Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Exercise: Systems Development Life Cycle Analysis

To translate descriptions of different systems development life cycles into realistic/probable milestones and actionable activity timelines; as templates for the purpose of choreographing or managing teams.

Allocate at approximately 30” to run this exercise. 5” setup and briefing. 15” complete the exercise instructions below. 10” debriefing. This exercise can be carried out individually or in small groups. No special room/space requirements. A document projector is desirable.

Provide copies of this instruction sheet and additional blank sheets of paper.

Generate a milestone calendar or activity/time diagram using (at least) the activities of the generic SDLC, for one of the following life cycle models.

  1. Waterfall.
  2. Spiral development.
  3. Or any other life cycle/method you are familiar with.

A single A4 sheet of paper upon which each student/group creates their own annotated diagrams for the life cycle model, e.g. a timeline of phases/activity for a project or iteration, a map of business function/activities over time, a consolidated diagram. Write your name(s) on the sheet.

Learning Outcomes and Reflection:
At the end of completing the exercise the tutor can gather the diagrams, group and display them during discussion using a document projector. Alternatively select student/groups to show, talk about and explain their diagrams to the class.

Practical Aim:
Identify the key characteristics of the listed software production and systems development lifecycles.

Knowledge Aim:

  • Describe and discuss current and emerging management approaches to systems development in general.
  • The overall goal of this exercise is to explore how you would operate or organise your team's activities over time based on one or other lifecycle.

Cross reference: Systems development life cycle notes