Information systems life cycle

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According to Manuela Aparicio, Carlos Costa and J. Leopoldo Nhampossa of the International Association for Development of the Information Society in their article, Managing the Information System Life Cycle (2005), an IS life cycle should be viewed in a humanistic way: “Baby/Launching, Youth/spreading (developing or growing), Adult/maturity and Senior/Declining (p. 1).” Looking at it this wayhelps those unfamiliar with it to become familiar with it because personifying it aids in memory retention. So after reading this, readers should be able to identify the four basic segments of an IS life cycle as Lauching, Spreading (developing or growing), Maturity and Decline. Examine the picture below to get a visual of how the life cycle follows those four (consolidated) phases, eventuallyand inevitably starting the cycle anew again (Aparicio et al, 2005):

Lauching, as its name suggests, involves identifying the technologies and their general needs as well as suggesting new technologies for consideration�€"all information based on “…technical, operational, organizational and economical assumptions (Aparicio et al, 2005).” It ends with the installation orimplementation of a Requirements Analysis (Aparicio et al, 2005), which takes the scope identified in the organization’s strategic planning activity and translates it “…into the business owner’s view of the enterprise (Essential Strategies, n.d.).” Essential Strategies (n.d.) also explains that this translation will produce model sets that will “…describe data, functions, location, people and organizations,timing issues, and the enterprise’s objectives and constraints” and convert those findings into much more regimented models to define and distinguish the information designer’s view, which is actually part of the growth and development (spreading) phase. This is where the issues with the current timecard system come into play and also where the characteristics of the to-be-designed system areestablished. Answers to various questions (e.g. �€" What’s wrong with the current system in place? Should improvements be made to the current system or is a totally new system design the most intuitive and advantageous and necessary?)

It’s also important to note that each phase has its own life cycle, which involves much more than can be described in this post. The growth and developmentphase starts with strategically grouping tasks into phases, obtaining input from systems’ end-users (because after all, they are the ones expected to efficiently and effectively operate these systems) and developing unambiguous procedures and standards of operations for end-users to follow (Cerritos Online, 2008) and after a few more internal steps, ends with organizational plans to transitioninto full preparation of the IS’s eventual implementation and use (Essential Strategies, n.d.). So with the timecard system, it is important to incorporate end-users into the system functionality; it needs to be user-friendly, straight forward and fully executable. The end-users, in this case, all employees, need input into the design and functionality so that as few anomalies as possible occur.Incorporating them into the overhaul of the old system and the building and launch of the new system also does something else�€"it lets them know that the company and those it leaves in charge of managing them do care about the value-added commentary they bring to the conversation.

That can only create or build on positive morale, which is great for the company’s bottom line because it thenhas employees who know they are positively regarded. Aparicio et al (2005) describe it succinctly in that it’s “…the part of the cycle process in which a desirable spreading of the systems starts, as a result of adequate implementation (p. 2).” So during this phase, end-users begin to use the system(s), taking the systems’ life cycle to an inevitable maturing phase.

In the maturity phase...