Planning New Information Systems

understanding the problem

• approaches to identify problems with existing systems, including:
– interviewing/surveying users of the information system
– interviewing/surveying participants
– analysing the existing system by determining:
- how it works
- what it does
- who uses it
• requirements reports
• requirements prototype – a working model of an information system, built in order to understand the requirements of the system
– used when the problem is not easily understood
– repetitive process of prototype modification and participants’ feedback until the problem is understood
– can be the basis for further system development.

planning

• a feasibility study of proposed solutions, including:
– economic feasibility
– technical feasibility
– operational feasibility
– scheduling
• choosing the most appropriate solution
• choosing the appropriate development approaches
– traditional
– outsourcing
– prototyping
– customisation
– participant development
– agile methods
• the requirements report that:
– details the time frame
– details the subprojects and the time frame for them
– identifies participants
– identifies relevant information technology
– identifies data/information
– identifies the needs of users

designing

• clarifying with users the benefits of the new information system
• designing the information system for ease of maintenance
• clarifying each of the relevant information processes within the system
• detailing the role of the participants, the data and the information technology used in the system
• refining existing prototypes
• participant development, when people within the information system develop the solution
– participant designed solutions
– tools for participant development such as guided processes in application packages
• tools used in designing, including:
– context diagrams
– data flow diagrams
– decision trees
– decision tables
– data dictionaries
– storyboards

implementing

• acquiring information technology and making it operational
– hardware
– software, customised or developed
• an implementation plan that details:
– participant training
– the method for conversion
- parallel conversion
- direct conversion
- phased conversion
- pilot conversion
– how the system will be tested
– conversion of data for the new system
• the need for an operation manual detailing procedures participants follow when using the new system

testing, evaluating and maintaining

• testing and evaluating the solution with test data such as
– volume data
– simulated data
– live data
• checking to see that the original system requirements have been achieved
• trialling and using the operation manual
• reviewing the effect on users of the information system, participants and people within the environment
• modifying parts of the system where problems are identified