Software systems development is, from a historical perspective, a very young profession. The first official programmer is probably Grace Hopper, working for the Navy in the mid-1940s. More realistically, commercial applications development did not really take off until the early 1960s. These initial efforts are marked by a craftsman-like approach based on what intuitively felt right. Unfortunately, too many programmers had poor intuition.
By the late 1960s it had become apparent that a more disciplined approach was required. The software engineering techniques started coming into being. This finally brings us to the SDLC. What evolved from these early activities in improving rigor is an understanding of the scope and complexity of the total development process. It became clear that the process of creating systems required a system to do systems. This is the SDLC. It is the system used to build and maintain software systems.
The System Development Life Cycle is the process of developing information systems through investigation, analysis, design, implementation, and maintenance. The systems development life cycle (SDLC) is a conceptual model used in project management that describes the stages involved in an information system development project, from an initial feasibility study through maintenance of the completed application.
When we plan to develop, acquire or revise a system we must be absolutely clear on the objectives of that system. The objectives must be stated in terms of the expected benefits that the business expects from investing in that system. The objectives define the expected return on investment.
An SDLC has three primary business objectives:
- Ensure the delivery of high quality systems;
- Provide strong management controls;
- Maximize productivity.
In other words, the SDLC should ensure that we can produce more function, with higher quality, in less time, with less resources and in a...