Organizations exist in a dynamic environment, and thus, they regularly experience changes in their:
• Legal requirements, such as government reporting.
• Level and kinds of competition.
• Technologies, such as data entry devices, bar codes, and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags used to record and process information.
• Lines of business or kinds of business activities.
• Management desire for better access to information and improved management reporting.
Systems development comprises the steps undertaken to create, modify, or maintain an organization’s Information System. These steps, along with the project management concepts discussed below, guide the in-house development of Information Systems, as well as the acquisition of systems solutions. A term often used synonymously with systems development is systems development life cycle or SDLC. The term systems development life cycle (SDLC) is used in several ways. It can mean:
1. A formal set of activities, or a process, used to develop and implement a new or modified Information System.
2. The documentation that specifies the systems development process referred to as the systems development standards manual.
3. The progression of Information Systems through the systems development process, from birth through implementation to on-going use.
The “life cycle” idea comes from this last view and is the definition that we use in this text. Systems development is also an important - sometimes dominant - component of more comprehensive organizational change via business process reengineering. These terms as well as “systems life cycle” and “systems analysis and design” are also used to refer to the systems development process.
We propose the following systems development objectives:
• To develop information systems that satisfies an organization’s informational, operational, and management requirements. Note that this objective relates to the system being developed.
• To develop information systems in an efficient and effective manner.
Note that this objective relates more to the development process than to its outcome.
A systems development methodology is a formalized, standardized, documented set of activities used to manage a systems development project. It should be used when information systems are developed, acquired, or maintained.