Agile Information Systems

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ISD refers to incremental and iterative approaches used in software development performed by collaborative manner through self-organizing teams that produce quality software that is cost-effective as well as timely delivery. Development of information systems has remained an issue to practitioners and academicians. The development of information systems require integration of beliefs, cultures, concepts collection as well as follow of normative principles. In past decades rationale behind brand-named ISDs and structured agile information systems has raised questions about IT-oriented, complex and inappropriate post-modern organizations that use distinctive features in developing of information systems (Nunamaker 1990. P. 91). Avison & Fitzgerald (2006) suggest that the emergence of new technologies has caused a change in process and development of information systems changing their components from traditional to modern. The demand for information systems in fields of medicine, science, corporations, and business has caused changes in the development of agile information systems.  In relation to the development of agile information systems, Esther Schindler indicates “Speech will become more and more a part of computing, and as it does so, the lines between “getting work done” and conscious computing will blur.  The speed at which this change will occur will be based on the rate at which the technology becomes cheaper, faster, smaller, more efficient, and solves people’s problems.  As the various schools of computer speech technology improve in what they can do within their own field, (faster and more accurate speech recognition, or more understandable speech synthesis, for example), they will have to, and will, converge their technologies into more products and ever more useful ones” (Tumbas, 2006, p 19).  Based on Esther response in regards to the development of agile information systems, this paper, therefore, focuses on examining various characteristics of agile information systems alongside the benefits they accrue to various stakeholders such as customers, ISD team, and organizations that use Agile information systems. Also, the paper gives a comparison of traditional ISD. Individual and interaction for tools and processes: programmers dot work alone in their cubicles but works together program pairs in a “high-interaction environment.” This ensures ISD focus rigorously delivering business value through tested and measured software. 

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  1. Adaptive planning responsive to changes agile information systems insists on up-front planning that should be held in an accountable manner for all the resources that are used in the development of information systems. The plan must be continuous and demonstrating accuracy of ISD. Adaptive planning allows the continuous evolution of agile information systems so as to incorporate latest technologies in development. On the other hand, while traditional development is characterized by the use of prototypes that are characterized by period design therefore not producing desired outcomes (Okoli, 2012, p.157). This characteristic benefit to Agile ISD is that it allows adaptive changes in plan, therefore, reducing the time taken in developing SDLC projects in the organization as well as producing credible results
  2. Collaborations with customers over the negotiation of contracts; agile information systems emphasize on the collaboration of end users throughout the project life. XP recommends non-technical customers to be representative as well as permanent. The collaboration feature ensures across a wide spectrum of unit lengths. The relative approximation evaluates the approximate multiples used in ISD.  This characteristic help in achieving normal size ISD through balancing the ratios that grant quality ISD. On the other hand, traditional ISD is characterized by traditional development doesn’t emphasize on user collaboration during development thereby reducing project life. The benefit of customer collaboration instead of negotiation contracts help in maintaining long project life thus achieving goals of organization and users
  3. Working software instead of comprehensive documentation; agile information system requires working software used in regular periods and the works to be documented. Working software systems requires continuous testing as a deterministic measure of determining the progress of ISD. This characteristic also allows “test-and-fix” of information systems that deem to be faulty during the development process. Continuous testing ensures all the components necessary in ISD used appropriately so as to achieve reliable information systems. On the other hand, traditional development doesn’t produce software due to the reliance on documentation rather than working software. This characteristic of working software rather than comprehensive documentation increases the productivity of the systems as well as incorporating an aspect of accountability in organizations.
  4. Agile ISD focuses on the interaction of individual that is a programmer with tools for development through the high-integration environment. On the other hand, traditional ISD focus on single pairs of XP program thereby not producing efficient outcome due to lack of interaction environment. This characteristic benefit is that it enables individuals interaction with tools and processes the programmers thereby able to design systems that are user-friendly as well as creating an interactive environment in the organizations

In conclusion, Agile ISD characteristics promote the development of information systems through the use of modern technologies. Agile ISD integrates various processes that create a working system that can support the user, organization, and team needs. Therefore, Agile ISD incorporates new technology in information system development thus developing reliable software. 

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  1. Power, D.J., Sharda, R. and Burstein, F., 2015. Decision support systems. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  2. Okoli, C. and Carillo, K., 2012. The best of adaptive and predictive methodologies: Open source software development, a balance between agility and discipline. International Journal of Information Technology and Management11(1-2), pp.153-166.
  3. Tumbas, P. and Matkovic, P., 2006. Agile vs. traditional methodologies in developing information systems. Management Information Systems1(2006), pp.15-24.
  4. Nunamaker Jr, J.F., Chen, M. and Purdin, T.D., 1990. Systems development in information systems research. Journal of management information systems7(3), pp.89-106.
  5. Association for Computing Machinery, 1994. ACM transactions on computer-human interaction.
  6. Avison, D., Fitzgerald, G., 2006, in IFIP International Federation for Information Processing, Volume 214, The Past and Future of Information Systems: 1976-2006 and Beyond, eds. Avison, D., Elliot, S., Krogstie, J., Pries-Heje, J., (Boston: Springer), pp. 27-38.
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