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Solution Provided by SDLC

August 10, 2009
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What is SDLC?
The systems development life cycle (SDLC) is a conceptual model used in project management that describes the stages involved in an information system development project, from an initial feasibility study through maintenance of the completed application.
Why SDLC?
The purpose of an SDLC methodology is to provide IT Project Managers with the tools to help ensure successful implementation of systems that satisfy organization strategic and business objectives. The documentation provides a mechanism to ensure that executive leadership, functional managers and users sign-off on the requirements and implementation of the system. The process provides Agency managers and the Project Manager with the visibility of design, development, and implementation status needed to ensure delivery on time and within budget.
Solution
Establishing a systematic approach for design and development of new websites and online applications will save time and money. Applying a System Development Life Cycle model is the most efficient way to do this.
If roles, standards, objectives, and expectations are clearly defined through the process, from beginning to end, there can be little confusion as to who was supposed to accomplish a given task.
We must define the following questions prior to any design or development:
Who – Who will design, develop, approve, test, launch, review / revise.
What – Scope. What exactly do we need to accomplish? What is the ROI?
Where – Will this be an internal tool, or a public-facing B-to-B application or site?

When – Reasonable deadlines.
Why – Why build it? Will this site or application save time / money? Generate leads?
How – Implementation and presentation – What is appropriate? Will we do this with Server-side code? Static HTML? Flash? How will it look? ASG Corporate? Modern? Business-like?

Definition of Roles
The Who part of the process would be designated by the managers, or leaders of the design and web teams.

Likely, the initiator of a project would define What, Where and When.
Example: We would like a lead automation system, by end off fiscal 2007. It will be an internal tool, but with a public-facing component, which will be the lead form. We wish to capture leads and get them into our existing AS400 database.

Why would be a brief explanation of the business objective, and any business pains remedied?
Example: It takes hundreds of hours to enter leads manually, and it is too slow. By the time we contact everyone, they have already purchased software from a competitor.
How Technology: defined by web team, presentation defined by design team and web team.
Example: Flash for introduction, ASP or coldFusion with a SQL Server Database.

SDLC Phases:
1. Analysis / Requirements-Gathering
A.Define Overall scope definition
Examples: We need an online application that will allow users to lookup their order status, and add to their order, or we need a website for our new product family.
This stage is NOT an open forum for users to become designers. However, preliminary designs should be welcomed at this stage.
During this stage, parties requesting the website or web application should be solicited for information about the business objective they are trying to achieve.
Input should be restricted to a formal Site/Application Requirement Form. (Preferably, online)
B. Define Sign-off Authority / (Final Approval Point-of-Contact)
It is essential that the final sign-off authority be named in the requirement specification document.

2. Design

The design stage takes as its initial input the requirements identified in the approved requirements document. For each requirement, a set of one or more design elements will be produced as a result of interviews, workshops, and/or prototype efforts.
3. Design Approval
At this point, the design is locked. Scope creep is very costly in terms of time and money. At this point, the specification is locked – additional features will be addressed in future revisions. This is necessary to keep development time and cost on track.

4. Development
The development stage takes as its primary input the design elements described in the approved design document. For each design element, a set of one or more software artifacts will be produced. Software artifacts include but are not limited to menus, dialogs, data management forms, data reporting formats, and specialized procedures and functions. Appropriate test cases will be developed for each set of functionally related software artifacts, and an online help system will be developed to guide users in their interaction with the software.

5. Prototype Test / Approval
During test stage, the software artifacts, online help, and test data are migrated from the development environment to a separate test environment. At this point, all test cases are run to verify the correctness and completeness of the software. Successful execution of the test suite confirms a robust and complete migration capability.


6. Launch
The site or application goes live. (Final approved version, set in step #3, and any last-minute, finishing touches were applied in step #5.)

7. Review / Revise

An iterative process – can be thought of as a sub-cycle through the SDLC. Notice that this is much the same as items 2 and 4, but applies to the entire process, rather than just one aspect of the SDLC.
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