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Title: Innovation of a design method (MoIST) that incorporates non-traditional 'soft' systems science into traditional 'hard' information systems design
Author: Nwako, Judith
ISNI:       0000 0001 3450 9436
Awarding Body: University of Huddersfield
Current Institution: University of Huddersfield
Date of Award: 2007
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The research explores ways of making the information systems development process more effective. The thesis documents an original design method. This is the method of incorporating Systems thinking into Information Systems Design (MoIST). The thesis demonstrates that MoIST improves information systems design and adds to the effective arsenal of methods that already exist. The Computer Science literature has identified some weaknesses in the software development methodologies. These weaknesses include premature design decisions taken before major requirements are known. Another is the dearth of options for applying Systems Science and information systems design techniques in a UMLbased context. It was found that these weaknesses sometimes resulted in software failures. These findings have been confirmed in the empirical and the evaluation portion of the research. The essence of the thesis is that appropriate software development strategies may be chosen at various points in a project. The choice of strategy is based upon the value of particular factors. These factors include confidence in requirements, development environment structuredness, user types and developer types. In order to achieve the research aims, the MoIST is utilised to preserve the methodological strengths of the hard systems engineering paradigm. It simultaneously attempts to minimise its weaknesses by combining it with a systems science approach called Soft Systems Methodology (SSM). The research incorporates this non-traditional ‘soft’ Systems Thinking into traditional ‘hard’ Information Systems Design. The two main contributions of the thesis are the transformation of SSM conceptual models into UML use case diagrams and activity diagrams. Another is the creation of MoIST Project Option Selection Tool (MoPros). This MoIST method has been tested empirically by utilising it in a complex, unstructured setting in a School of Computing and Engineering. Based on the theoretical and practical work conducted, it is concluded that the MoIST method is effective in several ways. It provides coherence and structure to complex software projects and can help to facilitate decisions about improvement strategies. It also successfully incorporates the results of SSM analysis into requirement specification based on the UML. The MoIST method is offered as a viable option to add to the existing development alternatives for successful software development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Q Science (General) ; QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science