When designing a new information system it is important to consider the practical elements before you begin create the structure. The first element to consider is the system requirements such as the number of users who will be accessing the system, the number of locations, the data itself that will be entered and the uses of the data output.
Once the basic requirements are established, the design process can begin. The hardware that will be used must be evaluated; considerations in this regard are what preexisting hardware will be used, and what new hardware will be purchased. Additional concerns can relate to remote location, the user reports needed and if data will primarily be inputted from a central location or from multiple systems. Once the system requirements and design structure is established, the actual programming can begin.
After the requirements are established, the design created, and the program completed the system must be tested and installed. It is important to fully test a system in house before attempting to implement and install it at the client’s location(s). It is easier to review and correct errors in house. Client confidence is increased when a new system is installed and implemented with a minimal amount of difficulties.
The Stage 1 Requirements are essential to build a strong foundation for an effective system. It is essential that an accurate description of the system exists before beginning any other work. It is not possible to project out the potential cost and scheduling until an accurate description of the system exists and can be referenced throughout the remainder of the design and implementation process. The next step, cost and scheduling relies upon this description to evaluate if the client’s expectations can be achieved.
Once a description of the system the costs and schedule are established it is time to evaluate the specifics of the operation. It is necessary to look at every element of the recipient business in order to create a comprehensive package. The elements of the operational specifics also include the identification of the user base. The scope of the user base includes data input, analysts and people inside and outside the general scope of operations who may periodically require financial statements or other reports.
In Stage 2, the design elements are further established. The data details must be fully researched both for input and output specifications. Once the data has been detailed and defined, it is time to look at the specifications of the system capable of organizing this data. Another element, which must be fully considered, is the level of detail required, especially for periodic data output reports. Keep in mind that compliance reports for stockholders and tax preparation specialists.
Once the system requirements are established it is possible to begin generating the code. All systems have some elements in common. However, most of the coding should be based upon the specific user needs. If the user’s needs are considered as a part of this initial coding, the correct requirements can be integrated directly into the software and that will make the final realization and implementation of the design run more effectively.
After the design has been realized, it is still not ready for implementation. First, the system must be fully evaluated and tested. The first step is to make sure the basic functions are operative. Any flaws and bugs must be identified and eliminated. The next step is to be sure all the client’s requirements are met. The Stage 1 requirements so exactingly established at the outset must be revisited in detail to make sure the system suits the client’s needs after the final installation has been accomplished. Once the basic functions are checked and the client specific requirements have been met, it is time to consider if the system will continue to function in the practical field conditions. It is not just enough for the system to work in the computer lab, it is also necessary for it to work in all the client’s locations. The last step in the system checking process is to generate the appropriate reports to document the entire system for in-house reference and for the client’s review.
Stage 5 is the final step in the process and involves the implementation of the system in its permanent client environment. This involves much more that just shipping the hardware and software out and setting it up for the client. The majority of the systems will require both hardware and software installations that must be interrogated into the preexisting systems and hardware installations. Remember, the existing systems may have unique configurations that were established to effectuate software usages not related to the current system. Some of these may continue to operate and coexist on the same hardware. If alterations are made that reconfigure the operational platforms, it may disrupt the functions of these independent programs.
After the hardware and software are installed and reviewed to be sure all functions are operational, it is time to train the people who will use the system. The more effective the initial training program is the greater the client satisfaction will be. Effective user training is directly connected to user satisfaction. Therefore, the utmost care is needed to make sure everyone from the data entry staff to the board of directors must be completely comfortable with the system. At times, it may be necessary to create printed user training guides. This is especially true regarding reports that may only be required at periodic intervals such as quarterly and annual reports, and tax information reports. Once the entire package has been implemented, and all the potential users trained it is time to conduct the final system review.
This must be done with the in house system personnel and IT support staff to establish their ability to utilize and support the system and to guarantee that it is functioning smoothly. This is also the time to do a final review that any client’s in house operational systems or ad hoc solutions previously established do not conflict with the new system. Final confirmation reports must be generated and the client user base identified in step 1 should be interviewed to guarantee continued client satisfaction.
Provanzano, R. (2012). Creating HIPO Charts. Software Development Slide Show .
Provinzano, R. (2012, 18 4). Software Development Life Cycle. Phase 1 Individual Project