A Software System Development Life Cycle Model for Improved Stakeholders’ Communication and Collaboration
AbstractSoftware vendors and entrepreneurs, who try to introduce an innovative software product to a specific organization or an entire market, enter a long and tedious process. During this process, the market and various organizations evaluate the product from different perspectives, such as software robustness, manufacturer reliability, and corporate need for the product. The vendors and entrepreneurs engaged in this process encounter decision crossroads for which no relevant guidance exists in the literature. The research closely monitored the processes associated with the introduction and assimilation of an innovative off-the-shelf (OTS) software product into five different organizations in different vertical market segments. Observations were carried out to assess organizational and marketing processes and to document and analyze what the software product undergoes before it is accepted for acquisition or full implementation within the organization. The research outcomes offer a unified, collaborative multi-tier System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) framework and methodology for packaged OTS software products that greatly improves communication and collaboration among the stakeholders. Each tier addresses a different force or stakeholder involved in the software market: vendor, customer, consultants and integrators. All stakeholders refer to the same time-line thus; tasks of various stakeholders are streamlined. Adherence to the unified time-line brings about an increased amount of stakeholder interaction, communication and collaboration. Newly found tasks that improve communication and collaboration among stakeholders include (1) offering of the OTS software product together with personnel as a bundle, (2) an improvisation-intensive iterative task of weaving potential customers’ requirements into the prototype, and (3) a third sale milestone, representing the successful diffusion of the product. The significance of this interdisciplinary research stems from its unique position at a crossroad between software engineering, marketing, and business administration, which has not yet been sufficiently explored or cultivated.
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