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Testing, Evaluating & Maintaining

posted Sep 20, 2010, 2:05 PM by Eddie Woo   [ updated Oct 13, 2010, 1:20 PM ]
We are up to the 'last stage' of the System Development Lifecycle. Calling it the last stage is a bit deceptive, though, for two reasons:
  • It's a life cycle, meaning that system development seldom ends here - so it is not really the 'last' stage.
  • There are several components to this part of the lifecycle, so it is not really a single 'stage'.
Nonetheless, once you understand this, you will have a gained a broad overview of all the steps that make up the traditional or structured system development approach (don't forget that there are actually several approaches - we will deal with them more in the HSC course).

So much for the introduction. Now, onto the real content for this lesson!



Each of the three tasks in this task has a specific purpose.
  • The system is tested to ensure that it meets the requirements identified in stage 1 (understanding the problem). This is often called acceptance testing because it determines whether the client will accept the new system as satisfactory or not.

  • The system is evaluated to (a) monitor its performance and (b) review its social effects. Performance can be viewed from a technical angle (can the new system cope with the amount of data or number of operations it is required to carry out?) or from a financial angle (is it a cost-effective solution?). Social effects refer to how the system adversely or positively affects its end users and participants; while some effects can be anticipated (e.g. redundancy of staff members whose jobs have been replaced or simplified by technology), others may be difficult to predict precisely (e.g. ergonomic concerns).

  • The system is maintained to ensure that it continues to meet its requirements. Practically speaking, the system must be regularly checked, repaired, and expanded if necessary.
Keeping all this in mind, choose a scenario from the list below:
For this scenario, answer the questions below in a new classwork post:
  1. Identify the requirements that would be appropriate for this new system.
  2. Describe the methods that could be used to carry out acceptance testing.
  3. Evaluate the system with regard to its technical performance and its social effects.
  4. Outline 5 potential maintenance tasks that would need to be scheduled to ensure that the new system continues to meet its requirements.
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