What is a METHODOLOGY

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What is a METHODOLOGY
The term is not well defined either in the litterature or by
practitioners, but here is some definitions
” a methodology is a collection of procedures, techniques,
tools and documentation aids, supported by a philosophy,
which will help the systems developers in their efforts to
implement a new information system” (Avison and
Fitzgerald)
”a set of principels of method which in any particular
situation has to be reduced to a method uniquely suited
to that particular situation ” (Checkland)
What does a methodology consist
of
” A methodology will consist of phases,
themselves consisting of sub-phases,
which will guide the system developers in
their choice of techniques that might be
appropriate at each stage of the project
and also help manage, control and
evaluate system projects”
Avison and Fitzgerald

It is more than a collection of tools and
techniques
 It should specify:
- Stages into which a project should be
broken down
- Tasks for each stage
- Outputs produced(for each task and stage)
- Support tools to use
- How project is to be managed and
controlled
 All encompassed in a philosphy

The objectives of a metholodology
are to:






Record accurately the requirements for an
information system.
Provide a systematic method of development in
such a way that progress can be effectively
monitored.
Provide an information system within an
appropriate time limit and an acceptable cost.
Produce a system which is well documented and
easy to maintain.
Identify any necessary changes in the
development process
Provide a usable system
Why a methodology

A better end product
- use of any methodology better than
none at all.
- aim to improve
- acceptability to the user
- cohesiveness
- standards for dokumentation
- maintability
A better development process
 A standardised process

Remember that methodologies have limitations.
- Generel purpose or specific environment
- May cover one or more aspects of the
development system
- If results can’t be reproduced what is wrong? The
methodology or the process
- - -
Comparison of methodologies.


Why compare???????
Academic reason: to understand the nature
of methodologies and to improve them.
- discover real differences between
them.
- discover compability between
methods.
- discover weeknesses in methods
- uncover false assumptions about
methodes.
Practical reason: to aid selection for
project/group of projects/organisation.
 Problems with comparison ( different
methodologies and the phases they
cover)
 Terminological confusion
 Methodologies are moving targets.

Avison and Fitzgeralds framework
for comparison

Philosophy ( principels)
a) Paradigm ( a specific way of thinking
about the problems).
b) Objectives (the purpose of the system)
c) Domain ( make a top down analysis of
the organisation, find the strategic
requirements and make sure, that the
system solve these fundamental
requirements.




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Model (wiew of the world)
Techniques and tools
Scope (stages of lifecycles – how many
phases is covered)
Output
Practice
- Background
- User base
- Participants
Product.
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