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System Analysis And Design: Schedules

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Question:

Discuss about the System Analysis and Design for Schedules.

 

Answer:

Introduction

In today’s software development projects, project teams constantly face a combination of old and new types of risks, which includes shortfalls in real-time performance of project tasks, unrealistic budgets and schedules, project scope creeps ,wrong analysis of requirements of the intended system, changing system or customer requirements which needs to be implemented with speed to ensure projects complete successfully. Organizations therefore have to carefully select approaches in developing their core information systems. For most organizations, an ideal approach to the development of a critical system is one which adapts to the changing technological and systems requirements. A methodology that is responsive to business changes.

Among the numerous existing development methodologies, Adaptive or Agile software development methodologies stands out for such organizations, as they enable them to rapidly change they IS during development. With most organizations facing unpredictability and dynamism in emergent business-process requirements, agile methodologies play a critical role in the development of information systems for such organizations (Alliance, 2016).

Adaptive software development methodologies are highly iterative, and are characterized by constant evolution of the requirements and solutions through development collaborations between self-organization cross-functional teams (Alliance, 2016). Adaptive approaches promote constant and continuous inspection, teamwork, rapid adaptation, accountability and self-organization (Alliance, 2016). These set of engineering best practices facilitates aligning development with business goals and requirement, while facilitating rapid delivery of high-quality software (Alliance, 2016). The principles adopted by various adaptive methodologies are outlined in the Agile Manifesto.

There are a number of adaptive methodologies that can be used in various projects, and in particular the development of the envisioned system at Comfort Quilts Limited. Key among them includes Scrum, Extreme Programming (XP), Adaptive Software Development (ASD), and Feature Driven Development (FDD) among others (Satzinger, Jackson and Burd, 2011). The nature of business processes at Comfort Quilts Limited necessitates that an adaptive methodology be used in the development of the system. This is partly because requirements are likely to change especially with the planned move to change suppliers; changing suppliers may put new demands to the system at the company, necessitating the system to be aligned to the new business processes. Also the intended expansion of product offerings may result in changes to the systems requirements, which have to be implemented on the system being developed.

Although all the aforementioned agile methodologies can be applied to the development at Comfort Quilts, the selection of the particular method is pegged on the finer details of each of the main approaches. Since all agile methodologies subscribe to the philosophies outlined in the Agile Manifesto, they all facilitate rapid adaptation to changing customer requirements. For this project the ideal method is Scrum agile methodology.

 

Scrum

Scrum is one of the agile approaches; a framework for managing projects with an emphasis on iterative progress, accountability, incremental development of the system and teamwork (Schwaber, 2004). The methodology enhances the capability of the project team to respond to changing requirements, and maximizes cooperation through improved communication (Schwaber, 2004). The approach can be scaled from a small project to an entire organization. This approach is the best suited for the development of the system at Comfort Quilts Limited since the organization already has a clear goal for the project, but uncertainties exists as to whether the requirements would change, within the project without changing the goal. Such a situation is ideal for scrum development since it ideally require development to start with what is known, and track progress, tweaking the requirements as need arises to achieve the desired goal.  The methodology is founded on three pillars; adaptation, inspection and transparency (Schwaber and Beedle, 2002).

A traditional software development approach would not be ideal for the system development at Comfort Quilts. Convectional methodologies do not factor in changing requirements in the phase of project execution. On the contrary, agile approaches such as scrum understand today’s complex business processes and volatility of the operating environment, which may require changes before the final solution is delivered (Kniberg, 2015). The guiding principles outlined in the Agile Manifesto puts particular emphasis on collaboration, flexibility to adapt emerging business realities , collaboration and autonomy of teams (Schwaber and Beedle, 2002).

Where Scrum is taken as the methodology of choice, roles have to be indentified for the main project stakeholders. Scrum specifies three main roles in a project, The Product Owner, Scrum Master and Team.

Scrum Roles

  • Product Owner:The stakeholder with the role of Product Owner has the ultimate authority over the project. Product Owner holds the project’s vision and should therefore constantly communicate the vision and priorities to the team in charge of developments (Schwaber and Beedle, 2002). Although Scrum teams are autonomous, the Product Owner has the responsibility of ensuring the vision of the project is being achieved without micro managing the team (Kniberg, 2015).  Product Owner should be available to clarify queries that the project team may have.
  • Scrum Master:although the Product Owner ensures the team is on the right track to achieving the vision of the project, the Scrum Master is obliged to facilitate smooth working of the team and the Product Owner (Kniberg, 2015). The main task of the Scrum Master is to create conducive environment for the team to achieve the goals of the project, while advising the Product Owner on ways of maximizing the team’s ROI (Kniberg, 2015).
  • Team:a Scrum team is completely self-organizing and is responsible for producing a project’s deliverables. For a software development project, such a team would include a mix of system analysts, software developers, analysts and testers. A scrum team has between 3 to 9 members who determine among themselves how to carry out tasks, and accomplish requirements for a given sprint within scrum development approach (Schwaber and Sutherland, 2016).

The Scrum process

Development process with Scrum starts with whatever is presented as initial system requirements, and then processed through constant evaluation, to ascertain what works and what needs to be discarded (Schwaber and Sutherland, 2016). One pillar of the Scrum process is communication, which is done through a series of meetings or events. The Scrum process has four main events, which include; daily Scrum, Sprint Planning Meeting, Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective (Schwaber and Sutherland, 2016).  

Daily Scrum: this is a short stand-up meeting, which is held daily at the same time and place (Kniberg, 2015). The meeting is used to review the team’s work, completed the previous day and planning of what is to be accomplished in the next 24 hours. The team members also get an opportunity to air out any challenges encountered in the project.

Sprint Planning Meeting: A sprint is a period of time which work must be completed, mostly a period of 30days. Each sprint results in delivery of a given usable module of software (Kniberg, 2015).

Sprint Review: This is where the team and other stakeholders meet to review a sprint and showcase the increment achieved in the just concluded sprint (Kniberg, 2015).

Sprint Retrospective: A meeting at the end of a Sprint which allows team members to reflect on the Sprint process. The main goal of Sprint Retrospect is continuous improvement (Schwaber and Sutherland, 2016).

 

References

Alliance, S., 2016. What is Scrum? An Agile Framework for Completing Complex Projects-Scrum Alliance. Scrum Alliance. Available at: https://www. scrumalliance. org.

Schwaber, K. and Beedle, M., 2002. Agile software development with Scrum (Vol. 1). Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.

Schwaber, K., 2004. Agile project management with Scrum. Microsoft press.

Kniberg, H., 2015. Scrum and XP from the Trenches. Lulu. com.

Schwaber, K. and Sutherland, J., 2016. The scrum guide-the definitive guide to scrum: The rules of the game, July 2011. Available on-line at: https://www. scrum. org/storage/scrumguides/Scrum% 20Guide.

Satzinger, J.W., Jackson, R.B. and Burd, S.D., 2011. Systems analysis and design in a changing world. Cengage learning.

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