Understanding Development Activities - Learning the Software Development Cy

Understanding Development Activities - Learning the Software Development Cy

Product Competency 11:

Understanding Development Activities - Learning the Software Development Cycle

As with competencies 1, "Assessing Processes" and 9, "Tailoring Processes" the waterfall model ( "Introduction" figure "The Iterative Waterfall Model Software Life Cycle (SLC)" ) is the typical starting point in learning the software development cycle. Each of the explained processes - beginning with concept exploration and ending with system retirement - needs specific competencies. The waterfall model is most certainly not the best life cycle model for all software projects. We refer to it here because it is well established and understood. It gives a form for the major phases taking place in every software project.

Along with just learning the life cycle models, the software project manager must understand the basic domain processes of the respective domain for which the software is being developed. Simply understanding computer science or software engineering is similar to understanding only how to operate a bulldozer when trying to be a civil engineer. Software engineers and computer scientists may concentrate only on understanding the tools. To be a successful project manager, it is crucial to know the domain to which the tool will be applied. "Managing Domain Processes" explains how to identify as well as manage those domain-specific processes. Acting as the communication bridge between the developers and the consumer, the project manager must be able to understand the customer and product environments as they relate to software products and describe the product in software engineering terminology. Now that we've explored the software product to be developed, it's time to explore how it will be built. Understanding what the product should be required defining it (requirements) and redefining it (requirements management), and putting into place the organizational infrastructure necessary to support turning the requirements into software. That infrastructure included setting up the processes and standards, and methods and tools that will be used. Knowing how to evaluate alternative processes and tailor the ones chosen led us to the proper infrastructure. Having a method for managing contractors and determining the initial project risks, costs, and schedule set the stage for in fact developing the product. As soon as all of this is in place, the project team is up to speed on development methods, and quality tracking procedures have been identified, the time for implementation has arrived. The project competencies are all about using the product skills. Execution of development, as well as monitoring, tracking, and measuring it, results in implementation.


software development, life cycle, project manager
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