October 29, 2015 Leave a comment
Lifecycle Models – In General
In the current vernacular we no longer speak about development life-cycles but instead about “Agile” and its variants. And if one were to review the documents promoting Agile and the components that make up what appears to be it’s framework it could be found that Agile is nothing more than a variant on existing life-cycles as defined by software engineering practitioners. Steven McConnell of Construx Software is aware of this since he wrote the book on standardized software engineering practices. And though he propose the use of Agile techniques his interpretation of these techniques are well founded upon long standing software engineering principals.
All a life-cycle represents, is a way to get from the start of a project to a successful conclusion. It is a fairly straight-forward concept. Yet, today when reading anything about current variations on such techniques we are provided instead with a wealth of arcane terminology that really doesn’t mean much except to those who are using it. “Sprints”, “Stand-up Meetings”, “Scrum” and others appear to hide the simplicity of Agile’s foundations instead of allowing new-comers to easily understand it’s potential.
Life-Cycles are also not to be taken as hard and fast rules of development as there are a number of standardized models that can be applied as the development situation warrants. Agile is just one among many such life-cycles but it appears increasingly that its promoters believe that it is more or less a panacea for all software development related issues. And while it can certainly help in improving development efforts it can only do so under the right circumstances since, like any life-cycle model, Agile works best for those projects that it was designed for.
For example, if the reduction of risk to project failure is a very high priority, something that Agile is not designed to incorporate, than one may consider the “Spiral” life-cycle model, which can be illustrated with the graphic below…
“The Spiral Model”
Click to Enlarge