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Thursday, September 6 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Application maintenance isn’t sexy, but critical to success: how to ensure sustainability and maintainability in the non-profit/development agency space

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Software tools are like cars. They start out all shiny and new and over time they need maintenance. We would never expect not to wash our car, change the oil, check and replace breaks, fix the engine if it caused the car to be completely stranded at the side of the road. So it is with software. Software needs care and maintenance once it’s deployed and at each maintenance or version update, thorough regression testing. Furthermore, software deployed in an international development setting, needs to have ongoing funding and human resources to manage software updates necessitated by environmental changes, software defects or the need for enhancements. In this session we will explore donors’ desire to build sustainable software products yet their reluctance to embrace a realistic model for ongoing maintenance and sustainability. I will cover the kinds of issues that typically arise after a software system is implemented and why it’s critical to include maintenance and testing activities in your initial planning and budget. Using real, live software projects spanning DHIS2, occasionally-connected facility-central server applications, to ecommerce and WordPress applications as examples, I will illustrate maintenance failures and how they may impact your project as well how to remedy them. Specific focus will be on the importance of hardware and system configuration, data entry form issues, software version updates, software process and business rule documentation, testing documentation and defect tracking. I’ll also review how to estimate maintenance costs and make suggestions for how to structure maintenance when transferring software ownership to local ministries or organizations. Finally, I will provide a checklist for development of your maintenance plan that can be a reference in your next software development project.

avatar for Stacey Berlow

Stacey Berlow

Managing Partner, Project Balance
Stacey Berlow is a Managing Partner at Project Balance, a small women-owned business specializing in data driven software solutions. With over 20 years of product and project management experience and she has successfully directed multi-million, large-scale, multinational, and offshore... Read More →

Thursday September 6, 2018 2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
Balcony E 1825 Connecticut Avenue NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20009