How might gap analysis be applied to the system development life cycle? Provide an example of how this might apply in a business environment.
According to Russell (2006) successful software system development culminates in a deployed system that is used by the users and delivers the business benefits that the customer expects; it is important that these two constituencies, users and customers, and their needs play a central and continuous role in the sysem development life cycle (SDLC); without explicit and continuous awareness of these critical constituencies and their needs, the development process can become over-focused on the process and artifacts of development. According to this author, the user/customer needs a gap analysis model presented in this article was developed in a commercial setting to complement a traditional SDLC and address these issues; use of the gap model yields some interesting insights regarding the management of system development; in many cases, companies over-invest in managing certain gaps and under-invest in others. Russell's article describes a more balanced approach that has yielded higher quality systems, improved the number of successful deployments, and provided a better return on development investments at a software services company.
According to Russell (2006) the motivation that led to this article originates in the experience of one of the authors as a senior executive in a software and services company (the Carnegie Group, now part of Logica PLQ). According to this author, when the company first instituted a formal methodology based on a system development life cycle model, it was found that the teams became very involved in and committed to executing the methodology, which was viewed as a good result; unfortunately, the customers and users were often forgotten in the process. According to this author, this proved to be detrimental to the successful deployment of the systems that were developed and, ultimately, to the software developer's business. ...
The solution determines the gap analysis.