Development Methodology

Dorset Software has established a tried and tested formula for software development, based around a proven four-phase methodology.

The success of this approach rests on an iterative process in which we analyse your requirements and then design, build, test and deploy a system to fulfil them.

We lead customers carefully through each stage of the process, listening to opinions, providing explanations where necessary and taking on board the views of all employees from users to managers and directors. In this way, customers can be sure that the finished application meets needs and expectations.

Phase 1: Requirements Gathering

If requirements necessitate further investigation, Dorset Software consultants work closely with the client to document the project scope and vision: user classes are identified and business requirements are defined, elicited, structured, validated and documented. A requirements specification is the result of this process.

Phase 2: Design

Based on the requirements specification, a prototype is developed. During design sessions, we work closely with users and managers of the application to refine the prototype. This is an iterative process and several design sessions may be required before the prototype is finalised. Clients tell us they find these sessions incredibly useful. The result is a Technical System Design document (TSD) which is the definitive requirements of the system. Additionally, the creative design of the system is discussed and ideas and concepts are presented to the customer to ascertain their tastes. Dorset Software ensures that both the functional and creative designs complement each other. The final result is a system that combines ease of use and style and functionality with depth and complexity.

Phase 3: Build

During this phase, the system is built according to the Technical System Design (TSD) following our in-house software standards. Functionality is added to the front-end prototype through lower level code and object-oriented techniques. Regular progress meetings between Dorset Software and the client are encouraged to track the progress of the project and to discuss any potential queries that may arise. The TSD is updated to include implementation techniques used.

Phase 4: Deployment

The basis of any successful deployment is planning. Our implementation service follows a well-defined approach, focusing on rapid deployment and quantifiable deliverables, but not to the exclusion of quality. We work with our client to identify the logical steps necessary to deploy the system to all users. When we are certain the technical and user environment is ready for deployment, our staff are on-site to ensure a problem-free installation. This on-site presence allows users, IT staff and managers to ask questions and to obtain help on use of the system. If necessary, any minor problems are fixed on-site.