A systematic approach to application management for your business

After any business process has been automated via the implementation of technology, further modifications in the system are usually considered under maintenance. This maintenance could be either an upgrade to the existing software, an adaptive, corrective or preventive step. Whatever the method used, there is an initial review conducted to analyze whether there will be any major impact on the business or other systems involved. After that’s determined, there is a very systematic process that is followed for application maintenance. Here are the steps that are most commonly followed:

Conception

The reason for the maintenance task is determined – whether it is preventive maintenance or a corrective action or simply an upgrade to the latest in the industry. Once the exact reason for the maintenance task is known, businesses can effectively plan for downtime or fall back accordingly.

Plan

The analyst works out a plan for the maintenance such that it does not impact the business in any major way. A comprehensive plan is developed and contingencies are decided upon. All the dependencies are determined and the impact on the dependent systems is calculated. The plan also includes details about what exactly will be modified – the modules, the processes and any other elements of the application. A detailed report is prepared to state the plan.

Requirements

Each component that will be modified will need to be documented and a full set of requirements will need to be prepared. The processes and the interactions with the other processes are documented and the final requirements document is prepared.

Design

In the design, both technical and process specifications are documented. This usually involves decomposing the system described in the functional specification into it’s components or modules and describing in detail in the logic and processing each component that also includes all the validation criteria.

Test plan

Testing is conducted primarily to determine if the programs actually meet the functional requirements and perform flawlessly. This ensures that all the errors have been eliminated and the application works satisfactorily after the changes have been made. All the testing is done in a pre-production environment and only when everything is perfect, the application is moved to the live environment.

Finally, every step is documented so that you can refer to what changes were made during the maintenance.

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