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Approaches to System Development.doc

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Information Technology Management
ITM 305
Jim Tam

Approaches to System Development The System Development Cycle • The system development cycle (SDLC) is a fundamental concept in the success of information system development projects • A predictive approach to the SDLC assumes that the development project can be planned and organized and that the new information system can be developed according to the plan • An adaptive approach to the SDLC is used when the systems requirements and/or the users needs aren’t well understood. In this situation, project can’t be planned completely. Some system requirements may need to be determined after preliminary development work • Predictive approaches were more traditional around 1970s to 1990s • Adaptive approaches were evolved with the object-orientated technology and web development which were created around the late 1990s  Traditional Predective Approaches to the SDLC • In predicitive approaches, there is a group of activites that identifies the problem and secures approval to develop a new system, this is called project initiation. • A second group of activites, called project planning, involves planning, organizing, and scheduling the project. These activites map out the project’s overall structure • A third group, analysis, focuses on discovering and understanding the details of the problem or need. The intent here is to figure out exactly what the system must do to support the business process. • A fourth group, design, focuses on configuring and structuring the new system components • A fifth group, implementation, includes programming and testing the system. • A sixth group-deployment-involves installing and putting the system into operation • These six groups of activites are sometimes reffered to phases of the system, and they provide framework for managing the project. • Another phase called the support phase, includes the activites needed to upgrade and maintain the system after it has been deployed. • The most predictive SDLC approach is called the waterfall model, with phases of the project flowing down, one after another. • Look at figure 8.3 page 229 • First, a detailed plan is developed, then the requirements and thoroughly specified, then the system is designed down to the last algorithim, and then it is programmed, tested and installed  Newer Adaptive Approaches to the SDLC • In an adaptive approach, project activites- including plans and models are adjusted as the project progresses • There’re many ways to depict an adaptive SDLC, all include iterations. • Rather than having the analysis, design and implementation phases proceed sequentially with some overlap, instead iterations can be used to create a series of mini-projects that address smaller parts of the application. • One of the these smaller parts is analyzed, designed, built, tested during a single iteration, then based on the results, the next iteration proceeds to analyze, design, build, and test the next smaller part. • Look at fig 8.6 and 8.7 pg 231 • The columns are the multiple iterations of the project • The difference between the waterfall approach and iterative approach is waterfall approach attempts to do all planning, all analysis, all design and so forth • Our iterative approach is adaptive because with each iteration analysis design, and implementation, modifications can be made to adapt to the changing requirements of the project. • A related concept to an iterative SDLC is called incremental development, which is always based on a iterative life cycle. The basic idea is that the system is built in small increments. • An increment maybe developed within a single iteration or may require to or three iterations. • Another concept related on an iterative approach is a walking skeleton. • A walking skeleton provides a complete front-to-back implementation of the new system but with only bare bone functionality. • The walking skeleton is developed in a few iterations early in the project. • Later iterations then flesh out the skeleton with more functions and capabiltites. The Support Phase • The objective of the support activites is to keep the system running productively during the years following its initial deployment. • They begin only after the new system has been installed and put into production, and they last throughout the productive life of the system • During the support phase, uprgrades and enhancements maybe carried out to expand the system’s capabilities, and these will require their own development projects. • Three major activites occur during support : maintaining the system, enhancing the system, supporting the users. • Upgrades maybe requested by major modifications that are required, may often result in a new version of the system. • A help desk, consisting of knowledgable technicians, is a popular method for answering users’ questions quickly and helping increase their productivity. Methodolgies, Models, Tools and Techniques  Methodolgies • A system development methodology provides guidelines for every facet of the SDLC which contains models, tools and techniques • Each project team will use a set of tools – usually computer based tools- to build models, record information, and write the code • The techniques, models and tools support one another to pro
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