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System Maintenance

System Maintenance of an application system commences when the system is accepted and put into production.  On-going monitoring and maintenance of the system have to be performed during the System Maintenance Cycle (SMC) so as to ensure the performance and functionality of the system match with the business needs of the users. Detailed information is provided in the Guidelines on System Maintenance Cycle. An overview of this document is provided below:-

The System Maintenance Cycle of an application system is depicted below:-

System Maintenance Cycle

Maintenance Planning

A maintenance plan should be prepared in the Project Closure Stage and submitted to Project Steering Committee (PSC) for approval. It details

  • the role assignments of SMC organisation;
  • the procedures of maintenance activities;
  • the required deliverables for SMC; and
  • the maintenance resources and facilities delegated for SMC.

Review of the plan should be conducted as need arises and properly approved.

System Nursing

A period of system nursing should be allowed before the handover of the application system from Development Project Team to Maintenance Team to ensure smooth transition of the system. During the period, intensive system monitoring and tuning should be conducted to ensure the system operating smoothly and performing at user's agreed level.

System Monitoring and Tuning

The operation of application system should be continuously monitored and tuned to ensure its smooth operation and enhance its effectiveness and efficiency. Selected system aspects should be closely kept track and system tuning should be suggested in case the system performance has dropped to an unaccepted level or need improvement.

System Maintenance Cycle Stage

System maintenance may be initiated from problem report, enhancement request or ad hoc request during SMC. Each system maintenance will go through the following four SMC stages each with a set of specific tasks:-

SMC Stage Task
Stage 1 - Initiation
  • Initiate the change request
  • Conduct initial filtering
  • Review the request
Stage 2 - Impact Analysis
  • Conduct impact analysis
  • Estimate the required resources
  • Document the impact and required resources
Stage 3 - Disposition
  • Evaluate the change request
  • Determine the disposition
Stage 4 - Implementation
  • Design the modification to the system
  • Build the change into the system
  • Test the implemented change
  • Deliver the modified system

System Retirement

The SMC runs to end when the application system is retired. System retirement is the removal of an existing system from its active use either by ceasing its operation, or by replacing it with a new system. The retirement process should be well planned and with detailed procedures specified.

SMC Deliverables

The deliverables to be produced in the SMC are:-

  • Maintenance Plan;
  • Change Request Form (CRF); and
  • Control Reports.