System Development Cycle

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System Development Life Cycles (SDLC) * * * * *
Tutorial 3 in a series of 6 - Overview of Software Engineering Principles

3
The system development life cycle (SDLC) follows a project through from the initial idea to the point where it is a functional system. It is a core part of the methodology that is used when defining a project.
Life cycles fall into a number of different categories, iterative being the most common but they also include waterfall, spiral and chaos models. Common methodologies include Structured Systems Analysis and Design Method (SSADM) and Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF).
Each step in a systems lifecycle can be broken down into many smaller sub-steps or processes. Each stage follows logically after the previous, but it is an oversimplification to say that one stage is a distinct step after another. It is important to understand that the system lifecycle is iterative as well as the stages involved along the way.
Different methodologies will have different variations of this lifecycle model. A common iterative lifecycle is show in the diagram below and each stage is described after the diagram.

Initial Idea
All projects must start with an initial idea. Usually this consists of a brief definition on what is the project all about, what is its purpose and what the project aims to accomplish. How will the success of the project be measured?
Feasibility Study
Expanding on the Initial Idea, the Feasibility Study involves drawing up the terms of reference, which state the objectives and scope of the project, how long it should take and how the results should be presented. The terms of reference are usually drawn up by senior management. The feasibility study must determine if development of the project is justified in terms of economic and organisational terms.
The main role of the analyst in the feasibility…...

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