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Ms Chris Gonsalvez
Associate Head of School
Phone: +61 3 990 32554

Lecturer(s) / Leader(s):


Ms Gail Bourne

Unit synopsis

This unit is designed to provide students with an understanding of a range of tools and techniques for systems development and knowledge of a number of specific systems development methodologies. The main topics include the tools and techniques for systems development, the evaluation of the tools and techniques, evolution of development methodologies, the organisational context in which systems development takes place and a number of systems development approaches. These include participative development, soft systems approaches, object-oriented development, structured systems development approaches, data and information-oriented approaches and rapid application development.

Learning outcomes

At the conclusion of this unit students will:

  1. Understand the evolution of systems development methodologies;
  2. Understand the tools and techniques that are used in the development of information systems;
  3. Be able to select appropriate tools and/or techniques for the development of information systems;
  4. Understand the strategies that are used to improve productivity and quality during systems development;
  5. Understand the organisational context within which systems development takes place;
  6. Be able to evaluate and critique different system development methodologies

Contact hours

3 hrs/week


Workload commitments for FIT5111 are:

  • 2 hour lecture
  • 1 hour tutorial
  • 3 hours of personal study per one hour of contact time in order to satisfy the reading and assignment expectations 

Unit relationships




SYS4230, SYS3230, IMS5006, IMS5024, IMS3230


FIT5111 is a core unit in the Enterprise Systems professional track of the Master of Business Information Systems (MBIS) and its predecessor courses (MIMS and MBusSys), and an elective unit for other MBIS students and students from other graduate courses within FIT.

Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed FIT9003, or equivalent.

You may not study this unit and SYS4230, SYS3230, IMS5006, IMS5024, IMS3230 (translation set IMS5006) in your degree.

Teaching and learning method

Timetable information

For information on timetabling for on-campus classes please refer to MUTTS, http://mutts.monash.edu.au/MUTTS/

Tutorial allocation

On-campus students should register for tutorials/laboratories using the Allocate+ system: http://allocate.cc.monash.edu.au/

Unit Schedule

Week Topic Key dates
1 Introduction, Overview of systems development concepts -tradtional SDLC; evolution of system development approaches  
2 Comparing, selecting and adopting ISD methodologies; frameworks  
3 ISD methodologies - Structured systems analysis and design (SSADM) and Information engineering  
4 ISD methodologies -Object-oriented development approaches  
5 ISD methodologies -Soft systems approaches  
6 ISD methodologies - Effective Technical Human Implementaion of Computer Systems Critical review due
7 Organisational themes in IS development approaches  
8 People themes in IS development approaches  
9 Improving quality and productivity : CASE tools; Participative development approaches - JAD; Prototyping; RAD  
10 Improving quality and productivity : Participative development - Agile methods  
Mid semester break
11 Improving quality and productivity : External development - application packages, out sourcing, off shoring Evaluation due /presentations in tutorials
12 New delivery methods and issues: web development, software as a service; reusable frameworks, cloud computing Tutorial portfolio due
13 Summary and review  

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings

Avison, D.E. & Fitzgerald, G. (2006). Information Systems Development: Methodologies, Techniques and Tools (4th edn). London: McGraw-Hill.

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Recommended text(s) and readings

Appropriate readings and references will be provided on the unit website during the semester.

Required software and/or hardware

Students will be required to use word processing to finalise their assignments.

Equipment and consumables required or provided

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the Faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to 2 hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Study resources

Study resources we will provide for your study are:

  • Unit guide
  • The FIT5111 website on Muso where lecture slides, weekly tutorial requirements, assignment specifications and supplementary material will be posted.



Examination (2 hour): 50%; Assignments: 50%

Faculty assessment policy

To pass a unit which includes an examination as part of the assessment a student must obtain:

  • 40% or more in the unit's examination, and
  • 40% or more in the unit's total non-examination assessment, and
  • an overall unit mark of 50% or more.

If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination total assessment, and the total mark for the unit is greater than 44% then a mark of no greater than 44-N will be recorded for the unit.

Assignment tasks

Assignment coversheets

Assignment coversheets are available via "Student Forms" on the Faculty website: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/
You MUST submit a completed coversheet with all assignments, ensuring that the plagiarism declaration section is signed.

Assignment submission and return procedures, and assessment criteria will be specified with each assignment.

  • Assignment task 1
    Assignment 1: Critical review
    This will be an individual assignment. Specific tasks and marking criteria will be distributed at the appropriate time during the semester.
    Due date:
    Week 6, semester 2, 2009
  • Assignment task 2
    Assignment 2: An evaluation of appropriate methodologies for a particular case study
    The assignment will be a group assignment and will involve reports and a presentation. Specific tasks and marking criteria will be distributed at the appropriate time during the semester.
    Due date:
    Week 11, semester 2, 2009
  • Assignment task 3
    Assignment 3: Tutorial Portfolio
    This will be the documentation of the collection of weekly tutorial discussions. Specific requirements and marking criteria will be distributed at the appropriate time during the semester.
    Due date:
    Week 13, semester 2, 2009


  • Weighting: 50%
    Length: 2 hours
    Type (open/closed book): Closed book

See Appendix for End of semester special consideration / deferred exams process.

Due dates and extensions

Please make every effort to submit work by the due dates. It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are not regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. Students are advised to NOT assume that granting of an extension is a matter of course.

Students requesting an extension for any assessment during semester (eg. Assignments, tests or presentations) are required to submit a Special Consideration application form (in-semester exam/assessment task), along with original copies of supporting documentation, directly to their lecturer within two working days before the assessment submission deadline. Lecturers will provide specific outcomes directly to students via email within 2 working days. The lecturer reserves the right to refuse late applications.

A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Refer to the Faculty Special consideration webpage or further details and to access application forms: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/equity/special-consideration.html

Late assignment

Assignments in this unit are no less important than those of other units. Your inability to manage your time or computing resources will not be accepted as a valid excuse. (Several assignments falling due at the same time is an unavoidable fact of university life.)

Hardware failures are not normally recognised as a valid reason for obtaining an extension or handing in a late assignment.

Late assignments submitted without an approved extension may be accepted up to one week late at the discretion of your lecturer, but will be penalised at the rate of 5% of total assignment marks per day (including weekends).


Total marks available for the assignment = 100 marks

Marks received for the assignment = 70 marks

Marks deducted for 2 days late submission (10% of 100) = 10 marks

Final mark received for assignment = 60 marks

Return dates

Students can expect assignments to be returned within two weeks of the submission date or after receipt, whichever is later.


Please visit the following URL: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/units/appendix.html for further information about:

  • Continuous improvement
  • Unit evaluations
  • Communication, participation and feedback
  • Library access
  • Monash University Studies Online (MUSO)
  • Plagiarism, cheating and collusion
  • Register of counselling about plagiarism
  • Non-discriminatory language
  • Students with disability
  • End of semester special consideration / deferred exams
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