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Dynamic Systems Development Methodology

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Published: Tue, 02 Jan 2018

Dynamic Systems Development Methodology is a methodological analysis used by information system professionals to develop software’s projects which is originated from Rapid Application Development Methodology. Stapleton (1997) states that “DSDM describes project management, estimating, prototyping, time boxing, configuration management, testing, quality assurance, roles and responsibilities (of both users and IT staff), team structures, tool environments, risk management, building for maintainability, reuse and vendor/purchaser relationships – all in RAD environment.” It is based on the nine principles and considered as one of the agile project management techniques that deliver the software systems on time and within the budget. The above methodology is applied to the Yojimbo Supplies Ltd in order to produce the customer-order system which covers the customer details, order details and stock control details. At present only the part of the company operations is computerised and the remaining is still done by the paper work ever since the company has started. After carrying out the brief analysis, the proposed system must be implemented with a centralised database over a local area network. The personal involved are Project Manager, Programmers, System analyst and facilitator. Below describes the project plan that involves phases, stages and tasks of DSDM in context with the case-study.

Phases of DSDM:

  • Feasibility Study
  • Business Study
  • Functional Model Iteration
  • System Design and Build Iteration
  • Implementation

Feasibility Study:

     It is about whether the proposed method can be applied or not and thorough research is carried out to find out the existing problems. Feasibility study has already been carried out for the Yojimbo Company with the interview transcripts provided which shows that there is no software which is integrated together and need to produce a system that is efficient to use.

Business Study:

     It is about acquiring a clear understanding of the business flow and how the processes are related to each other. It involves identifying the stakeholders and those who are involved in the project. There are two stages involved in this phase.

  • Arranging JAD workshop – It involves meetings with the stakeholders by making special arrangements for time and location. The activities involved in the JAD workshop are discussing the requirements with the Managing Director, Financial Director, Sales Manager and Warehouse Manager of the Yojimbo Supplies Ltd. Then the next activity involved is to analyse the requirements where the system boundaries and sub-systems are identified by the requirements identification to produce the final rich picture and CATWOE which is done by the system analyst. Yojimbo Supplies Ltd is divided into three sub-systems. They are Buying and importing, Stock and Delivery, and Selling and Marketing. The final activity is to produce a final project plan by identifying the resources and creating a timeframe.
  • Produce a Business Study Report – In this phase the first activity is to identify the business processes and to produce data flow diagram which involves context diagram, document flow diagram, physical and logical diagram and finally producing the entity relationship model that is implemented in the logical design of the database. The next activity is Systems architecture definition that describes the development of the target platform and to identify the major system components and finally prioritising the requirements of the system using the MoSCoW (Must to be done, Should have it worked but not completely depend on it, Could be left out if necessary, Would have it in the future) principle. The final activity involved in the Business study is to outline the prototyping plan i.e. to define the prototyping strategy to be used in subsequent phase and the configuration management plan.

Functional Model Iteration:

     It works on refining high level business information requirements and functions of systems identified during the business study of the methodology. In this phase risk has to be identified and recognize a plan on how to deal with risk for future developments. The outcome of the functional model iteration is standard analysis model of the software. Five stages are involved in this phase.

  • Rectify Business aspects – In this phase the activities involved are high-level functional and information requirements are refined
  • Identify functional prototype – The first activity is to analyse the requirements of the dataflow diagrams and list the requirements of the current iteration and to identify the non-functional requirements that were recognized during the previous stages and create the functional model that identity the major functionality of the system components.
  • Agree Plan – To determine the time for the design development of the system and finally agree the prototype that is finalised with the clients.
  • Create functional prototype – It is an iterative process until the desired result is obtained. At first the plan in implemented by creating the functional prototype that represent the functionality of the system and then individually created functional prototypes are merged together to refine it according to the remarks given by users and if any changes are required it can to be done in the next iteration.
  • Review Prototype – Testing the produced functions of the system and reviewing the functional model based on the user comments and the final functional model is delivered.

System Design and Build:

In this phase the actual system is built based on the non-functional requirements carried out in the previous phase and the built-in system is implemented in the next phase once the testing is done.

  • Identify Design Prototypes – The main activities involved in this task is to identify non-functional requirements and implement the plan.
  • Agree on Prototype Design – Agreeing the prototype Design by prioritising the design requirements of the system.
  • Create Design Prototype – In this task the design prototyping takes place where the components of the system that must have is built and review the produced components and at last testing of the designed prototype is done before it is handed over to the users.
  • Review Design Prototype – The last activity in System Design and Build phase is to test the system as a whole rather than unit testing and check the performance and also to deal with system in case of any event failure.

     Implementation:

     This is the final phase in the methodology where the built-in system is moved into the production environment from the developed environment. In context to the Yojimbo Supplies Ltd the created centralised database package is installed on the server and make sure that each and every system will be able to access the database and all systems are connected with each other through local area network.

  • System Implementation – Implement the hardware and software of the system on site and handing over the system to the company.
  • Review Business – The project Review Document reviews the achievements during the development process in relation to the requirements.
  • User approval and guidelines – The system will be approved by the end users and user manual is produced where the precise details of the implemented system is given so that the end-users can use it to refer for any help.
  • User Training – Training the users on how to interact with the new system at the location.

Advantages of the DSDM:

  • Provides a technique-independent process
  • Flexible in terms of requirement evolution
  • Strict time and budget adherence
  • Incorporates stakeholders into the development process
  • An emphasis on testing is so strong that at least one tester is expected to be on each project team.
  • Designed from the grounded up by business people, so business value is identified an expected to be the highest priority deliverable.
  • Has specific approach to determining how important each requirement is to iteration.
  • Sets stakeholder expectations from the start of the project that not all requirements will make it into the final deliverable.

Disadvantages of the DSDM:

  • Involves progressive development of requirements
  • Focus on RAD can lead to decrease in code robustness
  • Requires full commitment to DSDM process
  • Requires significant user involvement
  • Requires a skilled development team in both the business and technical areas
  • Probably the most heavyweight project compared in this survey.
  • Expects continuous user involvement
  • Defines several artifacts and work products for each phase of the project; heavier documentation.
  • Access to material is controlled by a consortium and fees may be charged just to access the reference material.

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