Selecting a Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) methodology is a challenging task for many organizations and software engineers. What tends to make it challenging is the fact that few organizations know what are the criteria to use in selecting a methodology to add value to the organization. Fewer still understand that a methodology might apply to more than one Life Cycle Model. Before considering a framework for selecting a given SDLC methodology, we need to define the different types and illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of those models (please see the Software Development Life Cycle Models and Methodologies).
How to select the right SDLC
Selecting the right SDLC is a process in itself that the organization can implement internally or consult for. There are some steps to get the right selection.
STEP 1: Learn the about SDLC Models
SDLCs are the same in their usage. In order to select the right SDLC, you should have enough experience and be familiar with the SDLCs that will be chosen and understand them correctly.
As described in the software development life cycle models article, models are similar to the tools that important to know each tool usage to know which context it can fit into.
Imagine the image below by Jacob Lawrence, if the carpenter did not know the tools he will use, what will be the results? Did you visualize the disaster?
STEP 2: Assess the needs of Stakeholders
We must study the business domain, stakeholders concerns and requirements, business priorities, our technical capability and ability, and technology constraints to be able to choose the right SDLC against their selection criteria.
STEP 3: Define the criteria
Some of the selection criteria or arguments that you may use to select an SDLC are:
- Is the SDLC suitable for the size of our team and their skills?
- Is the SDLC suitable for the selected technology we use for implementing the solution?
- Is the SDLC suitable for client and stakeholders concerns and priorities?
- Is the SDLC suitable for the geographical situation (distributed team)?
- Is the SDLC suitable for the size and complexity of our software?
- Is the SDLC suitable for the type of projects we do?
- Is the SDLC suitable for our software engineering capability?
- Is the SDLC suitable for the project risk and quality insurance?
What are the criteria?
Here are my recommended criteria, It will be good to share any new criteria you see that it will be valid
|Factors||Waterfall||V-Shaped||Evolutionary Prototyping||Spiral||Iterative and Incremental||Agile|
|Unclear User Requirement||Poor||Poor||Good||Excellent||Good||Excellent|
|Short Time Schedule||Poor||Poor||Good||Poor||Excellent||Excellent|
|Strong Project Management||Excellent||Excellent||Excellent||Excellent||Excellent||Excellent|
|Visibility of Stakeholders||Good||Good||Excellent||Excellent||Good||Excellent|
STEP 4: Decide
When you define the criteria and the arguments you need to discuss with the team, you will need to have a decision matrix and give each criterion a defined weight and score for each option. After analyzing the results, you should document this decision in the project artifacts and share it with the related stakeholders.
STEP 5: Optimize
You can always optimize the SDLC during the project execution, you may notice upcoming changes do not fit with the selected SDLC, it is okay to align and cope with the changes. You can even make your own SDLC model which optimum for your organization or the type of projects you are involved in.
Software Development Life Cycle Models and Methologies. (2012, 3). Retrieved from melsatar.blog: Software Development Life Cycle Models and Methodologies
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Also published on Medium.