IMS5006 Information systems development practices - Semester 2 , 2006 unit guide

Semester 2, 2006

Chief Examiner

Dr Peta Darke


Caulfield : Dr Peta Darke


This unit is designed to provide students with an understanding of a range of approaches to systems development and knowledge of a number of specific systems development methodologies. The main topics include the evolution of systems development methodologies, frameworks for evaluating and selecting methodologies, the organisational context in which systems development takes place, productivity and quality improvement strategies, and a number of systems development approaches. These include participative development, soft systems approaches, object-oriented development, structured systems development approaches, data and information-oriented approaches, and rapid application development.


At the completion of this unit students should have knowledge and understanding of:

C1. The fundamental concepts relevant to systems development approaches

C2. The role and use of systems development methodologies

C3. A number of widely-used and influential systems development methodologies

C4. Approaches to evaluating and selecting systems development methodologies

C5. Organisational issues relevant to the use of systems development methodologies

C6. The role of sound project management principles and practice in systems development

Attitudes, Values and Beliefs

A1. Attitudes which allow you to recognise the usefulness and appropriateness of particular approaches to systems development

A2. Attitudes which allow you to consider the suitability of a particular methodology in a given systems development situation

Practical Skills

P1. Have the skills to compare particular systems development methodologies

P2. Have the skills to evaluate and select systems development methodologies appropriate to particular organisational contexts and development environments

Relationships, Communication and TeamWork

S1. An appreciation of the skills required to communicate and work within a systems development project team


Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed IMS9001 and IMS9003, or equivalent. You should have knowledge of Systems analysis and design knowledge and skills (IMS9001). Database design and implementation knowledge and skills (IMS9003).

Unit relationships

IMS5006 is an elective unit in the Master of Information Management and Systems.

Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed IMS9001, IMS9003, or equivalent. You should have systems analysis and design knowledge and skills (IMS9001) and database design and implementation knowledge and skills (IMS9003).

You may not study this unit and IMS3230 in your degree.


Texts and software

Required text(s)

Avison, D.E. & Fitzgerald, G. (2003). Information Systems Development: Methodologies, Techniques and Tools (3rd edn). London: McGraw-Hill.

Textbook availability

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Software requirements

There is no software requirement.

Hardware requirements

Students may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook.

Recommended reading

Avison, D.E., Kendall, J.E. and DeGross, J.I.  (eds) (1993). Human, Organizational, and Social Dimensions of Information Systems Development. Elsevier, North-Holland.

Ancona, D.G., Kochan, T. A., Van Maanen, J., Westney, D.E., and Scully, M.A. (2003) Managing for the Future:Organizational Behaviour and Processes, South-Western Pub., NY.

Bahrami, A. 1999. Object Oriented Systems Development: Using the Unified Modelling Language. Irwin McGraw-Hill, Boston MA.

Checkland, P.B. and Scholes, J. 1990. Soft Systems Methodology in Action John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, England.

Fowler, M. (1997) UML Distilled: Applying the Standard Object Modelling Language Addison-Wesley, MA.

Hoffer, J.A., George, J.F. and Valacich, J.S. (1999) Modern Systems Analysis and Design, (2nd edition) Addison-Wesley, Reading MA, USA.

Kolb, D.A., Rubin, I.M. and Osland, J. (1995). Organisational Behaviour: An Experiential    Approach. (6th ed) Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs.

Schermerhorn, J.R., Hunt, J.G. and Osborn, R.N. (2000). Managing Organizational Behavior. (7th ed). Wiley,  New York.            

Sprague, R.H. and McNurlin, B.C. (1993). Information Systems Management in Practice (3rd ed). Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs.

White, E., Fischer, L. (eds) (1994) New Tools For New Times: The Workflow Paradigm: The Impact Of Information Technology on Business Process Reengineering Future Strategies Alameda, Calif.

Library access

You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

Study resources

Study resources for IMS5006 are:

The IMS5006 web site is where lecture slides, weekly tutorial requirements, assignment specifications, sample solutions and supplementary material will be posted.

Unit website

Structure and organisation

Week Topics Key Dates
1 Introduction
2 Atructured approaches
3 SSADM, Information Engineering
4 OO approaches
6 SSM cont.
7 Participative approaches
8 Participative approaches cont.
9 CASE tools, prototyping Assignment 1 due
10 RAD, outsourcing
Non teaching week
11 Organisational themes
12 Frameworks Assignment 2 due
13 Revisions


The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


Assessment weighting

Assessment for the unit consists of 2 assignments with a weighting of 50% and an examination with a weighting of 50%. Read this section VERY carefully.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

The 40% rule applies to units and determines the final result for a student where the student's performance in either the examination or assignment component of the unit is unsatisfactory. Students need to be aware of the 40% rule which is:

In order to pass a unit, a student must gain all of the following:

•·         at least 40% of the marks available for the examination component, if any: i.e. the final examination and any tests performed under exam conditions, taken as a whole

•·         at least 40% of the marks available for the assignment component: i.e. the assignments and any other assessment tasks (such as presentations) taken as a whole

•·         at least 50% of the total marks for the unit.

Where a student gains less than 40% for either the examination or assignment component, the final result for the unit will be no greater than ‘44-N'.

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

addition of the marks available for the examination component, if any: i.e. the final examination and any tests performed under exam conditions, taken as a whole


the marks available for the assignment component: i.e. the assignments and any other assessment tasks (such as presentations) taken as a whole


Where a student gains less than 40% for either the examination or assignment component, the final result for the unit will be no greater than ‘44-N'.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Due Date Weighting
Assignment 1 Week 9 35%
Assignment 2 Week 12 15 %
The exam is 3 hours long and is closed book. Exam period (S2/06) starts on 23/10/06 50 %

Assignment specifications will be made available on the IMS5006 unit website assignment page.

Assignment Submission

Assignments will be submitted by paper submission your tutor. On-campus Students Submit the assignment to the tutor with the appropriate cover sheet correctly filled out and attached . The due date is the date by which the submission must be received.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date submitted without an approved extension may be accepted (up to one week late) at the discretion of your lecturer, but will be penalised at the rate of 10% of total assignment marks per day (including weekends). Example:

Total marks available for the assignment = 100 marks
Marks received for the assignment = 70 marks
Marks deducted for 2 days late submission (20% of 100) = 20 marks
Final mark received for assignment = 50 marks 

This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

If you believe that your assignment will be delayed because of circumstances beyond your control such as illness, you should apply for an extension prior to the due date. All applications for extensions must be made in writing to your lecturer. Medical certificates or other supporting documentation will be required.


Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

Grade Percentage/description
HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

Assignment return

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.


Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


Communication methods

Contact your tutor in the first instance.


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the Notices Newsgroup in the Unit Website. Check this regularly. Failure to read the Notices newsgroup is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

Consultation Times

Consultation times can be made by appointment outside the published consultation times.

If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

Dr Peta Darke
Senior Lecturer
Phone +61 3 990 32416

All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Aug 3, 2006