Thursday, December 02, 2004

Rapid Application Development Explained

I really hate being the negative one here about RAD (Rapid Application Development) and JAD (Joint Application Development), but these are MBA buzz words and “In a perfect world” concepts. Having been a software developer for 22 years I can tell you that you will not see the JAD methods widely used as described in the text.

First of all RAD is a concept to speed up software development. RAD is accomplished by using other software tools to quickly produce an end product. Visual Basic is a software tool that will aid in RAD. RAD as described in the text do not facilitate speedy development. What is being described are simple shorten phases of the development cycle. You can shorten the phases as much as you want, but if the software developer doesn’t have a tool to make the development go faster then the RAD as describe in the text doesn’t work.

These are just a few, as there are hundreds of variations on a theme. The JAD method is ideal for internal business need development as the company can afford to a lot such human resources.

Typically the company is unwilling to a lot that much human resources as all the development teams have more work than they can handle. It is terrible expensive to employ JAD as described in the text and you will find modified versions that are really scaled back. Scaled back JAD is also true with custom development as TIME is money therefore the costs would be greater than what the customer would be willing to pay.

If you do a Google search on JAD at Microsoft, Apple or Sun you will not find a single reference to this concept and these guys are world leaders in software application development.

Also in the JAD method there is no mention of Scope CREEP. That occurs as the project is expanded to accommodate additional features and functionality. That leads to a whole different set of issues we can discuss later.

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