Design Methodology

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A design methodology is series of phases that guide a project lifecycle. Generally speaking there are an uncountable number of design methodologies, but the two most utilised are the predictive and the adaptive approach. The predicative approach assumes that a project can be planned in advance and the adaptive approach assumes the opposite. These design methodologies are also referred to as traditional or waterfall approach and spiral or iterative approach respectively.

The phases involved generally fall into the categories of planning, analysis, design, implementation and support. Whether implementing the predictive or adaptive approach, each phase is an important step in the design methodology but can differ depending on the approach taken. Additional, depending on the design methodology implemented, the phases may not exist as separate entities and can be combined, split up or even removed all together.

During the planning phase the problem and scope are defined, a work breakdown structure and schedule is developed, a feasibility study is undertaken, team members are assigned and official approval is sought for commencement.

The analysis phase involves gathering information relevant to the scope of the problem, constructing models or prototypes to assist information gathering, defining the goals or requirements and assessing and prioritising those goals or requirements. Information gathering techniques involve interviews, observation, reviewing industry standards, questionnaires, joint application design (JAD) sessions and general research.

The design phase includes designing and integrating the system controls, designing the system and designing the system interfaces.

The implementation phase involves constructing the system, verifying and testing the system, data conversion, training users, documenting the system and installation of the system.

Finally, the support phase encompasses maintenance of the system, improving the systems and...
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