Discuss about the Agile System Development Approach.
The statement ‘agile system development approach is as simple as it and doesn’t need modeling and documentation’ is totally out of line in my point of view as it doesn’t apply to most systems developed or being tested for a friendly user environment. An agile development can be termed as an iterative methodology in a software system development. In disagreement with this notion, my views are centered on the Virtual Child International (VCI) case study (Barbour et al., 2018, pp.672-677). In this paper l intend to highlight the advantages that are brought about by clear documentation and modeling in system development while highlighting the frustrations faced by users from lack of system documentation.
The Virtual Child International is a virtual platform for guiding children at the age of 10 to 15 years at their respective home after school. In this case study, the agile system development is not as simple as it is depicted in the statement. I strongly incur to differ as the VCI platform contains a lot of information that requires being understood by the members and the guardians of the members, therefore, the statement is wrong. This is so because the virtual platform has bulky of information regarding the terms and conditions of using the platform that requires plenty of time and adequate information to be understood (Abrahamsson et al., 2017). It might be faster and easier for the VCI employees to understand and comprehend these bulky pieces of information as they encounter them on averagely more than a third of their days and lifetime.
In contrary to the above, thee challenge comes in for the guardians and the members who might not as well be accessing the platform on daily basis thus it might take a lot of time to get the terms and conditions of usage appropriately. For an effective use of this platform, the aspect of a well modeled and proper documentation of the manual for usage and for the terms of usage cannot be foregone. For instance, a guardian who might be a 70-year-old or more than needs to be gradually shown how the platform is used and its numerous pieces of information that needs to be put together to get an understanding of the usage of the system in the case study which is clearly explained in (Ghaffari et al., 2017, pp.295-306). These pieces of information, for example, range from the guardian’s services, the member’s entrance criteria, member’s terms and conditions, the billing processes which involve invoicing and payment information, among other rules needs to be demonstrated stepwise in a user friendly language in clear documentation that can be understood by the every user.
Additionally, the developers need to improvise a high-level standard of requirements and enough time to understand the scope of the system usage before releasing to their respective users. Modeling of the system to suit the targeted users is very essential in establishing the base of a user-friendly system. The usage model in the system will enable the developers to explore on how the users will comfortably work with the system (Rumbaugh et al., 2017). This may be a collection of use cases on a Unified Project, a well-structured collection of features for the Feature Driven Development project, or a collection of stories in relation to the users over the same project, or any agile team. A domain model should be put in consideration for identifying the entity types and the relationship between them. The domain model will contain the necessary information including the domain entities, their attributes and the relationship between the entities and the attributes. Actually, at this stage of agile development, the domain model doesn’t need to be complete but rather have enough information required to come up with the primary domain concept. For user interface systems like in the case study, there is need to consider developing screen sketches or a prototype that will guide in predicting the user’s point of view of the system before the actual testing and releasing.
At the release of the system to the users, it is a good practice to incorporate the documentation of the system as a core requirement especially these systems that involve making payments by the user. The documentation should not only involve the manual of usage but also provide proper communication channels who are the contact persons for immediate response in case of difficulties in making payments, or in cases of fraud or suspicious activities that relate to fraud. An example of an efficient model diagram with documentation is shown below:
Software development life cycle
From the users’ point of view, it can be very frustrating to come across a situation that could lead to getting stranded while using a new system without the prior information or knowledge that gives the warning, a step-wise procedure of solving the problem, or what should be done exactly when such incidents occur (Bano et al., 2017, pp.2339-2372). These are the vital information that could only be found in the documentation.
The statement that the agile system development approach is as simple as it is and doesn’t need modeling and documentation is wrong and should never be considered by any system developers as evidenved by (Javed et al., 2017, pp. 834-839). The system modeling and documentation is an essential tool and therefore, it MUST be included in stages of system development to enable a user-friendly environment between the users and the systems especially the VCI system.
Abrahamsson, J., Pekka, S., Outi, R., and Jussi, W., 2017. Agile software development methods: Review and analysis. arXiv preprint arXiv:1709.08439.
Bano, F., Muneera, Z., and Didar, R., 2017. User satisfaction and system success: an empirical exploration of user involvement in software development. Empirical Software Engineering, 22(5), pp. 2339-2372.
Barbour, G., Michael, H., and Luis, M., 2018. Virtual Schools in the US: Case Studies of Policy, Performance and Research Evidence. In: ociety for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference. s.l.:Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), pp. 672-677.
Ghaffari, M., Sina, A., Alireza, N., and Javid, M., 2017. Investigation and evaluation of key success factors in technological innovation development based on BWM. Decision Science Letters, 6(3), pp. 295-306.
Javed, H., Bilal, I., and Mian, W., 2017. Internet of things (IoT) design considerations for developers and manufacturers. In: Communications Workshops (ICC Workshops), 2017 IEEE International Conference on. s.l.:IEEE, pp. 834-839.
Rumbaugh, I., James, B., and Grady, J., 2017. The unified modeling language reference manual. s.l.:Addison Wesley.