5. Systems development process

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5. Systems development process

Developing an information system from concept and requirements, through development, implementation and eventual retirement is a process or "life-cycle" - a series of steps and tasks with limitations on time, resources and cost. The whole process can take days or weeks, or in some cases, it can take a decade from start to finish!

Learning outcomes

  • understand the process of developing information systems
  • investigate different system development methodologies
  • analyze development process requirements
  • determine applicable methodologies for specific development projects


  • systems development process - problem/opportunity, alternate solutions, cost-benefit analysis, maintenance, system end of life, IT careers - roles and responsibilities, job requirements, employment opportunities, paths of study, training, professional development, certification, accreditation

Selected media

  • Information Systems (CC-BY) - Chapter 4. Business process modeling and process management, Chapter 5. Information systems methodologies
  • Optional - Tomorrow's Technology and You - Chapter


  • Dice.com - Job Search for Technology Professionals - technology job board in areas such as Information Technology (IT), software, high tech, security, biotech, aerospace http://www.dice.com
  • Careerbuilder.com - Search 1.6 million. Find new employment or work. Fresh job listings posted daily. Explore career opportunities.http://www.careerbuilder.com

Study questions

  • What are the important decisions to make when considering a new information system development project?
  • What are some of the considerations that go into a "make or buy" information system acquisition
  • What are the usual phases associated with systems development methodologies?
  • Why are there many different methodologies?
  • What are some of the tools available to help manage an information system development project?


  1. Before you start the reading and the assignments, take a few minutes to think about what you already know about the topic - Systems development process. Write a sentence or two about this in the I know... discussion.

  2. Read, view, listen to the selections in the Suggested media list for this module.

  3. Choose 3 words from the Keywords list for this module. Find a web article that provides information about each of the words and how they relates to the course. Rate each article on a scale of 1 to 5. To determine the score, identify 5 characteristics of each article (good and bad). If there are 3 good things and 2 not-so-good things about the article, you give it a rating of 3/5. Do this for both articles you select. Post the word, links to your selected web articles, the article score and the list of good and not-so-good characteristics, and a brief description about your selection for each, to the discussion Systems development process keywords. Follow links provided by 3 other students, review their suggested articles, and write a brief reply to the author for each. Also include a question about one of these topics for further discussion with other students.

  4. Although no two information systems are exactly the same, the process for developing them have many similarities. Many "standard" processes or methodologies have been defined and can be used to guide new development. Throughout the course we are referring to some of the usual steps included, but these are very general. To help with your work, you may find one that is better suited to your particular system development needs. What are some the accepted systems development processes or methodologies? Is there one that fits well with your selected information system development? Or do you need to customize one or more of the methodologies? Include your methodology choice and analysis into your selected information system in 2-3 sentences. Post your reply to the discussion topic Process and Methodology.

  5. Design challenge - Training for users, customers, sales and support personnel is often left to the end. However, they should be developed as part of the entire development process, as the people who are actually going to use the system often uncover serious flaws and unexpected benefits in the system. Training can be in-person or online. Learn more about intended users through IT job listings such as Dice.com. For some systems, vendors offer professional fee-based training and certification. Learn more about online professional training and industry certification, such as Microsoft Certification. Suggest some specific training that you might incorporate into your Lifecycle information system in 2-3 sentences. Post your reply to the discussion topic Design - Training.

  6. Information System Lifecycle Project - Continuing the process of building your selected Information System topic that you will "develop" over the duration of the course, this week understand the important decisions in the development phase, and record these in your lifecycle strategy.
    If your system is going to be used by you or your employer, there may be ready-made systems available as products or services. Are there commercially available systems that provide some or all of the functionality you are proposing to implement? What are the costs associated with buying vs. building this system? Is time to implement important? Will delays impact the business?
    If you are developing a product or service that you will sell, who is the competition? What features do they offer? Are there specific features that you will include or exclude that will give you a competitive advantage?
    Post this information to the discussion topic Lifecycle - Development Overview. Also, add the same information to your own WikiEducator user page.

  7. Your participation in class discussions is important. Throughout the quarter, discussion participation will be reviewed and graded. The discussion participation grade will contribute to your final grade for the course.

  8. Reflection - How long did you work on the assignments for this week? Is this about the same as it usually takes to complete the work each week? Is the pace of work for this class about right? What would you like changed in the course? What would help you learn more about Computers, Data Processing, and Applications? Please comment. This should be one or two paragraphs submitted as I think... assignment.

2012.01.13 - accessed 232 times