Critical Feature Method - A Lightweight Web Maintenance Methodology for SMEs


  • Xiaoying Kong Faculty of Engineering, University of Technology, Sydney
  • Li Liu Project Management Graduate Programme, The University of Sydney
  • David Lowe Faculty of Engineering, University of Technology, Sydney


Security threats, dynamic business environments and the ambiguous multi-jurisdictional arrangements governing Internet businesses often impose urgent change demands on businesses operating on the Internet - demands which are not well handled by existing Web development approaches. The paper proposes a lightweight Web maintenance methodology for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) which is designed to effectively handle urgent change requests such as emergency situations that are common to Web systems. The methodology involved analysing the Web maintenance states and classifying these into three distinct states. The proposed process can be integrated with the normal evolution of Web systems. The methodology is underpinned by: a set of core values that emphasise collaboration between chief developer and the business executives; minimal feedback loops; close involvement of business executives; and rapid design focusing on identified critical features. Two rapid prototyping approaches are proposed as part of the methodology. The Critical Feature Matrix and Normal Feature Matrix are introduced to replace the onerous conventional documentation.