Smith Consulting Project

These reviews will bring awareness to the employees that their efforts (or lack of) have not gone unnoticed. They will realize that their performance level is directly proportional to the bonus, so instinctively, employees will strive to do their best in order to maximize the rewards. Encourage employees to further education, or seek professional certifications by offering tuition reimbursement, and bonus or salary perks for successful completion of degrees or certifications. This will let the employee know that the company is willing to invest in him or her, and by extension, he or she is considered an asset.
Form an employee relations committee which will plan social activities for employees to take part in. Possible events include: Potluck lunch, Christmas dinner, Charity endeavors (food, clothes, and book drives, etc. ), community cleanups, etc. This is an opportunity for staff members of varied levels to come together and socialize without the constraints of bureaucracy or company politics. Clients Engagement Approach can be extended to include the way that a company interacts with its Clients. Similar to the Employee Relationship, the company must find a way to keep Clients happy, and loyal.
Failure to do this could result in negative reviews, loss of clients, loss of business, and loss of revenues. The trickle-down effect of this can be disastrous as the company may have to lay off staff in response to decreased income. With this in mind, it is extremely important to maintain good client relations. To achieve this, the company must be mindful to do the following: Obtain clear directives from the client in terms of their expectations. When in doubt, do not hesitate to follow up with the client for clarification. This ensures that both parties are on the same page and prevents miscommunication which can lead to inflict.

Always communicate respectively with the client. Always keep an open line of communication. It is extremely frustrating when a client is unable to contact his or her service provider. Deliver products on time. This fosters reliability and loyalty. Software Development Definition The formal definition of software is a set of written computer interpreted instruction dictating how to process data input and output. The development of software is the process of creating the written set of instructions that meet the requested specification requirements according to customer need.
The software development life cycle is the development model to achieve a practical product fitting the description of the specification requirements. The development end-goal is to produce a product that is easily maintainable, productive, and dependable. Methodologies Scrum is the principal software development methodology in practice by Smith Consulting for new software development requests. Scrum is an agile development methodology involving development teams working in unison independent of each other and at the same time interdependent on each team’s work (Tech Target, 2007).
The Scrum methodology spawns developmental decisions as a result of active software creation, directing and guiding the development team task to keep on the project timeline and according to specification. The Lean Software Development approach is Smith Consulting secondary software development method in practice. The consideration of the Lean methodology for development is in regard to redevelopment or version upgrade to existing software products. The Lean methodology is a derivative of a project management approach originally developed by the Toyota Motor Corporation (MANS, 2012).
The purpose of the Lean approach is to develop a more robust and efficient software product. The development technique is to achieve a reduction in processing overhead. Rework includes removing invaluable features and employing modern coding technique to improve overall program flow. Project Management Project management is a critical function because the prosperity of the entire organization depends on it. Since the success of project management depends on the leaders of this company, they should possess a clear business vision that includes IT and business experience.
This vision should be established at the ginning of the project and should clarify what is in and outside the scope of the project. The most efficient engagement approach should be one that includes a good line of communication with stakeholders including end-users. These stakeholders should be tasked to show commitment to the project by agreeing to a contract. The project management process should be divided into manageable pieces that are easier to easier to understand and manage. Proper management also includes ensuring the required tools and manpower is available to the teams.
The contract should clearly identify who has what responsibility and how they are to be accomplished. Other requirements include: Ensure each process has someone responsible for managing it Identify who is responsible for managing costs Identify who and how many analysts and what their functions are Identify contract programmer costs The project will be reviewed on a weekly basis to identify if the company is still on the correct course and if any additional changes or if any previously unknown problems have arrived. Reviews are also a good time to find if any of the key player’s ideas have changed and how to approach it if at all.
For this project I recommend selecting omen independent of the project to conduct these reviews. Single systems not one-size-fits-all The reason why a single system is not likely to be a one-size-fits-all solution is because you for one have a lot of areas that needs to be addressed. Now, when you look at the legal field in today’s world it I becoming increasingly technical-dominated by the availability of technologies that are specific to the legal field as well as the tangible type improvements for both the efficiency and productivity when solutions are implemented in many firm’s especially law firms.
For the firm’s broad services you ill have to come up with decisions to purchase and implement specific technologies because it’s a heavy part of them all, and the reason for this is because if you choose and well as put in the wrong solutions in place. The work environment will suffer as the staff will also struggle to adapt to the software that is being used, ultimately not taking full advantage of the software or worst case scenario by abandoning the whole system altogether. Another reason why a single system will not likely be a one-size- fits-all is because you will need different systems to be in place like: Practice
Management Software, and Storing Information and Automation. The biggest reason why a single system is not likely to be a one-size-fits-all is because it will most likely lack the depth of functionality, so by this being said the firm will be looking to find more than one type of solution when it comes down to finding more than one practice area. One other difference is the level of customization because the one- size-fits-all provides for both front-end as well as back-end but lacks areas and you will need to find a better way to implement everything to work and function properly. Program Specification Guidelines
This portion of the document should act as a guide for Smith Systems Consulting Software Developers to adhere to closely during the software development phase. This guide will help to streamline the company’s way of determining requirements, and incorporating them into the developing program. The uniformed approach will ensure that the same level of care and attention is bestowed on all of Smith Systems Consulting projects – no matter what size or budget. Stakeholders A project’s stakeholder is anyone who will be affected by, or who has an interest in the project’s progress and execution.
Stakeholders in a systems development project usually include (but are not limited to) the project’s users, Information Technology department, the affected department(s)’s manager, members of the company’s upper management, the chief financial officer (SCOFF), and the company’s president. Prior to entering the requirements elicitation phase of the project, it is imperative for the development team to make a list of all stakeholders, as they will play an important role in defining the system’s requirements.
User Requirements User requirements refer to the unique functionality aspects of a system that are accessory for the user to accomplish his or her Job. In order for the programmer or system developer to fully understand what the resulting program is meant to do, it is important to discuss the functionality details with those who know the operation best – the users. The users will provide in-depth and clear understanding of the inner- workings of the system as well as the crucial tools and functions that are necessary for optimal performance.
The development team should be prepared to use various methods to elicit the requirements so that feedback is gathered from all of the users that were nitpicked for the task. Some common methods for gathering requirements are surveys and face to face interviews. Where necessary, the developer should also be prepared to offer an anonymous system to collect requirements in order to protect the identity of the user – should they so desire that mode. The users play a profound role in system development.
By offering different avenues for feedback and requirements retrieval the company is maximizing the amount of data it receives and therefore ensuring that all bases are covered in the resulting product. Once the business development plan has been created it is important to consult with the users again. This ensures that the requested functionality and tools are accounted for and helps to prevent any costly misunderstandings in the future. System Security Requirements To describe the security requirements in the company’s policy it must first define in detail what data it is expected to handle.
This requires working closely with the clients to gain an understanding of the confidentiality and importance of data. Once that is established, and then the types of employees who will have access to certain levels of data should be clearly described in terms of security levels. System Security sting will focus on the following tasks: Sign-on procedures This determines the security of passwords and defines when and how often users are expected to change them. Password reset methods will also be defined in the policy.
In addition a method of accessing the system through back-door methods should be described as a means of access in case of an emergency. Database security Access to the database is described here. This highlights which users have access to applicable data and which are designed on a need to know basis. Physical security Here the physical security of the equipment associated with the business to include reward such as workstations and servers are described. Cameras will be installed at strategic locations along with bagged access points to minimize the possibility of the theft of physical property.
Third-party tools Establish an understanding with vendors to ensure their continued partnership is dependent on their ability to match our system security standards. Test environment A secure test environment ensures that only required personnel have access to the testing environment. Additionally, a test environment is a safe environment to prepare changes before officially rolling them out to the company as a whole. The yester security of Smith Consulting will require compliance with semi-annual evaluations from an outside source to determine an evaluation of security precautions, procedures, and vulnerabilities.
The results of the evaluation are to be maintained along with the policy instruction so that the requirements of future evaluations can be validated against past tests. Software Platform Compatibility Requirements Software compatibility is an important part of the process of software development. Compatibility is first determined by which operating system(s) the software to be developed will be designed to run on successfully. A determining factor may be what system the company is using now or what the computer they may be using in the future.
For example, there may be some issues with Windows XP but the company may be set to release Windows 8 machines as part of the role-out of the new software. In this case it is best to design software compatibility for the Windows 8 machines. The same can be said with servers if the software will be network based. Additionally the company may consider running their services from the cloud. In this case the software compatibility may be no more than ensuring a compatible browser such as Internet Explorer, Firebox or Chrome.
Each scenario is different and is precisely one of the reasons why each company will require a customized Software Platform Compatibility Requirement list. Database Application Testing Requirements This section will serve as a generic methodology of Smith Consulting approach to database application testing requirements. The objective is to document a reusable database performance evaluation strategy regardless of database vendor or design specification. Additional testing steps may be applicable per vendor recommendation.
Any additional steps are a project plan requirement used in injunction with Smith Consulting guidelines of database verification. The intention of database examination is for conducting a systematic test to validate data structure and data integrity during user software application read write performance testing. Assumptions Database performance testing in conjunction with software application database read write operations assumes the database architecture and structure development is to specification and logically designed.
An additional assumption is the development of indexes, views, triggers, stored procedures, and functions exist and the database is available for software unit testing. Data Mapping Data mapping is a validation process to ensure end-user data entry form fields correspond with the mapped database table fields. The expected result of the verification of the retrieved data from application input must be consistent with the outlined data model from the database data dictionary. The only acceptable result will prove data writes to the designated table or tables and is congruent with format, length, and type of the data definition.
Stress Testing The purpose of stress testing a database is to understand the performance and reliability during heavy user interaction. Performing a high volume stress test assessment is essential to uncover database bottlenecks resulting in long response times and slow performance. A stress load is performed by simulation of a designated number of application users. The load variance selection shall simulate, according to project specification, the average number of end-users, below average number of end-users, slightly above average number of end-users, and five times the average number of end-users.
The load simulation will create scenarios where users concurrently query against and write to the same table and numerous tables across he database. Result failure requires documentation and further evaluation for database optimization. Failure also warrants a hardware design team consultation to determine if the hardware is sufficient to handle the transaction load simulation. Transaction Isolation Transaction isolation verification tests the database reaction during the occurrence of multiple table transactions taking place at the same time. A realistic situation exists where various read write requests will be present concurrently.
While the scenario is unavoidable in a multi-user environment the state of the database is at risk during a existing read write request. The performance outcome ought to appear as though each database demand executes one right after the other. Depending on the applied transaction isolation level, record locks are set in accordance with the transaction call (Microsoft SQL Server, 2012). The importance of testing transaction isolation validates read and write record locking, how long the locks are held, and the on-screen response time of the simultaneous operations.
The transaction isolation testing is a sub-set testing situation of the database load testing. Isolation result documentation hall include the number of transactions, the response time of the transaction, and note the accuracy of the data read write. Data integrity errors must be reported to the database design team as well as the software design team for evaluation. Required submission includes the detailed steps of the data integrity inaccuracy for reproduction of the error.
Budgetary Constraints Testing is the most widely used approach to ensure software quality but it also can be the most cost and time-consuming. To ensure the project for Smith Consulting stays in the green for budget concerns the project is scheduled with strict deadlines. Some cost overruns are normal for any project but the goal is to minimize the impact. Wars to accomplish these goals include defining clearly the responsibility of everyone involved with the project with clear methods of holding them accountable for their parts. Setting a financial goal is the best method to maintain a budget constraint.
The project budget estimate should be accurately documented for management and the estimate should include when and how to handle costs associated with manpower in the event more help is required. The project statement should include a scope that is clearly defined in the beginning of the project. In situations where budget cuts may affect the ability to complete the project, managers should always start with physical resources before staff cuts. In more dire situations (where personnel are at risk) the standard remedy is to fill necessary positions with staff covering other potions to fill in until the financial situation has recovered.
This design will ensure the impact on the project for the customer is minimal and will also prove our procedures are detailed. Software Testing To qualify new software for production the development team performs a multitude of readiness tests. Qualified software must pass the following tests: Integration, Compatibility, Functionality, Usability, Security, Load/Stress, Documentation, Implementation, Automation, Support, and, Debugging. The following sections will highlight the various testing methods that Smith Systems Consulting uses to ensure product reliability and competency.
Performance Testing Meeting the needs of a company and client is a performance requirement of software engineering. Performance testing is a routine performance evaluation that determines how the system will behave. The behavior corresponds with the terms of responsiveness along with execution stability under a system initiated workload. One major thing that performance testing can serve well in is to measure, validate, investigate, or even verify all other attributes that are set up within the system such as: the reliability, resource usage, and scalability.
To monitor the system’s performance, it is important to perform the steps that are highlighted in the following sections. Integration Testing While software is generally produced to perform specific Job functions, it is important and efficiency encouraging to incorporate integration with other applications. For example, an accounting information system would benefit from company database integration, as well as Microsoft Excel and Adobe Acrobat report saving integrations. Lately, it has become commonplace for programs to include software integrations as they incorporate the Software Oriented Architecture platform.
With this in mind, it is extremely important for the development team to iron out the integration kinks before the software is released. To ensure that product integrations are functioning properly, the program testers have to: Identify all of the integrated programs and software Determine the associated version numbers that the program is being tested on. For ACH integration, perform in-depth testing. If the integration is not working well, the tester will have to troubleshoot, and possibly contact the product team of the integrated product or service.
When the integration is working properly, the version number should be noted. When the program is released to the public, the integrated programs’ version numbers that the program has passed the integration tests for should be displayed within its documentation as verification of compliance. Compatibility Testing Within an organization, there are many different platforms and software at use. In order for the company to be successful, all of the information systems must be able to communicate with their respective devices.
The company’s architecture must be built so that this wide web of services, and products are working in tandem with each other, and are able to co-exist in an unobtrusive manner. Ensuring this prevents software incompatibility issues, which can prove to be very costly. As an example, if an organization is only using Microsoft Windows devices, it would not make sense to purchase Office for MAC or other proprietary Apple software that do not integrate with the Microsoft Windows platform.
Similarly, if a seer wanted to use the Microsoft Skydive feature which allows them to connect to a remote PC, they will be unhappy to learn that Microsoft Windows 8. 1 does not support this. Performing compatibility testing showcases the limitations of the software and allows the programmer to compile a list of programs and versions which works with the system. Compatibility testing involves: Determining the software that the program is required to maintain compatibility with. Performing thorough compatibility testing.
If the system is found to be incompatible with the software already in place at the organization, the programmer just reevaluate, troubleshoot, and redo the section in question to make sire, Once the software is deemed compatible, the version numbers must be noted for inclusion in the project description documentation. Usability Testing One important factor when running an analysis on a potential client for Smith Systems Consulting is usability. Usability, by definition, are asking the questions is this “capable of being used” or is it “convenient and practicable for use” (Usable, 2014).
Each organization that SC approaches will answer this question differently. What one company deems as an important and commonly used featured may be impolitely ignored by the next. This is why usability is so important. Another way of looking at usability is trimming the fat. If a company doesn’t need certain features than it really should be noted as not needing to be produced. This cuts down on production times and overall costs to the client making a more efficient project in the end.
Functionality Testing To follow up with this of course it must be determined what is to be used most commonly and ensure that this is how the client envisioned. What is most important is that organization Smith Systems Consulting is working with feels they are getting apt attention and one certain way to do that is make the client feel as though they’ve been listened to in the usability and functionality fields. Functionality is defined as “the particular use or set of uses for which something is designed” (Functionality, 2014).
In this notion it is clear that functionality is heavily tied to usability. How something is used is in relation to how it is designed. When Smith Systems Consulting designs their products it is important to keep the user and usability in mind. These are both best accomplished by performing speaking with users who will e using the product – especially those who may assist in any beta testing. If the end users and stakeholders provide a clear vision then the project should be nothing less than a success when the developers attain that goal.
Load/Stress Testing Each organization that Smith System Consulting will be working with will have their own unique technology environment they will be operating in. The more that SC knows of these environments the more they can consider potential benefits or weakness that can be considered. Once these have been considered then a test environment can be established. What makes a good test environment is running the intended software in mock environment, ideally on a system with near identical computer specs. This would include running on the same operating system and using the same amount of RAM, processing power, and hard drive utilization.
Once these parameters have been set then a server / client test can be run – ideally in a virtual environment. Once the program is operating on the network with an average number of computers connected and using the software then it can be fair to say this running a load test – that is a test within normal operating parameters. To fully stress the system would be to mimic running the network at high capacity. This may include either a high number of concurrently connected users or the server carry a high load of responsibilities, such as sharing heavy SQL queries in addition to the software testing.
Debugging Debugger or debugging tool is a computer created software program that allows the programmer to test as well as debug other types of programs. Therefore, with debugging the software plays a major factor because when a program is debugged, the programmer will find errors such as missing coding areas when creating the program. For example imagine that a developer created a weeping and he or she wanted to place a picture on it but wondered why the picture wouldn’t display. Debugging the program can assist the developer with diagnosing and fixing the problem that is causing the program to malfunction.
This goes to show that having a debugger is a worth tool for correcting programming errors. Software Security Assessment The purpose of a software security assessment is to identify and expel code vulnerabilities prior to customer delivery. Identifying the presence of a code-layer exposed vulnerability is a fundamental action for conforming to a high standard. A good quality assurance model involves proactive steps to extinguish security flaws. Smith Consulting must guarantee the customer a secure product release and reduce the risk of threat exploitation via a thorough security testing regiment.
Definition Software Security Assessment refers to testing criteria to establish threat resistant software. Testing shall demonstrate the software’s ability to withstand the attempts of infiltration with mall-intentions. Strategy Examination and assessment validate the absence of typical security errors exposing subjection to threat according to the Common Weakness Enumeration (The MITER Corporation, 2011). Black Box Testing The black box testing strategy involves the use of a testing group with no working knowledge of the software code structure, engineering, or implementation plan (Michael, Van Wok, & Radicchio, 2005).
Black box testers employ hostile approach to penetrate an application’s security to identify bounds unknown during OSDL design and implementation phases. White Box Testing The white box testing strategy involves an orderly one-to-one validation source code is according to design specification and expected security components exist. The key preference from the black box testing is the assessor possesses an intimate knowledge of application code and construction (Mono, No Date). Analysis scans source code for common development faults identified from the Common Weakness Enumeration.
The tester also keeps a lookout for seemingly harmless routines that can act as a back door for intrusion. Authentication Testing Authentication testing is a method of determining if a process or end-user is legitimate. The objective is to understand how the authentication process behaves and use that information to circumnavigate the authentication mechanism. Types of authentication tests are as follows: 1 User Enumeration – a brute force test using a valid user credential to determine if uncovering the authenticating password is possible (SPAS, 2012). Dictionary Testing – a method for determining common words found in a dictionary exist in a user passers (SPAS, 2012). 3 Password Recovery – the method to test the authenticity of a password reset or forgotten password request (SPAS, 2012). 4 Race Condition Testing – identification of multiple processes executing simultaneously that modify the same data (SPAS, 2012). Documentation A good method of documenting processes in Smith Consulting products is to mirror the practices of life-cycle management tools that are in compliance with the Serbians-Cooley Act.
A sound business in today’s environment should focus their efforts on automation development and documentation processes. Smith Consulting documentation procedures will involve in audit process that will identify who has accessed code and what changes have been made. The documentation process will also include the ability to track what testing and assurance of quality has occurred during the construction of the project. In addition, the procedures will also include the ability to change parts of an existing project that have been determined to fall out of the scope of the goal of the business vision.
The idea behind aligning documentation testing procedures with the described Act is to yield rewards such as rework reduction by automating change management aspects of programming within a project (Heavenliest, 2006). In doing so, the replacement of old paper-based software development tools with change management and code-management tools that allow Smith Consulting to monitor change request within the software development process by attaching electronic signatures to the software. This further alps the rework elimination process by verifying that the documentation changes in line with the goals of the business.
The different documentation types are listed as: Source Code Unit Test Report Software Test Procedure (provides instruction on how to test each component of a project) Code Explanation Report Implementation At times, in the implementation of test procedures it may become necessary to perform target testing to prove critical functions and reduce the risk of large amounts of rework. Prior to the testing of each unit the developer is required to update the test procedure for conducting each test and record the results as scribed in the documentation procedure.
In situation where more tests are required they will be completed as needed in order to satisfy those implementation requirements. Developers are required to implement and test development projects in accordance with coding standards and methods outline in the Software Engineering Manual. All unit test results are maintained in the Unit Test Report. Automation The automation method requires that the development framework is separate from the test automation tools. The framework as designed is flexible enough to adapt to changes that the environment or the project may bring.
The purpose of utilizing this method is because it is low costing. Implementing the test automation is a full- time effort that requires significant time and up-front investment. Automated tests are scheduled at 1,250, every other day. The only change to the automation procedure is if there is an unforeseen change to the business requirement that suggests a change should be made. Since automation is such an exhaustive task, it is reserved for projects on an enterprise level that expect multiple releases. The approach that Smith Consulting will use for its development projects is Test

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