Saturday, February 05, 2005

Deliverables in the Analysis Phase of the SDLC

There are three deliverables that the development team must build in the Analysis Phase before the Design Phase begins. What are they and why are they important to the customers of the new system? What are the three deliverables?

Deliverable #1: Design Strategy

It is composed of several alternative designs for the new system. It can include several choices for the system’s functionality, hardware, system software platform, and method for acquisition. These are possible courses of actions proposed by the development team. The customers are asked to choose between three designs that differ in cost and functionality.

Low-end: This the least costly that the other two solutions. This is the basic solution that has no extra amenities or enhancement. One could compare Windows Notepad as a basic barebones word processor and lacks many of the features of Microsoft Word 2003. Because it is basic it is the fastest to develop.

High-end: This is the most expensive solution that would contain many enhancements, features and functionality. Microsoft Word 2003 would be a good example of this as compared to Notepad. The extra features for this application is the main focus not the cost.

Middle: This is a in between solution that is basic but with moderate features within a certain set cost that is much less than the high-end solution, and more than the low end solution. Microsoft WordPad would be a good example. It is a very basic Word with formatting and rich text like Word 2003, but without the additional nice features and cost.

Deliverable #2: Recommended Course of Action
This is the course of action that the development team thinks is the best to build and why. The recommendation helps address customer issues before they commit to the project.

- Will all the customer requirements be incorporated in the new system?
- What functions were added or left out and why?

Software:- Will the new system run on a mainframe platform, standalone personal computers, or a client/server platform?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Hardware:- Can the new system run on the current hardware or will the company have to spend money to upgrade their computer systems?

Infrastructure:- Will the company be able to trains and support the users.
- How big of a change will the new system require the company to make to the way it does business?

Implementation:- How difficult or easy will the system be to implement?

Organization:- Does the new system work well with the company’s organization?
- Will the users accept it?
- Can the users even understand the new system?
- How will it help the organization?

Deliverable #3: Baseline Project Plan

The plan should show task sequences, dependencies, time requirements and the project critical path. This can be in a Gantt chart like is used in Microsoft Project. It is important to have a plan for both you and the customer. This allows the development team to give the customer a feel for the amount of work involved in the recommended course of action.

Why are they important to the customers of the new system? They are important to the customer because it gives them a understanding of the design, costs and the amount of work involved in the project. It also helps them understand if the project is addressing their needs and goals. By having them sign-off on it means that they claim that they understand the project and agree with the course of action.

In addition to this the deliverables are the bases in which the development team will be their design. The deliverables must be signed-off before proceeding to the design phase. This will provide your CYA and that the customer has committed to paying you for the project.

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