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System Life Cycle Development
System Life Cycle Development (SDLC) is one of the recently introduced conceptual framework models in the project management field. It describes various stages that can be used in the development of an information system of a project, from the initial stage of identifying the problem and carrying out feasibility study of how the problem will be solved, up to and including the final stage of implementation and monitoring of the project (Bocij 2008, p.12). The system has been designed by information analysts in the information technology infrastructure to aid the companies in training their stakeholders about project development. Several issues characterize the SLDC system. Usually, the system uses computer systems in problem solving. The computer system used makes it complex difficult to analyze the problem without computer knowledge. Secondly, the system is cost saving and thus its highly preferred by most of the companies in analyzing their complex decisions. Thirdly, the use of computers help in production of a neat and presentable work in the decision making process as the problem is solved in stages. The existence of the stages helps to ensure that no item is left out in the problem solving. Finally, the SLDC system is characterized by saving time as the computers ensure that complex data in the system are easily handled within little time (Fountas 2007, p.23).
The SLDC system has several stages that make it unique from other conceptual IT models. These stages help the model user in the analysis of the study problem step by step. This ensures that no item of the problem is left out to bring weakness in future. The stages have been illustrated in the diagram below.
In this stage the problem of the initial business process is identified and a brief analysis of the problem is carried out. The aim of this analysis is to test the strength of the model. If it is strong and need changes in the old system, then a plan and a budget of the cost to be incurred are drafted and the next process is entered.
This is the second phase of SLDC system. Under this stage, careful measures are taken in the identification of the requirements of the system. The items needed by the analyst and designers are adequately tested to know their authenticity (Lucey 2005, p.54).
This is the third stage of the project development and it involves the project designer carrying out the project development analysis. Models of the new system are designed and run concurrently with the old system to see whether there is any change.
It entails the new system runs concurrently with the old system to see if there are new changes. A room for improvement for any change is always there.
Under this phase the new system is fully tested on how it will work. The results obtained are compared with those from the old process and a decision is made on whether to abandon the old and adopt the new one.
Under this stage, careful measure are set on how the new system will be maintained to ensure no further costs are incurred in the development process.
According to Cummings (2009), the history of the SLDC system can be traced back in the 1960s when large organizations were faced by the problems of data processing and proper arrangement of the crunching routines. The companies had to find ways and means of eliminating the problems and as a result, they came up with a model of this nature. However, it was not until in 1970s when computer technology came into extensive use that the system became variable. Consequently, the modern SLDC models replaced the traditional SLDC system. In 1980s, the UK government developed in its government offices of commerce, new frameworks that enhanced SLDC such as Structured System Analysis Development Methodologies (SSADM), which has helped greatly in storage of the government offices data (Laudo 2002, p.37).
SLDC Life system Methodologies
The SLDC life cycle aims at achieving high quality results and low cost information system. In order to achieve these goals, several methodologies were put forward to help the system achieve this targets .Although the methods are somehow different; they are all made to achieve the same objective, to ensure that SLDC life system meets its objective. The main methodologies used in the SLDC life cycle system are Structured Design, Ojective Oriented Analysis and Design, and Rapid Application Development methodologies. These methodologies facilitate proper operation of the SLDC system although they possess several weakness and strengths as discussed below:
1. Structured Design methodology
This is one of the methodology that follows the SLDC life cycle system step by step and it ensures that work done in each phase is carefully monitored or cross checked by a project sponsor. The project sponsor can be a business leader, a company stakeholder or even a customer. This ensures that proper supervision of the project before it goes to the next phase of development. A good example of this methodology is the Waterfall methodology. This methodology has strength of ensuring that the confidence of the customers and the other stakeholders that serve the organization is retained. This minimizes conflicts between the principal and the agents of the business (Jackson 1983, p.15). However, the methodology suffers several weakness such as inflexibility and thus difficult to implement certain instant changes necessary to be made without consulting the consumers. Secondly, the system is very rigorous in implementing as all the steps are to be followed. This discourages the users who opt to use other shorter methodologies in the implementation of the model. Thirdly, the system methodology is very strict as failure to follow the steps to the letter may cause the system to fail completely or give wrong results to the decision makers. This methodology is used by few organizations due to its inflexibility. Other users of the system are customers and even shareholders in monitoring the performance of their business. The methodology has several steps that are followed in its implementation. The steps are illustrated as shown below.
There are two approaches used in this methodology. The process centered approach works because of ensuring that everything on the system done from the processes perspective (Bentalanffy 1969, p.34). On the other hand the Data approaches propose the system in its implementation process to follow the data given. This methodology enjoy an advantages of forcing the analyst to be well careful enough in his design stage so as not to create wrong coding system. However, there is a demerit of the the system making it difficult for the users to go backward, hence not popularly used by analysts.
2. Rapid Application Development.
This methodology was developed to solve the weaknesses identified when the Structured Design Method was used. It is designed in a manner that the core system phases are designed first and delivered to the users in advance for use. In addition to that, other RAD methodologies such as the Agile Development methodology and the prototyping RAD help to provide an adaptive measure of changes in the system whenever needed to avoid the risk of Inflexibility. To achieve the flexibility, the RAD, has brought in the development of more advanced tools that have facilitated the creation of high quality codes in the system. The tools include the code generation and the Fourth Generation (4G) programming languages. There are three main categories of the RAD methods. The first, phase development method, involves dividing the system into various versions that are developed before being implemented. Usually, it is quick and most of the users prefer it. However, where versions are too many they can cause congestion in the system making it weak in operation. Secondly, we have the prototyping RAD,which is mainly used where the system is being changed or altered to meet certain requirement. Changes in the business system may result from the analyst and users having little knowledge of the system hence replacement is viewed as the only option. The greatest strength of this method is that the information is quickly delivered to the user and thus save time. Thirdly, we have the throw away RAD, which is almost similar to the prototype method although it is more presentational as compared to the latter. In most cases, it does not use the prototype. There are various steps followed in the RAD methodology application and thus the users must be aware of them. The diagram shows how the steps follow each other sequent.
3. Objective Oriented Analysis & Design methodology
This methodology was created as a result of continuous conflict between the Data centered approach and the process centered approach where it was agreed by the analysts to combine the two approaches, since it’s very difficult to develop a given system from a single centered information. The method is based on the principles of breaking the problem into objects, which can be termed in the later methodologies as steps. The objects are capable of giving states or attributes of the system. The system uses a standardized element called unified standard modeling system capable of setting standard in the system and enabling the users of the system develop new ideas. The system has several strengths such as high flexibility hence more preferred by many companies and analyst as it allows changes. Moreover, the method is very cost effective thus, it is more adaptable to use. Lastly, when compared to other method, it was found that it could help to save the time of the user. However, the methodology is complex and the user may find it difficult to use. Note that the steps followed in these methodologies are similar to those of the System Design methods discussed before.
KANDID KAMERAS DILEMMA
The dilemma is based on the Kiddes Kollectibles Company that sell toys and other games gadgets globally. The company has operated for over 4 years but there are several problems which are facing it. The company made a profit of over 370,000 sterling pounds and out of that; it has faced several problem, where the CEO together with other managers are confused on how to handle them.
The problems include; stiff competition from their product rivals in the market. The competition is threatening to take away their market share hence the managers need the problem solved. In addition, the company face challenge in expansion of its market globally. The problem posed by absence of well designed information system in the company. The company has no online service delivery mode and thus, their sale staffs face a problem of how to expand sales volume. The system allow entry of data from the head quarter only but not from the region.
The most appropriate system to solve these problem entails the managers use the System Life Development Cycle (SLDC) Model .The model involves several stages that the company can follow to develop a strong online sale system that will connect all the regions to the headquarter. Secondly, the next solution will be to solve the problem from stiff competition and need to expand market where, the online system developed will help the company advertise the toys on the website and as a result achieve a global market share. The will help the company to eliminate all the competitors and eventually make more profit.
Some of the information the online system developed by the company will provide is quick sales transaction, and information essential for faster recording of the sale volumes. On, the finance matters, it will help the company in proper planning of their investment funds. Secondly, the system will enhance the supervision of the ever-increasing employees by the human resource manager. These information will facilitate the managers make better decisions vital for growth of the company. The system will also provide information on the best way possible for allocating the financial resources to the various projects the managers intend to invest in. Lastly and not the least, the system will also provide information to SLDC model can be used by the on- line system analyst and other developers to create the system. If the steps of the system their clients globally on any product changes making the sale volume to increase enormously. As outlined from problem identification, analysis, design, implementation, testing and then maintainance, then the company can develop a strong information system capable of solving the problem easily at a lower cost. Thus, in conclusion, the SLDC model can provide an everlasting solution to the problems identified in the company through offering a guideline on how other systems will be created.
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