Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Artistic Analysis

Every once in a while you get a lifetime project: the development (or more typically the redevelopment) of the central system that pumps the heart of a business. The toughest part of this challenge is nailing the initial analysis. On such a large, mission-critical system, getting the analysis correct is both an immense responsibility and terribly vital. So to aid your developers your first set of deliverables should be:

1) A sociological analysis. This should include a full detailing of which employees are best at performing what functions, and how that will mesh with the new system. It should consider how the project will survive the politics of the employer and its staff, and supply contingencies in the case that certain key people fail to demonstrate any new skills you may require from them.

2) An object-oriented analysis. At an early stage of a project the best you may be able to provide is a UML of the abstract objects, but you should at least gain an understanding of how all the business objects and methods fit together, as well as a sense of data flow and any timing dependencies.

3) A strategic analysis. You should understand the strategic plan of the company and of the I.T. department, and should detail how this development effort will support these plans on all time scales. You should also accommodate the Gestalt of the SDLC to your company's ever-changing environment.

Before coding can begin you will need to understand many other components (screen wireframes, project timelines, implementation strategies, physical architecture, state diagrams, and coding and security standards), but these are fairly typical of all projects. Take extra care however in your Project from Jupiter to be attentive to generating the analytical viewpoints from all three dimensions.