UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Theory and practice of system development methodologies: A conceptual framework.

Fulton, David; (1997) Theory and practice of system development methodologies: A conceptual framework. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D.), University College London. Green open access

[thumbnail of Theory_and_practice_of_system_.pdf] Text

Download (16MB)


This work examines the differences between the theory of information systems analysis and design and commercial practice. The customisation or informal interpretation of methods have in the past been identified as a failure of practitioners to adopt methods of "good practice" or to improve the professionalism of analysis and design work. This thesis argues that failure is a misnomer, and if indeed it is to be used it should be attributed elsewhere; the most suitable candidate being that the theory of the mainstream software engineering discipline, formally embodied in the methodologies that are produced, fails to address some of the complexities of practical systems analysis and design. The most apparent complexity is that methodologies, in the majority of cases, have to be interpreted and customised to reflect the gap between theory and practice. This thesis argues that this gap reflects that the engineering credentials for the software engineering discipline have been built on overly rigid and insecure foundations, and that greater understanding of development practice and the promotion of the engineering credentials of the discipline are mutually compatible goals. The results of some of the most important case studies in this field, together with a comprehensive set of case studies carried out as part of this research, are used to identify some of the factors influencing the interpretation of method and the realisation of development strategy. The results of this research suggest that theory of development practice can be developed. This thesis identifies a number of the determinants for this process, and develops a conceptual framework within which these determinants can be linked. The conceptual framework advances research knowledge in this area by providing both a framework by which case study results can be compared and a framework by which methodology users can understand and in certain places predict the pressures for customisation.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D.
Title: Theory and practice of system development methodologies: A conceptual framework.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10103591
Downloads since deposit
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item