Methodologies of Inofrmation Systems Essay

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In this report I will outline what is the different methodologies used to develop computer based information systems. I will elaborate on the methodologies of the SDLC, SSADM, JAD and RAD. I will be referencing to various books and journals from the Institutes library to academically illustrate my report through a number of credible sources. At the conclusion of this report the reader should have a considerable amount of knowledge on the methodologies of an information system and when best to use on methodology to the other.

Definition Information Systems

Information systems are combined mixtures of hardware, software and telecommunications networks that companies and people create and use to gather and distribute valuable data most commonly in an organisational situation. (Valacich & Jessup 06) Computers are the main component of information systems. The advantage of having somewhat reasonably priced easy-to-use technology has had major implications on the business world. (Valacich & Jessup 06) According to Chaos report in 2004 published by Standish group a mere 29% of I.T projects were successful with 71% failing in meeting the requirements of success. (Dennis04)(Valacich & Jessup 06)

Project Manager

The main objectives of a project manager is to evaluate whether the project is feasible, develop the time that will be needed to complete the project and to calculate the resources that will be required to carry out the project. The project manager is vital to developing projects within the organisation in case of problems within the new or existing information system. (Satzinger et al 09)

System Development Life Cycle

Just like the product life cycle of a product the System development life cycle explains the life cycle process an information system from introduction to retirement. The main models of the SDLC are the Spiral model, Waterfall Model and the Parallel Model. (Hoffer, George & Valacich) Advantages of traditional System Development Life Cycle

* Strict review at the conclusion of each of the phases leaves room for little error * This method will generate significant system documentation
* Specific documentation will guarantee that systems necessities can be examined and track back the businesss needs (Reynolds 06) Disadvantages of traditional System Development Life Cycle

* The user may be given a system that targets their needs but not what is needed at the present time
* Can have the user confused when needs go unstated
* The user cant review transitional products and give opinion on which product to evaluate (Valacich & Jessup 06)(Reynolds 06)

Parallel Development

Figure 1: Parallel Development (Valacich & Jessup 06)
Phase 1: System Identification, Selection & Planning
Accepting strategically that this can only be achieved due to scarce resources, organisations must carefully analyse that only the most important projects that are crucially linked in with the organisations missions, aims and objectives are under-taken. (Valacich & Jessup 06)
Phase 2: System Analysis

In the second phase of the system development life cycle the system analysis, the main objective of this phase is for the person in the organisation to retain a reasonable understanding of the firms vision of achieving its goals in the area of information systems. (Valacich & Jessup 06)

Phase 3: System Design

The next phase in the cycle is the system design. Just as the name indicates the process of this stage is built around the proposed system being designed. (Valacich & Jessup 06)
Phase 4: System Implementation

In the process of the system implementation one group of activities focuses on altering the system design into an operational information system that can be used in the organisation. (Valacich & Jessup 06)
Phase 5: System Maintenance

When the information system is installed it is vital the fifth stage the system maintenance of the SDLC is carried out accurately. (Valacich & Jessup 06) Waterfall Model

Figure 2: Waterfall Method (Dennis et al 10)

In relation to the waterfall affect from the SDLC the main deliverables for each of the phases are usually a large process. These phases are in turn shown to a committee who evaluate the project. As one phase come to an end the next phase begins. The idea of the waterfall affect comes into action as the project is progression through the stages. Each stage is evaluated and examined to reduce errors in the project. (Dennis et al 10)

When SDLC is used
There are two common approaches to using SDLC in projects they are:
Predictive Approach
This is where the new development project can be planned out in advance. The Predictive approach is successful when users have complete understanding of the information system with just new updated version being applied. (Satzinger et al 09)

Adaptive Approach

This is the complete opposite to Predictive Approach. The Adaptive Approach is planned out as the project is going throughout each phase of the SDLC.
(Satzinger et al 09)

SSADM Structured System Analysis and Design Method

The Structured System Analysis and Design Method or SSADM are developments and procedures designed to ensure that the correct system is developed in the most accurate way to meet the desired functionally quality and performance requirements. The SSADM is used in the System Development Life Cycle to handle the complications of systems design and development by adopting more discipline, higher reliability and less error. (Peppard &Ward 09) (Patel 05)
SSADM Phases & Stages

The SSADM focuses on design and analysis events which are needed for the feasibility study, requirement analysis and system design.
Feasibility Study
A feasibility study is used within the SSADM to evaluate the potential of a project and whether the resources needed are worth committing to the information system. Brainstorming is the most common way of evaluating the positives and negatives of a project. (Weaver et al 02)
Requirement Analysis

The investigation stage is vital in the project of the SSADM. The overall mission of the investigation phase is to recognize the requirements of the new system and to identify the direction and feasibility of the rest of the project. (Weaver et al 02)
System Design

The rational system identification is used to produce a database and to set the needs for the project. The specialist produces this phase of the project. (Weaver et al 02)

Contrasting SSADM and SDLC

The SSADM characterises the structured approach with its main phases closely relating to the phases within the SDLC. Both the SSADM and the SDLC have a feasibility study, system analysis along with a system design process phase. The main difference between the two methods is the SSADM does not have an implementation of the produced system. (Peppard &Ward 09)(Mc Nurlin et al 09) (Patel 05)

When SSADM is used

The SSADM is the preferred system used by the UK government. IS was designed at first as an initiative to pursue efficiency within information system projects in the public sector. Because the SSADM is more accurate towards the SDLC it works perfectly for precise projects within the public sector of a country. (Peppard &Ward 09)(Mc Nurlin et al 09) (Patel 05)

JAD Joint Application Data

JAD or Joint Application Design is a unique group conference were all users of the information system gather together with the analysis. During this meeting the users openly discuss whether to agree or disagree on the necessities or design. This procedure has drastically reduced the span of time required to gather the necessities or specific designs for a project. In some cases JAD (Joint Application Design) is used to fast-track the generation of the information necessities and to develop the preliminary systems design. JAD is used in a way of empowering the employee and controlling the group work across whole range of the organisation decision-making and tasks. (Kettelhut 94) (Laudon 10)

Benefits of JAD

Studies have shown that JAD dramatically reduces the time of projects by up to 40%. Experiments by CNA Insurance Co. established that using JAD improved productivity in the overall analysis and design segments of projects by up to 50%. The uniqueness of JAD towards other techniques may have to do with the compression of 1-to-1 interviewing developments in 3 to 5 day meetings in which the users elaborate on their views on the systems specifications. (Kettelhut 94) (Turban & Rainer 09) JAD does not only reduce time which is vitally important but also reduces the likeliness of developing the incorrect application along with creating a direction for the users and the specialist who use and designed the system. (Kettelhut 94) (Turban & Rainer 09)

When JAD is used

JAD is most commonly used within the system analysis and system design phases of the SDLC. Communication is vital for success of projects therefore JAD should be used with large scale projects because it can cost considerable amounts to apply. JAD will offer users, stakeholders and specialists a chance to voice their opinion on the progress of the project. (Kettelhut 94) (Laudon 10) (Turban & Rainer 09)

RAD Rapid Application Development

Rapid Application Design is a process used to define the creating of workable systems in a short period of time. RAD can include the usage of visual programming and various other tools for constructing graphical user interfaces, important systems elements and close teamwork among the users of the information systems. (Laudon12) Different ways of implementing RAD

Iterative Development

RAD can be shown in various ways. The iterative development breaks down the whole project into sequences that are then developed. The significant requirements are gathered into the first version of the system. When implemented, the user can gather useful feedback to be analysed for the next phase of the system. Iterative Development gathers information quickly for the user so that business value is provided. (Dennis et al 10)

System Prototyping

The system prototyping uses the analysis, design and implementation phases simultaneously in order to allow the user to assess and give feedback. The system prototype is known ask the quick & dirty version of the system. The system prototyping provides a fast system for the user to analyse the progress of the system. (Dennis et al 10)

Throwaway Prototyping

This will include the progress of the prototypes but will use the prototypes initially to explore the design alternatives instead of the actual prototypes. (Dennis et al 10)

Advantages of Rapid Application Development
* This process fast tracks the application into initiation quicker than other approaches
* Paper work is created as a by-product of finalising project goals
* RAD implements Group work and continuous discussions between users and stakeholders (Reynolds 06)

Disadvantages of Rapid Application Development
* This SDLC forces intense work rate and can exhaust system developers and users * This process requires the systems developers and user to have sufficient knowledge on RAD and its techniques * RAD involves the stakeholders and users to give a reasonable amount of time than other traditional approaches (Reynolds 06)

Contrasting RAD & JAD

Both JAD and RAD use groups composed of users and the system specialists employees. JAD is used within RAD for the gathering of statistics and the requirements of analysis. The main difference between JAD and RAD is JAD concentrates on group based fact-finding which is only one of the phases of the development process. RAD is more focused on the full process. (Rosenblatt & Shelly 01)(Stair & Reynolds 10)

When RAD is used

With technology constantly improving RAD is at present commonly used in e-commerce projects as it focuses on fast development prototyping and constant user involvement. Components of RAD fit perfectly in with electronic business activities in todays environment. RAD gives guidelines for the organisation for implementing difficult decisions that may arise. (Curtis & Cobhan 08)(Laudon 12)


The reader should now be able to understand and have a considerable amount of knowledge on each Methodology. This Report has identified different aspects of each of the methodologies by using various Books and Journals to support the facts. By comparing and contrasting on the methodologies the reader will now be able to identify which methodology is best suitable for which project is being undertaken by themselves or the organisation they work for. In my opinion each methodology has its positives and negatives but if used according to the organisations goals and objectives can have great rewards in the future.

Alijabre, A (2012) Cloud Computing for Increased Business Value Bulchand-Gidumal, J., Melian-Gonzalez, S., (2011) Maximizing the Positive Influence of I.T for Improving Organisational Performance Cobhan & Curtis, (2008) Business Information Systems

Daniel & Ward, (2010) Benefits Management, Delivering Value From IS & IT Investments Dennis, (2004) A Qualitative Study on Determining Problem Solving Dennis, Wixom & Roth, (2010) Systems Analysis and Design Greengard S., (2011) Riding the Information Wave, Business Intelligence and Analytics Hedstrom, K., Kalkowska, E., Karlsson, F., & Allen J. P., (2011) Value Conflicts for Information Security Management Kettlehut, M. C., (1994) Using JAD for Strategic Initiatives Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. P., (2012) Management Information Systems, Managing the Digital Firm Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. P., (2010) Management Information Systems Mc Nurlin, C. B. & Sprague, H. R., (2009) Information Systems Management in Practice Nelson, H., (2010) The effect of Information Systems on Strategic Decision-Making within the Financial Services Sector, Dublin, Ireland Parent, M., & Reich, B. H., (2009) Governing Information Technology Risk Patel, N. V., (2005) Critical Systems Analysis and Design

Reynolds & Stair, (2006) Principles of Information Systems Rosenblatt & Shelly, (2001) Systems Analysis and Design 9th Edition Satzinger, Jackson & Burd, (2009) Systems Analysis and Design in a Changing World Stewart, H., (2004) Intelligent Business Analytics, Database Marketing & Customer Strategy Management Turban, D., Mc Lean, T., & Wetherbe, J. (2006) Information Technology for Management Turban & Rainer, (2009) Introduction to Systems Supporting & Transforming the Business Valcich & Jessup, (2006) Information Systems Today

Weaver, Lambrou & Walkley, (2002) Practical Business Systems Development Using SSADM

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