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An Application Lifecycle in 8 Phases
Use a complete application lifecycle to improve IT effectiveness.
by Danielle Ruest and Nelson Ruest

Posted October 15, 2003

Most application lifecycles tend to focus on the various phases of the development process. Microsoft, Sun, IBM, and many other manufacturers that focus primarily on development have often made this mistake in their own methodologies—methodologies designed primarily to support developers during the development process.

Yet as more and more of us are beginning to realize, application lifecycles are not limited to development just as they are not limited to deployment. Recent examples abound. A good one is the MSBlaster virus, which made it evident that Windows products are never quite finished.

But Windows isn't the only operating system suffering from incompleteness. Linux and Unix also have incomplete code when they are released—that is, code that requires regular updates and fixes to run properly. And the same often applies to in-house development. When it comes to application lifecycles, one truism stands out: Even when applications are released as "final," their development is rarely complete.

Organizations must focus on a complete lifecycle, one that will include all aspects of an application's life and all the players involved. This model should also describe the different interactions each level of personnel must undertake to conduct a complete dialog during the application lifecycle. This process should help you gain better control over the applications in the network because it identifies who has the authority to work on which part of the cycle and when they should interact with others.

A complete lifecycle must follow the path of an application from its conception to its retirement from production. So the lifecycle should comprise two major aspects: the development aspect and the operational aspect. One aspect is driven by developers, while the other is driven by IT personnel. To fully profit from this lifecycle, you must ensure that a dialog is initiated between these two groups from the beginning of the project. This responsibility falls to the business decision makers who will approve and authorize the project.

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