Specifying, choosing and implementing computer systems

Stage 5 - Establish technology

Having chosen, or designed, the system, the technology infrastructure (PCs, servers, wiring, EPOS terminals) should be defined and a plan drawn up for the required implementation. (Further detail is outside the scope of this book).

The hardware should be installed as soon as possible, in order that it can be tested alongside the software.

Stage 6 - Make the system available to users

In practice this stage will run in parallel with stage 7, which involve documenting the system. It should be complete before user acceptance testing (stage 8) starts. It is an important stage because the earlier users can try out the system, the earlier problems can be found and corrected. It should also give users more confidence in the system.

The aim is to start with a small core of representative users who have been involved in the selection process and gradually increase the number until all users are involved.

Whether the system is purchased, or being developed in house, users should be encouraged to experiment and try out all the scenarios the system will have to handle. Ideally they should note what they do and the results. Tell them that it doesn’t matter if they crash the system; just remember how they did it!

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