I agree 100% with you that if you have a short term project with no future releases, data driven design is more efficient. My argument is Mock ups, Domain Design and Database Design (in that order. Domain Design and Database Design could be parallel activities in some organizations) will not only help achieve 100% but is also cost effective for project with multiple releases.
Rest of 20% is too important to left open to risks of communication failure
Nothing more make sense to Business User more than Mock ups, Screen Shots or prototype. You win the 80 percent battle if you have these ready with Database design. But left 20% is too important to left open to communication failure.
Rest 20% is like collaboration mechanism that integrates all the parts of plane and help you fly the plane and reach the destination. Fact that you all parts are complete and you get the mechanism wrong would result in system failure.
Now back to real world, we get the 20% right in the sense; they deliver the business value but are written in procedural style hard-coded in the front end. Thus it results in weak business layer. Experience developers will notice patterns and in next iteration, we will refactor the 20%. That brings me to next point
Domain Driven Design requires more time.
Domain Driven Design is a more reverse thought process. As you put it, first figure out the data needs and perform the domain design. Problem is thinking in terms of data needs will create communication failure. There is good case study example in Domain Driven Design ( I have read only 10% of book). Here is excerpt from book
So when we change the customs clearance point, we need to redo the whole routing plan.
Right. We'll delete all the rows in the shipment table with that cargo id and we will pass the origin, destination, and the new customs clearance point into the Routing Service, and it will re-populate the table. We'll have to have a Boolean in the Cargo so we'll know there is data in the shipment table
Delete the rows. OK, whatever
Reference: Domain Driven Design -- by Eric Evans.
There is no concept of any domain analysis in most project that I have done. You have screen shots, process flow or activity diagrams and database ready, let us move to development. Class diagrams more reflect the database rather than domain.
So you are going to be get all entity classes right and no or light controller or process classes. Experienced developers will notice all common patterns but there is not time to apply patterns as there is a deadline to meet. In next release, experienced developers will sneak in design patterns, controllers and process classes. If something breaks down in application that was scoped not to be affected during impact analysis in release, you will to answer the Project Manager.
Domain Driven Design is good and no Domain Driven Design has costs
In my analysis, Domain Driven analysis will help you get 10 – 15% out of 20% right in first release. Returns on investment are higher in long term and less risk. Performing Domain Analysis first before data requirement will help the communication and no Domain Analysis has costs.
People understand Mock Screens More
In theory, perhaps, you could present a user with any view of a system, regardless of what lies beneath. But, in practice, a mismatch causes confusion at best—bugs at worst. Consider a simple example of how users are misled by superimposed model of bookmarks for Web sites in current releases of Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Of course, an unadorned view of the domain model would definitely not be convient for the user in most cases. But trying to create in the UI an illusion of a model other than the domain model will cause confusion unless the illusion is perfect.
People don’t understand Objects
MODEL_DRIVEN DESIGN calls for an implementation technology in tune with the particular modeling paradigm bend applied. At present, the dominant paradigm is object-oriented design and most complex projects these days set out to use objects, some are circumstantial, and others derive from the advantages that come from wide usage itself.
Many of reasons teams choose the object paradigm are not technological, or even intrinsic to objects. But right out of the gate, object modeling strike a nice balance of simplicity and sophistication.
The fundamentals of object oriented design seem to come naturally to most people. Although some developers miss the subtleties of modeling, even non technologists can follow a diagram of an object model.
Yet, simple as the concept of object modeling is, it has been rich enough to capture important domain knowledge. And it has been supported from the outset by development tools that allowed a model to be expressed in software.
Objects are already understood by a community of thousands of developers, project managers, and all other specialists involved in project work.
When a design is based on a model that reflects the basic concerns of users and domain experts, the bones of the design can be revealed to the user to a greater extent than with other design approaches. Revealing the model gives user more access ot the potential of the software and yields consistent, predictable behavior
Reference: Domain Driven Design – by Eric Evans