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Successful information systems evolve over time. They are constantly being improved, modified, and expanded as the work in the organization changes, data and technology change, external pressures and opportunities cause the organization to change, and users become more and more computer savvy. No longer are systems simple and single purpose. They are complex, and they grow more complex over time as their “lives” go on. This “life” of a system consists of many stages, beginning with an idea and ending with implementation and eventual use. This process is known as the system development life cycle.

The typical life cycle of a system begins with a seed: an idea. Someone in the organization, some “champion” perhaps, initiates the idea that a new technology or computer application ...

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