• Designing a solution is the transformation of
the specifications into appropriate hardware,
software and information processes.
• It involves:
• purchasing hardware
• writing or purchasing software
• specifying information processes
• Participant development occurs when people
within the information system develop the
• Participant development became a solution
because IT personnel were often unable to
provide immediate service.
• The stages of the system development cycle
are affected by participant development in the
• Understanding the problem—participant
identifies the problem. Information system
personnel might be used to advise the
participant on possible tools to solve the
• Making decisions—participant chooses an
• Designing solutions—participant develops
the solution, often using guided processes
found in application packages. The
participant may require some training
• Implementation—participant begins using
the system. This stage is often easier to
accomplish with participant development
than with a system developed by information
system personnel as the participant is
familiar with the application and does not
require further training.
• Testing, evaluating and maintaining—
participant is totally responsible for the
maintenance and testing of the solution and
determining if any changes need to be made
to the solution.
• Participant development is more responsive
to participant needs
• Potential to save money
• less need for IT staff
• less time wasted on communication between
participants and IT specialists
• Participants are NOT hardware experts
• Different participants within an organisation
could choose different applications
• Increased costs in terms or purchasing and
• Increased access to data leads to greater
• Design tools assist in the development of a new
• They include:
• context diagrams
• data flow diagrams
• system flowcharts
• decision trees
• decision tables
• data dictionaries
• Context diagrams are graphical methods of
representing systems by using only a single
process together with inputs and outputs.
• The input and output sources are also called
• The external entities are linked to the single
process through data flow arrows.
• Data flow diagrams are graphical methods of
representing a system that use a number of
processes together with inputs, outputs and
• DFD’s focus on the flows of data between
information processes in a system.
• They show where data is:
• There are four main symbols”
• data flow
• data store
• external entity
• To draw a DFD, start with the processes and
use data flows to link them to data stores and
• The limitation of context diagrams and DFD’s
is that, while they identify basic structures,
they do not show sequences of operations or
decisions that are required.
• Many information processes that occur are
determined by various decisions.
• Two tools used to display and analyse
decisions are decision trees and decision tables.
• A decision tree is a diagrammatic way of
representing all possible combinations of
decisions and their resultant actions.
• A decision table is a table that represents all
possible conditions and actions.
• The table is divided vertically into conditions
and actions, and horizontally into rules.
• A data dictionary describes the data within a
• A data dictionary describes each field in a
• It clarifies characteristics such as:
• field name
• field size
• data type
• A system flowchart is a graphical means of
representing both the flow of data and the logic
of a system.
• It documents such things as:
• the sequence
• the processes
• the selection rules and actions
• the hardware used