System Development Life Cycle

Topics: Systems Development Life Cycle, Software development process, Rapid application development Pages: 11 (2859 words) Published: August 12, 2005
System Development Life Cycle

Table of Contents

Overview of System Development Lifecycle4

Models of System Development Lifecycle4

Waterfall Model4

Spiral Model5

Rapid Application Development Model5

Phases of System Development Life Cycle5

Systems Development Lifecycle in Practice – A Case Study8


Phase 1 – Planning8

Phase 2 – Analysis8

Phase 3 – Design9

Phase 4 – Implementation9

Phase 5 – Support and Maintenance10



Overview of System Development Life Cycle

A system development lifecycle (SDLC) is a general process for developing information systems. It provides a framework for the tools, techniques and methods needed to build and implement systems that adequately address business needs. Most SDLC models incorporate fundamental principles which should underpin all systems development (Whitten et al, 1989, pp81-85). These principles include:

·The system is for the end-user
·Establish phases and tasks
·Systems Development is not a sequential process
·Systems are capital investments
·Don't be afraid to cancel
·Documentation is a product of all phases

Models of System Development Life Cycle

A SDLC defines the phases and tasks that are essential to systems development regardless of the size or scope of the impending system. While there are many versions or ‘models' of the SDLC, they differ only in terminology and are more often alike than dissimilar. In its simplest form, the SDLC consists of five phases: planning, analysis, design, implementation, and support. Following are examples of three different models, and have been included to further highlight the similarity between the phases and underlying principles.

The Waterfall Model
This model is sometimes known as the ‘classic' SDLC. It incorporates seven phases and depicts a method that is linear and sequential. The graphic representation of the phases in this model resembles the downward flow of a waterfall. Once a phase of development is completed, the development proceeds to the next phase. The Waterfall Model also allows the developer to return to previous phases for systematic reviews and to check procedures where necessary. Phases of this model are:

·Post Implementation Review

The Spiral Model
The spiral model incorporates the first five phases of the waterfall model listed above and is graphically illustrated as a continuing spiral, beginning from the centre and coiling around as the system grows. One could argue that the spiral model is actually a series of short waterfall cycles, each producing an early prototype representing a part of the entire project. This model emphasizes the need to go back and reiterate earlier stages a number of times as the project progresses. The spiral approach helps demonstrate a proof of concept early in the cycle, and resources can be held constant as the system size grows.

Rapid Application Development
In the rapid application development (sometimes called rapid prototyping) model, initial emphasis is on creating a prototype that looks and acts like the desired product in order to test its usefulness. The prototype is an essential part of the requirements determination phase, and may be created using tools different from those used for the final product. Once the prototype is approved, it is discarded and the "real" software is written. The four phases of this model are:

·Requirements Planning
·User Design

Phases of System Development Life Cycle

All phases of the SDLC, regardless of the model, consist of a number of tasks that need to be undertaken in order to complete the life cycle. It is important to note here that while the phases are sequential in nature,...

References: Seldon, L. Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics, Course CD. CPE 7601, Health Information Systems 2002
Shelly, G., Cashman, T., Rosenblatt, H. System Analysis and Design (4th edition). 2001. Course Technology: Boston.
Whitten, J., Bentley, L.., Barlow, V. Systems Analysis and Design Methods (2nd edition). 1989. Irwin College Publishing: Boston
Livingstone International. Mission Statement and Strategic and Business Plan, 2002 – 2005
Livingstone International, Steering Committee and Project Team minutes, Nov 2002 – Sept 2003
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