeting of the minds that makes for a robust expression of the requirements and leads to satisfied stakeholders at the conclusion of the project.

Over the years, I have used a number of text books for my Systems Analysis and Management course.  Authors have been struggling to decide how much attention to give Structured Analysis (using data flow diagrams and related documents) versus how much attention to give to Object-Oriented Analysis (using UML-based use case diagrams and related documents).  Currently, I am using the following text book, which I believe does the best job of striking a balance in addressing both topics:

  • Hoffer, J. A., George, J. F., & Valacich, J. S. (2014). Modern systems analysis and design (7th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

The following is a list of links to the materials that I will be using during my presentation at UWM/SOIS.  It represents a subset of the materials that I use when I cover the Use Cases unit in my Systems Analysis and Management course:

Discussing these items should take up all of the time allotted for this short presentation. Anyone who has an interest in seeing the full class syllabus, schedule of lectures and assignments, or any other materials used in this course can contact me by email at