Small System Design Project

Small System Design Project

Small System Design Project

You will use the information learned throughout the course to identify and document a full information system for a small company.  You will apply the basic steps of the SDLC to building the IT infrastructure for an electronic health care data system for an urgent care facility* for a (mythical) UMUC Student Health Service clinic by addressing what actions are taken and what decisions are made in each phase.  

Make sure to address key technical issues from this course and to include and specify key elements and components of a computer system as covered in this course, including (but not limited to) the following (in no particular order):

CPU type, speed, etc

Memory type, size, speed, etc

Needed I/O devices


Operating system

Other required software

Shared resources

Data format


Common file format

Databases and DBMS




The paper should make clear how the functional requirements of the clinic result in the specific technical design specifications, above. 

The body of the paper should be no more than 12 point type, not less than 4 pages or 1200 words and not more than 10 pages or 2400 words, not including title page, table of contents, executive summary, and reference bibliography.  The paper will require a title page, a hot-clickable MS Word generated table of contents, executive summary, 4-10 pages of content with incorporation of a minimum of 3 external resources from credible sources, and a Works Cited/Reference page. 

The paper should either detail each step in the SDLC (Systems Development Life Cycle) or should detail each step in the The Formal Systems Approach, whichever you determine fits your paper and approach better.  Either way, there should be an emphasis on the technology outcome and how it flows from the functional requirements.

Refer to both the document "SDLC Module 2 from IFSM 201" and other SDLC material in Course Content, and the material on the "The Formal Systems Approach" in Course Content and the Webliography or at

(Remember that there are many variants of the SDLC other than what is presented in the above module.  You may use any variant of the SDLC that you wish provided that (a) it is logical and complete (and not pulled out of the air), (b) it is appropriate for the system you are designing in your paper, (c) you identify which variant you are using, and (d) you explain it.)

Make sure your paper identifies which approach you will employ, but clearly articulate the steps used to:

Complete a preliminary investigation, requirements analysis, and system recommendation

Specify a detailed design based on your set of requirements.

Develop the system according to your design specification.

Outline how you would test the system and gain user acceptance.

In your submission, be sure to include any references used in APA style (see the tutorial in the COURSE CONTENT menu) for your source information in a bibliography as well as cite them within the body of your paper.  Be sure to check your work for spelling and grammatical errors before submission.  Yes, spelling and grammar count. The intent of these topics is to provide you with an opportunity to hone your writing skills. 

The paper must be your original work, in your own words, and written for this class.  Do not simply copy/paste information from the Web or textbook.  Such submissions will not be accepted for credit.  Research projects should be original work for IFSM 310; therefore, you may not re-use of a paper written you’ve written for a different class.

All "General Paper and Writing Requirements" for all papers (above) must be adhered to for this assignment, except as specifically noted (e.g., table of contents is required, page limits are 4-10 pages, etc.).



 * (Note that since this is a medical facility, your design should comply with Congressional regulations. Since 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) details patient privacy and regulations for health care-related businesses.  In addition to HIPAA, there were two acts passed by Congress in 2009 that specifically garnered support for migrating to electronic medical records (EMRs).  The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act is specifically geared at providing financial incentives to health care organizations that migrate towards EMRs, with the intention of eventually replacing the incentives with penalties if providers do not institute electronic record keeping.  The second is the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), which institutes funding for comparative effectiveness research (CER).  Analysis and aggregation of anonymized patient data in regards to conditions, treatment and progress can provide an invaluable source of CER to physicians and healthcare organizations in the treatment of patients.

Therefore, privacy and security requirements should be addressed.  However, computer architecture and system design are the primary subjects of this course and will be more important in the grading than the nuances of Federal law, privacy, and security.  It would therefore be a mistake to take so much time researching and designing for health care privacy and security laws that your hardware and software infrastructure suffered as a consequence.)

You may want to incorporate tables of technical specs, as that is often a more effective way than narrative paragraphs for presenting them.  Also, if you can, please try to draw a diagram of the system, either of its internal architecture and/or of its external connectivity, as appropriate.
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