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Lesson 9

Project Life Cycle Conclusion

This module discussed
  1. The phases making up the project life cycle for developing software:
    1. Project initiation
    2. Problem analysis
    3. Architectural analysis
    4. Object design
    5. Construction
    6. Installation
    7. Maintenance
  2. That it is critical that you have a clear understanding of the purpose and scope of each phase in order to:
    1. Manage the overall process
    2. Identify the skills needed in each phase
    3. Identify the participants for each phase
    4. Identify the deliverables for each phase
  3. The iterative nature of the project life cycle
It is usually very difficult to make accurate plans for large projects at project initiation. A part of the difficulty arises from the fact that large projects may take several years to complete. As a result, during the span of the project, the project parameters, scope of the project, and project staff often change drastically resulting in the initial plans going haywire. In order to overcome this problem, sometimes project managers undertake project planning over several stages. That is, after the initial project plans have been made, these are revised at frequent intervals. Planning a project over a number of stages protects managers from making big commitments at the start of the project. This technique of staggered planning is known as sliding window planning.

Remember to apply the software development process in an iterative manner. Repeatedly work through one or more steps in the process, adding new information and/or refining existing information with each new pass. Incremental improvements are easier to understand, verify, and manage. You will also find that consistent and repeated application of the processes will quickly build proficiency and speed.
Never try to get the models you develop right in a single pass through the project life cycle.
This leads to analysis paralysis.

Glossary terms

  1. Architecture:Architecture refers to the way in which components fit together. Can be used to describe any complex system, for example, "software architecture", or "network architecture"
  2. Methodology:An organised, documented set of procedures and guidelines for one or more phases of the software life cycle, such asanalysis Many methodologies include a diagramming notation for documenting the results of the procedure; a step-by-step"cookbook" approach for carrying out the procedure; and an objective (ideally quantified) set of criteria for determiningwhether the results of the procedure are of acceptable quality.
  3. Notation:Any particular system of characters, symbols, or abbreviated expressions used in art or science, to express brieflytechnical facts, quantities, etc. Esp., the system of figures, letters, and signs used in arithmetic and algebra to express number,quantity, or operations.
  4. Process:A particular course of action intended to achieve a result.
  5. System:System refers to the set of all functions and resources that support the goal of the users.
  6. Unified Modeling Language (UML):The Unified Modeling Language is used to specify, visualise, construct and document the components comprising anobject-oriented system under development.

Software Development Phase Quiz

Before you move on, click the Quiz link below to take a multiple-choice quiz on software development tasks and the phases in which they occur.
Software Development Phase - Quiz