Alternative Development Methodologies

The SDLC provides a logical approach to managing a sequential series of tasks. However, a drawback to using a traditional SDLC is that project risks may not be adequately controlled if tasks are completed in a strictly sequential manner. For example, using a traditional SDLC methodology, users define functional requirements and pass them to system designers. Designers complete the designs and pass them to programmers. If programmers subsequently discover improved ways to provide the functional requirements, the designers must redo their work. However, if programmers are involved in the planning and design phases, they may be able to identify improvements earlier in the process. Therefore, to enhance the effectiveness of project activities, organizations should employ methodologies that involve all parties in each project phase.

Development techniques such as spiral, iterative, and modified SDLC methodologies address many of the shortcomings of a traditional SDLC. Full descriptions of the newer methodologies are beyond the scope of this document. However, examiners should be aware that the newer methodologies are more risk focused and involve the completion of project phases in repetitive (iterative) cycles. Iteration enhances a project manager's ability to efficiently address the requirements of each party (end users, security administrators, designers, developers, system technicians, etc.) throughout a project's life cycle. Iteration also allows project managers to complete, review, and revise phase activities until they produce satisfactory results (phase deliverables).


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