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An Object-Oriented Approach for Integrated Project Management Software

TitleAn Object-Oriented Approach for Integrated Project Management Software
Publication TypeWorking Paper
Year of Publication1991
AuthorsFroese, T, Paulson, Jr., BC
Date Published03/1991
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsCenter for Integrated Facility Engineering, CIFE, Integration, Object Models, Programming, Project Management, Stanford University
AbstractThis paper outlines a new approach to developing software for project management that is expected to offer a wide range of improvements to both the software development process and the characteristics of the resulting applications. The overall objectives are to construct systems that offer greater flexibility, higher intelligence, and significantly better integration. The proposed approach does not replace either traditional project management applications or advanced applications such as expert systems; rather, it offers a more efficient and uniform methodology for implementing these programs and a new integrated environment in which these applications can reside. The basic approach, which relies heavily on the concepts of object-oriented programming, is to create a set of standardized software objects that represent the fundamental elements of the project management process. For example, objects would be created to represent a building's physical components (e.g., beams and columns), the basic construction activities needed to produce these physical components, and the resources required to perform the activities. These basic "building block" objects could then be pieced together, according to general design and development guidelines, to form the core of various project management application programs. This research will develop the overall design--or object model--for such an approach, will perform detailed design and implementation of the main objects involved, and will use these common objects to construct sample integrated applications. The advantages of such an approach include the following: • More efficient software development process because of the advantages of OOP. • Reduced development effort through the use of a shared common framework. • Increased flexibility and configurability because of the decoupling of software components, the high modularity of the software, and the overall system's increased functionality. • Extensive system integration because applications are based on a common view or schema of the domain, and because they physically share common software objects. • High potential for increased system intelligence since the basic representation is "modelbased" and because of the breadth of accessible information in the integrated system. The resulting object model for project management will not only form the basis of the proposed software development approach, but could also provide a common language or vocabulary for expressing issues related to computer applications for construction (e.g., documenting algorithms, structuring relational databases, or creating inter-application communications), contribute to the eventual establishment of industry data or object model standards, and offer insight into what the fundamental informational elements of the project management process are.
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Citation Key1076