Posted: May 25th, 2022
System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Analysis
This report attempts to analyze a work-related project that uses a systems analysis tool for the implementation of a specific business or information system. The report will focus on the use of the System Development Life Cycle to implement a business or information technology need as well as the implications associated with the development of an internally used software package. The report will provide insights into International Lumberyards, Inc., implementation, information-gathering and other techniques used for various aspects of the reengineering project. The report will also attempt to analyze and evaluate if the System Development Life Cycle has been successful or if there were obvious failures in their efforts to institute the concepts of Business Process Re-engineering or Workflow Management.
The true problem of almost all businesses today revolves around the fact that all aspects of industry have been put into a position of forced efficiency by technology such as B2B and other e-business advances. In addition, the ever increasing demands of the highly competitive global economy will continue to keep all businesses under this pressure.
The goal of the business community will need to be to always establish methods or processes that allow for more capitalization. “A new technology infrastructure, aligned with the business strategy, will allow for future growth as well as addressing the limitations of the current environment.” (Grabski, 2002)
The System Development Life Cycle is one such tool and it translates into greatly reduced costs being incurred during business and information technology development stages of a model-based system development.
International Lumberyards, Inc.
When an organization faces the problem of needing new software processes or their having to completely reengineer an existing system, they need a process that helps in the design of appropriate information systems architecture. The process should also help direct the process and may therefore lead to successful implementations. In the cases of International Lumberyards, Inc., the organization discovered it required both a new business strategy as well as a new information technology approach.
The information technology approach was supposed to support the new business strategy because the leadership and critical business executives all needed to be both well informed as well as to have their various business functions supported by the company’s information system. “A strategy that is not supported by the requisite infrastructure will fail. Likewise, implementing technology that is not aligned with the business strategy will result, at a minimum, in a waste of resources.” (Grabski, 2002)
International Lumberyards, Inc., was in a position where they were forced to improve the communications between multiple locations as well as improving their ability to reach customers through sources such as the internet. In the case of International Lumberyards, Inc., the company wanted to avoid a serious lack of technical planning which would lead to a very messy or constrained implementation process.
International Lumberyards, Inc., needed to address some long-term and short-term business needs and objectives. These needs entailed reassessing the entire business infrastructure. To survive, the company could not fail in their new information systems based approach to business so they attempted to utilize the System Development Life Cycle approach to address the short- and long-term business solutions and objectives.
System Development Life Cycle
International Lumberyards, Inc. needed an e-business solution that allowed for a new and more competitive environment. They implemented a new e-business system that was fast and flexible but still met the other business needs. The new technology needed the development of in-depth marketing and systems analysis and placed a heavy emphasis upon product branding. These characteristics defined the future business environment from traditional IT projects. To coordinate the process they utilized System Development Life Cycle philosophies. First, the nature of the business environment was considered and only after these needs were met did they focus on the relative strength and limitations of their existing hardware and software infrastructure and systems development methodologies.
To first define Business Systems Analysis and Design requires you to understand Information Systems. By most accounts, one can think of an information system as the grouping of either people, data, processes, interfaces, technology and networks so they can function to meet the needs of a business, organization of some other type of group.
For example, when a computer software application is used to solve some business problem there are still other systems or people needed to make that software work so one or more computer applications equate to an information system. International Lumberyards, Inc. was falling behind here. “First, the existing computer system did not have enough capacity to handle the increased volume of data, especially since several new plants (International Lumberyards, Inc. refers to its lumberyards as “plants”) were recently opened and the sales volume had increased significantly. Second, the main problem, based on his discussions with MaryBeth, was that corporate headquarters was having difficulty consolidating regional information from the different locations.” (Grabski, 2002)
The System Development Life Cycle is nothing more than a process for developing information systems either software or process by utilizing a system of through investigation, analysis, design, implementation and maintenance. Companies may expend a great deal of money in these pursuits. “Statement of Position No. 98-1 (SOP No. 98-1) requires expensing certain costs and capitalizing others. The quest for uniformity in accounting treatment in the form of a single rule for multiple economic phenomena (i.e., treating all systems acquisition and development methods the same) results in reduced ability to reflect economic differences between systems acquisition and development methods.” (Knight, 2001)
The System Development Life Cycle has also been known as information systems development or application development. No mattter what it is called, the process can be considered a very systematic approach to problem solving. The process utilizes several phases which is also comprised of multiple steps. The software concept identifies and defines the need for some new system. These needs of any new system or program are met by following specific System Development Life Cycle phase as described by Wikopedia as:
Systems Maintenance requirements analysis is used to analyze the needs of end users. The architectural design is used as a blueprint for later designs of needed hardware, software, human and data resources. Coding and debugging create the actual programs of the new system. System testing varifies that the process works and the intended needs are met.
Using System Development Life Cycle
The System Development Life Cycle philosophy helped International Lumberyards, Inc., first address its business structure needs as opposed to simply going out to get a new software or systems solution. In other words, by first conducting a thorough Preliminary Investigation they as an orgainzation addressed more pressing business related infrastructure concerns such as the lack of a clear business plan. “The recommendations that follow are based on the idea that International Lumberyards, Inc., should adopt as its singular mission an effort to “provide quality forest products with the highest level of customer service possible.” This proposed set of actions focuses on the main elements of this strategy, some of which are internal to International Lumberyards, Inc., and others that are visible to end customers.” (Grabski, 2002)
The company realized because of this initial step that it is critical for them to see the lumber and forest products industry as multiple market segments. “The lack of differentiation among the physical products offered by firms in this industry suggests that a company’s best chance to establish a competitive advantage lies in the level of customer service it can provide.” (Grabski, 2002)
Only after the business needs were addressed could the company address its IT strategy which would need database, hardware, and software solutions to support its newly discovered Business Strategy. The System Development Life Cycle helped the organization identify that the company should not develop software but should use existing industry software that handled single source enterprise software solutions. However, the company did feel it should develop its own Database infrastructure that would work with the new underlying database management system and would mesh with existing organizational skills and the selected enterprise software solution.
Because the company followed a standardized implementation process, they were able to successfully reengineer their existing business structure. The objective of the System Development Life Cycle is to help organizations define what an appropriate system development methodology should be in order for them to continue to meet the rapidly changing business environment. The specific research approach employed by International Lumberyards, Inc. was to follow the steps of the cycle and it helped them dramatically.
This report attempted to analyze a work-related project that used a systems analysis tool for a specific business system. The report focused on the use of the System Development Life Cycle to implement a business or information technology need as well as the implications associated with the development of an internally used software package. The report provided insights into International Lumberyards, Inc., implementation, information-gathering and other techniques used for various aspects of the reengineering project. The report also attempted to analyze and evaluate if the System Development Life Cycle had been successful or if there were obvious failures in their efforts to institute the concepts of Business Process Re-engineering or Workflow Management.
Grabski, Severin V. (2002). International Lumberyards, Inc.: An Information System Consulting Case. Journal of Information Systems, 9/22.
Knight, Ph.D., Linda V. (2001, November 1). System Development Methodologies for Web Enabled E-Business: A Customization Paradigm. Retrieved January 16, 2005, at http://www.kellen.net/SysDev.htm
Peacock, Eileen (2004). Accounting for the development costs of internal-use software. Journal of Information Systems, 3/22.
Wikopedia. (n.d.). System Development Life Cycle. Retrieved January 16, 2005, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_Development_Life_Cycle
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