Executive SummaryThe report is an attempt to understand the concept of software development life cycle process, benchmarking process and feasibility of the strategy to outsource the SDLC process as against using in-house IS resources, from the perspectives of an IS project manager. The report includes introduction to the topics of SDLC, benchmarking and proposed approaches that can be used in the given scenario. It further discusses the ten key metrics or measures that can help to track a project and compare the results with the option of using outsourced services. It stresses upon the strengths and weaknesses of each of these metrics and suggests a method to quantitatively record them.
Finally it highlights the obstacles that can be faced in the decision to benchmark and also outsource. Benchmarking the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) ProcessThis report titled “Bench Marking SDLC” is an attempt to understand, assimilate and convey the bench marking exercise by taking example of the system life cycle development process. The aim of the report is to delve into understanding of the areas of concern for several projects which have run over budget and time, as a Program Manager, and decide on the areas of improvement visa-a-via the option of outsourcing.
IntroductionThe aim of this part of the report is to get an introduction to the topics that will be covered in the report. This will not only help to connect and relate each of these topics but will also help to understand and appreciate their significance. The SDLC or the software development life cycle is a process that includes several logical and formal activities combined together to build a software product.
The logical and formal activities that make up the SDLC include the steps of project conceptualization; analysis of requirements; analysis of cost versus benefits; comprehensive software requirement specifications; software designing and programming; testing the product; revising the product to correct faults, deficiencies or incorporate changes, new additions or alterations; product implementation; providing technical and user training and lastly continuous maintenance of the developed product. According to James Taylor (2003), the aim of the process of software development life cycle (SDLC) is to provide the customer with a superior quality system, completed within the pre estimated cost and time budgets, which can meet or surpass his expectations by performing efficiently and effectively within the present and planned Information Technology setup of the customer and thereby being economical to sustain, easy to replace if required and cost-effective to augment upon if future need be. 1Though there are several definitions of ‘Benchmarking’.
The process is commonly defined as the practice of measurement and understanding of an organisation’s internal business processes in terms of cost, productivity, quality of output, cycle time, etc. in comparison to a similar business process from another organisation or from within the organisation which is considered ‘best-in class’ and then adapting it and tracking it constantly to measure the success of the adaptation. 2 There are several types of benchmarking processes that involves differing techniques and their success or failure are assessed by tracking various measures and matrices.
Collaborative and Metric Benchmarking processes are the most popular approaches to benchmarking. Both these approaches can be used in different types of benchmarking initiatives. For the SDLC, the use of performance benchmarking seems the best approach to achieve the target of understanding and defining the failure causes, compare the key performance indicators or matrices and also consider the option of outsourcing.