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Project Model

Project Life Cycle by Vision7 Software

The Project Life Cycle

Development Image

The project life cycle as implemented by Vision7 has been designed to clearly define the customer's expectations and address risks early in the development process. Experience has shown a formal process reduces overall development time and results in a lower total cost of ownership. This process model works for projects of all sizes. For small and some medium sized projects, some of the steps can be combined or abbreviated. The following is a description of each phase of the cycle and the participants and outputs of each.

Initial Proposal Phase

Objective

The initial proposal phase is to understand and identify the broad project requirements and main features proposed in the application. It may also involve a discovery process for new methods or technologies. The intent is to develop a relationship with the client and address at a high level the issues, costs and schedules that will be required to create the proposed application.

Participants

During this phase the business contacts at V7 and customer are involved to identify the working relationship and discuss business issues. In addition, Analysts from Vision7 meet with the customer to gather the major requirements. Consultants or subject matter experts may participate at the discretion of Vision7 or the customer.

Outputs

  • An rough estimate for effort or price for all phases of the entire project
  • A rough schedule for all phases of the entire project
  • An initial Function Point Analysis for all phases of the entire project
  • A contract proposal for both of the Process Engineering Phases - Requirements Analysis and Specifications

To learn more about our Work Estimates using a Function Point Analysis, click here.

Process Engineering Phase - Requirements Analysis

Objective

The objective of the Requirements Analysis phase is to identify and document the user requirements for a proposed system. The process involves Analysts from Vision7 who meet with, interview, and observe knowledgeable users to understand what the requirements are. In addition existing systems, processes, documents, and procedures are reviewed and included as appropriate. From the available information the analyst develops a list of the actors, use cases and system level requirements for the project. With the help of key users the list of use cases and requirements is reviewed, refined and updated in an iterative fashion until the user is satisfied that it represents the essence of the proposed system.

Participants

This process involves Analysts from Vision7 as well as significant participation from a team of key users. In addition, consultants or subject matter experts may participate at the discretion of Vision7 or the customer.

Outputs

The primary product from the requirements phase is a final requirements document that incorporates all inputs and requirements identified in the process meetings. It also describes in detail all actors and use cases in the proposed system. In addition, there are several other outputs. Below is a list of outputs for the Process Engineering Phase:

  • A final Requirements Analysis document delivered for approval

Process Engineering Phase - Specifications

Objective

The objective of the Specifications phase is to distill the requirements into what functions and features the new system will have, and describe and prototype the functions and features as a user would actually see them and describe how they would interact with the system. In addition, the system architecture will be described, including hardware, external interfaces and network requirements. Preliminary data elements, user interfaces, outputs and other interfaces are also described.

Participants

This process involves Analysts and Software Architects from Vision7 as well as review from a team of key users. In addition, consultants or subject matter experts may participate at the discretion of Vision7 or the customer.

Outputs

The major outputs of the Analysis Phase are two documents, the Functional Specification and the Architectural Specification. Each document is described briefly below.

The Functional Specification defines the precise functions of the system. It defines the exact inputs, the actions taken based on user input, the actions taken based on user requests, and the exact outputs by the system. The inputs, actions and outputs are defined as "functions". This is not a design document. This document does not define "how" the inputs, actions and outputs occur and are implemented, it only defines exactly "what" inputs, actions and outputs occur. This document includes enough prototype screens and reports to clearly define Functional Specifications of the system. It also includes logical data diagrams, and work and process flows present in the system.

The Architectural Specification defines the system architecture that will enable a system to perform the functions defined in the Functional Specification. This document defines the system components, database components and other components required to perform these functions. These components are only described at a high level to enable a technical contact from the customer or a system administrator to understand how the new system will fit into the current environment of the customer. It is left to the design document, created in the next phase, to define in detail each of these components. This document further defines the interaction of these components and the message flow between components.

The complete set of outputs for the Analysis Phase is as follows:

  • A final Functional Specification delivered for approval
  • A final Architectural Specification delivered for approval
  • An estimate for effort or price for the remaining project phases - Design, Development, Test, Deployment and Support (this is often done as a fixed bid)
  • A detailed schedule for the remaining project phases - Design, Development, Test, Deployment and Support
  • An revised Function Point Analysis for the entire project giving the effort required for the remaining project phases - Design, Development, Test, Deployment and Support
  • A contract proposal for the remaining project phases - Design, Development, Test, Deployment and Support

Design Phase

Objective

The design phase is the process of designing exactly how the specifications are to be implemented. It defines specifically how the software is to be written including an object model with properties and methods for each object and a detailed database design.

Participants

This process involves primarily Software Architects and Software Developers from Vision7 as well as a small amount of interaction with key users.

Outputs

The primary output is a Design Specification. This document defines the properties of the components described in the Architectural Specification. This document also defines the classes of the components, and the methods, properties and events of those classes. This document connects these specifics with the message flow and interactions defined by the Architectural Specification.

The complete set of outputs for the Analysis Phase is as follows:

  • A final Design Specification. There is no approval required for this document.
  • Performance testing and small prototypes are done to demonstrate technical feasibility

Development Phase

The development phase involves the actual coding of the entire application. This is usually the longest and most resource intensive phase. As components of the application are complete, they are reviewed by the customer for accuracy as well as usability, according to a milestone schedule that is part of the main project schedule There is also an alpha deployment test phase embedded in the Development Phase.

Participants

This process involves primarily Software Developers from Vision7 as well as a interaction with key users.

Outputs

The primary output of this phase is a code complete, fully functional beta version of the entire application.

The complete set of outputs for the Development Phase is as follows:

  • A beta version of the application
  • Preliminary manuals and user documentation
  • Preliminary as-built technical documentation
  • A test plan for final product acceptance

Test Phase

The test phase involves a formal walk through of the entire test specification and modification to the application where appropriate. This will be done first by Vision7 Testers, and then verified by the customer.

Participants

This process involves Testers and Software Developers from Vision7 as well as key users who will be performing final acceptance of the completed application.

Outputs

The output of this phase is a final version of the entire application

The complete set of outputs for the Analysis Phase is as follows:

  • A final version of the application
  • A signed version of the test specification
  • Final manuals and user documentation
  • Final as built technical documentation

Deployment phase

The deployment phase is a staged roll out of the new application. This involves installation and initial training and may involve hardware and network upgrades.

Support Phase

The support phase of the project is the last component and it continues as long as a warranty, extended warranty or support contract it in place.

To learn more about our support and warranty, click here.

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