Software Development Best (and Good) Practices: What “best practice” processes do you think are required for IT development projects?

by E.R. Williams

Best Practice Processes (BPPs) must continue to be estabished and improved for the software development process.  and for the successful projects and programs. The best practice processes are identified below. Several organizations with standards that support these processes are listed.

Best Practice Processes:

1. Program/Project Management (and Business Management) (Integration)

  • Use of Experience and Knowledge (Integration)
  • Planning and Scheduling/WBS (Scope/Time/Cost)
  • Communication Planning (Communication)
  • Status & Earned Value Reporting (Communication)
  • Performance (metrics) Reporting (Communication)
  • Risks Identification and Management (Risks)
  • Project Repository/DB (Communication/Lessons Learned/Knowledge Transfer)
  • Change Management (Integration)
  • Subcontractor/Vendor Control (Procurement)
  • Team Building (Human Resource)

2. Development Process (Integration/Solution/Scope)

  • Selection of the appropriate model/technique (e.g., Interative, Waterfall, Spiral, Evolutionary, Object Oriented, Structured)
  • Selection of the appropriate implementation methodology (e.g., MSF, RUP, GXP, DOD-STD 2167 and other standards)
  • Selection, if required, to use Rapid Development
    • Rapid Application Development/Joint Application Development (RAD/JAD)
    • Prototypes and Mockups
    • Interviews and Facilitated Sessions
  • Collaboration
    • Selection of technical and project reviews
    • Selection of development and support tools and applications

3. Configuration Management (Integration/Scope/Control) (described in the book, "Software and Firmware Configuration Management, " subtitled "Management Control and Quality".)

  • Configuration Identification
  • Configuration Control
  • Configuration Status Accounting
  • Configuration Audits

4. Quality Assurance (Integration/Quality/Control)

  • Verification
  • Validation
  • Testing

Some of the organizations that support these practices and certifications for their professional knowledge recognized in many industries are: Project Management Institute (PMI) , American Management Association (AMA), Software Engineering Institute (SEI), Electronic Industries Association (EIA), Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the Department of Defense (DOD).

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