Software Maintenance And Change Control In An Organization

1266 Words6 Pages
Software Maintenance and Change Control in an Organization Abstract The research done for this paper represents an attempt to describe the type and distribution of activities within software maintenance and change control. Software maintenance activities span a system's productive life and consume a major portion of the total life cycle costs of a system. However, what is actually done to systems in maintenance is sometimes a mystery to many organizations. Thus, software maintenance remains an activity that is difficult and expensive to manage. With this paper, we intend to open the mystery of software maintenance and explain some of the activities involved in this procedure. Requirements Analysis The requirements analysis is possibly the most crucial step in the software maintenance realm, as this step alone can determine the effectiveness of all following activities and the customer's evaluation of the final product. "Requirements analysis is the process of understanding the customer's needs, and capturing them in a formal document." (Icarus, p. 2) This formal document, when working with an existing program, is normally known as a change request form. The change request can come in the form of a formal document or in the form of a heated e-mail from your superiors. If it is the latter, you need to take steps to produce a formal change request document. This document will outline the constraints, commonly referred to as the triple constraint, scope, time, and money. The first of these three, scope, is quite difficult to define, early in the process. However, the scope of the project must be defined in terms that can evolve into a pseudo-checklist. This document will be reviewed constantly throughout the process to determine whether a particular fits with the customer needs and wants. One way of determining the customer's needs is to develop a questionnaire. This can alleviate several communications problems between the development team and the customer. The questionnaire can be used to develop the change request document. Other ways to develop a change request document is to conduct a walkthrough with the main stakeholders of the change. This function will allow the development team to get a feel for the work environment and aid in the development of the program changes. A combination of these steps strengthens the change request document. By conducting a questionnaire and then conducting a walkthrough, the requested changes can be illustrated within the work environment, the development team will determine a level of necessity for each of the requested changes.
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