Information Systems: Levels of user involvement in ucc

Although analysts and programmers work hard to create technologically impressive solutions, those solutions often backfire because they don’t address the real organization problems or they introduce new problems.  For this reason, system owner and user involvement is necessary for successful systems development. 


Miscommunication and misunderstandings continue to be a significant problem in systems development.  However, owner and user involvement and education minimize such problems and help to win acceptance of new ideas and technological change.  Because people tend to resist change, information technology is often viewed as a threat.  This paper aims to shed light on an IS management solution for the gab that exist between IS developers and end-users .  This solution is known as User-Controlled computing, which is a term derived from the ambiguous term End-user computing.


User-controlled computing is the creation of effective and relevant procedures, by end users, in the programs that they use.  These end users’ primary role in the company is to achieve a business purpose.  By implementing user-controlled computing, the end users can choose and utilize specific applications to assist them in their specific field of expertise, such as accounting, HR etc.


 The management logic behind user-controlled computing is that IS is too important to leave totally to computing professionals.  The existence of U-CC does not suggest that IS professionals cease to exist, but rather that U-CC can take on a complementary role.

Levels of user involvement

According to Rockart and Flannery(1983), there exists several levels of user involvement in the development of User-controlled computing.  The different levels can be classified as follows:

Level 1 – The non-programming end-user which can also be described as the traditional user of IS.  These users work with systems developed by others and have no input whatsoever in the development of an IS.

Level 2 – The command end-user requires development support and training although he has some knowledge about the application package.  This user might be able to incorporate data from several sources or even to write database management system queries.

Level 3 – The programming end-user has superior knowledge in one subject area (Sales) and enough knowledge in IS to write a personalized application for his specific field which others in his department will also be able to use.

Level 4 – The functional support personnel is just the opposite of the level 3 user in that he has superior knowledge in IS development and some knowledge of one subject area.  An example of level 4 personnel would be the IS specialist developing accounting systems.

Level 5 – The end-user support personnel are the links in the chain that provide much needed support/training.  They usually help the above mentioned users with any IS tasks and rarely develop systems themselves.

Level 6 – The data processing programmers are the IS specialists with little or no business knowledge.  Their primary concern is to develop highly specialized applications.