Today we look at phase 2 of the waterfall model, the analysis phase.
The main objective of this phase is requirements determination.This is the most important phase in the SDLC as the goal is to understand the requirements of the new system and to develop a system that addresses these requirements. This is done by working through the details of each requirement, studying and analysing the current system and defining and prioritising users requirements.It is the least technical phase of the SDLC and needs effective social, communication and managerial skills to be successful. From this we get a statement of what the system must do and the characteristics the system must have. The focus here is on the user needs as new systems change the environment people work in so it is imperative to identify all the stakeholders involved, take into account their needs and ensure they understand the implications of the new system. There are two requirements, functional and nonfunctional. Functional requirements are concerned with system services such as the scope of the system, the necessary business functions and the required data structures. Whereas nonfunctional requirements deal with system constraints such as operation-how easy is it to use, performance and security, these are also known as supplementary requirements. To ascertain the requirements involved we can use traditional methods such as interviewing the users, observation and study of documents and software systems. These traditional methods of gathering information are simple and cost-effective but are only effective when the objectives of the project are clear as there are little or no risks involved. More modern methods of gathering requirements include prototyping which is where there is a preliminary model of the project from which later models are developed. Joint Application Design which is a structured group process focused on determining requirements, this involves the project team, users and managers working together. Modern methods often give better insights but are more expensive. They are suitable for projects where risks are higher due to unclear objectives, unclear requirements, inexperienced developers and undocumented procedures. At the end of this phase there will be a requirements document which include the purpose and scope of the project, the stakeholders involved, function and data requirements, system constraints and project matters.
In my next post I will be discussing the design phase 🙂