Systems thinking for information systems development
- Li D. Xu
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Although many information systems development methods (ISDMs) are available, past experience indicates that none of them completely supports the design process. One of the major problems is that the traditional ISDMs represents a poor match for some subsystems or dimensions involved in the information systems design (ISD). This paper presents an integration and interpretation of recent research on the mismatch of the ISDMs with the ISD process and suggests that systems ideas can be used to learn about and clarify our perceptions of the ISD processes. First, some important systems concepts such as systems, subsystem, dimensionality, system types, and characteristics are introduced. Second, some lessons of mismatch learned in the past that are related to those systems concepts are discussed. The discussion includes experiences learned through the ISD process such as communication problems, inadequate analysis of systems maintenance, lack of understanding of the relationship between the nature of the subsystem/dimension to be represented and the selection of tools, difficulties in integrating subsystems and dimensions, as well as Brooks' Law along with others. Third, some recommendations are given concerning how to avoid mismatch with a systems concept phase. Fourth, some guidelines are provided for implementing the tasks of the systems concept phase. Finally, a number of areas where research appears needed are mentioned.
- Basili, V. R., and Musa, J. D. (1991). The future engineering of software: A management perspective.IEEE Computer,24(9), 90–96.
- Benyon, D. (1992). The role of task analysis in systems design.Interacting with Computers,4(1), 102–123. CrossRef
- Checkland, P. B. (1978). The origins and nature of “hard” systems thinking,Journal of Applied Systems Analysis,5(2), 99–110.
- Cindio, F. D., Michelis, G. D., and Simone, C. (1985). Giving back some freedom to the system designer.Systems Research,2(4), 273–280.
- Colter, M. (1984). A comparative examination of systems analysis techniques.MIS Quarterly,8(2), 51–66.
- Curtis, B., Krasner, H., and Iscoe, N. (1988). A field study of the software design process for large systems.Communications of the ACM,31(11), 1268–1287. CrossRef
- Davis, A. M. (1992). Operational prototyping: A new development approach.IEEE Software,9(5), 70–78. CrossRef
- Devanbu, P., Brachman, R. J., Selfridge, P. G., and Ballard, B. W. (1991). LaSSIE: A knowledge-based software information system.Communications of the ACM,34(5), 34–49. CrossRef
- Floyd, C. (1986). A comparative evaluation of system development methods. In Olle, T. W. (Ed.),Information Systems Design Methodologies: Improving the Practice, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 19–54.
- Hess, M. (1990). Information systems design in industrial practice. In Sage, A. P. (Ed.),Concise Encyclopedia of Information Processing in Systems & Organizations, Pergamon Press, Oxford, pp. 295–301.
- Jackson, M. C. (1993). Beyond the Fads: Systems Thinking for Managers. Centre for Systems Studies Working Paper Series, no. 3, University of Hull.
- Kokol, P., Stiglic, B., and Zumer, V. (1991). A New Approach for IS Design Paradigm Evaluation. Proceedings of the 6th Mediterranean Electrotechnical Conference, Slovenia, Yugoslavia, pp. 1117–1120.
- Kolodner, J. (1993).Case-Based Reasoning, Morgan Kaufmann, San Mateo, CA.
- Mellor, P. (1992). Failures, faults and changes in dependability measurement.Information and Software Technology,34(10), 640–654. CrossRef
- Poo, D. C. C., and Lyzell, P. J. (1992). An evolutionary structure model for software maintenance.Journal of Systems and Software,18(2), 113–123. CrossRef
- Rowley, J. E. (1993). Information systems methodologies: A review and assessment of their applicability to the selection, design and implementation of library and information systems.Journal of Information Science,19(4), 291–302.
- Sage, A. P. (1990). Systems knowledge: Philosophical perspectives. In Sage, A. P. (Eds.),Concise Encyclopedia of Information Processing in Systems & Organizations, Pergamon Press, Oxford, pp. 484–490.
- Schamber, L., Eisenberg, M. B., and Nilan, M. S. (1990). A re-examination of relevance: Toward a dynamic, situtional definition.Information Processing & Management,26(6), 755–776.
- Shaw, M. (1986). Beyond programming-in-the-large: The next challenges for software engineering. InAdvanced Programming Environments—Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 519–535.
- Tilford, E. (1992). Successful projects are built on people, planning, and flow.IEEE Software,9(2), 94–95.
- Warfield, J. N. (1986). Micromathematics and Macromathematics. Proceedings of the 1986 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Atlanta, GA, pp. 1127–1131.
- Warfield, J. N., and Christakis, A. N. (1987). Dimensionality.Systems Research,4(2), 127–138.
- Warfield, J. N. (1990).A Science of Generic Design, Intersystems Publications, Salinas, CA.
- Warren, J. R., Stott, J. W., and Norcio, A. F. (1992). Stochastic simulation of information systems designs from data flow diagrams.Journal of Systems and Software,18(2), 191–199. CrossRef
- White, S., Alford, M., Holtzman, J., Kuehl, S., McCay, B., Oliver, D., Owens, D., Tully, C., and Willey, A. (1993). Systems engineering of computer-based systems.IEEE Computer,26(11), 54–65.
- Wolstenholme, E. F., Gavine, A., Watts, K. M., and Henderson, S. (1992). The design, application and evaluation of a system dynamics based methodology for the assessment of computerised information systems.European Journal of Information Systems,1(5), 341–350.
- Wymore, A. (1984). Theory of systems. In Vick, C., and Ramamoorthy, C. (Eds.),Handbook of Software Engineering, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York, pp. 119–133.
- Systems thinking for information systems development
Volume 8, Issue 6 , pp 577-589
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
- Additional Links
- systems thinking
- information systems analysis
- information systems design
- information systems development methods
- software engineering
- Li D. Xu (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Management Science and Information Systems, Wright State University, 45435, Dayton, Ohio