Topic 7 Developing ICT solutions

Covers topic 7 of the A2 AQA ICT course

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Management and user involvement

The project sponsor (client) and end user must be active through development of a new system, initially by creating a timescale and budget for the project. At every stage both sponsor and user should be consulted, the benefits of this are numerous:

  • Set out clear and defined requirements to give direction.
  • Agree on deliverables and milestones.
  • Consulted heavily during analysis through interviews etc.
  • Ensure the development team are developing what is needed.
  • Users can be consulted to perform BETA testing.
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Effective teamwork, Timescales, Deliverables

Teamwork

Large ICT projects cannot be completed by one person, and so a development team is needed. A team can also bring much more expertise together hence generating ideas that can lead to a discussion, often a good team creates synergy, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Timescales

Without control a project is likely to become inefficient and take as long as possible to be completed. Timescales will agree deadlines for each stage of development to keep it running on track and ensure consistent progress. These deadlines are known as milestones.

Deliverables

The parts of the project that are completed and accepted in a meeting with the project sponsor and "signed off" by them.

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Factors that could cause failure

  • Complexity - System must be complex enough to deal with detail but understandable for users.
  • Lack of formal methods - Ignoring a development methodology, may save time but will produce a poorer system
  • Inadequate initial analysis - incomplete analysis can cause problems as requirements may be missed or not fully understood, leading to a flawed solution
  • Lack of management/user involvement - managers and users will have better knowledge of business environment, valuable information.
  • Inappropriate hardware/software
  • Lack of sponsor knowledge about ICT - Could ask the impossible, not able to follow development
  • Lack of communication
  • Lack of professional standards - BCS has standards for ICT pros

Losing control of a project plan - budget, staff on project, delegation of task to employee, deliverables and milestones, date for overall completion

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