The 7 Steps of Software Development Case Study - Chapter IThe 7 Steps of Software Development Case Study - Chapter III

The 7 Steps of Software Development Case Study - Chapter II

May 23rd, 2007

Previous Chapters

» Chapter I: Introduction

Chapter II: The Cast of Characters

Here is the cast of characters for this fictional account of the 7 steps of software development project gone bad. As they say on TV, this story is based on actual events, the following characters are entirely fictional and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and the pictures are from clip art galleries.

The Company

‘EzSoftiMortgageCo’ is a vertical market software company in the secondary mortgage industry that’s been in business for about 12 years. During that time it has seen considerable growth both in terms of revenue, nearly $100M a year now, and employees, slightly over 200. When the company began it had almost a family entrepreneurial atmosphere but the growth has led to a lot of office politics, cliques, and the implementation of questionable policies.

Company Management

Phil - The CEO – Once a top salesman for a major national bank, he struck out on his own, started the company in his basement and now runs this rapidly growing enterprise. He’s a no-nonsense, show-me-the-figures, kind of guy. He likes to stay on top of trends both in mortgage industry and in company management principles in general. He also likes to play up the “family atmosphere” of the company although it is really a thing of the past. He’s often out of touch with the day-to-day operations of the company although he likes to practice “management by walking around”.

Stan - The Vice President of Sales and Marketing – Stan has been with the company from almost the start. He likes to tell stories about how he sold the company’s first product line from the trunk of this car during cross country road trips. He was the rush chairman for his fraternity in college and his general demeanor hasn’t changed much since.
Mary - The Director of Marketing – She was hired 2 1/2 years ago based on her extensive industry connections and promotional skills. She’s known as being rather demanding and difficult at times but can really lay on the charm if she needs to. She is often given credit for greatly increasing the sales of the company during her tenure. Other managers in the company hold her in high regard, particularly her boss, Stan.
Bob - National Sales Manager – A frat brother of Stan’s, he’ll do anything to make the sale. He’s a very friendly and outgoing guy but can be rather dense at times when the subject strays from sports.
Information Technologies

Brian - The Director of Software Development – He has an out-going, hard-charging and often mercurial temperament. He was hired about 6 months ago due to his social connections with other company executives at a local country club. His educational and management credentials are moderately impressive but his programming experience and skills are outdated and weak. He reports directly to Phil, the CEO, since the CIO position has been vacant for almost a year. He is hoping to land this job for himself.
Joe - A Development Team Lead – He has a non-confrontational introverted temperament. His programming skills are considered top notch and other programmers usually like working with him although he often fails to delegate tasks well when in a lead role. He has been the Lead on 2 successful projects for the company. Joe has been with the company nearly 6 years although few people outside of IT know him well since he usually keeps to himself. He had a good working relationship with this previous boss but has not really connected with Brian, his new boss.
Pat - The QA Manager – She’s known for being disorganized and often difficult to deal with but she plays a good office political game. She was one of the first software developers hired by the company and the only member of the original ‘crew’ who’s still around. Because of this she has a good relationship with Phil, the CEO, and often uses this to her advantage. She was promoted to this position several years ago when it became clear that her programming skills were substandard and likely to stay that way. She technically reports to Brian but operates her department rather independently.
Tim - A QA Tester – This job was his first right out of college and he’s been with the company almost 2 years. He did a great job on his first few assignments but has been resting on his laurels recently. He’s a sports fanatic and has won many friends in high places in the company with his spot-on predictions and wagering advice. Pat is his boss.
Now that you know everybody, let’s begin the fiasco by moving on to Chapter III: Preliminary Investigation or Analysis, the first step in the 7 step process.

Following Chapters

» Chapter III: Preliminary Investigation and Analysis
» Chapter IV: Specification and Requirement Analysis
» Chapter V: Design
» Chapter VI: Coding
» Chapter VII: Testing
» Chapter VIII: Deployment
» Chapter IX: Maintenance
» Chapter X: Aftermath and Comments

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