The 7 Steps of Software Development Case Study - Chapter IVThe 7 Steps of Software Development Case Study - Chapter VI

The 7 Steps of Software Development Case Study - Chapter V

May 23rd, 2007

Previous Chapters

» Chapter I: Introduction
» Chapter II: Cast of Characters
» Chapter III: Preliminary Investigation and Analysis
» Chapter IV: Specification and Requirement Analysis

Chapter V: Design

At this point in the project, detailed development plans should be made and a good foundation for coding should be in place in the form of a good design. Let’s see what happens.

With Mary not around and under pressure from Brian to get started anyway, Joe puts together preliminary versions of the formal requirements and technical design documents. Plus he and his team also develop some prototype screens to show her when she returns from her conference next week. He is unsure about the direction to take on some of it due to the rather sketchy information but he feels that having some visible choices will help her decide what’s needed and what is not really required. Fortunately, the team Brian assembled for him are competent programmers although they lack important industry knowledge.

Brian drops by with Stan and Phil in tow the following Monday and they ask how the project is going. Joe shows them the screen prototypes. After a cursory glance, Stan says, “This is great progress. We’ll have the product ready to ship in no time.” as Phil nods in agreement. Joe explains that these are simple, non-functional, storyboarded mock-ups and that he’s awaiting Mary’s further input on the design before proceeding much further. Stan and Phil look disappointed and confused while Brian’s face turns red with embarrassment and anger. Phil says, “It doesn’t look like you have much more than what Mary showed us 6 weeks ago. What’s the story here Brian?” Brian says, “I’m surprised about this too Phil but I’m going to check into it!”

After Stan and Phil leave, Brian explodes. In a huff, he pulls all the developers on Joe’s team into a meeting room. He questions the team’s competence as programmers. He calls Joe lazy and a poor leader. He finishes up by telling the team, “Stop wasting [explicative] time playing around with [explicative] fluff and just code the [explicative] program! If you can’t do it you can rest assured that I can and will find somebody who can!”

After Joe and the team recover from their verbal beating, they start turning the rough prototypes into the actual application although there are many questions about the design remaining. Brian is happy to see that the team is coding and, a couple of days later, he tells Joe, “See what you can do if I motivate you properly.” He tells Joe not to get bogged down in the requirements and design thing. He emphasizes how important the project is and that Stan and Phil don’t want any further delays. He says that he’ll go ahead and take responsibility for signing off on the design since Mary won’t be available for at least another week since she apparently caught ‘a bug’ during her business trip.

You can bet nobody went home happy that day. In Chapter VI: Coding, we get to the heart of the work and Mary returns to the office.

Following Chapters

» Chapter VI: Coding
» Chapter VII: Testing
» Chapter VIII: Deployment
» Chapter IX: Maintenance
» Chapter X: Aftermath and Comments

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Entry Filed under: Project Management


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