The origin of Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) or modern version of it known as project life cycle can be traced back to the 1960's when project designers and developers initiated a series of steps in projects in order to track down the progress of a project. As early as in 1976 Archibald first wrote a comprehensive text book on project life cycle management (Archibald, 1976). He came closest to the modern sequence of phases given in SDLC. After Archibald a number of other scholars developed the concept of SDLC so that any project including engineering and IT can be represented.
In 1981 Stuckenbruck developed a very formal sequence of phases to represent the project life cycle (Stuckenbruck, 1981). According to Stuckenbruck PLC is essential to adequately represent the various phases of a project from initiation to finish. Stuckenbruck was the first author to discuss budgeting and resource mapping for PLC. According to him there are just four phases in the life cycle of a project. They are Initiation, Growth, Production and Shutdown (Tinnirello, 1999). The figure he drew just represented a unimodal histogram. Writers tend to distinguish between government projects and private projects. However this paper would adopt a general approach avoiding specificities associated with government projects.
The subsequent developments in the PLC literature were focused on modifying the above theoretical and conceptual models. In the process many new features were included though these changes did not substantially alter the original frameworks. Since 1980's a series of new developments took place and these developments went on till the traditional SDLC models were replaced with new ones (Westland, 2007). These new models are not only complex but also highly technical because many IT projects are designed and planned according to these models. Thus this paper would focus attention on three historical phases of SDLC development.
Figure 1: Archibald's Project Life Span
Start The Total Project
The above figure illustrates Archibald's visual representation of the sequence of phases in a project. According to Archibald the initiation phase of the project begins with its start and both the concept and definition continue with this phase. Assuming that the process of conceptualization of the project begins with designing the diverse parameters of the project, then it is possible that the subsequent definition will involve in outline of project outcomes.
Next comes the design phase. Yet again Archibald did not elaborate how best to make use of diverse skills and tools to carry out the design phase of the project successfully. However he laid the foundation for a structural feasibility design framework that encompassed a range of issues such as the social dimension of the project and the corporate governance parameters (PMI, 2004).
The phase of manufacture according to Archibald is identical to execution of a project. For instance there is a possibility that project