As a software project manager, in a company that specialises in systems for Power Utilities, you are responsible for the successful, economic development of large-scale information systems. These information systems are known as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems and Energy Management systems (EMS).
There is a long history of SCADA systems development and use by your customers. Many of the (long) established (or legacy) systems continue to be maintained to support end-users in their various roles as controllers of supply and maintenance engineers. The use of EMS‟s is more recent and is primarily concerned with billing and interactions between power generators, providers and users.
When a new information system is developed a corresponding legacy system often needs to be replaced. For SCADA systems this requires care in matching of the control aspects of the system to the devices used in the physical supply equipment. These are considered to be near real time processes. The matching of data base elements from old to new systems is critical to both safe operation and billing.
The end-users in your latest development project may be characterised as application domain experts and highly competent users of IT, but, not at all interested in the technical details of the information systems development process itself. Their only concern is that you produce an acceptable, high quality information system that is economic in terms of cost and delivery time whatever software development approach and methodology you use to develop it.
The end-users expect to be fully involved in the information system development process, especially in relation to the interactive, GUI aspects but expect that it respects their very limited availability outside their application domain occupations. One of their prime concerns is safety of operation. A secondary concern is the accuracy of the data reporting systems for the EMS application.
One of your first tasks as the project manager is to create a methodology which is sensitive, and particular, to the end-users in the case study so that a new software development project involving both SCADA and EMS functionality may be successfully and economically executed. Although the technical details of the methodology are unimportant to the end-users in their day-to-day occupations, they want to be made aware of these as part of the rationale for its creation.
Discuss the range of possible software development methodologies available to you for consideration in the new software project with a view to critically evaluating which of them would be appropriate to use in the above case study.
With reference to your response to Question 1, discuss the constituent parts of a single methodology that you would create to execute this software development project, including the relevant techniques and tools. Include in your response a discussion of the relevance of Agile Software Development methodology to your proposed single unified methodology.
The chosen approaches to the development of the necessary software both for new and legacy systems are critical to efficient and cost effective systems development. Critically evaluate which of them would be appropriate to use in this case. (Use a range of academic literature and even some industry examples to prove your case)
After completing the module you should be able to:
1. Understand the Information Strategy making process and how it requires a number of strategies to interlink with each other.
2. Develop and critically evaluate the Information Strategy for a given example.
3. Discuss how the various strategies involved integrate with each other.
4. Understand the Information Systems Development Strategy and the various approach/methodologies that can be implemented.
5. Select, implement and critically evaluate Information Systems Development tools and techniques for a given example.
6. Evaluate the different approach to information systems development.
1. MUST underpin your analysis and evaluation of the key issues with appropriate and wide ranging academic research and ensure this is referenced using the Harvard system.
2. You may assume that the target reader has a related MSc or higher degree e.g. PhD but no specific knowledge of your area of study, so you must explain (supported by references) any terminology that is not in general use in the area of study.
3. The guideline length for this assignment is 3000 words.
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