According to our text, Information Technology Project Management, “A systems development life cycle (SDLC) is a framework for describing the phases of developing information systems.” For this discussion, please respond to the following prompt(s):

When is the predictive life cycle such as the waterfall life cycle model most appropriate to use to develop an information system? Consider the predictability of scope and cost.

When is the adaptive software development (ASD) life cycle model most appropriate to use to develop an information system? 



The SDLC is a term used in information systems to describe the process of planning, creating, testing and deploying an information system. SDLC describes the way a project is designed from the drawing board to its completion during the development of an IT project. A project can be defined as a project life cycle which focuses on all activities of the project, or the systems development life cycle which is focused on the realization of the products requirement.

In the development of an information system, it is important to know when a predictive life cycle such as waterfall is most appropriate. Waterfall model is sequential whereby progress is seen flowing downwards through the various stages of development. This predictive life cycle is most appropriate when the producer need to make a full proof product. This mechanism uses more time in the development stage which saves money and reduces costs at later stages. It also puts emphasis on documentation and source code. In this, it is appropriate when one knows that some team members might go away before the project is completed which would otherwise hinder progress. It is necessary to use this life cycle where scope and requirements are fixed, the product itself stable and firm, and the technology clearly understood.

Adaptive Software Development is based on the principle that process should continuously adapt to the work at hand. There are instances where it is the most appropriate method in comparison to the predictive life cycle such as waterfall. It is made up of a series of speculation, collaboration and learning cycles. This sequence is dynamic and provides for the continuous learning and adaptation of a product to the emergent state of the project. Collaboration is the effort used in comparing work on the scale of predictable parts of the environment and adapting to the uncertain surrounding mix of changes caused by various factors, such as technology, requirements, stakeholders, software vendors. The learning cycles, challenging all interested parties, are based on the short iterations with design, build and testing. Acquisition of knowledge is done through making mistakes and having them corrected which leads to greater experience and eventually mastery.

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