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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

Systems analysis and design is a standard course offering within information systems programs and often an important lecture topic in Information Systems core courses. Given the persistent difficulty that organizations experience in implementing systems that meet their requirements, it is important to help students in these courses get a tangible sense of the challenges they will face, whether as Information Systems practitioners or business professionals, in the systems analysis and design process. This article presents a hands-on design game that focuses in particular on the structuring of opportunities for user participation in requirements definition. The game provides a platform for raising pivotal questions about communication, knowledge transfer, and the level and timing of user involvement during systems projects. The exercise has been used and refined over a period of several years in core courses in information technology management at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and in classes in systems analysis and design. The article includes theoretical grounding in user participation issues, background information about the game, specification of the materials needed, step-by-step instructions for conducting the game, and teaching notes to support classroom discussion. These materials are designed to be useful to Information Systems faculty who want to supplement lecture and/or reading material on the subject of systems development.

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