IT Methodology Part 2

Various other methodologies that are in the SDLC family that deserve recognition include the fountain model, build and fix, and synchronize-and-stabilize. Although, more often than not, especially in today’s diverse environments, several methodologies are combined forming a hybrid methodology. In general though, when employing an SDLC methodology the following steps should be followed:

  1. If there is an existing system, its deficiencies are identified. This is accomplished by interviewing users and consulting with support personnel.
  2. The new system requirements are defined including addressing any deficiencies in the existing system with specific proposals for improvement.
  3. The proposed system is designed. Plans are created detailing the hardware, operating systems, programming, and security issues.
  4. The new system is developed. The new components and programs must be obtained and installed. Users of the system must be trained in its use, and all aspects of performance must be tested. If necessary, adjustments must be made at this stage.
  5. The system is put into use. This can be done in various ways. The new system can phased in, according to application or location, and the old system gradually replaced. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to shut down the old system and implement the new system all at once.
  6. Once the new system is up and running for a while, it should be exhaustively evaluated. Maintenance must be kept up rigorously at all times. Users of the system should be kept up-to-date concerning the latest modifications and procedures.

The main thing to remember is that documentation is crucial regardless of the type of method chosen for any application. It is up to the organization to determine if one or a combination will work better for specific types of projects, but in the final analysis, the most important factor for the success of a project may be how closely the particular plan was followed. To summarize, in today’s diverse development environments, methodologies are designed or created for situations that fit some ideal specification, whether stated or unstated. Many of the traditional approaches are still being used by organizations to define a clear strategy for system development work. It is noteworthy to mention that there does seem to be one area where methodologies have seen a decline with the traditional SDLC methods - Web-based application development. The trend seems to bypass the traditional methodologies and develop in an “ad hoc, trial-and-error manner, relying on the skills and experience of a few key people in an organization” with little regard for standards, training and control, somewhat reminiscent of the pre-methodology era of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

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