Introduction to UML

UML is an acronym for Unified Modeling Language.

Now, what’s “Unified”? Unified means multiple models integrated into 1.

What is modeling? Modeling is the act of representing reality with the help of diagrams.

What is language? Language is the art of communicating information.

Now, what’s a “Modeling Language”?

A modeling language provides “Iconography” and “Semantics” to express an aspect.

Now, what’s “Iconography”? A modeling language provides “Iconography” and “Semantics” to express an aspect.

Few sample icons

Now, what’s “Semantics”? “Semantics” are rules for using the icons.

History of UML

  • Different approaches to object-oriented analysis and design began appearing between the mid-1970s and late 1980s
  • As various methods were evolving in the same direction, authors of the models decided to come up with a unified modeling language.
  • Several organizations found UML strategic to their business.
  • Object Management Group (OMG) played a crucial role
  • Present UML version is v2.5.


Have you ever modeled?

If you have ever drawn a flowchart, then you have modeled. 

How do models look like?

Models can be diagrams, structured text, matrices, and formulas.

Let us understand this paragraph

  • Projects can be billed as Time and Material or Fixed price basis.
  • T&M projects are billed on monthly basis based on effort spent in the project or a fixed amount based on the agreement with a client.
  • For a domestic project, service tax needs to be applied.

Let’s look at this picture


  1. Reduces ambiguity
  2. Express a particular aspect
  3. Hide complexity
  4. Verify correctness
  5. Can help in automation

What do we model? 


Entities – ER Diagram and Class Diagram

Relationship between concepts

Generalization and inheritance


Activities –Activity diagram, Sequence diagram, Processes, Scenarios


State Chart Diagram



Business rules

Flow chart, Activity diagram, Sequence diagram, State Chart Diagram

Interaction / Communication

User interfaces


Capabilities or features


Commonly used models by BAs

  • Use case model
  • Activity model
  • Class model
  • State chart model
  • Sequence diagram

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Author Details
Principal BA and Trainer , Adaptive US Inc

Mentor to 500+ Certified BA
25+ years of experience in IT Business Analysis
Author of 12 Books on Business Analysis
Part of IIBA Exam Committee

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