All system development projects have a life cycle. This life cycle methodology has a number of stages which can be divided into a beginning, middle and an end. These are the six traditional life cycle stages:
• Project Definition
• Systems Study
During this stage, questions such as the following need to be answered: “what is the system required to do?”, “why is a new system required ” and “how will it be integrated”. This stage will identify if a problem exists and how it can be solved.
This stage is implemented to analyse the system as well as to research one that might already be in place (this is also known as feasibility study). Some techniques used to find the requirements of the new system include: interviewing, observation, investigation of documentation and questionnaires. Solutions are found and analysed in accordance of how beneficial the development of a system will be.
A design is produced from the list of requirements given. It is the logical and physical specifications for the new system proposal. The design stage may include the use of tools and techniques such as data flow diagrams, structure diagrams, class diagrams and flow charts etc. to provide a clear overview of the actual design.
Using the system design specifications, developers interpret the designs and translate them into appropriate software code (if applicable). This leads to the development of the proposed system.
In this stage the final steps of the system are done, such as: finalisation on any modifications, testing of the system and training. This is done until the system is fully operational.
This stage examines the system and evaluates its performance after a set period. The evaluation will help confirm if the system has complied with the original objectives or if any further adjustments need to be made.