It explains data processing, the systems approach, and elements of a feasibility study. Types of automated systems, methods of acquisition, and cost-benefit analysis are examined. A section on developing and implementing an automated system describes staffing, organization, and planning; software development (method, refinement of conceptual design, detail system design, general systems specifications, and documentation of system); and procurement. Also explained are field testing and modification, implementation and training, ongoing monitoring and evaluation, and refining the system. Figures and 10 references are included. Appendixes give detailed assistance in preparing a request for a proposal and in training staff members in using the computer.