Methodologies are a key tool for managing information systems development projects. Underlying these methodologies is a process, which is usually defined as the systems development lifecycle. The concern for this study is to investigate the relevance of the lifecycle as the underlying process. Adopting a case study approach, and drawing on research from organizational change, the paper highlights some of the limitations of the lifecycle view, and introduces three other perspectives to address these shortfalls (teleology, evolution and dialectic). In doing so, the paper broadens the theoretical understanding of the development process.