A systems development method that typically uses a spiral development model, which builds on a series of iterations, to make adapting to changes easier for all stakeholders.
Systems development method that attempts to develop a system incrementally, by building a series of prototypes and constantly adjusting them to user requirements. Related to adaptive method
A software application that runs on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet.
Software programs, such as email, word processors, spreadsheets, and graphics pack- ages, used by employees in typical office scenarios.
A commercial exchange (e.g., products or services) between businesses, typi- cally enabled by the Internet or electronic means.
A commercial exchange (e.g., products or services) between businesses and consumers conducted over the Internet
bring your own device (BYOD)
An equipment management model where employees are in charge of their devices (e.g., computers, tablets, smartphones) at work, not the IT department. This includes device selection and setup, program installation and updating, and network connectivity (including security).
A graphical representation of business functions that consist of business processes, such as sales, accounting, and purchasing.
A description of specific events, tasks, and desired results.
business process model (BPM)
A graphical representation of one or more business processes.
business process modeling notation (BPMN)
A standard set of shapes and symbols used to represent events, processes, and workflows in computer-based modeling tools.
A definition of a company’s overall functions, processes, organization, products, ser- vices, customers, suppliers, competitors, constraints, and future direction.
How a system handles data and produces useful information. Business rules, also called business logic, reflect the operational requirements of the business. Examples include adding the proper amount of sales tax to invoices, calculating customer balances and finance charges, and deter- mining whether a customer is eligible for a volume-based discount.
business support system
Provide job-related information support to users at all levels of a company.
Powerful software used in computer-aided systems engineering (CASE) to help systems ana- lysts develop and maintain information systems.
A credential an individual earns by demonstrating a certain level of knowledge and skill on a standardized test.
A term used in object-oriented modeling to indicate a collection of similar objects.
computer-aided software engineering (CASE)
A technique that uses powerful programs called CASE tools to provide an overall framework for systems development. The tools support a wide variety of design methodologies, including structured analysis and object-oriented analysis. Also referred to as computer-aided systems engineering.
computer-aided systems engineering (CASE)
See computer-aided software engineering (CASE).
A set of beliefs, rules, traditions, values, and attitudes that define a company and influ- ence its way of doing buiness.
critical thinking skill
The ability to compare, classify, evaluate, recognize patterns, analyze cause and effect, and apply logic. Such skills are valued in the IT industry.
The raw material or basic facts used by information systems.
data flow diagram (DFD)
Graphical representation of the system, showing it stores, processes, and transforms data into useful information.
A polished, final product, suitable for its intended use. End products or deliverables often coincide with the completion of each SDLC phase
ecommerce (electronic commerce)
Transactions (e.g., buying and selling of goods and information) that occur on the Internet. Includes both business-to-consumer and business-to-business.
electronic data interchange (EDI)
A process that involves the computer-to-computer transfer of data between companies.
A business practice that places more responsibility and accountability throughout all lev- els of an organization.
Company-wide applications, such as order processing systems, payroll systems, and company communications networks.
Information systems that support company-wide data management requirements, such as airline reservations or credit card billing systems.
enterprise resource planning (ERP)
A process that establishes an enterprise-wide strategy for IT resources. ERP defines a specific architecture, including standards for data, processing, network, and user interface design.
An initial investigation to clearly identify the nature and scope of the business opportu- nity or problem. Also called a preliminary investigation.
Programs that run on a network that enable users to share data, collaborate on projects, and work in teams. Also called workgroup software.
The physical layer of the information system, to include computers, networks, communica- tions equipment, and other technology-based infrastructure.
A centralized resource staffed by IT professionals that provides users with the support they need to do their jobs. A help desk has three main objectives: to show people how to use system resources more effectively, to provide answers to technical or operational questions, and to make users more productive by teaching them how to meet their own information needs.
A basic system, such as an inventory or payroll package that is commonly used by a variety of companies.
Instruction that directs a knowledge management system to identify data patterns and relationships.
Data that has been changed into a useful form of output.
A combination of information technology, people, and data to support business requirements. The five key components are hardware, software, data, processes, and people.
information technology (IT)
A combination of hardware, software, and telecommunications sys- tems that support business operations, improve productivity, and help managers make decisions.
An adaptive method typically uses a spiral development model, which builds on a series of iterations.
joint application development (JAD)
A popular systems development technique that uses a group of users, managers and IT professionals that work together to gather information, discuss business needs, and define the new system requirements.
A popular systems development technique that uses a group of users, managers, and IT
professionals that work together to gather information, discuss business needs, and define the new
An older system that is typically less technologically advanced than currently available
management information system (MIS)
A computer-based information system used in business plan-
ning, control, decision making, and problem solving.
An information system that is vital to a company’s operations.
A process that produces a graphical representation of a concept or process that systems devel-
opers can analyze, test, and modify.
A prediction that computing power would double every 18 to 24 months due to increased
miniaturization of electronic components.
In object-oriented analysis or programming, an object represents a real person, place, event, or
object-oriented (O-O) analysis
The act of understanding an information system by identifying things
called objects. An object represents a real person, place, event, or transaction. Object-oriented analy-
sis is a popular approach that sees a system from the viewpoint of the objects themselves as they
function and interact with the system
An initial analysis to clearly identify the nature and scope of the business
opportunity or problem. Also called a feasibility study.
Procedure or task that users, managers, and IT staff members perform. Also, the logical
rules of a system that are applied to transform data into meaningful information. In data flow
diagrams, a process receives input data and produces output that has a different content, form, or
Companies that manufacture computers, routers, or microchips.
In object-oriented (O-O) analysis, characteristics that objects inherit from their class or pos-
sess on their own
An early, rapidly constructed working version of the proposed information system.
radio frequency identification (RFID)
Technology that uses high-frequency radio waves to track physi-
rapid application development (RAD)
A team-based technique that speeds up information systems
development and produces a functioning information system. RAD is similar in concept to joint
application development (JAD), but goes further by including all phases of the System Development
Life Cycle (SDLC).
Used in the systems planning phase of the SDLC. It involves using various fact-
finding techniques, such as interviews, surveys, observation, and sampling, to describe the current
system and identify the requirements for the new system.
The ability of a system to expand to meet new business requirements and volumes.
A large concentration of networked computers working together.
A company that primarily offers information or services, or sells goods produced by
A program run by computers for a specific function or task.
A development model with a series of iterations, or revisions, based on user feedback.
Anyone who is affected by the company’s performance, such as customers, employees, sup-
pliers, stockholders, and members of the community.
The long-range plan that defines the corporate mission and goals. Typically defined by top
management, with input from all levels.
A traditional systems development technique that uses phases to plan, analyze,
design, implement, and support an information system. Processes and data are treated as separate
A supply chain is a system of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer.
A set of related components that produces specific results.
system design specification
A document that presents the complete design for the new information
system, along with detailed costs, staffing, and scheduling for completing the next SDLC phase, sys-
tems implementation. Also called the technical design specification or the detailed design
system requirements document
A document that contains the requirements for the new system, describes
the alternatives that were considered, and makes a specific recommendation to management. It is the
end product of the systems analysis phase.
Programs that control the computer, including the operating system, device drivers that
communicate with hardware, and low-level utilities.
systems analysis and design
The process of developing information systems that effectively use hardware,
software, data, processes, and people to support the company’s business objectives.
systems analysis phase
The second SDLC phase. The purpose of this phase is to build a logical model of
the new system.
A person who plans, analyzes, and implements information systems. He or she may
work internally within a company’s IT department, or be hired by a company as an independent
systems design phase
The third SDLC phase. The purpose of systems design is to create a blueprint for
the new system that will satisfy all documented requirements, whether the system is being developed
in-house or purchased as a package.
systems development life cycle (SDLC)
Activities and functions that systems developers typically per-
form, regardless of how those activities and functions fit into a particular methodology. The SDLC
model includes five phases: 1. Systems planning, 2. Systems analysis, 3. Systems design, 4. Systems
implementation, and 5. Systems support and security.
systems implementation phase
The fourth phase of SDLC. During this phase the new system is con-
structed, programs are written, tested, and documented, and the system is installed.
systems planning phase
The first phase of the SDLC. During this phase the systems project gets started.
The project proposal is evaluated to determine its feasibility. The project management plan is formu-
lated, with the help of CASE tools where appropriate.
A formal request to the IT department that describes problems or desired changes in an
information system or business process. It might propose enhancements for an existing system, the
correction of problems, or the development of an entirely new system.
systems support and security phase
During the systems support and security phase of the SDLC, the IT
staff maintains, enhances, and protects the system.
Technical support is necessary to support the wide variety of IT systems and users. It
includes six main functions: application development, systems support, user support, database
administration, network administration, and web support. These functions overlap considerably and
often have different names in different companies.
transaction processing (TP) system
Operational system used to process day-to-day recurring business
transactions, such as customer billing.
user productivity system
Application that provides employees of all levels a wide array of tools to
improve job performance. Examples include email, word processing, graphics, and company
Stakeholder inside or outside the company who will interact with the system.
A system designed to meet the unique requirements of a specific business or industry, such
as a web-based retailer or auto-supply store.
The traditional model of software development. A graph that depicts the result of each
SDLC phase flowing down into the next phase.
A mechanism used to uniquely identify a person by a retina scan or by mapping a
Refers to the reasons, or justification, for a proposal.
case for action
A part of the preliminary investigation report to management that summarizes project
requests and makes specific recommendations.
computer resources committee
A group of key managers and users responsible for evaluating systems
requests. The term systems review committee is also used.
A requirement or a condition that the system must satisfy or an outcome that the system
critical success factor
Vital objective that must be achieved for the enterprise to fulfill its mission.
customer relationship management (CRM)
Many companies implement systems to integrate all cus-
tomer-related events and transactions including marketing, sales, and customer service activities.
Where management has a choice in implementing a project, they are called discre-
tionary. For example, creating a new report for a user is an example of a discretionary project.
Achieved if the projected benefits of the proposed system outweigh the estimated
costs involved in acquiring, installing, and operating it.
electronic product code (EPC)
Technology that uses RFID tags to identify and monitor the movement
of each individual product, from the factory floor to the retail checkout counter.
electronic proof of delivery (EPOD)
A supplier uses RFID tags on each crate, case, or shipping unit to
create a digital shipping list to verify receipt of goods.
A process where data is coded (converted into unreadable characters) so that only those
with the required authorization can access the data.
An analysis tool that represents the possible causes of a problem as a graphical out-
line. Also called an Ishikawa diagram.
Positive outcome that is difficult to measure in dollars. However, intangible benefits
can be very important in the calculation of economic feasibility. An example of an intangible benefit
might be a new website that improves a company’s image.
Item that is difficult to measure in dollar terms, such as employee dissatisfaction.
The exchange or delivery of information when and where it is needed. For example,
just-in-time inventory systems rely on computer-to-computer data exchange to minimize unnecessary
A document or statement that describes the company for its stakeholders and briefly
states the company’s overall purpose, products, services, and values.
Where management has no choice in implementing a project, it is called nondis-
cretionary. For example, adding a report required by a new federal law.
A system that that will be used effectively after it has been developed.
A vertical bar graph named for a nineteenth-century economist. The bars, which represent
various causes of a problem, are arranged in descending order, so the team can focus on the most
The process by which projects with very general scope definitions expand gradually, with-
out specific authorization.
A specific determination of a project’s boundaries or extent.
A tool used by system analysts to graphically show the correlation between two vari-
ables. Also called an XY chart.
A project can be implemented in an acceptable time frame.
The process of identifying long-term organizational goals, strategies, and resource.
An examination of a company’s strengths (S), weaknesses (W), opportunities (O), and
systems review committee
A group of key managers and users responsible for evaluating systems
requests. The term computer resources committee is sometimes also used.
Positive outcome that can be measured in dollars. It can result from a decrease in
expenses, an increase in revenues, or both.
Expense that has a specific dollar value. Examples include employee salaries and hardware
When an organization has the resources to develop or purchase, install, and operate
total cost of ownership (TCO)
A number used in assessing costs, which includes ongoing support and
maintenance costs, as well as acquisition costs.
A tool used by system analysts to graphically show the correlation between two variables.
Also called a scatter diagram.