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Part II: Information Requirements Analysis. Lecture Note 5 Information Gathering: Interactive Methods and Unobtrusive Methods. Systems Analysis and Design Kendall & Kendall Sixth Edition. Major Topics. Three key interactive (相互交流) methods for information gathering. Interviewing Techniques

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lecture note 5 information gathering interactive methods and unobtrusive methods

Part II: Information Requirements Analysis

Lecture Note 5Information Gathering: Interactive Methods and Unobtrusive Methods

Systems Analysis and Design

Kendall & Kendall

Sixth Edition

major topics
Major Topics
  • Three key interactive (相互交流) methods for information gathering.
    • Interviewing Techniques
    • Joint Application Design (JAD)
    • Questionnaires
  • Two unobtrusive (不引人注目的) methods for information gathering.
    • Investigation (調查研究)
    • Observing a Decision Maker’s Behavior and Physical Environment

By using interactive methods with unobtrusive methods you will achieve a more complete portrait (生動的描寫) of the organization’s information requirements.

CS206 System Analysis & Design Note 5 By Chang Yu

  • The basis of their shared properties is talking with and listening to people in the organization through a series of carefully composed questions.
  • There are three key interactive methods:


JAD (JointApplication Design)


  • Interviewing is an important method for collecting data on information system requirements.
  • Interviews reveal (揭露) information about:
      • Interviewee opinions about the current state of the system.
      • Interviewee feelings about the current state of the system.
      • Organizational and personal goals.
      • Informal (非正式的) procedures.
planning the interview
Planning the Interview

Five steps in planning the interview are:

  • Reading background material.
    • Be obtained on the corporate Web site, current annual reports, a corporate newsletter and publications
  • Establishing interview objectives.
    • Information sources (來源), information formats, decision-making frequency, qualities of information and decision-making style.
  • Deciding whom to interview.
    • When deciding whom to interview, include key people at all levels who will be affected by the system.
  • Preparing the interviewee.
    • Calling ahead or sending an email message and allowing the interviewee time to think about the interview.
    • Sometime send an email your questions ahead of time to allow your interviewee time to think over their responses.
    • Should be kept to 45 minutes or an hour at the most.
  • Deciding on question types and structure.
    • Write questions to cover the key areas of decision making.
    • Proper questioning techniques are used. Two basic types and three structure patterns.

Typical Interview Guide

Interview Outline


Name of person being interviewed Name of person being interviewed

Location:Appointment Date:

Office, Conference Room, Start Time:

or Phone Number End Time

Objectives: Reminders:

What data to collect Background / experience of interviewee

On what to gain agreement Known opinions of interviewee

What areas to explore

Agenda: (議程) Approximate Time:

Introduction 1 minute

Background on Project 2 minutes

Overview of interview

Topics to be covered 1 minute

Permission to Tape Record

Topic1: Questions 5 minutes


Summary of major Points 2 minutes

Questions from interviewee 5 minutes

Closing 1 minute

General Observations: …..

Unresolved Issues, Topic not Covered: ….

Interviewee : Ms Mary Lee Date: 3/04/2005


When to ask question, if conditionalAnswer

Question number 1: Yes, I ask for a report on my

Have you used the current sales product line weekly.

tracking system? If so, how often?


Seemed anxious – may be

overestimation usage frequency

Question number 2:Answer

What do you like least about Sales are shown in units, not dollars

the system?


System can show sales in dollars,

but user does not know this.

Typical Interview Guide

question types


  • Closed
  • Bipolar interview
  • Probes
Question Types

There are three types of interview questions:

  • Open-ended: “open” actually describes the interviewee’s options for responding.


  • What do you think about putting all the managers on an intranet ?
  • Please explain how you make a scheduling decision .
  • What could you say is the best thing about the information system you currently use to do your job?
  • List the three most frequently used menu options.
  • What are the critical objectives of your department?
open ended questions
Open-Ended Questions
  • Open-ended interview encourage (促使)spontaneous(自發的) and unstructuredresponses.
  • Open-ended are useful when you want to understand a large process or draw out the interviewee’s opinions and suggestions.
  • Open-ended interview questions allow interviewees to respond how they wish, and to whatlength they wish.
  • Open-ended questions are appropriate (適當的) when the analyst is interested in breadth and depth (深度和廣度) of reply.
advantages of open ended questions
Advantages of Open-Ended Questions

Eight benefits of open-ended questions are:

  • Puts the interviewee at ease.
  • Allows the interviewer to pick up on the interviewee's vocabulary (詞滙).
    • Reflect (反應) education, values, attitudes (看法), and beliefs (信念).
  • Provides richness (丰富的) of detail.
  • Reveals (揭露) avenues of further questioning that may have gone untapped (未開發的).
  • Provides more interest for the interviewee.
  • Allows more spontaneity (自發地).
  • Makes phrasing easier for the interviewer.
  • Useful if the interviewer is unprepared.
disadvantages of open ended questions
Disadvantages of Open-Ended Questions

The five drawbacks include:

  • May result in too much irrelevant detail.
  • Possibly losing control of the interview.
  • May take too much time for the amount of useful information gained.
  • Potentially (有可能地) seeming that the interviewer is unprepared.
  • Possibly giving the impression (印象) that the interviewer is on a "fishing expedition (探險) ” with no real objective for the interview.
closed interview questions
Closed Interview Questions
  • Closed interview questions limit the number of possible responses.
  • Closed interview questions are appropriate for generating precise (精确), reliable (可靠的) data that is easy to analyze.
  • The methodology is efficient, and it requires little skill for interviewers to administer.

2. Closed:Questions in interviews and on questionnaires that ask those responding to choose from among a set of specifiedresponses.

benefits and disadvantages of closed interview questions
Benefits and Disadvantages of Closed Interview Questions



Saving interview time.

Easily comparing interviews.

Getting to the point.

Keeping control of the interview.

Covering a large area quickly.

Getting to relevant data.

Boring for the interviewee.

Failure to obtain rich detailing.

Missing main ideas.

Failing to build rapport (協調) between interviewer and interviewee.

bipolar and probes questions
Bipolar (兩級) and Probes (探索) Questions
  • Bipolar questions are those that may be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or ‘agree’ or ‘disagree’.
  • Bipolar questions should be used sparingly (節約的).
probing questions
Probing Questions
  • Probing questions elicit (引出) more detail about previous questions.
  • The purpose of probing questions is:
    • To get more meaning.
    • To clarify.
    • To draw out and expand (展示) on the interviewee's point.
question sequencing
Question Sequencing

The three basic ways of structuring interviews are :

  • Pyramid (金字塔), starting with closed questions and working toward open-ended questions.
  • Funnel (漏斗), starting with open-ended questions and working toward closed questions.
  • Diamond (鑽石), starting with closed, moving toward open-ended, and ending with closed questions.
pyramid structure
Pyramid Structure
  • Begins with very detailed, often closed questions
  • Expands (展示) by allowing open-ended questions and more generalized responses
  • Is useful if interviewees need to be warmed up to the topic.
funnel structure
Funnel Structure
  • Begins with generalized, open-ended questions
  • Concludes by narrowing the possible responses using closed questions
  • Provides an easy to begin an interview
  • Is useful when the interviewee feels emotionally(情緒的) about the topic
diamond structure
Diamond Structure
  • A diamond-shaped structure begins in a very specific way
  • Then more general issues are examined
  • Concludes with specific questions
  • Combines the strength of both the pyramid and funnel structures
  • Takes longer than the other structures
closing the interview and interview report
Closing the Interview and Interview Report

Closing the Interview:

  • Always ask “Is there anything else that you would like to add?”
  • Summarize and provide feedback on your impressions.
  • Ask whom you should talk with next.
  • Set up any future appointments.
  • Thank them for their time and shake hands.

Interview Report:

  • Write as soon as possible after the interview.
  • Provide an initial summary, then more detail.
  • Review the report with the respondent .
joint application design jad
Joint Application Design (JAD)
  • Joint Application Design (JAD) was developed by IBM, which is an information gathering technique that allows the project team, users, and managementto work together to identify requirements for the system.
  • Joint Application Design (JAD) can replace a series of interviews with the user community.
  • JAD is a technique that allows the analyst to accomplish requirements analysis and design the user interface with the users in a group setting.
when to use jad
When to Use JAD

JAD may be used when:

  • Users group are restless (不安寧的) and want something new, not standard solution to typical problem.
  • The organizational culture supports joint problem-solving behaviors among multiple levels of employees.
  • Analysts forecast (預測) an increase in the number of ideas using JAD.
  • Organizational workflow permits the absence of key personnel during a two-to-four-day block of time.
where to hold jad meetings
Where to hold JAD meetings

A JAD team of users, managers, and IT professionals works together to identify and document requirements for a new system.

Illustration of the typical room layout for a JAD

  • Questionnaires are useful in gathering information from key organization members about: Attitudes(看法),Beliefs(信念),Behaviors(行為),Characteristics (特征)Of several key people in the organization who may be affected by the current and proposed systems.
  • Questionnaires are valuable (極有用的) if:
    • Organization members are widely dispersed (分散).
    • Many members are involved with the project.
    • Exploratory (探討) work is needed.
    • Problem solving prior to interviews is necessary.
question types1
Question Types

Questions are designed as either:

  • Open-ended
    • Try to anticipate the response you will get.
    • Well suited for getting opinions.

* Even when you write an open-ended question, it must be narrow enough to guide respondents to answer in a specific way.



  • -- Closed
  • Use when all the options may be listed.
  • When the options are mutually (相互的) exclusive (排斥).
using measurement scales in questionnaires
Using Measurement Scales in Questionnaires
  • Scaling is the process of assigning numbers or other symbols to an attribute or characteristic for the purpose of measuring that attribute or characteristic.
  • The two different forms of measurement scales are :
    • Nominal scales.
    • Interval scales.
nominal scales
Nominal Scales
  • Nominal scales are used to classify things into categories.
  • It is the weakest form of measurement.

What type of software do you use the most?

1 = Word Processor

2 = Spreadsheet

3 = Database

4 = An Email Program

interval scales
Interval Scales
  • An interval scale is used when the intervals are equal.
  • There is no absolute zero.

How useful is the support given by the Technical Support Group?



1 2 3 4 5

designing the questionnaire
Designing the Questionnaire

Good response rates can be achieved with consistent control of questionnaire.

  • Allow ample (充足的) white space.
  • Allow ample space to write or type in responses.
  • Make it easy for respondents to clearly mark their answers.
  • Be consistent in style.
    • Place most important questions first.
    • Cluster items of similar content together.
    • Introduce less controversial (引起爭論的) questions first.
methods of administering the questionnaire
Methods of Administering the Questionnaire

Methods of administering the questionnaire include:

  • Convening (召集開會) all concerned respondents together at one time.
  • Personally (親自的) administering the questionnaire.
  • Allowing respondents to self-administer the questionnaire.
  • Mailing questionnaires.
  • Administering over the Web or via email.
    • Reduced costs.
    • Collecting and storing the results electronically
two unobtrusive methods investigation
Two Unobtrusive Methods Investigation(調查研究)
  • Investigation is the act of discovery and analysis of data. Analysts can use one effective ways to understand the organization and its information requirements through the investigation of hard data.
  • Hard data can be obtained byreports used for decision making, performance reports, records, data capture forms, ecommerce and other transactions and qualitative documents.
  • Qualitative documents includes email messages, memos, signs on bulletin boards and in work areas, Web pages, procedure manuals and policy handbooks.
two unobtrusive methods observing a decision maker s behavior
Two Unobtrusive MethodsObserving aDecision Maker’s Behavior
  • Observation the decision maker and the decision maker’s physical environment are important unobtrusive (不引人注目的) methods for the system analyst.
  • Observation provides insight (深刻的了解) on what organizational members actually do.
  • See firsthand the relationships that exist between decision makers and other organizational members.
  • We are primarily describing humans and their activities. We suggest that systems analysts use a more humanistic approach to describe what manager do. This method is called the analyst’s play script.
analyst s playscript
Analyst’s Playscript
  • Involves observing the decision-makers behavior and recording their actions using a series of action verbs. E,g Talking. Sampling. Corresponding. Deciding.
  • In the Playscript, the actor is listed in the left-hand column and all their actions are listed on the right-hand column.
  • This approach eventually assists the SA in determining what information is required for major or frequent decisions made by the observed people.
two unobtrusive methods observing the physical environment
Two Unobtrusive Methods Observing the Physical Environment
  • STRuctured OBservation of the Environment (STROBE) – a technique for observing the decision maker's environment.
  • Successful application of STROBE requires that an analyst explicitly (明确的) observe seven concrete (具體的) elements commonly found in offices.
office location
Office Location
  • Accessible offices
    • Main corridors, open door
    • Major traffic flow area
    • Increase interaction frequency and informal messages
  • Inaccessible offices
    • May view the organization differently
    • Drift apart from others in objectives

Desk Placement

  • Visitors in a tight space, back to wall, large expanse (廣闊) behind desk -- Indicates maximum power position
  • Desk facing the wall, chair at side -- Encourages participation -- Equal exchanges
stationary office equipment
Stationary Office Equipment

File cabinets and bookshelves:

  • If not present, person stores few items of information personally.
  • If an abundance, person stores and values information.


  • Calculators
  • Personal computers
  • Pens, pencils, and rulers
  • If present, person processes data personally

External Information Sources

  • Trade journals or newspapers indicate the person values outside information.
  • Company reports, memos, policy handbooks indicate the person values internal information.
office lighting and color
Office Lighting and Color
  • Warm lighting indicates:
    • A tendency (趨向) toward more personal communication.
    • More informal communication.
  • Brightly lit, bright colors indicate:
    • More formal communications (memos, reports).


  • Male
    • Formal two piece suit - maximum authority
    • Casual dressing (sport jacket/slacks) - more participative decision making
  • Female
    • Skirted suit - maximum authority
review questions
Review Questions
  • What are three key interactive methods?
  • List five steps in interview preparation.
  • Define what is meant by “opened-ended” and “Closed” interview questions. Give benefits and disadvantages of using them.
  • Define what is meant by pyramid, funnel, diamond-shaped structure.
  • Define JAD.
  • What are the two basic question types used on questionnaires.
  • What are two important unobtrusive methods for the system analyst?