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BCS Systems Development Essentials

The BCS Systems Development Essentials course focuses on the fundamental skills of systems development which underpin every good systems development: systems investigation; systems requirements definition; modelling; planning and quality assurance.

The course explains how systems development work is organised, and distinguishes between several different lifecycle types, methods and approaches, looking at advantages and disadvantages

This is an intensive three day course that places emphasis on the practical application of the analysis skills covered.

This course used to be called ISEB Systems Development Essentials


Learning Objectives

  • Identify the tasks and disciplines required for systems development and implementation
  • Investigate a system
  • Interpret business requirements and produce systems requirements
  • Quality assure the systems requirements documentation
  • Design test cases for the requirements
  • Describe the commonly-used development lifecycles defined in the syllabus
  • Describe in detail one methodology that embraces one (or more) of these lifecycles
  • Describe the structure and activities of this methodology
  • Describe, interpret and quality assure the key models that the selected methodology uses for defining the process, static and event perspectives of the system
  • Make effective use of different methods of interpersonal communications
  • Identify different architecture for systems development solutions
  • Conduct a system review
  • Explain how CASE tools might be used to support the method


None, but the course assumes a basic knowledge of IT systems.


Course Content

The Role of the Systems Analyst and Designer
Identify the actors/roles and responsibilities within systems development and implementation
Characteristics of the systems analyst/designer

Systems Architecture
Different levels of architecture: Enterprise, Systems, Infrastructure
Inputs at: Enterprise level, Systems level, Infrastructure level
Impacts of design decisions

Development Approaches
Bespoke development
Software package solutions
Other appropriate approaches

Systems Development Lifecycles
V model
Other appropriate lifecycles
Structure and content of a chosen representative method

How to interpret three representative models from the method, showing: Process perspective, Data perspective, Event perspective
Products within the chosen method

Systems Investigation
Other fact finding approaches: Workshops, Prototyping, Questionnaires, Scenario analysis, Observation, Documentation Analysis
Human aspects of systems investigation and introducing change

Defining Requirements
Functional Requirements Definition
Non-Functional Requirements Definition
Documenting system requirements

System Design, Implementation and Maintenance
Design principles and constraints (legal, ethical, financial)
Sign off and hand over
Aspects of the production environment
Post-implementation reviews
Different types of maintenance

Quality Assurance
Definitions of quality
Requirements-driven testing
Types of walkthrough and inspection
Post-project reviews
Service Level Agreements

CASE tools
Lifecycle coverage
Requirements traceability
Advantages and disadvantages

Throughout the course a case study is used to reinforce and practise the topics discussed

Exams & Certification

BCS Certificate in Systems Development Essentials

One-hour, open book, exam.

The certificate is a core module in the BCS Diploma in Solution Development and is also a specialist practitioner module in the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis.


One Month
Two Months
Three Months
More than Three Months
PRINCE2 Foundation & Practitioner
MSP Foundation & Practitioner
APMP Certificate
ITIL Foundation
Scrum in One Day
Certified ScrumMaster
ISTQB Software Test Foundation
Microsoft Project
BCS Business Analysis Practice
Other - Please Specify Below

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