Innovative Approaches to Creating System Development Life Cycles (SDLC)

The deployment of any nascent information system often requires meticulously scheduled strategy. It involves the planning, creation, testing and deployment of all relevant concepts that system engineers require in order for them to come up with a fully-functional structure that will benefit consumers. Pursuant to this quest, the systems development life cycle (SDLC) utilizes a wide array of software and hardware configurations to ensure that these creations are free of any blight. In essence, it acts as a spellcheck for those in the software development arena and renowned for flagging any errors that may be present at any given stage. The aim here is to identify the errors as soon as possible before the team decides to continue with successive stages (Langer, 2012, p. 90).

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Moreover, the systems development life cycles (SDLC) has been hailed by innovation pundits as a novel technology since it lays out concise plans that, more often than not, get everything right the first time. Consequently, journal article seeks to analyze three distinct systems development life cycles (SDLC) methodologies, together with their pros and cons in addition to an analysis of two companies that currently using various innovative SDLC methodologies. Furthermore, as an addendum, this article will also contain a systems development life cycles (SDLC) plan supporting acquisition, connection and sustainment of a new Database Management System.

Systems Development Life Cycles (SDLC) Methodologies

Agile Development Methodology

            As a software development ideology, Agile is highly valued for its ability to articulate well-organized procedures for project management. This therefore means that recurrent alterations can be made at any given point during the development of taxing of software engineering projects. Lately, Agile has become a chief player in software development initiatives and also a major driving force in various types of tech and non-tech initiatives. One of the foremost advantages of using this system is the aforementioned allowance of small incremental changes that usually set the model apart from previous releases (Langer, 2012, p. 90). Teams, therefore, have an easier time identifying minuscule issues that may be present in the projects before having them snowball into significant problems. Additionally, it minimizes the likelihood of mistakes in the development stage by building software in iterations (short time boxes) that are thoroughly scrutinized. Nonetheless, there is usually a lack of documentation efficiency since the model solely focuses on working with the software alone.

Waterfall Model

            The Waterfall model is an integral part the software engineering world. This is because it seeks to clarify all processes that will take place into a linear flow with itemized sequences. Users therefore get a unique opportunity to comprehend levels created progressively. It is considered the oldest of all known a systems development life cycles (SDLC) methodologies and a forthright approach also one that explains what each stage entails. Each leg is dependent upon data gathered from the previous stage which occurs before it ultimately takes on a life of its own (Langer, 2013).

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One of the advantages of the waterfall model was that it was easy to understand when presented to any layman and was also quite functional in terms of its dexterity. It simplicity therefore makes it easy to use; saving personnel a significant amount of their valuable time that could be better used completing other tasks. However, the downside of this methodology is its rigidity. Any delay, as a result of this shortcoming may throw the entire project off kilter and hinder progress. In addition to this, it only matches precise needs by users and therefore not recommended for long-term projects.

Lean Development Methodology

            The development of this particular model was enthused by lean manufacturing principles that are currently in vogue in the business community. The principles found herein aimed to eliminate waste, intensify learning, make deliveries within the shortest time possible and build integrity. This ideology essentially focused on being present in the moment and working only on one task, as opposed to multi-tasking. It therefore comes as no surprise that the Lean model works efficiently in large firms where project teams are often tasked with pinpointing opportunities that will go a long way in cutting waste and reducing documentation (Roebuck, 2012). In this model, developers lay the utmost emphasis on the formation of manageable software whose full potential can be harnessed effectively. The main purpose of this methodology is to improve the quality of the software created even when teams have to grapple with a restricted budget and in one-third of the expected delivery time (Roebuck, 2011, p. 78). An immediate advantage of using this model is that it can be utilized even with a low budget and with debacles such as time restrictions. By so doing, it allows for the early delivery of products that are then released to consumers. Conversely, a typical disadvantage of this model is its conceivability. A team’s workability is often a deciding factor with regard to success during the various development process phases.

Companies using Innovative SDLC Methodologies

UM Technologies and its application of the Rapid Application Development (RAD)

In the landscape of software development, UM Technologies stands out as a trailblazer in as far as using the rapid application development (RAD) model is concerned. This U.S-based technology firm has managed to minimize its software development time while thriving at maximizing its progress. At the core of its success is the rapid application model (RAD) which basically functions by minimizing software structuring while intensifying prototyping. Software developers are therefore uniquely placed to shift with the requirements of a fast-paced market that is constantly undergoing massive changes. By using this model, project teams at UM Technologies are able to adapt easily and are more flexible as development progresses. Also, the teams can monitor progress accurately while gathering useful feedback from the customers.

FineSoft Technologies and its use of Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)

            In carrying out its day to day activities, FineSoft Technologies is notably making use of the dynamic systems development method (DSDM) in its software development endeavors. This incremental approach first begins my carrying out a feasibility and business study that is meant to aid the firm in having a better understanding of market dynamics. It is only after this phase that the functional model can be thoroughly assessed and decisions made for the purpose of prototype iteration. This particular method has therefore allowed FineSoft Technologies to evolve in the field of project development by allowing various users to collaborate during different software creation phases. These teams are therefore more empowered simply because they are self-managed and can make important project-level decisions when required. The visibility and sheer transparency that is thus created enables all team players to communicate regularly and relay critical information to upper management.

Addendum: System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) plan for a Database Management System

Initial Discussion

All relevant information with regard to the project will be discussed during this phase and assessed for feasibility. The purpose of carrying out this initial discussion is to make certain that groundwork is laid for analysis and research. Requirements are therefore appraised to ensure that all players have a firm comprehension of user business needs and project scope.

Project Evaluation

This stage often involves the project manager as the chief player tasked with deciding whether or not they should give the green light for its commencement. It is therefore paramount that the project manager understands all aspects of their project, its latitude and even approach. An estimate of the time that will probably be spent on the project is also made here to make sure that it meets company projections.

Start of Development

After laying the groundwork, analysis and evaluation the project is now set to begin after formal approval. Any work that will be carried out by the developers will be based on their earlier developed scoping plan and any other requirements that may have been suggested by clients. Additionally, the project team also reviews the push code in case incremental reviews are required while developing the software.

Project Delivery

The development team has to make certain that the project timeline is observed and delivery done on time. The project manager is therefore tasked with ensuring that periodic status updates are provided to all relevant stakeholders to build confidence in the team’s ability to deliver. The introduction and phasing out of resources is also done here while conducting an appropriate quality assurance test.

Code Review

Progress made throughout the time allotted is presented for review to make sure that all requirements were followed to the letter. The code is thus pushed for review prior to its final deployment as a way of curtailing the inclusion of any errors into the final product. The software is assessed for any defects or bugs which ensures its fidelity once it is released to consumers.

Deployment

Fundamentally, this is where the final product goes live. All parameters are observed and the software now becomes ready for use. Nevertheless, the team responsible for creating it is tasked with thoroughly assessing it for any impairment that may have been overlooked. The software is then deployed to consumers and is now ready for use.

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Support

The firm also needs to continuously maintain the product for the purposes of consistency. Furthermore, incremental improvements are also made here to deal with new requirements that clients may present. Urgent help is also provided to clients who may be undergoing any type of software related difficulties before ultimately embarking on a thorough probe to investigate its origin.

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