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PSDP Short Overview

Prestwood Software Development Process�

PSDP Overview (click to view)Prestwood Software Development Process� (PSDP) is a proven process that features scalability and flexibility geared toward managing the development of software systems, applications, components, web sites, and web applications. PSDP is an iteration-centric full life-cycle software development process. Iteration, as defined in PSDP, is a deployed version of the software to the end users. A project usually contains one iteration of the software and that version is usually numbered 1.0, 1.1, 2.0a, etc. Although PSDP is iteration-centric, it does offer mechanisms for enterprise modeling, multiple iterations, and the maintenance that occurs between iterations.
Public Standard * Proven * Straightforward * Scalable * Flexible * Object Oriented

Minimalist Philosophy

PSDP takes a minimalist philosophy toward software development. This minimalist philosophy manifests throughout PSDP with the minimum necessary project tasks, documentation, and testing required for the estimated size and desired quality of the software. A minimalist philosophy helps keep costs down and the project pace up.

Joint Responsibility

With PSDP, project success depends on both the development team and user community. The user community members must take responsibility for understanding PSDP and their role within it. Both the user community and development team should understand and follow the standards, suggestions, concepts, and advice contained within PSDP. Success of each project depends on a complete understanding and implementation of PSDP.
 

The PSDP Difference

The following are some of the key features of PSDP:

Advanced Project Tracking
A good process has mechanisms for easy and accurate project tracking. In the large, PSDP marks the start and end of phases clearly with a single event. In the small, PSDP tracks phase tasks with checkpoints. These tracking mechanisms are compatible with sequential, overlapping, and iterative project management.
Easy to Use
PSDP is based on a minimalist philosophy that manifests throughout with the minimum necessary project tasks, documentation, and testing required for the estimated size and desired quality of the software. When documenting a software development process, it is common practice to try to include every known step in an effort to make sure nothing is left out. This approach leads to an impressive but mostly unusable process. PSDP is lean and practical.
Establish Success Early
PSDP defines both process success and project success. Process success is defined as part of PSDP and the user community defines project success as success factors. The critical success factors are established in the inception phase and are often included in the software development agreement. The rest of the success factors are initially gathered during the feasibility phase and finalized during the requirements phase.
Scalable
 
PSDP contains mechanisms that allow the project team to scale each project whether the project is an 80-hour project involving one or two project team members, or a five-year project involving a dozen project team members. Throughout this document, PSDP will introduce scale and give suggestions and guidelines on how to scale PSDP based on estimated size and desired quality of the iteration.
Flexible
Because of the varying talent level of a project team and varying cultures of organizations, a software development process must be flexible. PSDP is goal oriented and therefore gives a certain amount of flexibility to the development team. This includes a certain amount of flexibility for the project manager in how he or she manages the process and to the developers in what methods (techniques) are used to complete the project tasks. The project stays on track because PSDP establishes a minimum set of checkpoints (project tasks) based on the estimated size and desired quality of the iteration that the project team must meet.
The Tough Stuff First
One of the reasons why projects end up taking longer than estimated and therefore costing more is because the tough stuff is left to the end or at least not accomplished first. Sometimes the development team takes too much time on the project �fine tuning� unimportant or at least less-important features. PSDP uses the proof of concept method at key points of the software development process. With large and very large projects, a proof of concept for a particularly tough aspect of the software generally will be performed either during the feasibility or requirements phase. This practice is carried through the design phase completing more proof-of-concepts. By the time the development team reaches the initial coding phase, the development team should have implemented the tough stuff, at least in a rough way. Proof-of-concepts are particularly important when working with new technology or extreme business rules. For example, if the software must communicate to LED signs through a particular piece of hardware, PSDP recommends the development team perform a proof of concept for that aspect of the software as soon as possible.
Sequential Phases
PSDP rolls from one phase to another in more or less a sequential order. This allows for clear tracking of the software development process.
Overlapping Phases
The phases can overlap! This is an important concept that fully utilizes the resources assigned to the project. Care must be taken by the project manager to make sure the overlap makes sense in the context of the given project.
Natural Discovery
PSDP allows for natural discovery. For example, during the feasibility phase, the focus of the development team is on gathering high-level requirements with the user community. Frequently the development team discovers detailed requirements during the feasibility phase. PSDP suggests the development team capture any detailed requirements in a rough Requirements Specification for later use.
Iterative Methods
Within each phase, iterative methods (techniques) are used to fully involve the entire development team and key members of the user community.
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