Sample Essay

After discussing a number of techniques of future analysis and change prediction, the paper focuses on how to incorporate future change into the system.

Many of the future requirements identified using the above techniques can be included in the IS design. Some techniques for incorporating flexibility into the system design include modularity, simple and clear design, data abstraction, clear interfaces, defensive designing and programming and single point control, designing for expansibility, good programming practice, software reusability, human control points (HCPs) and proper and up-to date documentation. Monitoring tools can also be used. There is an ever-increasing array of tools available to help ease the maintaining process. Some perform a library function helping to control the maintenance of large information systems. Others deal with aspects of testing, tracing program flows, or restructuring code, while yet others try to identify inconsistencies. Making cheap throw-away ISs is another option best suited for situations when the environment is highly unpredictable and volatile.

Incorporating change should also be done at the development phase. Although flexibility to incorporate future changes is touched upon in some methodologies in little or more detail, future requirements are not explicitly incorporated in any detail in popular methodologies.

Prototyping (Dearnley and Mayhew, 1983; Agresti, 1991; Avison and Wilson, 1991) is sometimes cited as the answer to the problem of future requirements; however the potential of prototyping in this area might have been exaggerated, as prototyping often translates into rebuilding an IS from scratch. Prototyping does, however, have certain benefits such as aiding communication, reducing uncertainty, giving speed and cost savings, and providing a vehicle for learning and feedback and a focus for attention.

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