The Strategic of information systems planning is explained below.
We’ll be covering the following topics in this tutorial:
The Ad Doc Approach
This approach towards development of information systems is the worst possible approach as people in the development process are in the process of perpetual fire fighting. There in no plan available and the development work is carried out as per wises of the developer based on his understanding of what the needs of the user should be. The outcome of this kind of approach is a set of systems that are not synchronized or synergized into one system but a host of systems that work in isolation.
The Data Collection Approach
In this approach, all possible data about the need for the system and about the system is collected. This approach assumes that information systems are best developed based on data from all quarters. This results in lack of focus and understanding as the systems development process gets mired unnecessarily into other issues, like projecting the future information requirement in granular detail by the user.
The Organization Chart Approach
In this approach the information system is developed with the organization structure in mind. It assumes that information strictly flows on the basis of organizational structures. Junctions of information exchange are made on an ad hoc basis which complicates the flow of information and brings in redundancy in the system.
Now that we know how not to approach IS development in an organization, let us discuss the appropriate approaches for IS development.
The Top-down Approach
The top-down approach is used to develop IS with the objectives in focus. The objectives of the IS become the most important priority. The objectives are clearly defined in the first step, followed by identification of the activities of the organization. This in turn is followed by the third step in which the decision-making needs of managers within the organization are analyzed and the necessary information flow for facilitating information delivery to managers for decision-making is understood in detail. Once all the details are available, the application is developed. In this type of system the objectives become the mainstay of the system. However, for this kind of system, the requirements from the systems have to be clearly understood upfront to avoid any problems in the development process. This is because the strategy of development is such that the design is not adequately dynamic.
The Bottom-up Approach
In the bottom-up approach, we find out the type of information that is produced in the operational subsystem and then work backward to integrate this with the entire IS structure to have an organization wide impact. In this design, there is more flexibility to change the information system deliverables even during the development process as the individual subsystems are not designed according to the demands of the upper layers as in the case of top-down approach. On the contrary, here the upper layers are integrated with the lower layer subsystems to create the IS. Thus, bottom-up systems can expand in response to real-world changes and needs of the organization.