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Chapter 7 – Creating IS solutions and managing IS projects
The stages and importance of the system development life cycle (SDLC)
SDLC is the common term used for the stages and activities of system development
SDLC is made up of process that happens from start of a system to its end
SDLC ends when company no longer needs the system and replaced with something new
IS project involves more than technology, there are 4 different pillars that impact an IS
You need the right people with the right skills (your IS development team)
They must have the right tools and methods to build the system
You need to manage the process carefully to ensure success
Failure to follow these pillars can damage your project
Each stage of the SDLC is linked with a set of activities within the project team and
development team
Throughout the life cycle, various dept or functions will be doing different things to
support the IS as it progresses through the stages of SDLC
IS goes through 7 phases
Concept the environment within the organization either promotes or holds back
the development of ideas for systems
Inception – this phase begins when an organization has the idea to build an IS
Elaboration this phase, the project team finalizes the requirements for the
system and the project plan and designs the system architecture
Construction – this phase, the team builds the initial running system
Transition – this phase, the team finalizes the system and puts it in place
Production once the system is up and running, in this phase, the organization
must continuously monitor, maintain and evaluate the system
Retirement this phase, the system may lose its value to the company, new
systems often replace the outdated one
For example, as marketing assistant at, you see that sales are not as
high during December as they could be
You come up with idea to increase website sales (concept)
You gather data from last 5 years sales of December and see that it is always less than
summer and call for a meeting with manager and IT team to discuss the information,
manager and IT team agrees your idea is feasible and should generate a favourable ROI
With help of IT and ad department, you design a content that will be sent via email to all
customers and with a link to a Christmas list generator that encourages customers to add
hiking equipment to their Christmas list (elaboration)
IT builds the mailing list and new web page for Christmas list with links to online
product catalogue and shopping cart, marketing department writes the content of email
and website (construction)
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You make sure customer service and technical support are instructed on this campaign
The email is sent to all customers and technical support monitors the website to ensure
that it is ready for customers to create their Christmas lists (production)
After a month of increased sales, Christmas list generator is shut down (retirement)
Standard IS methodology
Methodology provides a framework for performing both the project management and
technical processes of an IS project throughout the life cycle
Why do organizations need an IS methodology?
Build-and-fix model is a model where developers sat down briefly with the boss or a
customer to find out the requirements, then they would write programs, create databases,
and put together hardware
After building system, developers would test it and repair it
This approach often led to problems, because developers spent little time analyzing
requirements or developing a design, the systems developed using the build-and-fix
model often did not satisfy customer needs
Then developers began to think about improving the process
Development life cycle provides a project team with structure to ensure that everyone
works toward the same project goals
The traditional IS methodology: the waterfall model
The first development model to gain wide acceptance among system developers was
based on the Waterfall model
Waterfall model defines a set of phases and a new phase begins only after completing the
previous phase
The same thing is true with development activities that occur through SDLC phase
If developers make mistakes or other problems, then they return if possible to a previous
As a result, development activities tend to move downstream through the phases in a
formal detailed manner
Waterfall model is a document-driven and highly structured process
For example, during inception phase, developers start planning activities that result in an
initial project plan
During inception and beginning of elaboration phase, developers assign users with
requirements analysis
At end of elaboration phase, system design document is constructed, it shows how the
system will satisfy business requirements
In construction phase, developers are applying the system, they code its components and
modules, integrate (mix) them and create user interfaces (borders)
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