A flexible approach to information system development

Niv Ahituv*, Michael Hadass, Seev Neumann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Information Systems Development Life Cycle (ISDLC) is usually treated as a rigid sequence of activities. This article asserts that differences in the nature of development projects should affect the planning of the ISDLC. Two classes of factors affecting the ISDLC are identified: factors relating to the environment and factors relating to the development effort (e.g., in-house development vs. canned software package). Each step along the ISDLC is decomposed into several dimensions relating to the activities that should be performed, the degree of control that should be exerted, to human resources, to other resources, and to the time factor. The relationship between the six dimensions and the two classes of factors are explained. Finally, a practical approach to ISDLC planning is suggested based on a structured procedure and a number of working forms. It assists in preliminary planning of the development process as well as in periodic reviews and revisions whenever the project reaches a certain milestone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalMIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1984


  • Information system development
  • Information systems life cycle


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