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Managing complex software development projects is about efficient utilization of resources, risk management, accurate estimation of budgets and timelines, experienced selection of appropriate technologies, and scheduling feature development to meet time-to-market requirements. Risk is a reality in every project; SapphireSys' iterative process for software development is designed specifically to mitigate risk. Let us explain how.

A software solution's development lifecycle is comprised of four facets

  1. Business objectives: Why is this solution needed in the marketplace?
  2. Requirements: What features will the solution have?
  3. Design: How will the solution offer these features?
  4. Code: How will the features be implemented?

These four facets are managed by a project plan that determines when the software solution will offer the required features.

In a traditional Waterfall lifecycle model, (shown to the right) the project plan organizes the four phases in a strict serial order. A lot of time is spent up front to define and analyze requirements and to complete the design of the target system before a line of code is written. This model does not handle changes in requirements or design well. In addition, it creates an artificial separation between business analysts, architects, designers, and programmers, leading to the risk of miscommunication and divergence between the business objectives and vision of a software solution and its implementation.

Using an Iterative lifecycle model, the four facets of a software product are integrated so that business objectives drive the entire process, and the requirements and design are continuously refined while the code evolves. The project plan arranges the development into small releases, and mandates continuing integration of all coded components, incremental builds, and periodic validation of refined requirements and design. By doing so, it encourages a shared ownership of the solution among business analysts, software architects, designer, programmers, and testers; this shared ownership reduces the risk of miscommunication and divergence. It also enables continuing refinement and integration to avoid any unpleasant surprises just before the delivery date.

The Benefits of SapphireSys' Iterative Process:

  • Quick feedback loop from business to engineering back to business
  • Rapid software solution conceptualization and materialization
  • Ability to refine requirements and design and handle changes in both
  • Focus on getting the highest priority features implemented as fast as possible
  • Ability to validate pieces of design incrementally, providing continuous analysis and mitigating the risks

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