Value of the Systems Development Life Cycle Essay

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Value of the Systems Development Life Cycle
Every organization can benefit from the use of a formal Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) to develop and manage projects. This paper will describe the components of the formal SDLC process, and discuss how each component is used to provide a framework for a project. The SDLC process involves the project manager, system analyst, and developer. Their roles are an integral part of the SDLC process and will determine whether a solution is developed or discarded.
There are four basic elements which comprise the SDLC process; project planning, analysis, design, and implementation. Regardless of the scope or size of a project the SDLC provides a guide to develop a solution to a problem using technology (Satzinger, Jackson & Burd, 2009). Project planning defines the specific problem and identifies the scope the new system will address. During the project planning phase feasibility of the project is determined. A schedule or timeline, as well as a staff will also be developed. Resources will be organized, milestones will be identified, and control procedures will be put in place during this phase. Budgets for the project will also be determined at this time. The next element of the SDLC process is analysis.
The analysis phase of the SDLC is used to gather information from the end users and learn as much as possible about the problem which needs to be solved. Details are discerned and documented during the analysis phase. System requirements are prioritized because some requirements hold more importance than others. Additionally, research for alternative solutions will also be completed. For example, updating the current system, building a new system or contracting with a third-party to install a system. Once the analysis phase is complete the design element comes next.
The decisions made during the analysis phase help to develop a design structure based on the requirements defined. Design activities are all closely related and may overlap at times. There following activities take place in the design phase. Design and integrate the network, database, and system controls which provide security and integrity for the database. Application architecture, user and system interfaces are also designed at this time. Prototype details are designed as well. Finally, the last element of the SDLC is implementation.
The implementation phase is where all the planning, analysis, and design work reaches the final stage. The developer will construct the software, then verify and test it. Data will be converted for implementation, and the new system installed. End users are trained, and document the system works and note glitches or errors that may occur. This step ensures the system will be a reliable information system for the organization. Providing proper training for the end users is crucial for the organization to realize the full benefits of the new system. Each element of the SDLC is an important and necessary step to successful development and implementation of a system solution. The role of specific employees and the tasks and responsibilities they perform are as important to the SDLC as the elements themselves.
The project manager, systems analyst, and developer each play an integral role in the development and design of the organization’s solution. The project manager (PM) has four basic duties which include planning, organizing, leading, and controlling (projectmanagementskills.com. 2013). The scope of a project is defined and clarified by the project manager. Throughout the project the PM will plan and schedule what needs to be done and who is going to do it. Policies and procedures to support the project goals and objectives will be put in place by the PM. The PM will organize the structure of the project teams and identify roles and positions as well. One of the most challenging tasks is communicating clearly with team members, providing motivation, and having the ability to resolve…