Software Maintenance and Change Control

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Software Maintenance and Change Control at McBride Financial When undertaking any software project a critical aspect is to have successful software maintenance and change control plans in place. An optimized and sustainable maintenance plan can help to reduce software project costs as well as provide consistency and repeatability when tackling future similar projects. Furthermore, a plan that controls changes, tests, and implements those changes will make efficient use of the company’s resources. McBride Financial is a “one-stop mortgage provider” (Apollo Group, 2008). Their mission goal is to be the “preeminent provider of low-cost mortgage services using state of the art technology” (Apollo Group, 2008). To make this mission goal a reality, McBride Financial needs to look at the different types of software development available, identify issued that will impact software maintenance, and derive optimized and sustainable software maintenance and change control plans. Types of Software Development

Any organization looking to develop software will look at three types of software development. The organization can buy the software off the shelf, contract the development to external contractors, or develop the software in-house. These three types are not mutually exclusive and many organizations will find that in order to optimize their resources, they will use a combination of these types when completing a project. Off The Shelf

The first type of software development is to purchase software that is currently available off the shelf. If a piece of software currently available meets the requirements of the organization then this type of software development might be the most feasible. Many financial organizations and many other software manufacturers have packages that meet or exceed McBride Financial requirements. One major issue to note is that by buying software off the shelf, an organization needs to make sure that the software package be scalable. In addition, if the package is scalable, exactly how much scalability can be accomplished? For example, can an in house developer that works for McBride Financial create new programs that can enhance the functionality of the off the shelf program or will an external contractor be needed.. External Contractors

A second type of software development is to have external contractors develop the software. If off the shelf software does not meet the organization’s requirements and in house expertise is not available, then having external software developers create the software package may be the best route. If McBride Financial chooses to hire external developers, they need to make sure that a very well defined requirements list is put together. They will also need to interview different software development firms to gauge their levels of experience. Furthermore, a prospective development firm will need to provide examples and verifiable references. Finally, the statement of work defined by the development firm, needs to be considered by McBride Financial to ensure all requirements are met. In House

The third type of software development is to use in house developers. If McBride Financial currently employs any software developers or has individuals who are subject matter experts, this may be the best route to take. Using in house developers can reduce upfront costs for software development but can increase long-term costs if the software development project is not managed well. This type of development can provide to McBride Financial a software package that is unique and tailored to their organization.

Software Maintenance Risks
Regardless of the type of software development McBride Financial chooses, good solid software maintenance and change control plans will be the key to successful software development projects. Some key issues that can affect a software maintenance plan can be identified as managerial, financial, and technical. Managerial...
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