Using Data Flow Diagrams to Study Communication Process Between Construction Project Participants

by Azza Abou-Zeid, Univ of Wisconsin, Madison, United States,
Jeffrey S. Russell, Univ of Wisconsin, Madison, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Computing in Civil and Building Engineering


The Architecture-Engineering-Construction (AEC) industry is characterized as being highly fragmented. A large number of diverse organizations participate in the planning, design, and construction of each constructed project. Cooperation between project participants is essential in order to achieve the primary objective of a project - to deliver a constructed facility. This cooperation necessitates the transfer of large quantities of project information. Communication is the means for information and data exchange between participants. Availability and timeliness of data needed to perform a given task decreases the potential for project delay(s) and rework thus, increasing productivity. This paper discusses the use of the 'Structured Analysis' methodology to document the communication process. An overview of the Structured Analysis methodology is provided. Data Flow Diagrams (DFDs), Data Dictionary (DD), and Transform Descriptions (TDs) comprise tools for implementing Structured Analysis. Each tool is briefly described with emphasis given to DFDs. The ultimate goal of applying Structured Analysis is to develop functional specification of a new system. The scope of this paper is limited to illustrate the use of DFDs to study the communication process.

Subject Headings: Structural analysis | Construction management | Team building | Architecture | Industries | Business organizations | Project delay | Productivity

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