The essay will be introduced by describing the user groups, organisation and technology used for the database system in UEL. The first section deals with the introduction of the case study. I shall critically review conventional approach to system development and outlined the applications of the underlying assumptions of different stages of development process in conventional approach. The University of East London (UEL) is the organisation where the potential of information system will be implemented.
Since (UEL) is an academic institution with several campuses namely, Barking, Dockland, Stratford and Duncan House located in different borough. The various desk top computers used by administrative staff, teaching staff and students have to be networked. These will allow users from the different campuses to access relevant information system in the convenience of their offices and learning resource centres. A good information system should be accessible by the associated users, so that no one user is isolated. According to Sundin (1995: 343) “organisations are socially constructed and technology choice ruled by this fact”.
Within the University of East London (UEL) organisation student ID numbers and name is use to linked course units. Units can be located from different campuses but the information is linked using a database system known as delta system. According to Webster (1996:113) “the term ‘office work’ covers distinct jobs: secretarial work, typing work and other kinds of women’s clerical jobs”. The administrative staffs in UEL are usually women, as most of the tasks involved are more of female role. Also most administrative jobs are low paid, and women are most times given the lower paid jobs.
These draw our attention to the issue of gender at work place. According to Webster (1996:33-34) “some categories of work are sexually segregated”. The teaching staffs are the other set of users in information system at UEL. The teaching staff primarily involved in conducting workshop sessions, lectures, seminars, and performed as personal tutors to students etc. The teaching staff will use the system to access and retrieve information about student’s academic records and names of students enlisted to take their subjects. Students are also some of the users of information system.
The students are those that are taking/following the course of study in the University of East London. The teaching staff and students are comprised of people from both genders and all races. The university UEL have an equal representation of both genders within the environment. The students can access and retrieve information about the different units offered in the year through the internet. They can retrieve information about the different campuses, and units offered in each campus, the time and day that the units are offered, as well as whether it is a lecture, seminar or workshop.
Flynn, (1998:415) stated that “systems development process is the process of developing an information system starting from understanding users requirement, through implementing a systems that meets those requirement, to maintaining that system when changes occur”. For this statement to be effective in UEL, various performance need to be carried out such as team effort where different computer specialists, individual and user groups work together to identify user requirement, produce a computer specification, select and integrate computer hardware, write software, test the system, train users and so on.
Many organisations change due to environment factors such as economy and technology and so on (Check E-commerce bk). Conventional approach to system design is based on scientific principles and engineering views. This can be called a waterfall model of development, which involves different stages to flow in system development. This is not seen as a flexible approach. Pain D et al (1993:16) points out that, it is a rather hard scientific orientated way of doing computing, characterised by a range of methodologies such as SSADM.
This type of system development is not usually designed to accommodate changes in system development process; instead it is based on development of an existing system rather than development of a new one. Once the system developers, referred to as the IT experts that are assigned to develop the software pass through a stage in the development process, they often will not go back to it. Conventional approach has a rather rigid system of development. If after feasibility study has been carried out, and the system developers commence with the development process, even if anything goes wrong as is usually the case, it is difficult to go back.