Dis 4 reply
Today’s subject is interesting. It is something we encounter in our daily life. If we see our life routine as projects, there might be thousands of failures in it. However, according to my understanding, a project is not only related to study project, constructions project or life project… etc. It can be any set of steps that need a chronological, logical order to be done.
Failure is an unavoidable part of any project process. it’s the degree of failure that makes the difference. If a task fails, there are ways to reallocate resources and get back on track. But a systemic collapse will derail the whole project (Discenza et al, 2007).
I want to tell about a project that has failed back in day. Actually it wasn’t my own project, it was a family project. It was 21st September of 2013, my brother who lives in France was visiting us in the United State. That date is one of his birthday’s. He missed a set of cake that we used to eat for most of our occasions. My brother wanted to have this specific cake home made for his birthday party. He was staying in my youngest sister’s house in Washington State.
We decided to make the cake at the family house and take it to him. It is about 25-minute drive. We were all excited for his arrival, and we all participated in making that cake for him. We started preparing the dough, each one of us was helping in the completion of that cake. We wanted to finish early as we can put it in the fridge for a certain period of time. The dough was made, and being cooked in the oven. However, preparing the cream was not successful because of the lack of corn starch. Time was so limited to go buy one. The project was considered as a failure. Yet, the birthday wasn’t cancelled. We both a cake on our way.
This small project failed because of the requirements phase according to the System Development Lifecycle (SDLC) was not present during any step of the project. The idea how to build the system was not explored. Functional requirements were not defined. One of the members of family should have checked all the ingredients needed to finish the project, cake, from water to fire.
Based on the System Development Life Cycle Model, we could have saved this small project from failure. I would love to use the Rapid Application Development (RAD) or Rapid Prototyping Model as it is considered the common used model. Let’s consider how we could have reacted differently to make a successful project, birthday cake.
My brother, Michael, who came from Paris for a visit is considered the client. The first step is asking for a specific kind of cake he wants to eat in his birthday is the initiation and planning.
Me, Mohamed, as the person who got the request of making the tart is considered to be the business analyst. I should note down the requirements analysis of the phase. I explore the idea how to build the system. I define the functional requirements. I decide what ingredients are needed to make this cake. If we have enough time to make it happen.
My parents are the design architects. The design the system. Conduct a design review. They are the people who design the infrastructure of the kitchen and equipment required.
My mother is the developer. She tests system qualification, Acquires and installs hardware. Develops deployment plan. She mixes the ingredients in the right order and starts baking the cake.
My two sisters are the testers. They conduct system testing, review and finalize development-phase documentation and obtain user acceptance. My sisters test the quality of the cake. See if it needs to be cooked more in the oven. They can call my brother and ask him if he wants it well baked, high or low, or medium.
Me and all members of family are the deployment team. Install the new system, execute training plan and perform post implementation evaluation. We as family along with the driver, the baker, the testers hands over the cake to my brother, client.
My brother is considered the last phase, operations and maintenance. He operates the system, identifies problems and recommend modifications, and update the system. He tastes the cake, says if the taste is still the same as he used to be long time ago, and gives the feedback for any issues.
To conclude, System Development Lifecycle (SDLC) is very important to any project taken. as we see in the example, it helps through a set of steps and phases to follow in order to not encounter a failure. indeed, the concepts of this project are from my own understanding of the topic, I hope I could meet the requirements and did not mess with some details.
E'laishah Ramirez posted Mar 10, 2022 5:11 AM
Hello fellow classmates,
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” —Winston Churchill
In this discussion, I will be talking about a class activity I did in my junior year of high school as my failed project in comparison to the Waterfall Model. Many of you may have seen videos of this type of activity on social media or YouTube, I know I have many times. Basically, as a class, we had to give our teacher step-by-step instructions of how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. As easy as you may think this is it’s actually quite difficult.
A little back story as to why we did this project, I believe this was in my chemistry class. My teacher gave us an exercise to come up with instructions on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. What he didn’t tell us was how descriptive and in detail those steps needed to be which is where we failed many times. For example, if we told him to take the peanut butter before telling him to first open the container, he would pick up the entire container. Or, if we told him to open the jelly jar then grab some jelly, before telling him to pick up a butter knife, he would take a handful of jelly from the jar.
Now let’s look at this activity through the Waterfall Model with the four-phase approach in mind:
Planning: This is where each of us would pitch in ideas of what the steps should be, what order they should be executed, and what ingredients/resources were needed to achieve the goal. The resources needed would be a butter knife, two slices of bread, peanut butter, jelly, and a plate. The steps would be something like this: open the peanut butter container, take a slice of bread, put some peanut butter on the bread, then take some jelly and put it on another slice of bread, put the slices together, place the sandwich on the plate, cut it diagonally.
Analysis: This is where the rest of the class would decide whether the steps created in the planning stage, as well as the ingredients/resources needed were valid and acceptable. If we as a class agreed that the steps would result in making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without fail then we would add them to the instructions.
Design: This step would be the design the class had in mind as to what the peanut butter and jelly sandwich should look like. For example, if the peanut butter/jelly should be on one slice or the other or even both, and if it should be cut in half diagonally, horizontally, or vertically.
Implementation: This step will signify how our teacher comprehended our instructions; in this case he was as literal as you could think.
As stated previously, we failed this project over and over because our instructions weren’t as clear as we though it would be. With SDLC in mind, we initially failed in the planning and analysis area which was due to us not knowing how specific our teacher wanted us to be at first and then again in the attempts following because it a was treated as a trial and error as to how our teacher would react to the directions given. As a result, our sandwich was either a messy glob on a plate, a half slice mess with peanut butter or jelly all over our teacher’s hands, etc. Just like the waterfall model there was no turning back to a previous step in a sense that once we announced the next step in the sandwich making our teacher did that step signifying that what’s done cannot be undone.
In the end, I believe that whether the directions given by the teacher at the beginning of the project were made clear or not wouldn’t have changed the result. This is because even if we were told how specific he would be there would still be no facts to back up whether the result we had in mind would be the result produced through the teacher. Therefore, we would have to continue the cycle over and over until each step was made clear and precise that there wouldn’t be any flaws in communication between the class and the teacher. I’d also like to add that this project could also be used in either a fountain or agile model; in a sense that the fountain model would allow for us to make changes in our instructions as the teacher is following them, whereas an agile model would allow us to continue the trail and error cycle repeatedly while changing a piece of instruction in each attempt until we’ve achieved the goal.