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In the early years of data processing, many software developers did not use any kind of formal

approach. They would simply ask users a few questions about what the system was supposed to
do and then start programming. Sometimes this approach resulted in desirable outcomes, but
often it failed. The failures were frequent enough to indicate that a more formal approach was
necessary. Systems development refers to the set of activities that create systems for the
effective and efficient processing of information. One approach to systems development is the
systems development life cycle (SDLC). It provides a comprehensive framework for formal
design and development activities.
STAGE 1: PROJECT INITIATION. Projects often start when a manager has a problem or sees
an opportunity related to the area where he or she works. The manager calls IS and requests that
a formal planning process be initiated TO discover ways that can help the organization meet its
objectives STAGE 2: SYSTEMS ANALYSIS AND FEASIBILITY STUDIES.
Systems Analysis. After a project is initiated, the systems analysis phase begins. Systems
analysis is the phase that develops a thorough understanding of the existing organization, its
operation, and the situation that is causing a problem.
Feasibility studies calculate the probability of success of the proposed solution; they may be run
several times throughout the systems development life cycle
Technology. Are the performance requirements achievable utilizing current information
technologies?
Economics. Are the expected benefits greater than the costs?
Organizational factors. Are the skill levels needed to use the new system consistent with the
employees who will operate it?
Legal, ethical, and other constraints. Does the system meet all regulatory requirements?
STAGE 3: LOGICAL ANALYSIS AND DESIGN. The emphasis at the third stage is on
logical design, the design of system from the (business) users point of view. The analyst
identifies information requirements and specifies processes and generic IS functions such as
input, output, and storage, rather than writing programs or identifying hardware.
STAGE 4: DEVELOPMENT OR ACTUAL ACQUISITION. The logical design of the new
system guides the actual development or acquisition, just as blueprints guide the construction of
a new building
STAGE 5: IMPLEMENTATION. Implementation is obviously an important stage; the system
can fail here even if it has all the specified functionality. The project team should plan the
implementation very carefully, to avoid problems that could lead to failure or user resistance.
STAGE 6: OPERATION. After a successful conversion, the system will operate for an
indefinite period of time, until the system is no longer adequate or necessary, or cost effective.
STAGE 7: POST-AUDIT EVALUATION. An organization should perform a post-audit to
evaluate all its larger systems projects after their completion. Post-audits introduce an additional
element of discipline into the development
process
STAGE 8: MAINTENANCE. Every system needs two regular kinds of maintenance: fixing of
bugs and regular system updating. Maintenance is expensive, accounting for up to 80 percent of
organizational IS budgets. Therefore it is important that the design and development stages
produce systems that are easy to maintain and are flexible enough to handle future expansion,
upgrading and capacity increases.