The History Data Management Lifecycle (HDML) model

The History Data Management Lifecycle (HDML) model

4. Lifecycle or Lifeline?

The cycle concept has much to recommend it. It highlights that each phase of a research project needs to be continually revisited in order to ensure that successful completion may be achieved. One difficulty is that this fluid concept does not lend itself to the very real world problem of timescales.

The HDML recognises that the “cycle” concept of a project may be better understood in terms of a linear development in certain situations. The idea is that the “circle”, which starts and ends at the conceptualisation/completion phases, is stretched out into a curve or line. This better indicates the vital research considerations of timescales. It may prove helpful when applied to project management processes such as GANTT charts and Critical Paths Analyses, but critically, it can be used to simply put a timescale on the various elements that need to be completed in order to reach the final outcome of the project.

The diagram below highlights this linear approach for a typical research project.


Figure 5: Cycle into Linear depiction


For many this is a clearer way to understand the Cycle, but some people will find that the linear depiction works better from top down. Which way works best for you?