What you need to know:

A responsible and systematic approach to implementing or upgrading IT systems for example, analysis, design, implementation, testing, evaluation, training, policies and standards

'Design cycle' or the 'systems life cycle' are terms for this that you can search for on the web. You would be familiar with the design cycle from MYP Technology. Here are some additional links:


Here is a step by step explanation. An example is given with each step to help explain this.

1. Analyze the situation. Find out what the system needs to accomplish and all of the variables within the system. The designer should also be sure of all times when the system interacts with people and also with the work environment. These are where most errors in systems occur.

At WAB we were looking for School Closure online system where teachers can post lessons and resources for students to work on at home if the school is closed. The system needs to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All students in MS and HS must be able to access the system using their laptops. We would interview teachers, students and the IT department to find out our needs. We may also have to do surveys to families to see if all families have Internet access.

2. Design the system. This step involves taking all of the information from step one and planning the system by beginning to develop algorithms, writing code, and the physical layout or issues and beta-testing (early stage testing during final development).
We would look at what we already have in school and if we can develop the system further. In this case we had a number of system that we could use. For example: (1) photocopying and giving students information booklets in advance; (2) using email; (3) use Moodle. Each had their own advantages and disadvantages. Once we had decided on (3) Moodle, we then had to think about how we could organise this. We decided on the School Closure Forum. We also did some initial testing to make sure that this would work.

3. Implement the system. The system is ready to setup in the workplace and begin operating. When systems are very complex, this could be the time when new bugs arrive due to unforeseen situations.
At this point, as we already had Moodle up and running, all we needed to ensure was that there was a Moodle course for each class, that each course had a school closure learning forum and that all students were registered in the correct courses. However in order to get this working, we needed to train all the staff/teachers to make sure that they knew how to set up a forum, add/delete students from their classes and upload resources.

4 . Test the system. The system is tested, modified, and tested again until the developer determines it is ready to fully implement.
As you were all aware, we tested the system. Students had to log on in class and also at home and send a message from the school learning forum. As you may remember, there was an unforseen problem with the email overload as each time a forum was updated, everyone subscribed to the forum automatically received an email. There were thousands of emails generated and we had to modify the Moodle code to stop this.

5. Developing policies and standards. Management needs to determine a written statement of policy regarding how employees can use of the system that addresses efficiency, safety, consistency with existing policy, and privacy.
As part of the training, we gave out information on how the system was to be used (these could be described as policies). The management also needed to determine when teachers should upload lesson plans, how often students should access Moodle, what type of activities should be uploaded (for example should students be expected to be at their computer and logged into Moodle for all lessons or can the work be done at non-synchronous times?

6. Evaluation. How well does the system work? Monitoring the system occurs over a variety of situations and a specific time frame to see if any further training or modifications are need after full implementation.
As we have not yet had a school closure, we cannot tell how effective the system is. However we should look at further testing and training to make sure that all stakeholders are ready.