Original Date: 06/02/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Iterative Development
The adoption of an iterative development methodology by ABC Virtual Communications, Inc. enabled the company to more accurately predict the time and effort needed to develop software projects. This methodology also allows the company to deal well with changing requirements and minimize the effect of change on the progress of the project.
Previously, ABC Virtual Communications, Inc. (ABCV) used the Waterfall model of software development as its development methodology. This methodology made it very difficult to accurately estimate the time needed to develop software projects, and made it expensive to handle requirement changes late in the project. When using the Waterfall methodology, it is common to discover software defects later in the development process. The later in the software development process a software defect is discovered, the more time it takes to fix that defect.
ABCV adopted an iterative development methodology to address the shortcomings of the Waterfall methodology. The iterative development methodology is composed of two phases: the first phase comprises scope and risk identification, high-level requirements gathering, functional screen designs, high-level architecture design, and phase two estimates; the second phase comprises finalization of requirements, finalization of architecture and design, development, and testing. Phase two activities are iterated a predefined number of times. Each iteration will produce a complete deliverable that implements a subset of the project’s functionality.
By using an iterative development methodology, ABCV can more accurately estimate project development time and avoid cost overrun. ABCV’s clients have been very satisfied with projects managed with the iterative development methodology. ABCV delivers projects closer to estimated schedules, and the development process is more amenable to the changes in project requirements that occur during the software development lifecycle. Additionally, ABCV improved employee morale by creating more accurate labor estimates and schedules.
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