Irrespective of nature of the firm or organization for which and MIS is developed and implemented, the basic process of development ind implementation remains same. Different companies and experts use approaches that may differ slightly from each other, but the core of all these processes remains same. All these approaches are generally called Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) approach.
The key steps involved in this approach are:
- Problem definition
- Feasibility study
- Systems analysis
- Systems design
- Detailed system design
In the problem definition stage, the purpose of the intended MIS is clarified. This can simply be to reduce the total cost of information collection, processing and reporting in the firm. Or it could involve solution of some specific business problem such as reducing the time a customer has to spend in a cheque out counter queue. Depending on the nature and magnitude of problems to be solved the MIS may target just some improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of existing business processes, or may require development of entirely new business processes.
Feasibility study examines the practical feasibility of solving the identified problem and achieving the intended objectives. Output of the feasibility includes the development of a logical model for MIS system.
Systems analysis involves in-depth study of current practices. Based on this study the nature of the business including its requirements, specific features, environment, limitation, possibilities and other important issues are clarified to help in developing a revised MIS. Based on such understanding a proposal for the new MIS is developed. This proposal, which needs to be approved by the management, becomes a primary document specifying the nature of planned MIS, its performance standards, and the time and other resources to be spent on its development and implementation.
System design and the detailed system design is the core of MIS design and developing activities, accounting for major proportion of manpower and other resources spent for MIS design and development. The Overall systems design involves decision on overall specification of hardware configuration, software architecture, database design and data structures. In essence It provides the basic design of the framework for the detailed MIS, at the same time it gives an overall picture of how the MIS will be impact the business processes. The detailed system design then actually develops the software logic to implement the design specified in the overall system design.
Implementation covers the process of coding, testing, and documenting programs to capture, store, process and present information to all the users. Also hardware required for the MIS is procured and installed.All the components of the MIS software and hardware are first tested individually and then as integrated systems.
Another area of implementation is user training. Also there may be need to capture and feed some initial data into the new system to make it operational. Also there may be a period of change over where older system and the New MIS may have to be operated in parallel.
The MIS system developed needs to be maintained throughout its working life to solve any problem faced in operation, and to make minor modifications to improve its utility.