The Systems Development Life Cycle

The Systems Development Life Cycle


The Systems Development Life Cycle

The systems development life cycle (SDLC) is a set of actions sectioned in six phases. A team is assembled by a Project Manager (PM) that works together on the desired project. The SDLC is known to increase efficiency and accuracy of a project and to reduce or eliminate obstacles that lead to project failure. Included in this paper will be detailed information about the process of project management. This paper will also discuss how the SDLC is used in Health Care Information Technology (HCIT). Later this paper will explain how a health care manager fits into a typical IT project and will compare the project management life cycle with the systems deployment life cycle.

Process of Project Management

When posed with a temporary endeavor, or in other words a project of some kind, there is a need for someone to lead the way. This leader of a project is called a project manager. The manager is expected to lead a project team that will deliver the project on-time, on the budget, and to meet all other expectations and goals. The project manager but apply several different applications to successfully complete a project that includes knowledge, skills, techniques, tools, and resources (“What Is Project Management?”, 2016).

One of the very first steps a project manager will take is appointing a project steering committee. The steering committee will have several functions to include planning, organizing, and managing all aspects of a project. The project manager must have several skill sets to include strong communication skills, leadership abilities, and organizational skills to lead the project steering committee (Wager, K., 2013). The basis of having a project manager and a team in place is not to stumble through a project. When a project is planned and flexible with staff that is knowledgeable and cohesive, it will have more of a chance at success.

Use of SDLC in HCIT

When a health care organization makes the decision to implement a health care information system, the decision is followed by the guidelines of using the SDLC. The SDLC is a process that the organization will go through while implementing the information system by using a set of four principles. The four principles include: Planning and analyzing, Design, Implementation, and Support and Evaluation. The reason why the SDLC is a cycle is that process can start back over again until the project is complete. After the project is complete, all that is left is maintenance and upgrades.

The first step in the SDLC process is planning and analyzing. Planning and analyzing a Health Care Information Technology (HCIT) system takes a lot of work, and the right people need to be put in place with the right information. The project team will analyze what the user’s needs are and define functional requirements of the organization (Wager, K., 2013). The second step is to design the concept. Once all needs and requirement are analyzed and planned, the project team will consider options of doing the project in-house or outsourcing a developer. Many times a health care organization will choose to outsource a developer/vendor because of system base knowledge and development. Usually, during this phase of the cycle negotiations are set underway and cost benefit analysis is completed. The third phase of the SDLC is implementation. According to Wager, K., 2013 “The implementation phase requires a significant allocation of resources in completing tasks such as conducting workflow and process analysis, installing the new system, testing the system, training staff, converting data, and preparing the organization and staff for the go-live of the new system.” Lastly, the fourth phase of support and evaluation will happen after complete implementation of the new HCIT. No matter how much effort and training is put into the HCIT implementation, there will be many problems. This problem will include glitches, upgrades, changes, and other unforeseen end matters. This is perfectly normal and while problems occur the vendor can be contacted if needed for help on the changes and glitches.

Role of Health Care Manager in IT Project

A successful health care manager role in a typical IT project is responsible for meeting the project goal of implementation and functional abilities. The health care manager selects, maintains, and utilizes electronic health records and software. The manager needs to know who is using the software and how they use it to meet the needs of the organization in the software selection process. The manager will work closely with the practices, the Implementation and Optimization Organizations, the vendors and staff and consultants (“Sample Position Description”, 2016). The health care manager will oversee the project and make sure everything goes according to plan.

Project Management Life Cycle vs. System Development Life Cycle

The SDLC is a methodology that is the frame work for project planning. The SDLC helps control the situation, control testing, and control delivery of a Health Care Information Technology (HCIT). Using this system helps find variables in any given situation and to be prepared for setbacks or reduce error or failure. While SDLC is used for quality and product delivery, project management life cycle is used for knowledge, tools and skills, and techniques to meet project requirements. The requirements are met through planning, organizing, measuring, controlling and reporting. The SDLC lays out the lay of the land, and he Project Management Lie Cycle works out all of the minor details of the project. They work in unison to achieve a common goal.


The SDLC is a long drawn out process of minute details and organization. Implementation of Health Care Information Technology is becoming more common throughout health care organizations and therefore is becoming more streamlined that when first introduced. There is still a long way to go because the implementation is still a learning process and each organization has its needs and uses for the technology. No matter how streamlined the process might later become, it is necessary for a structured methodology such as the SDLC to ensure the success of implementation.


Sample Position Description. (2016). Retrieved from

Wager, K., Lee, F., & Glaser, J., (2013). Health Care Information Systems: A Practical Approach for Health Care Management (3rd ed). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.

What is Project Management? (2016). Retrieved from