Software Development Management in the Flight Dynamics Environment

This article explains the software development process in the flight dynamics environment to measure the effect of various methodologies, tools and models on this process and also  to identify and then to apply successful development practices.

This detailed guide contains the following parts:

  • Organizing the project
  • Producing a development plan
  • Estimating costs
  • Scheduling
  • Staffing
  • Preparing deliverable documents
  • Using management tools
  • Monitoring the project
  • Conducting reviews
  • Auditing
  • Testing
  • Certifying

Software life cycle

The process of software development is often modeled as a series of stages that define the software life cycle.

In the flight dynamics environment, the life cycle is defined by the following phases:

  • Requirements definition
  • Requirements analysis
  • Preliminary design
  • Detailed design
  • Implementation
  • System testing
  • Acceptance testing
  • Maintenance and operation

In the flight dynamics environment, prototyping is a key activity in several phases of the life cycle.

Let's start by organizing the project.

In this step it is important to identify the requirements by asking the following: What functions must the system perform? How will the system be operated?

Producing a development plan

In the flight dynamics environment the software management plan and the software development plan are similar.

This plan provides a checklist of important questions and a detailed clarification of the management approach to be used to estimate resources and establish schedules.

Cost Estimating, Scheduling and Staffing

Now we need a great understanding of the expected schedule consumption and effort expenditure in each phase of the life cycle. This is essential for managers.

Cost Estimating

Project Staffing

There are three aspects of staffing: team size, staffing pattern and team composition.

Key documents and deliverables

The following documents and deliverables are of specific interest to the software manager:

  • Requirements and functional specifications.
  • Test plans.
  • Operations concept document.
  • User's guide.
  • Software development/management plan.
  • System description.
  • Requirements analysis report.
  • Software development history.
  • Preliminary design report.
  • System delivery tape: software.
  • Detailed design document product and supporting files and tools.

Verification, Testing and Certification

In this process we need the following: code reading, unit testing, Integration testing and acceptance testing.

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