How to Approach your Project with your Software Development Model in Mind - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

How to Approach your Project with your Software Development Model in Mind

Your software development plan can make or break your project planning, so you have to get it just right. The best software development services Chicago knows that having the right project management model for your team is the key to creating an exceptional product.

Linear Models

Linear sequential models in software engineering use a systematic, sequential approach to software development. The sequence begins at the system level and progresses through communication, planning, modeling, constructing, and deployment. There are two types of linear models: Waterfall model and V-model.

The Specifics: Linear sequential models require a strict plan in a linear sequence from the very beginning of the development project. The planning participants of a Waterfall project management plan include the project owner, project manager, business analysts, and a test manager.

The business analysts will interview the project owner in order to outline expected project outcomes. The project manager will use the information to document and sequence all project activities.

Waterfall Model

The Waterfall model, often used interchangeably with the linear sequential model, is a software development process where the stages of the project are carried out from top to bottom, like a Waterfall.

V-Model

Though similar to the Waterfall model and often said to be an extension of the Waterfall model, the V-model is a linear approach to software development with a twist. Like the Waterfall model, each phase of development is carried out in stages. But, with the V-model, each phase also includes a subsequent phase of testing.

Agile Models

The agile methodology is a software development philosophy that prioritizes making changes based on valuable feedback. For many developers, the Waterfall models felt restrictive and proved to be less effective. In 2001, 17 developers came up with the Agile Manifesto that included four key values Agile projects should share:

  • Individuals and Interactions over Processes and Tools

  • Working Software over Comprehensive Documentation

  • Customer Collaboration over Contract Negotiation

  • Respond to Change over Following a Plan

The Agile Model is more of a set of principles than a full-on project management model. There are, however, project management models that are based on the Agile methodology: Scrum, Extreme Programming, and Kanban. The Agile Model has become increasingly popular with the top software development companies in Chicago.

Scrum

With the Scrum model, software development projects are organized in sprints that last 1 to 4 weeks with the goal of delivering a functional piece of software that matches the software’s description of features. In Scrum, instead of laying out a detailed plan for the entire project, a detailed plan and scope of work is needed only for the upcoming sprint.

The Specifics: Participants on a Scrum model project management team include the project owner, project manager, business analysts, and the development and testing teams.

Using the Scrum model, the project owner will perform backlog grooming or backlog refinement. This is the process of adding new user stories to respond to business or user needs. They remove stories that are obsolete, breakdown stories that may be too big, and from there they prioritize stories for implementation.

Extreme Programming (XP)

Extreme programming is a project management methodology that seeks to create higher quality software while creating a high quality of life for the development team, according to these values:

  • Simplicity

  • Communication

  • Feedback

  • Respect

  • Courage

The Specifics: Like the Scrum model, the participants on an XP team include the project owner, project manager, business analysts, and the development and testing teams.

The XP model’s planning process is called the Planning Game which consists of two stages: release planning and iteration planning. Both phases consist of sub-phases: exploration, commitment, and steering.

Release Planning Stage

  • Exploration Phase: the project owner details requirements for the feature being worked on. The planning team turns the requirements into user stories.

  • Commitment Phase: User stories are reworked into a functional piece and included in the upcoming release.

  • Steering Phase: The plan built in the previous phase is reviewed, updated or modified, and approved.

Iteration Planning Stage

  • Exploration Phase: the project manager converts the functionality into tasks for the team
  • Commitment Phase: the project manager establishes an expected timeframe for each task and delegates the tasks to the programmers and quality assurance team members.
  • Steering Phase: updates are introduced, and tasks are reassigned as needed.

Kanban

Kanban is an approach to project management that does not have clear guidelines or stages. The project’s tasks are broken down into smaller tasks, assigned to team members, and are to be performed within several days. Kanban functions by breaking the tasks down into three phases categorized into columns: To be Done, In Progress, and Completed. As a task goes into each phase, a responsible team member will move the task to the appropriate column.

Managing a custom software development project isn’t easy, but it can be relatively painless if you take into consideration what you and your team needs. A great first step is to decide which project management model works best for your team. If your goal is to provide great customer and software development services to your clients, then an agile model would probably work best for your team.


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