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BCS Systems Development Essentials with Agile

The Systems Development Essentials course is aimed at both existing and prospective systems developers as well as Business Analysts wishing to gain an overview of the issues and concepts involved in developing quality solutions in an Agile environment.

The course studies a number of systems development life cycles and the situations in which they are most appropriate before focusing in detail on an Agile approach.

Key areas include: examining how the systems development effort can be organised distinguishing between generic lifecycles exploring the DSDM Atern approach and roles looking at other Agile methods such as Scrum interpreting UML techniques, such as Use Case Diagrams and Class Diagrams considering other techniques that support iterative development, such as facilitated workshops, scenarios and hothousing.

This is an intensive three day course that places emphasis on the practical application of the analysis skills covered.

This course used to be called ISEB Systems Development Essentials

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the tasks and disciplines required for systems development and implementation
  • Investigate a system
  • Interpret business requirements and produce systems requirements
  • Quality assure the systems requirements documentation
  • Design test cases for the requirements
  • Describe the commonly-used development lifecycles defined in the syllabus
  • Describe in detail one methodology that embraces one (or more) of these lifecycles
  • Describe the structure and activities of this methodology
  • Describe, interpret and quality assure the key models that the selected methodology uses for defining the process, static and event perspectives of the system
  • Make effective use of different methods of interpersonal communications
  • Identify different architecture for systems development solutions
  • Conduct a system review
  • Explain how CASE tools might be used to support the method


None, but the course assumes a basic knowledge of IT systems.

Course Content

Characteristics of software quality
The purposes, objectives and tasks of systems development
Roles and responsibilities in systems development
Technical and interpersonal skills of the business analysts and solution developers

Systems architecture
Enterprise, systems and infrastructure levels of architecture
Inputs at an enterprise level
Inputs at system and infrastructure level
Model Driven Architecture

Development approaches
Bespoke development
Commercial off the shelf (COTS) software package solutions
Configuring and customising COTS software package solutions
Component-based systems development
Service-based solutions and other approaches
Evolutionary prototyping

Systems development lifecycles
Waterfall model
V model
Incremental model
Spiral (evolutionary) model
Advantages and disadvantages of each approach
Selection of an appropriate development approach

Methods and approaches
Detailed study of the Agile approach including life cycle, deliverables and roles
Iterative systems development using the DSDM Atern methodology
Other agile development methodologies (The Unified Process (UP), Scrum, eXtreme Programming)

Modelling techniques
Models of the Unified Modeling Language (UML)
Interpretation and principles of:
- Use case diagram
- Use case description
- Class diagram
- State machine diagram
Validating models using a CRUD matrix

Requirements in an Agile environment
Fact finding approaches:
- Workshops
- Interviewing
- Questionnaires
- Scenario analysis, storyboarding, user stories and hot-housing
- Model office and focus groups
Functional requirements definition
Non-functional requirements definition
Documenting & prioritising requirements
Human aspects of systems investigation and introducing change

Iterative systems development
Features of iterative development approach
Categories of prototype
Prototype development plans

Systems design, implementation and maintenance
Design principles and constraints (legal, ethical, financial)
Systems deployment and hand over
Post-implementation reviews
Different types of maintenance
Estimation and development planning

Quality assurance
Definitions of software quality
The V model
Requirements-driven testing
Static testing: types of walkthrough and inspection
Post-project reviews

CASE and CAST tools
Features of Computer-aided Software Engineering (CASE) and Computer-aided Software Testing tools (CAST)
Life-cycle coverage
Requirements traceability
Advantages and disadvantages of software development support tools

Exams & Certification

BCS Certificate in Systems Development Essentials

One-hour, open book, exam.

The certificate is a core module in the BCS Diploma in Solution Development and is also a specialist practitioner module in the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis.


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