Purchasing and Implementing a Student Management System at Jefferson County School System

971 Words Dec 16th, 2013 4 Pages
Jefferson County School System (JCSS) is one of the largest school systems in the US. It provides education for about 10,000 students and consists of fourteen elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. In 1976, the school system purchased and implemented the DEC PDP 11/34 computer that helped to develop the student management applications, financial applications, and other student management applications. Today, the JCSS owns four Dell servers running on UNIX and everything is connected via a high-speed TCP/IP network. All the applications were developed by David Meyer, a director of data processing, and his two programmers. Once the current JCSS superintended of school retired, Dr. Harvey Greene was hired. Dr. Greene …show more content…
On the other hand, building own system can lead to very long and costly process, requires management commitment, and does not account for evolving requirements (Brown at al., 2012). As was learned from the case, JCSS went with purchasing decision which provides several advantages, such as quicker implementation with almost the same functionality than a custom-developed solution by David Mayer. Although, it has one major disadvantage such as the JCSS became more depended on DSI that could go out of business.
Personally, I noticed that Carol Andrews had a great start with going through the definition phase of the SDLC process that defines system needs, identifies potential vendors, and collects enough information for further evaluation (Brown at al., 2012). Specifically, she started with thorough feasibility that assessed economical, technical, and operational (Brown at al., 2012). Next, she prepared requirements, such as accurate specifications about the system input and output, and performance requirements. Everything was detailed. She created a list of packages and established evaluation criteria. Once the RFP was written, it was distributed to various vendors. When description of software and packages was submitted back by the vendors, the committee used the point system to evaluate the vendors by functional capabilities, technical requirements, costs, amount and quality of