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The System Development Life Cycle (SDLC)  is a model designed to describe various steps involved in developing a system of information. It is conceptual and is usually applied in project management (Elliott, 2004). It is the process of creating or altering software systems, and the methods and methodologies people use to develop these systems(Elliott, 2004). It originated in the 1960s to develop large- scale functional business systems in age of large- scale business conglomerates (Elliott, 2004). There are several SDLC models, and they include: the waterfall model, rapid application development (RAD), the fountain model, build and fix, the spiral model, joint application development (JAD), and synchronize and stabilize model. These models are usually combined, and documentation, done as development of the model into the application is underway, is very important. Different projects work best with different SDLC models, but what really ensures that the project is successful is how well the method of installing the model is followed. Discussed in this essay are the stages of a System Development Life Cycle and objectives and activities at each stage, a case study on an SDLC, basic analysis and design and implementation techniques in a simple system- building tasks.

The SDLC provides a number of activities that system developers and designers follow, thus, the following are the steps followed by an SDLC methodology: Evaluation of the existing system. The objective is to  identify its shortcomings (Elliot, 2004).  Activities involved in this stage are interviewing of the users of the system and doing consultations  with the support personnel.

The requirements of the new system are defined. The objective is to address the shortcomings of the existing system. The activity involved at this stage is giving of specific proposals for the new system, an improvement of the existing one.Designing of the proposed system. Activities include laying out of plans on the physical construction, operating systems, hardware, communications, programming and security issues.

Actual development of the new system. Activities at this stage include the obtaining and installation of new components and programs, training of the system’s users on its use, and doing a test run of the system in order to determine if its performance is correct. In case of any mishap, adjustments are  made (Elliot, 2004). The system is then put into use. Activities include gradual replacement of the previous system by phasing in the new system, depending on location and application. However, it is cheaper sometimes to do shutting down of the old system and implementation of the new system simultaneously.

Finally, exhaustive evaluation of the new system is done. Activities at this stage include keeping the system’s users constantly informed on current modifications and procedures with the aim of  ensuring rigorous maintenance of the system.

However, the steps above do not have to be followed in the order in which they appear, thus, basing on how ambitious the project is, and how complicated it is, the steps could overlap since they are interdependent.

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