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System Development Life Cycle

System: A system is a way of thinking about an organization and their

problems. It is a relationship among functioning units of an organization.
In other words, we can say that a system is an orderly grouping of
interdependent components, link together according to a plan to achieve
a specific object.

System analysts work with users to identify goals and build systems to
achieve them. System Development revolves around a life cycle that
begins with the recognition of users needs.
A system is developed by using a complete process, which is known as
System Development Life Cycle (SDLC).
System Development Life Cycle is any logical process used by a
system analyst to develop an information system including requirements,
validation, training and user ownership.
There are five phases to develop a system -:
1. Planning
2. Analysis
3. Design
4. Implementation
5. Maintenance
SDLC Phases






1. Planning: In planning phase, there are some following points :

Develops a project management plan and other planning
Preliminary survey is essential.
Planning documents describe detailed procedure, methodology,
activities, resources, costs and timetable to complete the system.
Provides the basis to acquire the resources needed to achieve a
Feasibility study is important that is a test of a system proposal
according to its workability, impact on the organization, ability to
meet user needs and effective use of resources.
Feasibility study is sometime used to present the project to Top
Management in an attempt to gain funding.
Projects are typically evaluated in three areas of feasibility:
economical, operational, and technical.
Economical means that how much investments will be required to
develop a system.
Operational means that what kind of operations will be performed
in a system.
Technical means that which technology will be used to develop a
particular system.
The key question in planning is -: What is the problem or


Planning Documents

Preliminary Survey








Costs & Time

2. Analysis: In analysis phase, there are some following points:

It is a detailed study of the various operations performed by a
system and their relationships within and outside of the system.
Requirement Gathering: It identifies What are the requirements of
the users?
Information Collection: During analysis data are collected from the
available files, decision points, and transactions handled by the
present system.
Some tools which are used in analysis are: Data Flow Diagrams,
interviews, on-site observations and questionnaires.
All procedures, requirements must be analyzed and documented in
the form of detailed data flow diagrams (DFDs), data dictionary,
logical data structures.
The key question is: What must be done to solve the problem?
Detailed evaluations of the present system.
Used to create logical model of a system.


Requirement Gathering

Information Collection

Creating Logical Model

3. Design: In design phase, there are some following points:

In system design, we move from the logical to the physical aspects

of the life cycle.
The key question is: How the problem should be solved?
The Design Phase proceeds in two stages :
Preliminary or general design
Structured or detailed design
In the preliminary or general design, the features of the new system
are specified. The costs of implementing these features and the
benefits to be derived are estimated. If the project is still considered
to be feasible, we move to the detailed design stage.
In the detailed design stage, the design of the system becomes
more structured.
Structure design is a blue print of a computer system solution to a
given problem.
The tools which are used for designing are: Flowcharts, Data Flow
Diagram, Data dictionary, Structured English, Decision Table and
Design Tree.
It describes a final system and the process by which it is developed.
It refers to the technical specifications that will be applied to
implement the system.
It includes
the coding of programs and program testing.
1 From analysis
Coding is an important stage where the defined procedures are
transformed into control specifications by the help of a computer
Output Design
Detailed system documentation
It is an important step of a successful system. After codifying the
whole programs of the system, a test plan should be developed and
run on
a given set of test data.
Design submitted to management for approval
Testing includes Unit testing, Combined Module testing, User
Acceptance testing.
If any error is to be found then debugging is required.


Abandon Project
Design accepted?

The major steps in design are as follows:


Processing Design

Test Programs

Go to Implementation

Steps are:
1. To determine how the output is to be produced and in what format.
2. Input data and master files have to be designed to meet the
requirements of the proposed output.
3. Then, the processing phases are handled through program
construction and testing, including a list of the programs needed to
meet the systems objectives and complete documentation.
4. Finally, details related to justification of the system and an estimate
of the impact of the system on the user and the organization are
documented and evaluated by management as a step toward
5. The final report prior to the implementation phase includes
procedural flowcharts, record layouts, report layouts and a workable
plan for implementing the system.

4. Implementation: In implementation phase, there are some following

It means converting a new system design into operation.

The key point in implementation is to determine output.

During this phase, all the programs of the system are loaded onto
the users computer.
It involves: creating computer compatible files, training the operating
staff and installing terminals and hardware.
Main topics in training are:
How to execute the package?
How to enter the data?
How to process the data?
How to take out the reports?
In this phase a system analyst prepare a user-friendly
To run the system, the following two strategies are used:
Parallel Run: In this strategy, for a certain defined period, both
the systems, i.e., computerized and manual, are executed in
parallel. This strategy is helpful because of the following:
Manual results can be compared with the results of the
computerized system.
Failure of the computerized system at the early stage
does not affect the working of the organization, because
the manual system continues to work.
Pilot Run: In this strategy, the new system is installed in parts.
Some parts of the new system are installed first and executed
successfully for considerable time period. When the results are
found satisfactory then only other parts are implemented. This
strategy helps to trace errors in system easily.

5. Maintenance:
After implementing any system regular maintenance is very
important for the effective working of the system.

It is necessary to eliminate errors in the system during its working

life and to tune the system to any variations in its working
If new information is inconsistence with the design specifications,
then changes have to be made.
Hardware also requires periodic maintenance to keep in tune with
design specifications.
Generally, the review of the system is done for:
Knowing the full capabilities of the system.
Knowing the required changes or the additional requirements.
Studying the performance.