Information Systems Engineering Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

PRINCE2 vs. DSDM compares and contrasts the two methodologies used in the development of projects. This paper explicitly defines each methodology and outlines its general characteristics and important features. It also explains all the phases involved within each methodology. In the end, the writer's perspective and viewpoint about each approach is given and a conclusion is reached which specifies whether PRINCE2 or DSDM is a suitable solution for the development of projects.


Today's business world requires that products along with their provided services be marketed in the shortest possible time span. Nowadays, projects are often inaugurated on a collective basis and institute without having an enumerated understanding of the requirements. There is no doubt that in this fast paced environment, Dynamic System Development Method or DSDM is considered to be the best available publicly practiced method of the Rapid Application Development or RAD model and is exhibiting consequential increase. PRINCE2 or Projects in Controlled Environment also provides non-propriety finest practice. PRINCE2 is basically a project management methodology that is designed to be both generic and independent of any of the delineated project type or development procedure.

DSDM is a tool that is used to comprehend, scheme, communicate, direct, monitor and deliver all projects related to either IT or business change. It is a non-proprietary for forming business solutions within taut time frames. Through DSDM, time taken to deliver and market a project is shortened and therefore benefits business. This is the only approach that can be used to guarantee delivery on schedule under tight Internet time deadliness. An important feature of this technology is that it is tool independent. The prime goal of the system developers while evolving DSDM was to form an Agile Method project model that would be time, quality and cost sensitive, producing deliverables quickly and accurately - rapid and right. Since its inception in 1995, more than 20,000 practitioners have been trained and thousands of developers have used

DSDM successfully. Consequently, it has become the de facto standard for agile application development management world-wide" (DSDM In A Nutshell).

System managers consider DSDM as a methodical approach of common intellect. As a result people pertaining to either other fields or the field of Information Technology are also considering applying this approach in project development.

PRINCE2 is a project management technique that is used in an organization, management and the monitoring of projects. Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency or CCTA originally developed it in 1989 as a United Kingdom government standard for project management. "PRINCE2 is designed to incorporate the requirements of existing users and to enhance the method towards a generic, best practice approach for the management of all types of projects" (Introduction To Prince2). PRINCE2 being a project based approach for project management furnishes facilely implemented and gamut method for the management of all categories of projects. It is important to note that all projects together with their key inputs and outputs are specified with their target to be achieved and activities to be carried out.

The method describes how a project is divided into manageable stages enabling efficient control of resources and regular progress monitoring throughout the project.

The various roles and responsibilities for managing a project are fully described and are adaptable to suit the size and complexity of the project, and the skills of the organization. Project planning using PRINCE2 is product-based which means the project plans are focused on delivering results and are not simply about planning when the various activities on the project will be done. A PRINCE2 project is driven by the project's business case which describes the organization's justification, commitment and rationale for the deliverables or outcome. The business case is regularly reviewed during the project to ensure the business objectives, which often change during the lifecycle of the project, are still being met (Introduction To Prince2).

Hence, PRINCE2 is based on common language platform so that it is easily comprehensible among all the members in the parties involved.

DSDM as a result of providing a framework of control and best practice methodology of the Rapid Application Development model is being employed by five hundred companies all around the world, such as IBM, Hewlett Packard, ABN Amro, Siebel Systems, Siemens, Wang Global, Prudential, Rational Software corporation, Sapiens International Corporation etc. DSDM is a User Centered Approach i.e. users are not considered as inconnu during the evolvement of the project, rather they are recognized as active participants throughout the completeness of the development process. Users play an integral role throughout the development phase of the project. They not only aware the developers about the users needs in a product but are best judges of the end product.

In contrast when users are not closely involved throughout the development lifecycle, problems develop. Delays occur at junctures when decisions are being made without the user's input. This leads users to feel that solutions are being imposed on them by the developers and by their management" (DSDM -- the Underlying Principles).

DSDM team usually comprises of developers and users. The members of the team are given the liberty to make decisions as they purge and perhaps modify the stipulations. "They are empowered to agree that certain levels of functionality, usability etc. are acceptable. They can decide matters like this without frequent recourse to higher level management" (DSDM -- the Underlying Principles). DSDM focuses on the perpetual deliverance of products. Members of the DSDM team "continuously focus on the specific products that can be delivered in an agreed period of time" (DSDM -- the Underlying Principles). The prime reason for keeping the time span short is that team members can easily decide which activities are adequate in accomplishing the correct outcome. Hence, DSDM team can choose approaches that result in producing the required product in the right time period.

DSDM focuses on the delivery of inevitable business functionality at the requisite time. It is possible to engineer the system later, if it makes business sense to do so. "Traditionally the focus has been on satisfying all the contents of a requirement document and conforming to previous deliverables. But experienced developers know that those requirements are often inaccurate, the pervious deliverables may be flawed, and the business needs may have changed since the start of the project" (DSDM -- the Underlying Principles). DSDM strongly focuses on iteration during system development. Iteration gives developers the chance to modify the system again and again. Here the users play a very crucial role since they provide feedback to the developers. Hence, DSDM allows reworking on a given solution. "When rework is not explicitly recognized in a development lifecycle, the return to previously completed work is hobbled by changed control procedures that slow development down" (DSDM -- the Underlying Principles). Another important characteristic of DSDM is backtracking. At times it is better to perform reconstruction than to backtrack. This however, depends upon the nature of the change and the environment in which it was built. "The ability to reverse changes is limited to within the development of an increment" (DSDM -- the Underlying Principles). In DSDM requirements are baselined at an elevated level. "Baselining and requirements at a high level means agreeing on and freezing the scope and definition of the system very early in the development process, while still at a high level of specification-just enough to continue"(DSDM -- the Underlying Principles). Hence, modeling or prototyping initiates for the highest choice characteristics. At this particular point the developers conduct an enumerated examination into what the stipulations insinuate. During each iteration, the requirement definition is further investigated until a level in which the developers complete their respective task is reached. It is important to note that the scope does not modify greatly.

Testing is always the most integral phase of development. In DSDM, testing is integrated throughout the lifecycle. Both users and developers incrementally test and review the incremental development of the system. "In a product's early phases, the testing focus is on validation against the business needs and priorities. As the product nears completion, the focus is on verifying that the product operates effectively within the whole system"(DSDM -- the Underlying Principles).

In PRINCE2, a project is divided into manageable stages empowering effective control of resources and periodic development monitoring throughout the project. In PRINCE2, project planning is based on delivering the right result and not planning each phase or activities performed during the development. The business case in PRINCE2 is constantly critiqued during the project to safeguard the business objectives, which usually shift during the lifecycle of the project. People involved in the PRINCE2 project are the customer, the developers and the users. PRINCE2 provides a common language to all the participants in the project. PRINCE2 offers advantages to the organization, as well as managers and directors of the project by making controllable use of the resources and manage project and business risk more effectively.

PRINCE2 enables projects to have:

controlled and organized start, middle and end;

Regular reviews of progress against…

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