Planning, Design, and Implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning
Understand the information systems development process for enterprise systems, including
planning, design, and implementation.
In this chapter, you will learn about the traditional approach to information systems design and
how it compares with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems design. ERP design and
implementation differs from traditional systems development. In ERP design, the organization
acquires a packaged software system that defines processes and practices for the business. The
main challenge in implementing ERP is whether to change the organization’s business processes
to fit the software or whether to modify the software to fit the organization’s business processes.
In this chapter, you will learn about the trade-offs involved in re-engineering business processes
to fit the software versus customizing the software.
Traditional Systems Development
The traditional systems development life cycle included the phases of problem definition,
feasibility study, systems analysis, systems design, detailed design, implementation, and
maintenance (see Table 3-1). In systems analysis, the analyst undertakes a detailed analysis of
the current system, using tools and techniques, such as process models and data models. Using
these models, the systems designer analyzes bottlenecks, duplication of effort, inconsistencies,
and other problems with the current system.
The fundamental approach used in traditional systems development is to analyze the current
system’s shortcomings and to develop a “new” system, which builds in changes in processes and
data that will support the firm’s business requirements. The rationale is that automating the
current system is counterproductive because the current system may have problems, including
redundant processes, insufficient data, and inefficient workflow. The systems design process
provides an opportunity to reengineer or re-invent the current system prior to automating it. The
systems design process seeks to assure logical database design prior to detailed design, during
which the specifications for the physical system are developed (e.g., output design, input design).
Once the physical design specifications are set, then the system is programmed, tested, and
The problem with the traditional systems development life cycle is that it takes too much time
and costs too much. The traditional life cycle follows a ‘waterfall” approach, in which there is a
sequence of steps, starting with planning and analysis to be followed by design, detailed design,
and implementation. Since the mid-1980s, corn- panics have been seeking faster methods of
developing information systems.