A system is a network of interrelated procedures that are joined together to perform an activity or accomplish a specific objective.
It is a collection of components that work together to realize an objective There are several stages of developing e-procurement but the basic principles are the same. The stages range from 4 to 20 stages or phases.
1. Preliminary stage/phases
It is the first stage of system development. This is a brief investigation of the system under consideration and it gives a clear picture of what actually the physical system is. In practice, the initial system involves the preparation of a system proposal which lists the problem definition, objectives of the study, constraints, expected benefits of the new system and many other etc.
2. Feasibility study
In the case, the system proposal is acceptable to the management; the nest phase is to examine the feasibility of the system. Feasibility study is basically the test of the proposed system in the light of the workability, meeting user requirements, effective use of resources and the cost effectiveness. This is categorized a technical feasibility, economical, operational and behavioural feasibility. The main goal of feasibility study is not to solve the problem but to achieve the scope. In the process of feasibility study, the cost and benefit are estimated with greater accuracy to find the returns on the investment.
- Technical feasibility
It involves the required and existing computer system hardware, software and to what extent it can support the proposed application. It answers the following question: Whether the system can be carried out with existing requirement?
If a new technology is required how best can it be implemented?
- Economic feasibility
It involves cost benefit analysis to determine the benefit and savings that are expected from the new system and compared with the cost. If the benefit outweighs the cost, then the decision is made to design and implement the new system.
- Operational feasibility
It concerns with human, organisation and political aspects. It covers technical performance as well acceptance within the organisation.
- Behavioural feasibility
It includes how strong the reaction of staff will be towards the development of new system that involves the use of computers in their daily work. In this stage, resistance to change is identified and enables the managers to develop a new strategy that will foster the change.
3. System analysis
It is the process of collecting factual data, understand the process involved, identify problems and recommend possible suggestions for improving the system functionality. This involves studying the business processes, gathering operational data, understanding the information flow, finding out bottlenecks and evolving solutions for overcoming the weakness of the system so as to achieve the organisation goal. The major objective of the system analyst is to find answers for each business process i.e. what is being done, why is it being done, who is doing it and how can it be improved? It attempts to give birth to the new system that satisfies the current needs if the user and has the scope for future growth within the organisation.
4. System designing
In this process the primary objective is to identify user requirements and to build a system that satisfies these requirements. Design of the system is mainly the logical design that can be sketched on a paper or on a computer. It includes physical design elements that describe the data flow. The process involves the manipulation of data input and output design.
5. System construction/coding
This is where the system is actually built. The system specifications are turned into a working system by writing, testing and in due course documentation of the programmes which will make up the whole system needs to be put together and tested in a whole. This whole stage requires extensive user involvement. The output from this phase consists of detailed programmes and file specification which in total describes exactly how the new system will work.
6. System testing
It tests the system as a whole. Once all the components are integrated, the application as a whole is tested vigorously to see that it meets the specified quality standards.
System testing is important because:
- System testing is the first step in software development testing where the application is tested as a whole.
- The application is tested thoroughly to verify that it meets the functional and technical specification
- The application is tested in an environment that is very close to the production environment where the application will be deployed.