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IMS5006 Information systems development practices - Summer semester , 2007

Unit leader :

David Grant

Lecturer(s) :


  • David Grant


Welcome to IMS5006 Information Systems Development Practices. IMS5006 aims to provide students with knowledge of fundamental concepts relevant to systems development and knowledge of a number of widely-used and influential systems development approaches.

Unit synopsis

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.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

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


This is a six point unit which, according to University guidelines, would normally require you to spend 12 hours per week (a total of at least 156 hours per semester). It is expected that students will spend a similar amount of time for each lecture topic presented.
A reasonable minimum allocation of workload is:
•    2 hours per lecture topic
•    1 hour per tutorial supporting each lecture topic
•    7 hours per lecture topic for exam preparation and assignment preparation
•    2 hours per lecture topic research reading

This effectively equates to 24 hours per week. 

Unit relationships


Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed

{FIT9003, FIT9006} or {IMS9001, IMS9003} or equivalent.

You should have knowledge of

Systems analysis and design knowledge and skills (IMS9001). Database design and implementation knowledge and skills (IMS9003).


IMS5006 is a elective unit in the systems development specialisation of the Master of Information Systems (MIMS) degree.

You may not study this unit and

SYS4230, SYS3230, IMS3230

in your degree.

Continuous improvement

Monash is committed to ‘Excellence in education' and strives for the highest possible quality in teaching and learning. To monitor how successful we are in providing quality teaching and learning Monash regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. Two of the formal ways that you are invited to provide feedback are through Unit Evaluations and through Monquest Teaching Evaluations.

One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through Unit Evaluation Surveys. It is Monash policy for every unit offered to be evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys as they are an important avenue for students to "have their say". The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

Student Evaluations

The Faculty of IT administers the Unit Evaluation surveys online through the my.monash portal, although for some smaller classes there may be alternative evaluations conducted in class.

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to http://www.monash.edu.au/unit-evaluation-reports/

Over the past few years the Faculty of Information Technology has made a number of improvements to its courses as a result of unit evaluation feedback. Some of these include systematic analysis and planning of unit improvements, and consistent assignment return guidelines.

Monquest Teaching Evaluation surveys may be used by some of your academic staff this semester. They are administered by the Centre for Higher Education Quality (CHEQ) and may be completed in class with a facilitator or on-line through the my.monash portal. The data provided to lecturers is completely anonymous. Monquest surveys provide academic staff with evidence of the effectiveness of their teaching and identify areas for improvement. Individual Monquest reports are confidential, however, you can see the summary results of Monquest evaluations for 2006 at http://www.adm.monash.edu.au/cheq/evaluations/monquest/profiles/index.html

Unit staff - contact details

Unit leader

Mr David Grant
Sessional Academic Staff Member
Phone +61 3 990 34326

Contact hours : By appointment - email or phone

Lecturer(s) :

Mr David Grant
Sessional Academic Staff Member
Phone +61 3 990 34326

Contact hours : By Appointment - email or phone

Teaching and learning method

A twice-weekly 2 hour lecture

A twice-weekly 1 hour tutorial - discussion and self-directed research

Two individual assignments

A two hour exam

Communication, participation and feedback

Monash aims to provide a learning environment in which students receive a range of ongoing feedback throughout their studies. You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This may take the form of group feedback, individual feedback, peer feedback, self-comparison, verbal and written feedback, discussions (on line and in class) as well as more formal feedback related to assignment marks and grades. You are encouraged to draw on a variety of feedback to enhance your learning.

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem that is affecting your study. Semesters are 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.

Summer semester dates

Key dates for units offered over the summer period vary widely. Please note the following important information with respect to the dates applying to this unit offering.

Start of teaching:        5/12/07

End-of-year close:    20/12/07 

University re-opens:     2/1/08 

Finish of teaching:      25/1/08 

Note: David Grant will be unavailable from 20/12/07 to 1/1/08 

Unit Schedule

Week Topic References/Readings Key dates
1 1.Introduction; concepts and overview of systems development; 2. Structured approaches: traditional SDLC, Structured Analysis Chaps. 1, 2; Chaps. 3, 20  
2 3. Blended approaches (data and processes): SSADM, Information Engineering; 4. Object-oriented approaches Chap. 21.1, 21.3; Chaps. 6.4, 22  
3 5.Soft systems approaches: SSM Chaps. 4.1, 25.1  
4 6. SSM (continued). 7. Paticipative approaches: ETHICS Chaps. 4.1, 25.1; Chap. 24.1 Assignment 1 due 3/1/08
5 8. People themes in ISD; 9. Quality and productivity in systems development: CASE tools, prototyping Chaps.1, 5, 16; Chaps. 8.3, 19, 8.1, 7.1, 7.2  
6 10. Quality and productivity in systems development: RAD, application packages, outsourcing; 11. Organisational themes Chaps. 7.3, 23.1, 9; Chaps. 4.2-4.6, 15  
7 12. Frameworks for comparing ISDMs; 13. Revision Chaps. 26, 27,28  
8     Assignment 2 due 1/2/08

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings

Avison, D.E. & Fitzgerald, G. (2006). Information Systems Development: Methodologies, Techniques and Tools (4th edn). London: McGraw-Hill.

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.

Recommended text(s) and readings

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, USA.

Checkland, P.B. 1993. Systems Thinking, Systems Practice. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, England.
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.

Henderson-Sellers, B. (1992). A Book of Object-Oriented Knowledge. Prentice-Hall, NY.

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.

There is also an extensive bibliography in the prescribed text.
Other references as supplied in lectures.

Equipment and consumables required or provided

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. You will need to allocate up to 4 hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Study resources

Study resources we will provide for your study are:

To access unit web site login to MUSO.
Lecture notes/PowerPoint slides, Tutorial sheets, Assignment specifications,  announcements and other relevant materials will be posted on the web site each week.

Library access

The Monash University Library site contains details about borrowing rights and catalogue searching. To learn more about the library and the various resources available, please go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

Monash University Studies Online (MUSO)

All unit and lecture materials are available through MUSO (Monash University Studies Online). Blackboard is the primary application used to deliver your unit resources.

You can access MUSO and Blackboard via the portal (http://my.monash.edu.au).

Click on the Study and enrolment tab, then Blackboard under the MUSO learning systems.

In order for your Blackboard unit(s) to function correctly, your computer needs to be correctly configured.

For example :

  • Blackboard supported browser
  • Supported Java runtime environment

For more information, please visit


You can contact the MUSO Support by: Phone: (+61 3) 9903 1268

For further contact information including operational hours, please visit


Further information can be obtained from the MUSO support site:



Unit assessment policy

In order to pass a unit, a student must gain all of the following:
•    at least 50% of the total marks for the unit
•    at least 40% of the marks available for the every deliverable component including the exam

In order to obtain a credit/distinction/high distinction for this unit, a student must gain the following:
•    at least 60/70/80% of the total marks for the unit
•    at least 50% of the marks available for the every deliverable component including the exam

Assignment tasks

  • Assignment Task
    Title :
    Assignment 1
    Description :
    Individual assignment - Approaches to ISD
    Weighting :
    Criteria for assessment :
    Specific tasks and marking criteria will be provided to students during week 1 of the summer semester classes.
    Due date :
  • Assignment Task
    Title :
    Assignment 2
    Description :
    Individual assignment - Critical Review
    Weighting :
    Criteria for assessment :
    Specific tasks and marking criteria will be provided to students during week 1 of the summer semester classes.
    Due date :


  • Examination
    Weighting :
    Length :
    2 hours
    Type ( open/closed book ) :
    Closed book

Assignment submission

Unless otherwise instructed, all assignments are to be submitted to your tutor during a specified tutorial. Assignments will also be returned during specified tutorials or at specifed times.

Assignment coversheets

All assignments should include an appropriate signed FIT assignment cover page. Assignments submitted without an appropriate signed FIT assignment cover page will NOT be assessed. See the FIT web site for downloadable (PDF) copies of FIT assignment cover pages.  

(URL: http://infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/assignments/

University and Faculty policy on assessment

Due dates and extensions

The due dates for the submission of assignments are given in the previous section. Please make every effort to submit work by the due dates. 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. Students are advised to NOT assume that granting of an extension is a matter of course.

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.

Late assignment

Late assignments submitted without an approved extension may be accepted (up to one week late) at the discretion of the lecturer, but will be penalised at the rate of 10% of total assignment marks per day (including weekends). Assignments received later than one week after the due date will not normally be accepted.

Return dates

Students can expect assignments to be returned within two weeks of the submission date or after receipt, whichever is later.

Assessment for the unit as a whole is in accordance with the provisions of the Monash University Education Policy at http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/assessment/

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

Plagiarism, cheating and collusion

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 (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/about/committees-groups/facboard/policies/studrights.html) 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.

Register of counselling about plagiarism

The university requires faculties to keep a simple and confidential register to record counselling to students about plagiarism (e.g. warnings). The register is accessible to Associate Deans Teaching (or nominees) and, where requested, students concerned have access to their own details in the register. The register is to serve as a record of counselling about the nature of plagiarism, not as a record of allegations; and no provision of appeals in relation to the register is necessary or applicable.

Non-discriminatory language

The Faculty of Information Technology is committed to the use of non-discriminatory language in all forms of communication. Discriminatory language is that which refers in abusive terms to gender, race, age, sexual orientation, citizenship or nationality, ethnic or language background, physical or mental ability, or political or religious views, or which stereotypes groups in an adverse manner. This is not meant to preclude or inhibit legitimate academic debate on any issue; however, the language used in such debate should be non-discriminatory and sensitive to these matters. It is important to avoid the use of discriminatory language in your communications and written work. The most common form of discriminatory language in academic work tends to be in the area of gender inclusiveness. You are, therefore, requested to check for this and to ensure your work and communications are non-discriminatory in all respects.

Students with disabilities

Students with disabilities that may disadvantage them in assessment should seek advice from one of the following before completing assessment tasks and examinations:

Deferred assessment and special consideration

Deferred assessment (not to be confused with an extension for submission of an assignment) may be granted in cases of extenuating personal circumstances such as serious personal illness or bereavement. Special consideration in the awarding of grades is also possible in some circumstances. Information and forms for Special Consideration and deferred assessment applications are available at http://www.monash.edu.au/exams/special-consideration.html. Contact the Faculty's Student Services staff at your campus for further information and advice.