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Systems Life Cycle

Essay Topic: ,

Systems Development Life Cycles (SDLC) is just one model that follows the development process of analysis, design, development, and maintenance of information systems. There are many different methods and techniques used to direct the life cycle of a software development project. Each is designed for a specific purpose or reason and most have similar goals and share many common traits.

Kal Toth describes typical activities performed as including the following “System conceptualization, System requirements and benefits analysis, Project adoption and project scoping, System design, Specification of software requirements, Architectural design, Detailed design, Unit development, Software integration & testing, System integration & testing, Installation at site, Site testing and acceptance, Training and documentation, Implementation, Maintenance” (Kal Toth, 1997) One model that sticks to this main frame of system development is Ad-hoc Development.

Ad hoc analysis may be used to create a report that does not currently exist or may go deeper into a static report to get details about accounts, transactions, or records. Ad hoc testing is done as a precautionary measure to ensure that there are no gaps left in a developed system before releasing it to the consumer. The drawbacks of using Ad hoc is the lack of data for metrics analysis, lack of comfort on coverage of Ad hoc testing and that the exact steps taken are difficult to record.

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Another model is the Waterfall method, also called the linear sequential method. This specific model is easy to understand and supports the “define before design” and “design before code” logic. The advantages of a Waterfall method is that output is generated after each stage, therefore it has high visibility. The client and project manager gets a feel that there is considerable progress. This methodology is significantly better than the haphazard approach to develop software.

It provides a template into which methods of analysis, design, coding, testing and maintenance can be placed and allows project management to determine and place deadlines for specific milestones and phases. The drawbacks of the waterfall method are that it is difficult to define all the problems that could be found at the beginning of a project which can therefore lead up to an unrealistic expectation of a final product. While early all system development efforts engage in some combination of the above tasks, they can be differentiated by the feedback and control methods employed during development and the timing of activities. It is important to note that in any projects psychological factors also play an important role as the development of a system is being achieved. Though there are several methods to produce the proper system for a consumer, it is important to remember that not all consumer needs will be met with the same method.

Reference
Kal Toth. (1997). Software Engineering Best Practices. Retrieved from http://www.intellitech.net Rainer, R. K. & Cegielski, C. G. (2011). Introduction to information systems: Supporting and transforming business (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. University of Alabama. (1998). A Survey of System Development Process Models. Retrieved from http://www.ctg.albany.edu/publications/reports/survey_of_sysdev/survey_of_sysdev.pdf

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