Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 4 Number 4 1988 pp. 77-92

Evolutionary Development of Decision Support Systems: Important Issues for Early Phases of Design

Sauter, Vicki L and Schofer, Joseph L

ABSTRACT: It has long been recognized that decision support systems (DSS) should be developed using an evolutionary approach by which users are provided with prototypical systems so that they can respond to specific design characteristics. While this approach generally works well in practice, there remains the problem of where to begin, especially if the designer does not have much experience. Based on limited field studies, we find that preferences for information, both in terms of the content and the format of the data, vary with decision focus (tactical vs. strategic), environmental stability, and, in some cases, experience. These results suggest that, if it is possible to determine the context and decision-maker attributes, it is possible to have a clearer notion of what information to include in the decision support system.

Key words and phrases: decision support systems, evolutionary systems development, prototyping