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Determining System Requirements. Week 4 CMIS570. SDLC. Project Planning. Analysis. Design. Implementation. Support. Requirements Determination. System requirements Functional requirements Current and future functions Current and future data Current and future employee jobs.

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Determining SystemRequirements

Week 4


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Project Planning





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Requirements Determination

  • System requirements

    • Functional requirements

      • Current and future functions

      • Current and future data

      • Current and future employee jobs

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Other requirements to consider

  • Technical requirements

  • Performance requirements

  • Usability requirements

  • Reliability requirements

  • Security requirements

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Requirements Structuring

  • Three essential views of the current and replacement information systems

    • Process view: The sequence of data movement & handling operations within the system

      • Data flow diagrams

    • Logic and timing: Rules by which data are transformed & manipulated & an indication of what triggers data transformation

      • Structured English, Decision tables, Decision trees, State-transition diagrams

    • Data: The inherent structure of data independent of how or when it is processed

      • Entity-relation diagrams

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Remember to...

Assume Anything is Possible

Question Everything

Pay Attention to Details

Don't Jump to Conclusions

Be Impartial

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Who will you get info from?

  • User Stakeholders

    • Users

    • Managers

  • Client Stakeholders

  • Technical Stakeholders

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Techniques for Determining System Requirements

  • Review existing documentation

  • Observation

  • Interviews

  • Building a prototype

  • Questionnaire

  • JAD

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Existing documentation/observation

  • Work procedures describe a particular job or task

  • May show duplication of effort

  • May find missing steps

  • May contradict info collected from interviews, questionnaires, and observations

  • Formal systems vs informal systems

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Doesn’t rely on a user’s memory

More objective and accurate than interviews


Hawthorne effect

Time consuming

Directly observing users

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Other things to remember

  • Use both open-ended and close-ended questions

  • Take advantage of follow-up questions, visual cues

  • Interview in groups

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Distribute and collect Questionnaires

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Give Me Ambiguity or Give Me Something Else!

  • How often do you back up your computer files?

    • A. Frequently

    • B. Sometimes

    • C. Hardly at all

    • D. Never

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This is better…

  • How often do you back up the computer files stored on the hard disk on the PC you use for over 50% of your work time?

    • A. Frequently (at least once per week)

    • B. Sometimes (from 1 to 3 times per month)

    • C. Hardly at all (once per month or less)

    • D. Never

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Modern Methods for Determining System Requirements

  • Prototyping

  • Joint Application Design (JAD) - Intensive meetings between users, managers, sponsor, & systems analysts to discuss & review system requirements

  • Group Support Systems (GSS) to share ideas & voice opinions

  • Vendor solutions

  • CASE tools to analyze existing systems

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Structured Walkthroughs

  • What is it?

  • When is it done?

  • Who is involved?

  • How is it done?