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Internet-Speed Development

Internet-Speed Development is an Agile Software Development development method using a combined spiral model/waterfall model with daily builds aimed at developing a product with high speed.

It was developed in the late nineties because software development was changing rapidly. Companies were having problems delivering products with the correct requirements within the time scheduled for the project and as such were changing to more agile software development methods. More details about how the internet-speed method was developed can be seen in the evolutionary map in the paper of Abrahamsson.


Main ideas behind Internet-Speed Development

Often one of the biggest problems in software engineering is that the requirements change quickly and the internet-speed development method was created to adapt to this situation. The idea is to combine two main standards in software engineering models namely the spiral model and the waterfall model into a new model and base a new software engineering method on this new model. The main disadvantage of the waterfall model was that is was very rigid and not very flexible when it comes to changes in requirements, while the disadvantage of the spiral model was that is was not very structured. The idea behind internet-speed development is that the combination of these models will result in a method which does not have these disadvantages and is a better method to use in situations where requirements can change rapidly, but the project has to be executed in a structured way.

Goal of the method

The goal of the internet-speed development method is to allow software developers to perform a project in a structured way, but still be able to adapt to the needs of the customer. It aims to deliver a software product in a short time through intensive development. The method provides a means to deliver a fully implemented system and also has ways to determine progress in a project through the use of milestones. One of the main versions of this method is created by Microsoft and is called the Microsoft Solutions Framework.

The concepts behind Internet-speed development method

The first concept that is very important to internet-speed development is the creation of a vision and scope (project management). What this means is that in the beginning of the project a global definition of the system is created which explains what the system aims to be and what is within the scope and what is not. This is one of the fundamental steps as it gives the developers some guidelines as to what the system will be without freezing any requirements. The scope can be documented in a vision statement. Another very important concept within this method is scope management. The scope needs to be managed throughout the project to prevent scope creeping which results in delays. The scope will be determined early and changes to the scope (like adding additional features which were at first considered beyond the scope of the project) will be evaluated and either accepted or rejected. Changes in the scope can be made but this will always be affected by trade offs between features, resources and time.

The internet-speed development method is very different from the traditional methods and therefore uses Agile method principles. It focuses on adaptation to requirements and as such is based on the basic principles of Agile software development.

Internet-speed development also focuses on using one fixed framework architecture from which the product is build and relies heavily on tools to increase the development speed. Another basic concept of internet-speed development is that it also focuses on using small teams. The idea is that all projects can be divided into smaller activities which often can be done parallel. Smaller teams can often be more focused on their task and it is easier to determine accountability and monitor progress within the project.

The last concept discussed in this entry of internet-speed development is the concept of parallel development. This concept basically means that all the software development is done in parallel as often as possible. This will allow very quick development and it allows the smaller teams to focus on their own feature as much as possible which has a good result on quality. To ensure that the smaller teams do work together to create the final system it is however needed to synchronize their development frequently. This can be done using daily builds which means that all the developers check their code in at the end of the day after which a build is created which can then be evaluated and tested to monitor progress. After a feature is completed in the build in needs to be tested and refined which is sometimes called the synch-and-stabilize process. The developed features are synchronized with the build and tested. After these tests any bugs will be corrected and the feature can be refined to work better (which is the stabilization part).

Internet-speed development is based on the agile principles and as such it has a lot of similarities with Extreme Programming, RUP, DSDM and Feature Driven Development. Internet-speed development is different however from these methods as it also incorporates a more extensive risk-management planning and has quality as a very important objective of a project. The development phase of Internet-speed development also shows some similarities with the open-source software development model because many different developers around the globe can be part of the development process because of communication through the Internet and the use of repositories for storing the code and documentation.

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