Systems Development Life Cycle - SDLC
SDLC (a.k.a SLC) is the shortened term for this method of analyzing information systems.
A systems analyst follows a precise set of steps, the SDLC model giving a defined path down which the analyst moves to thoroughly investigate systems for the client.
The Steps of the SDLC model
Here are the steps in the SDLC. If any of these steps fails, the analyst generally starts back at the beginning to find out where the problem came from if no clear originator for the problem exists.
- Planning - Every aspect of the financial, technical, employee training, and time frame in regard to the proposed system changes or additions is mapped out during this phase. With a solid plan in place, then the analyst can begin to analyze the current system.
- System Analysis - The problem of the client is determined and a solution is decided upon using various tools and once the solution has been narrowed by the analysis, a more appropriate system may be designed.
- System Design - This step finds the meat of the system being designed and described both logically and physically. At the end of this step, a second analysis must be done to ensure the system fits the needs, finances and schedule of the client.
- Development - Once all details have been both planned and verified, the development phase begins. In this phase any outsourced work comes in, and the system is built.
- Testing - To make sure that the steps along the way have been successful, including the development of the new system or it's additions, the system must be fully tested for hardware or software issues. Only after being fully tested is the system ready for implementation.
- Implementation - This step sees the installation of the system. This installation can be done in a direct or indirect fashion, either supplementing or replacing the old system if any was present. Once implementation is complete, the system is done and ready for the client to use. All that remains is keeping the system running smoothly, which requires proper use of the system, and regular upkeep.
- Maintenance - An ongoing process keeping an installed system running well. Small issues, data recovery and the solving of any issues which may come up as a result of errors missed during the previous steps all require maintenance. Under this category also fall any continued additions or enhancements, though depending on the severity of the change to the system, a new analysis of the system may be required.