Development Frameworks and Techniques
Development Frameworks and Techniques
Section A – Management Summary
Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) Atern is one of the Agile Software Development methods available in the market today. It was started in the late 20th Century as a reaction to Rapid Application Development (RAD). In general, agile software development can be defined as a type of software development processes that involves several items working together including both organization of individual items as well as cross functional teams. One characteristic of this method is that it is strict on both schedule and budget. The technique has specific characteristics as shall be discussed below. This section of the essay seeks to produce a organization summary explaining whether DSDM Atern would be an suitable method to use within Night Watch (NW). It shall outline any benefits/drawbacks perceived and give instances from the Case Study to support the arguments.
There are several advantages of this agile methodology and their role in the preparation of the proposed system. First of all this method provides a regular view to the client which is vital in case there may be variations required to improve the system. It is a device that precisely, concisely and immediately tackles any challenges encountered within the implementation of any project (Livingston, 2014). It is ideal for a project that seeks more efficiency, effectiveness as well as control in a confident approach, making it aperfect choice for the project at hand. This is unlike what many systems out there offer, which includes extensive lip service and undertaking their mandate based on procurement led tick boxes. This is what leads to the jumbled Water Sprint method.
Another profound advantage that DSDM Atern method challenges head on is that it accept that any successful project may not visualize the scope as a predetermined outcome. This enables the project team to identify strategic goals that may lead the whole system to deliver the projected benefits of a system as early as possible (Livingston, 2014). In fact, through an incremental and iterative technique, this method is capable of producing real benefits through a seamless and controlled scope that ensures overriding drivers that fail to meet the business requirements are dropped. This is fundamental also with the schedule and constrained budget that the project described within the case study has.
Through recognition of the actual scope and all the project features of any project, DSDM Atern has the capability to equip any business with the most effective tools that would secure a quality assured outcome. This is more so possible via the utilization of the agreed level of resources deployed within a projected time frame (Livingston, 2014). While traditional methods would insist on making several dominant features immovable, this approach may only be suited for a formal, structured and set functional output led projects. On the other hand, this may not be ideal in this foregoing case as the project is one whose center of interest is to attain a highly focused, producible and business outcome driven system.
Other advantages in general include the fact that it tackles ineffective communication by the establishment of a collaborative environment where seamless communication is key for the success of the project. Human interaction is emphasized throughout the project development period.As such, proper communication that does not involve rudeness is encouraged as is seen in the case study where Sally Miller, the head of the IT department condemns rudeness in communication among the various stakeholders and promotes proper language for team work to prosper. Late delivery is also taken care of by use of the timeboxing approach to drop items that may ruin the time budget and delay the schedule. Through interaction with the customers, the system is able to accurately meet the business need and build the right business on the ground. All the unused features of the project are dropped ensuring that the system doesn’t contain items that are a liability or those that are not required for the project. The above presents some of the advantages of this method which is deemed to be the best in the current day and age.
It is clear within the case study that there is need for a top quality product to be produced within a limited time frame. In fact, the prototype of the new project was agreed to be produced within a space of three months. This implies that the application of the DSDM Atern method was ideal as it emphasizes on quality and strict time frames. In addition, the success of the new project is dependent on collaboration of various stakeholders. Through the seamless interaction emphasized in this technique, it is clear that the various elements of the project are encouraged to work together by accomplishing their tasks as early as possible to ensure success in the project.
On the other hand, there are a few perceived disadvantages of the system. Themost profound is the fact that the system is very strict on the 8 principles that characterize it. This restrictive nature poses a challenge and difficulty in working with it as compared to most other agile software development methods available in the market (Livingston, 2014). However, it is clear that with the right team in place, this is the most accurate system one can use within the constraints of time and budget. It is ideal for one who intends to remain relevant in the competitive market space. As such, it is an ideal method to be implemented in the case study presented.
Section B – High level requirements analysis and MoSCoW prioritisation
This section presents the characteristics of the system, using it to prepare the list that contains requirements that are not crucial as well as those that are high level.
The first item is that it is made of 8 principals. It strictly adheres to timely delivery, it only centers its attention on the business requirements, it emphasizes on joint effort, it is strict on the quality of the output, its development is iterative and develops gradually from a solid ground, seamless communication is key and finally it demonstrates control. Based on the principles, it is evident that the choice of this software development method is in line with the requirements of the project presented in the case study. There are various teams that need to operate together which would require seamless collaboration for timely delivery and strict adherence to quality and the business need. This shall also enable the company to remain relevant in the market.
The second characteristic of this method is that it requires a clearly developed team with specific project roles and proper management of the team at both ends of the project management and software development. This is evident in the case study as there are several roles presented, both at the management level as well as the software development level. The various professionals hired have been grilled through their professional roles and standards meaning that they are capable of adhering to the BCS Code of Conduct. The main areas covered by this code is that professionals must have public interest, have a duty to relevant authority, duty to profession and finally professional competence and integrity. One of the main items in professionalism is the data protection principles that the software development team should have to ensure proper storage of data and protection of company and client information.
The third characteristic of this software development method is that it clearly outlines the project lifecycle to enable the project to be as successful as possible. The discussion contained in the case study stipulates the feasibility stage of the project, also known as the pre-project. The next phase is the deployment where the project explores all the experts needed and assigning them specific roles and establishing a collaborative platform that would meet the 8 principles of this method. The case study demonstrates that it is at the onset of this stage. The final phase of the project is the post-project or the engineering phase. This involves the actual development and maintenance of the software as monitoring is done to ensure it works according to plan and further developments are done to improve it. This is the only way that the project can remain relevant to the market.
Some of the requirements that are not appropriate high level requirements include;
- Customers must be able to search and browse different 3D designs, whether they are logged in or not
- A way for people to return items they are unhappy with
- We need to ensure that a bookkeeping service is built into the new system, as this will make my job easier. I’m not sure why this is never done – it seems like a no-brainer, as in the end this is all about money.
- Could we have a reporting system that will provide graphs and figures on sales and market penetration? Could this system also then do forecasting?
The above requirements are not extremely essential at the current stage of the project. First of all, it may be more important to developa system before knowing whether it can be accessed even when the customers are not logged in. Also, at the current stage of the project, customer feedback is more important than determining how people can return items that they are not satisfied with. This is a development that can be implemented at a later stage of the project. In fact, since the agenda of the project is for customers to manage to get customized items, it is highly unlikely that major returns shall happen. While book keeping is important for the system, the manner in which this item is presented is inappropriate and at the prototyping stage, checking the functionality of the system is more important than the book keeping. In addition, performance assessment of the system can be done at a later stage of the project.
Below is a list of the perceived high level requirements of the project.
- Our existing customers must be able to log in
- The site must load quickly
- A way to select a design and specify wrist size
- A way to pay for an item
- People may want to ask us questions about the process and items
- The site must be safe and secure
- It will be extremely difficult for customers to request custom designs. The problem is that, unless they upload actual 3D designs of the printable product, we would need to create 3D models ourselves. How are they going to communicate to us what exactly they want? Even if they upload their own 3D designs, they may have the dimensions wrong and it won’t work. I’m very concerned about pursuing this, as I cannot see it working. The man hours needed to do custom work may not warrant the price we can charge for it. We need to investigate this as part of the project.
- You need to appoint a 3D designer as soon as possible.
Since this is a system based on e-commerce and creation of a website, it is imperative that all potential and existing customers are able to register and log in. The site should be seamless and contain basic items of an e-commerce website such as how to pay for an item, selection of specific item one would want to purchase as well as paying for the item. In addition, a customer should be able to provide their feedback in order to maintain quality standards in service delivery. It is fundamental to note that the intended purpose of the development project warrants the client to adhere to the customer requirements by allowing them to request for custom designs. A 3D designer should be appointed as soon as possible to manage the requirements of the 3D designing of object for customer consumption. It is also fundamental, as characterized by the model to ensure the application of data protection principles for confidentiality purposes.
Updated ‘High Level Requirements List’
- Our existing and potential customers must be able to log in, register, navigate through the site, check out easily and provide feedback whenever they want in a simple and easy to use and seamless e-commerce website.
- Need to appoint a 3D designer as soon as possible.
- Proper guidelines for customers to request custom designs in a manner that will ensure minimal item returns.
- The site must be safe and secure and confidential
It is clear that some of the items have been proposed by more than one professionals hence justifying why they appear in the updated list of requirements. In addition, there are items which have been phrased differently and hence can be grouped into one as I have prioritized above.
A fundamental item describing the DSDM method is the preparation of a prioritized list of requirements. This began in the case study by identifying all the requirements for project to succeed, grouping them into various categories, then finally identifying the experts to undertake the various roles under a strict budget of time and money. Estimations are a requirement so as to project the time and money required for the implementation, and if the project is feasible. Also, control documents are prerequisite to determine the detailed specification and the list of requirements to initiate the process with.
Another item characterizing this method is the MoSCoW Prioritisation of all entities proposed for the poroject. This can be broken down as follows;
M – MUST have this time
S – SHOULD have this if at all possible
C – COULD have this if it does not affect anything else
W – WON’T have this time but WOULD like in the future
This introduces the aspect of the precise timing that each item is mandatory to be implemented that is in line with the tight budget and schedule.
Finally, there is the item of timeboxing that shows various groupings of anticipated timelines for the implementation of various items that will ensure success in the project. This can be illustrated as follows;
For instance, one may select an objective for a 9-day timebox. The expert is required to load the 9-day timebox with a 9-day assignment and proceed to implement the 9-days assignment. In case one notices that there is failure in meeting the timelines, one can drop an item that is causing the lag so as to remain within schedule. This item is mandatory as the managing director of the team has a limited time schedule of 3 months to produce a prototype of the system before the actual project begins.
The above prioritization techniques were applied in the preparation of the required final high level list of requirements for the preparation of the project.
Section C – Legal, Social, Ethical and Professional issues
This section seeks to address the need for NW to start considering Legal, Social, Ethical and Professional Issues (LSEPI) in relation to its day-to-day operations. They also need to appoint a Data Controller. It shall produce a management summary explaining the role of the Data Controller within the organization and any legal, social, ethical and professional issues that NW may be faced with. In addition, it shall provide two practical examples from the case study that relate to each aspect of LSEPI. Furthermore, the section will produce a management summary outlining the purpose of the BCS Code of Conduct. As a part of this, it will provide a practical example for each of the four BCS Code of Conduct sections to illustrate a professional issue that a System developer contracted to NW may need to consider.
Roles of a Data Controller
The role of a data controller is guided by the data protection principles in safeguarding the confidentiality of the information that goes through the website. There are 8 major principles outlined that are within the scope of the data controller’s mandate. It is imperative that data is processed in a fair and lawful manner. The data shall be used for its intended specific and lawful purpose and cannot be used for any other intentions. The data shall be adequate and relevant so as to produce tangible and accurate results. It shall also be updated on a regular basis. The data shall only be withheld within the period of its intended purpose and discarded once it is no longer required. All data shall be processed according to data subjects concordant with the Act. The data handlers should strive to ensure that all appropriate technical and management measures are undertaken to allow proper handling of data and prevent unlawful access, loss, destruction or even damage of personal data. Finally, international standards require that no data should be transferred across nations without an appropriate level of rights protection of the data subjects. These are the principles that inform the role of the data controller in the project.
Potential Legal, Social, Ethical and Professional Issues in NW.
One of the most notable legal issues in online e-commerce website is identity theft. This is related to the legislation on privacy and is a potential problem in this case study. This can be used even from within the organization as it is a major problem where personal information can be used by interested parties in performing heinous acts contrary to the intended purpose. This is possible if the data handler may not be professional or vigilante enough to ensure information security. Another issue is related to the export and espionage laws where trade secrets need to be well managed to stem information theft. This is a potential issue based on the amount of information outlaid to the experts and if there is any part of the team that may have malicious intent to use information against the company.
Some of the potential ethical issues that may affect the system include the lack of adherence to the commandments of computer ethics as provided by the Computer Ethics Institute. Some of the items that is encountered in various application websites includes the software license infringement, illicit use of software and the misuse of corporate resources. It is possible that the professionals hired can use the system for illicit intentions probably for personal gain. It is also possible for the professionals hired in the case study to misuse the corporate resources provided to them by the organization. Through the application of trust and thorough recruitment of the project team, the company is capable of managing this hurdle and secure a very professional team. These items listed as well as the practical examples provided also double up as professional issues that may be encountered by the company.
A few social issues that may be encountered in the development of the system include inappropriate feedback from the customers or use of inappropriate language within the project team or as feedback from potential clients. This is already evident in the manner in which the accountant hired was able to project the requirements that were set out for every professional. The above needs an established BCS Code of Conduct to handle any potential issues arising.
From the case study, there are various issues that cut across the legal, social, ethical and professional framework as discussed above. One of the most notable is the issue regarding the part time accountant. The accountant is portrayed to use uncouth language in her input on the list of high level requirements proposed at the pre-project stage. She applied the use of unethical language which also portrays her as very unprofessional. The same language could implicate her to disciplinary action and the same would spoil the cordial relationship hence may lead to poor interaction with the other team members.
Secondly, the same accountant appears to be performing tasks that are not within her docket. For one, she starts saying that the website should be easy to use, which is a no-brainer to her. This means that she undermines the potential of those within the docket. The same is also very unprofessional, unethical and may bring about social problems.
BCS Code of Conduct
This code of conduct outlines all the professional requirements to be met by the BCS body as a condition for membership. All these standards can come in handy when dealing with all the potential threats to the success of the proposed system. It is an all-inclusive code that touches upon members of all grades including affiliates, student members in addition to non-members that are available to offer expertise in the field of BCS Professional Advise Register. It is a strict code that governs individual conduct of each member of the BCS. All members are charged with the mandate of notifying the Society of any noteworthy desecration by another member. Appropriate disciplinary procedures are undertaken by the Society once information reaches them of any violation. The four main areas that the code entails include the
- interest of the public,
- mandate to relevant authority,
- mandate to professionalism and
- professional competence and integrity.
One issue covered that a software developer hired for the assignment should consider is the confidentiality agreement with the client whereby the developer should not use the system for any other purpose other than that which it is intended by the client. This implies that they may not replicate the system elsewhere for personal gain.
Livingston, H. (2014). DSDM 64 Success Secrets – 64 Most Asked Questions On DSDM – What You Need To Know. [S.l.]: Emereo Publishing.