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Systems Development Life Cycle

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The term Systems Development is refers to the creation of new information software or alteration of existing information software, models and the methodologies that are used to develop the software(Blanchard & Fabrycky, 2006). It is a process that passes through various stages of development. There are seven main phases of systems development process.

Planning Phase

 This is the phase that is regarded by most systems developers as the first phase of systems development. This phase is sometimes referred to as the feasibility study phase. It is characterized by the determination of organizational goals in relation to the system that is being developed. During this phase, the systems developers allocate the budgetary requirements and time schedule for the project. Other requirements for the project such as equipment and personnel are also established and put in place. A quick ex ante evaluation is also done at this stage to establish the likelihood of the success of the success of the project.

Other factors that are considered by an organization during this phase is the knowledge of the employees and their ability to use the new system. If the employees are not able to use the new system then the organization should examine their ability learn new skills at this phase.

System Analysis Phase

 At this phase, the actual problem is analyzed in details so as to establish its nature and source. Systems developers usually use flow diagrams to precisely show how the system will help solve the problem in question. The project goal are further analyzed into details and then defined in relation to functions that the system is supposed to perform.

Systems Design Phase

This phase is important in the systems development cycle because it is characterized by documentations which are used in the succeeding phases as reference. The desired feature and operation are described exhaustively. This description involves outlining each component of the system including its nature and how it is going to contribute towards achieving the goals of the system being developed. The components may include screen layouts, business rules, process diagrams and other documentation.

Implementation Phase

This is the most technical phase of systems development cycle. It is during this phase that the real coding of the system takes place. The knowledge of high level programing languages such as java, and Pascalisdirely needed in this phase. In addition there should be high level of competency and experience of systems development among the technical team at this phase in order to ensure confidence in the outcome (Beynon, 2009).

Integration and Testing Phase

In this phase, the different components and features of the components are assembled together and tested to determine if they can really work. Evaluation is done to establish changes,bugs and errors that may have occurred accidentally. Corrections are then made.

Acceptance and Installation Phase

This phase appears to be the last stage of the initial development of the software. The software is put in actual use at this stage. The actual business activity is carried out using the software and the intended organizational goals are achieved.

Maintenance Phase

This very last phase of systems development cycle is probably not the last one. It is the most important phase since it continues throughout the lifetime of the software unlike the other phases which takes short periods of time. It involves administration of adjustments such as changes, additions and corrections that makes the system more adaptable and efficient in its functions (Cummings, 2006). The phases of systems development are not as distinct as they appear in this essay. These phases usually overlap and sometimes the activities that are expected to be done in one phase may be done in a preceding or subsequent phase. At some point it might be required that all the phases be repeated again thus the name cycle (Blanchard & Fabrycky, 2006).

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