Full Software Life Cycle Coverage

Project requirements nowadays change frequently, this is way we need a streamlined, flexible approach to requirements change management, in order to react in a just-in-time manner to changes and to incorporate them into a project with a minimal additional effort.

The trigger for the NTT DATA process model is our long-term experience in software projects, a result of numerous partnerships with domestic and foreign customers. Further basic principles were the theoretical approaches, which are found in the literature (Microsoft Solutions Framework, IBM Rational Unified Process, Agile procedures such as Scrum, XP). The aim today is to develop projects in an iterative and incremental manner and to involve customers more closely in the projects.

Requirements

Support

Architecture

SoftwareDevelopmentLifecycle

Deployment

Design

Testing

Implementation

Requirement analysis and system design

Within our approach, the requirement analysis plays an important role, as it defines the project scope and based on that it develops a high-level schedule and estimate.  It also reveals the expectations of both parties and record the requirements of the customer in writing. These are subsequently accepted by the client. Therefore, the analysis documentation is the first to enter the development process. Requirements are the trigger for the entire software life cycle and acceptance criteria. During development we will explore in a just-in-time manner each requirement in the necessary detail.

Functional specifications – core technical and functional features of the system. The outcome of the first discussions with the client will be part of the technical concept, even though it’s only a rough draft in the beginning. The content of the documents is refined in the planning stage. This happens as well in collaboration with the client; the documentation phase is now taken over by technical people. The documents continue to provide mainly functional and specific details. There are none or only few technical aspects documented. The goal is to document the needs and requirements of the client and not the solution which is about to be developed.

Technical specifications – describes the solution that will be developed during the project. This documentation contains all the technical details necessary for the system to develop. The specification contains, if necessary, also an architectural description, the definition of performance parameter, description of the user interfaces, interfaces with third party systems, aspects related to portability, data base models, etc.  This documentation is prepared by specialists and requires only little support from the client’s side, as it’s prepared based on the functional specifications.

Development

Regardless of the need of formalization, one thing is certain: the cost of development remains the most significant in most development projects. Over the course of time we have developed best practices and put them to good use in other projects, thus constantly improving our process model.  Code guidelines, architecture model, reusable components and frameworks are available and can be used straightaway in new projects.

Quality Assurance

The Quality Management is a mandatory component of the NTT DATA process model. Development processes are in general organized ensuring the quality. The quality assurance process starts in the first project phase and ends once the product has past the acceptance test. The planning of the entire quality assurance process is part of the project plan. Functional tests, integration tests, specific test and performance tests are planned and described by means of test scenarios and test cases, depending on the complexity of the project and the size of the QM-Team. The entire process is documented and supported by tools. The information resulting from the project is made available both to the client and the team members. Test logs are issued on a regular basis. The outcome of the QM process is analyzed and reviewed during the sprint review according to the iterative and incremental nature of the project.

Project Management

The project manager has a key role in the NTT DATA process model. His/her main task is to organize the entire development process. Each activity within the process model is planned and approved by the project manager. He/She has the overview of the project progress and governs the flow. In most of the cases he/she is the first go-to person for the client.

According to the model, when it comes to bigger projects the project lead concentrates entirely on organizational tasks. The project lead may also take over tasks from other fields, depending on the complexity degree and size of the project. It happens quite often, especially in smaller projects, for them to take over additionally technical tasks or the technical coordination of the project.

The project manager is in charge with defining and controlling each of the iterations, and with initiating change requests. He is the host of the sprint reviews. The process model defines templates for the documents (meeting minutes, status reports, etc.) that are then sent to the client on a regular basis.

Risk Management

Projects which are driven nearshore/offshore are liable to additional risks. The process model defines an efficient method in order to handle these risks. The risk management is an ongoing process which is handled together with the client during the entire duration of the project. Our experience has taught us that the first two phases of a project are crucial for a successful risk management. The most important risks should be identified and also handled in these stages.

The risk management requires the following three steps:

  • Identification of the risks
  • Analysis and evaluation of the risks
  • Measures for elimination of risks

The process model defines a template destined for recording such information. The risks are gathered and then analyzed together with the client. Measures are taken together. The iterative nature of the project course facilitates a periodic review of this procedure during the entire duration of the project. This is stipulated by the risk management.

Maintenance

Together with the client we analyze and define which services are to be supported or adopted by NTT DATA in the context of the further system maintenance and expansion of functionalities. If necessary, our employees can be integrated into the support organization of the partners and work remotely in their infrastructure. When determining the needs, the question is also as to when the work should be carried out: what periods of workdays, holidays and weekends should be covered.