8.3 Developing Information Systems


In 30 seconds...

The development of a new information system relies on understanding the problem, the system design, how it is tested, evaluated and maintained over time. Students are introduced to the traditional method for creating systems through project work and such. A more detailed version of explored areas are in the table.
New information systems are created when existing systems do not adequately meet the needs of users of the information system, or when there is a need that could be met by an information system. The success of a new system depends upon how well the problem is understood, how the system is designed, how it is tested, evaluated and maintained over time. This topic introduces students to the traditional method for developing systems. Students must engage in project work, both individually and in teams, which supports this understanding by planning, designing and implementing a series of discrete information systems. Alternatives to this model are presented in the HSC course.
Students may begin their project work at any time during the Preliminary course.

 Students learn about:

 Students learn to:

  1. Traditional stages in developing a system:
  • understanding the problem
  • planning
  • designing
  • implementing
  • testing, evaluating and maintaining







  2. Complexity of systems:

  •  systems for individuals
  • systems for organisations
  • systems developed by individuals
  • systems developed by teams





 3. Roles of people involved in systems development:

  •  different roles played by individuals in the team and communication between them
  • strengths and weaknesses of individual team members:
  • communication
  • interpersonal
  • technical
  • organisational







  4. Social and ethical issues:

  • machine-centred systems simplify what computers do at the expense of participants human-centred systems as those that make participants
  • work as effective and satisfying as possible
  • how the relationships between participants change as a result of the new system
  • ensuring the new system provides participants with a safe work environment
  • awareness of the impact the system may have on the participants, including:
  • opportunities to use their skills
  • meaningful work
  • need for change
  • opportunities for involvement and commitment
  •  recognise and apply appropriate stages in their project work
  • read and interpret the requirements for a new system in terms of:
  • the needs of the users of the information system
  • who the participants are
  • the data/information to be used
  • required information technology
  • information processes
  • use a variety of design tools to help plan the structure of an information system
  • use an information system to generate information


  • read a set of specifications
  • understand the need for a time schedule
  • interpret Gantt charts
  • understand the need for journals and diaries
  • recognise the resources that are relevant, available and required for use in developing the system
  • modify or extend an existing system according to specifications
  • test and evaluate an existing system to see if it meets requirements and specifications


  • recognise different roles of people and how they communicate throughout different stages of the project
  • produce a report stating the need, and how an information system will meet it
  • diagrammatically represent the information system in context
  • document the relationship between the new system, user of the information system and their need(s)
  • analyse and customise user interfaces and other tasks in applications software forming part of the solution
  • identify the training needs of users of the information system
  • document the procedures to be followed by participants


  • implement systems that pay as much attention to the needs of participants as they do to information technology