Published on March 13, 2014
System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Day-1 Team Emertxe
Get the basics right SDLC and related areas are very critical for engineers Technical success v/s business success • Building technically great product is nice • Making them commercially successful is the key Standard frameworks like SDLC helps to do that Evolved over three decades Let us get our basics right!
What customer wants? A small game Need 6 volunteers
Customer need I want an Embedded device with 40$ price with device performance as the key priority. I would like to have a NOR flash with 20 MB space with 1 MB RAM. User experience should be really excellent. I can compromise on price for performance and user experience. Quality is a non-negotiable item
What actually happens? Challenge 1: How to understand customer’s exact needs?
How do I deliver? Assuming customer challenges are understood, how to deliver the product? How do I ensure: • Quality of end product is very good • Customer perceives quality • Control quality in my product development • Make it repeatable and scalable Often perceived as trust, brand, goodwill etc… Challenge 2: How do I deliver a quality product?
Outsourcing blues Ajay is an owner of small business, which has partnered with Arun’s organization for re-branding This includes our logo, caption, digital identity, website, branding artifacts, social media etc During vendor evaluation, Ajay was very happy with Arun’s capability and awarded the project As time progressed Ajay observed the following: • Consistently not keeping up with time commitments • Delays in responding to emails, phone-calls, no-response • Quality issues (Broken defect fixes, implementation flaws etc…) • Behavioral problems (“you didn’t tell this before!”, “It’s your problem”, “Why should I fix this?”, “you check this first!”) Ponder upon: • What are the possibilities of problems with X? • What experience Ajay is getting out of this activity? • Would Ajay recommend X to his other business associates/customers? Key observations: Planning, Estimation, Team capability and skills
eCommerce project One of the newly formed company came up with idea of selling niche products online They came up with an online portal which has excellent UI, e-commerce and product listings During product development and testing everything worked fine Product was successfully launched on-time, initial customer reviews were very positive Traffic to the website suddenly stared picking up for which the site couldn’t handle. This resulted in multiple transaction failures, delays and incorrect shipments This created a crisis in the organization Ponder upon: • What did the company do right? • Where did they go wrong? • What element did they miss during product requirement gathering? Key observations: Non-functional requirement handling (scalability, security, regulation compliance, high-availability etc..)
Bad news Subbu was project manager, heading a complex system integration project by combining many modules He understood the importance of making all modules working together and created a system integration plan During initial days none of the modules worked well with each other created a lot of issues In senior management meetings he raised it as a ‘RISK’ item and consistently raised alarm, which initially created some confusion To address these issues an expert team was formed who figured out all issues and solved the integration problem Product was released on time, customer was happy Ponder upon: • What did Subbu do right? • Confusion caused by Subbu initially was correct or wrong? • What would be the side effects if Subbu didn’t raise issues on time? Key observations: Risk raising and mitigation, Early handling, Being paranoid
Estimation challenges Ram was team leader of device driver team. For a new project he was asked to estimate the time required to complete it. In the recent department change, Ram ended up getting experienced engineers who were completely new to the device driver domain. Ram went with his initial estimation and started the project Team members started feeling the heat when they actually started implementing the project. With lesser or no previous knowledge about device drivers, team was struggling Customer reported quality issues in the deliverable. Both Ram and team were frustrated for letting each other down Ponder upon: • What did Ram do incorrectly? • How the team would have felt in the situation? • If you were asked to take charge of project, what would you do? Key observations: Team competency in estimation, Importance of estimation, Team training and development, Customer expectations
Process for Process Chaithra was a highly quality conscious project manager who strongly believes in establishing strong processes. Starting from the scratch she built quality system of her team, which delivered quality products consistently to customers. Chaithra and her team was highly regarded as ‘champions-of-quality’. However over a period of time, team started introducing too many new processes and created a “checklist-and-approval” culture. For anything and everything it became a world of excel sheets, check-lists, and introducing new templates. Senior technical and management members started enjoying this “approval” based culture as they started enjoying the “pseudo power” that came along with Over a period of time customers started observing that Chaithra’s team is slow in delivering products Ponder upon: • What was the problem with Chaithra? • Process based approach followed by the team is correct or incorrect? • Why the customer is feeling delay in product releases? Key observations: Process should help team and customer, Keeping it simple, Impact of process in team culture
Challenges in Product development
Two challenges How to understand customer requirements? How to deliver on-time with high quality?
Quality & Time
Processes Parameter Aravind Benchmark Number of operation 400 / month 25 / month Post infection cases 4 / 10000 patients 6 / 10000 patients Time taken for operation 10 minutes 30 minutes Key point: Make it as a standard, Make it repeatable and scalable
SDLC - Introduction
What is SDLC? System Development Life Cycle A conceptual model used in project management Describes the stages involved, from an initial feasibility study through maintenance
Why SDLC? To have a successful system To execute large projects To understand customer requirements To deliver on-time with high quality Process framework
Failures Schedule slippage • No planning of development work (e.g. no milestones defined) • No control or review Cost over-runs • Poor understanding of cost and effort by both developer and user Does not solve user’s problem • Deliverables to user not identified • Poor understanding of user requirements Poor quality of software • Technical incompetence of developers Poor maintainability
Success Taking an “engineering” approach - To design, develop (build, fabricate) an artefact that meets specifications efficiently, cost-effectively and ensuring quality That comes from: • Attempt to estimate cost/effort • Plan and schedule work • Involve user in defining requirements • Identify stages in development • Define clear milestones so that progress can be measured • Schedule reviews both for control and quality • Define deliverables • Plan extensive testing
Process Process consists of activities/steps to be carried out in a particular order Software process deals with both technical and management issues
Process Types Process - Manage the project • Defines project planning and control • Effort estimations made and schedule prepared • Resources are provided • Feedback taken for quality assurance • Monitoring done. Process – Change & Configuration management • Resolving requests for changes • Defining versions, their compositions • Release control Process - For managing processes • Improving the processes based on new techniques, tools, etc. • Standardizations and certifications (ISO, CMM)
Steps in process Each step has a well-defined objective Requires people with specific skills Takes specific inputs and produces well-defined outputs Step defines when it may begin (entry criteria) and when it ends (exit criteria) Uses specific techniques, tools, guidelines, conventions.
Characteristics Precisely defined Predictable Quality Statistically controlled Supports testing and maintainability Facilitates early detection of and removal of defects Facilitate monitoring and improvement
SDLC - Phases
Initiation Is this project worth doing? Defining the project scope Key deliverable is a feasibility report
Concept Development Feasibility Study (will it work?) Identify system interfaces. Identify basic functional and data requirements to satisfy the business need. Cost/Benefit Analysis (is the cost really worth it?) System Boundary (how far should the project go?) Risk Management (what will happen if we don't do it?)
Planning During this phase, a plan is developed that documents the approach to be used It includes a discussion of methods, tools, tasks, resources, project schedules, and user input. Personnel assignments, costs, project schedule, and target dates are established. A Project Management Plan is created
Feasibility study Economic • Cost / Benefit Analysis Technical • Hardware, Software, People etc. • Identify and estimate to see if user needs can be satisfied using current techniques and technologies. Legal Alternative • More tan one way would be possible
Requirement Analysis Define the client’s requirements Further define and refine the functional and data requirements and document them in the Requirements Document. Develop detailed data and process models including system inputs and outputs. Develop the test and evaluation requirements that will be used to determine acceptable system performance.
Design Define how the system will be implemented Generate a number of design options based on technical, operational, economic, scheduling and tendering constraints The client selects the best option for their needs (assess feasibility again) Acquire the necessary hardware and software Design interfaces, databases, networks as required Specify integration requirements and software requirements (programs)
Implementation Build and deliver the system Build/modify databases and networks as required Build and test programs • Acceptance testing, user documentation, user training, maintenance procedures Prepare users for new system Finalize system and technical documentation Install the system
Integration & Testing Subsystem integration, system, security, and user acceptance testing is conducted. The user, with those responsible for quality assurance, validates that the functional requirements, as defined in the functional requirements document, are satisfied by the developed or modified system.
Deployment This phase is initiated after the system has been tested and accepted by the user. The system is installed to support the intended business functions. System performance is compared to performance objectives established during the planning phase. Implementation includes user notification, user training, installation of hardware, installation of software onto production computers, and integration of the system into daily work processes.
Evaluation Evaluation measures how well the original ambitions of the new system (i.e. the logical design laid down during the analysis phase) have been achieved. Evaluation doesn't really serve to improve the system that is being evaluated; it serves to improve the next system you will work on
Evaluation Typical evaluation criteria include: • Speed • Accuracy • Quality of output • Reliability • Cost of operation • Attractiveness • Ease of use • Robustness • Capacity • Compatibility with other systems • Functionality (does it have the features it needs?) • Security • Flexibility (can it be upgraded, modified, adapted, tweaked, configured?) • Size, portability
Support & Maintenance Corrective - fix errors Adaptive - satisfy changing needs Perfective - enhance performance Preventative - fix potential problems
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