Guidelines: Development-Organization Assessment

  • Identifying potential skill gaps
  • Identify new development facilities

New technologies require new skills. When assessing the skills of the organization, look at the requirements to see if there are any specific requirements that will call for new development or testing skills. If a candidate architecture exists, consider this as well.

Typical scenarios which may indicate that new skills must be acquired by the development organization include:

  • the first use of distributed or cooperative processing
  • the first use of application programs on programmable workstations in this client
  • changes in scale (for example, a large network with centralized processing in a client with only departmental systems installed)
  • communication with external organizations such as clients or suppliers
  • first use of a new operating system (e.g. UNIX) or communication protocols (e.g. OSI).
  • any special National Language (NLS) requirements
  • the first use of cryptography

Skills that may need to be acquired include:

  • Knowledge of unfamiliar or special hardware or software
  • Knowledge of an application package
  • Special industry knowledge
  • An exceptionally large design team
  • A multinational, dispersed, design team
  • Client/server skills
  • Exceptional security requirements

Be aware of the changing roles in application development. To react quickly to changing business needs, end user departments increasingly take an active role in application development. Development teams consist of people from end user departments whose responsibilities include the functional and usability aspects of the application, while the IS department focuses on Client/Server infrastructure aspects and the integration of in-house developed and off-the-shelf applications. This may lead to new methodologies and tools being used for the implementation of Client/Server applications.

Significant skill gaps should be identified as significant project risks in the Artifact: Risk List.

Identify new development facilities

Define any additional development facilities that will be required to support the development effort:

  • What new tools will be used to develop and test the new system?
  • What new skills will be needed to use these tools?
  • How will these be acquired – retraining existing staff or hiring new?
  • How long will it take to create the development environment?
  • How much of the development environment will need to be retained for ongoing system maintenance?
  • Have the development functions been assigned to nodes? Included in the sizing data?
  • Have the connections between the development and production environments been defined in the system specification?

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