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Week Two: Systems Planning. Dr Manolya Kavakli Department of Computing Macquarie University Sydney Read: Chapter 2 (Shelly). Systems planning: the first of five phases in the systems development life cycle (SDLC) In this phase, you will learn how IT projects get started and

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Week Two: Systems Planning

Dr Manolya Kavakli

Department of Computing

Macquarie University

Sydney

Read: Chapter 2 (Shelly)


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Systems planning:

the first of five phases in the systems development life cycle (SDLC)

In this phase, you will learn

how IT projects get started and

how a systems analyst

evaluates a proposed project and

determines its feasibility

Phase Description


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Chapter Objectives

Explain the concept of a business case and how a business case affects an IT project

Describe the strategic planning process and why it is important to the IT team

Explain the purpose of a mission statement


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Chapter Objectives

Describe the SDLC, and

explain how it serves as a framework for systems development and business modeling

Describe risks and risk management features

List the reasons for information systems projects and the factors that affect such projects


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Chapter Objectives

Explain the initial review of systems requests and the role of the systems review committee

Define operational feasibility, technical feasibility, economic feasibility, and schedule feasibility

Describe the steps in a preliminary investigation and the end product of an investigation


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Cost of Information Overload

  • 38% of managers waste a substantial amount of time trying to locate the right information.

  • 43% of managers think decisions are delayed as a result of having too much information.

  • 47% say the collection of information for decision making distracts them from their main job responsibilities.


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Business Case

During Systems Planning phase,

IT team reviews a proposal to determine if it presents a strong business case.

Business Case refers to the reasons, or justification, for a proposal.

Systems development starts with

a systems request,

followed by a preliminary investigation,

which includes a feasibility study


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Strategic Planning – A Framework for IT Systems Development

Strategic planning:

the process of identifying long-term organizational goals, strategies, and resources

What do we evaluate in Strategic Planning?

Strategic Planning Overview

SWOT analysis


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Strategic Planning – A Framework for IT Systems Development

From Strategic Plans to Business Results

Mission statement

Describes a company for its stakeholders

States the company’s overall purpose, products, services, and values

Stakeholders

Anyone affected by the company’s operations

Goals

1 year, 3 year, 5 year goals to accomplish the mission

Objectives

Shorter term objectives to achieve goals


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Strategic Planning – A Framework for IT Systems Development

To be able to present a Case for Action, we need to inspect the Business Enterprise Direction Model:

The mission statement

Critical success factors

A few key circumstances (less than 10) that must occur for the enterprise to fulfill its mission

Critical business issues

Opportunities, problems, trends, threads causing the enterprise to take action at the current time

Case for action

Summary of primary business issues raising the sense of urgency for change


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Strategic Planning – A Framework for IT Systems Development

The Role of the IT Department in Project Evaluation

Management leadership and information technology are linked closely, and remarkable changes have occurred in both areas

Today, systems development is much more team oriented

Although team-oriented development is the norm, some companies see the role of the IT department as a gatekeeper


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Strategic Planning – A Framework for IT Systems Development

The Future

New industries, products, and services emerging from amazing advances in information technology,

customers who expect world-class IT support,

a surge in Internet-based commerce, and

a global business environment that is dynamic and incredibly challenging.


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What Is a Business Case? Development

Should be comprehensive,

yet easy to understand

describe the project clearly,

provide the justification to proceed, and

estimate the project’s financial impact


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Information Systems Projects Development

Main Reasons for Systems Projects

15


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The Development PIECESProblem-Solving Framework

P the need to improve performance

I the need to improve information (and data)

E the need to improve economics, control costs, or increase profits

C the need to improve control or security

E the need to improve efficiency of people and processes

S the need to improve service to customers, suppliers, partners, employees, etc.


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Information Systems Projects Development

Factors that Affect Systems Projects

17


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Information Systems Projects Development

External Factors

Technology

Bar Code Technology replaced with RFID tags to monitor the movement of product: Electronic product code (EPC)

Suppliers

Expansion of EDI to include Just-in-time (JIT): right product at the right place at the right time.


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Information Systems Projects Development

External Factors

Customers

Customer Relationship Management (CRM): integrate all customer-related events and transactions

Electronic proof of delivery (EPOD)

Competitors

The economy

Government


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Information Systems Projects Development

Project Management Tools

All IT projects, large and small, must be managed and controlled

Project management begins with a systems request, and continues until the project is completed or terminated


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Evaluation of Systems Requests Development

Systems review committee

Systems Requests Forms


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Evaluation of Systems Requests Development

Systems Review Committees

Most large companies use a systems review committee to evaluate systems requests

Many smaller companies rely on one person to evaluate system requests instead of a committee

The goal is to evaluate the requests and set priorities


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A systems request must pass several tests, called a feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Overview of Feasibility


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Overview of Feasibility feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Candidate solutions evaluated in terms of:

Operational Feasibility

Means that a proposed system will be used effectively

Technical Feasibility

refers to technical resources needed to develop, purchase, install, or operate the system

Economic Feasibility

Means that the projected benefits of the system outweigh the estimated costs

Total cost of ownership (TCO): ongoing support support and maintenance costs, as well as acquisition costs

Tangible benefits: benefits that can be measured in dollars

Intangible benefits: user friendliness, better information, etc.

Schedule Feasibility

Means that the project can be implemented in an acceptable time frame.


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Evaluating Feasibility feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

The first step in evaluating feasibility:

to identify and weed out systems requests that are not feasible

Even if the request is feasible, it might not be necessary

Setting priorities is important.

Feasibility analysis: an ongoing task that must be performed throughout the systems development process


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Setting Priorities feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Factors that Affect Priority

Will the proposed system reduce costs? Where? When? How? How much?

Will the system increase revenue for the company? Where? When? How? How much?

Will the systems project result in more information or produce better results? How? Are the results measurable?

Will the system serve customers better?

Will the system serve the organization better?

Can the project be implemented in a reasonable time period? How long will the results last?

Are the necessary financial, human, and technical resources available?

Whenever possible, the analyst should evaluate a proposed project based on tangible costs and benefits that represent actual (or approximate) dollar values


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Setting Priorities feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Discretionary Projects

Projects where management has a choice in implementing them

Nondiscretionary Projects

Projects where no choice exists

E.g., Payroll, tax


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Preliminary Investigation feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Preliminary investigation is conducted to

study the system request and

recommend specific action

Through Interaction with Managers and Users


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Preliminary Investigation Overview feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Planning the Preliminary Investigation

During a preliminary investigation, a systems analyst typically follows a series of steps

The exact procedure depends on the nature of the request, the size of the project, and the degree of urgency


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Preliminary Investigation feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Step 1: Understand the Problem or Opportunity

popular techniques:

A fishbone diagram, or Ishikawa diagram

for investigating causes and effects

Pareto chart

For prioritizing issues


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Preliminary Investigation feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Step 2: Define the Project Scope and Constraints

Project scope:

defining the specific boundaries of the project

Project creep: Is it clear?

projects with very general scope definitions are at risk of expanding gradually, without specific authorization.

Constraint:

requirement or condition that a system must satisfy or

an outcome that the system must achieve.

Characteristics of constraints:

Present versus future

Internal versus external

Mandatory versus desirable

Regardless of the type, all constraints should be identified as early as possible to avoid future problems and surprises


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Preliminary Investigation feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Step 3: Perform Fact-Finding

might consume several hours, days, or weeks

Fact-finding involves various techniques:

Analyze Organization Charts

Conduct interviews

Review documentation

Observe operations

Conduct a user survey


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Preliminary Investigation feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Step 3: Perform Fact-Finding

Conduct interviews

Determine the people to interview

Establish objectives for the interview

Develop interview questions

Prepare for the interview

Conduct the interview

Document the interview

Evaluate the interview


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Preliminary Investigation feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Step 4: Evaluate Feasibility

Evaluate the project’s operational, technical, economic, and schedule feasibility


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Preliminary Investigation feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Step 5: Estimate Project Development Time and Cost

What information must you obtain, and how will you gather and analyze the information?

What sources of information will you use, and what difficulties will you encounter in obtaining information?

Will you conduct interviews? How many people will you interview, and how much time will you need to meet with the people and summarize their responses?

Will you conduct a survey? Who will be involved? How much time will it take people to complete it? How much time will it take to prepare it and tabulate the results?

How much will it cost to analyze the information gathered and to prepare a report with findings and recommendations?

You should provide an estimate for the overall project, so managers can understand the full cost impact and timetable.


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Preliminary Investigation feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Step 6: Present Results and Recommendations to Management

The final task is to prepare a report to management

The format of the preliminary investigation report varies from one company to another

A typical report consists of:

Introduction

Systems request summary

Findings

Recommendations

Project Roles

Time & cost estimates

Expected benefits

Appendix


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Chapter Summary feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Systems planning is the first phase of the systems development life cycle

Effective information systems help an organization support its business process, carry out its mission, and serve its stakeholders


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Chapter Summary feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Strategic planning allows a company to examine its purpose, vision, and values and develops a mission statement, which leads to goals, objectives, day-to-day operations, and business results that affect company stakeholders

Systems projects are initiated to improve performance, provide more information, reduce costs, strengthen controls, or provide better service


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Chapter Summary feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Various internal and external factors affect systems projects

During the preliminary investigation, the analyst evaluates the systems request and determines whether the project is from an operation, technical, economic, and schedule standpoint

Analysts evaluate systems requests on the basis of their expected costs and benefits, both tangible and intangible


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Chapter Summary feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

The steps in the preliminary investigation are to understand the problem or opportunity; define the project scope and constraints; perform fact-finding; estimate the project’s benefits; estimate project development time and cost; and present results and recommendations to management

The report must include an estimate of time, staffing requirements, costs, benefits, and expected results for the next phase of the SDLC

Chapter 2 complete


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Week Two: Systems Analysis and Requirements Modeling feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Dr Manolya Kavakli

Department of Computing

Macquarie University

Sydney

Read: Chapter 3 (Shelly)


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Phase Description feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Systems Analysis:

the second of five phases in the systems development life cycle (SDLC)

Uses requirements modeling and

data and process modeling to represent the new system


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Chapter Objectives feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Describe systems analysis phase activities and the end product of the systems analysis phase

Explain joint application development (JAD) and rapid application development (RAD)

Understand how systems analysts use a functional decomposition diagram (FDD)

Describe the Unified Modeling Language (UML) and explain use case diagrams particularly


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Chapter Objectives feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

List and describe system requirements, including outputs, inputs, processes, performance, and controls

Explain the importance of scalability in system design

Use fact-finding techniques, including interviews, documentation review, observation, questionnaires, sampling, and research


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Introduction feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

This chapter describes requirements modeling techniques and team-based methods that systems analysts use to visualize and document new systems

The chapter then discusses system requirements and fact-finding techniques, which include interviewing, documentation review, observation, surveys and questionnaires, sampling, and research


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Systems Analysis Phase Overview feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

The overall objective: to

understand the proposed project,

ensure that it will support business requirements, and

build a solid foundation for system development

You use a models and other documentation tools to visualize and describe the proposed system


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Systems Analysis Activities feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further


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Systems Analysis Activities feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Requirements modeling

Involves fact-finding to describe

Outputs (electronic or printed info produced by the system)

Inputs (necessary data that enters the system)

Processes (logical rules applied to transform data into info)

Performance (systems characteristics such as speed, capacity, reliability, availability, etc.)

Security (hardware, software and procedural controls that protect the system and its data)


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Systems Analysis Phase feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Systems Analysis Skills

Analytical skills

Interpersonal skills

Team-Oriented Methods and Techniques

Joint application development (JAD)

Rapid application development (RAD)


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Joint Application Development feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

User Involvement

Users have a vital stake in an information system and they should participate fully

Successful systems must be user-oriented and users need to be involved

One popular strategy for user involvement is a JAD team approach


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Joint Application Development feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

JAD Participants and Roles

JAD participants should be insulated from the distraction of day-to-day operations

Objective is to analyze the existing system, obtain user input and expectations, and document user requirements for the new system


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Joint Application Development feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

JAD Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

Allows key users to participate effectively

When properly used, JAD can result in a more accurate statement of system requirements, a better understanding of common goals, and a stronger commitment to the success of the new system

Disadvantages

More expensive and can be cumbersome if the group is too large relative to the size of the project


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Rapid Application Development feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

a team-based technique that speeds up information systems development and produces a functioning information system

Relies heavily on prototyping and user involvement

Process continues until the system is completely developed and users are satisfied

Similarities and differences between JAD and RAD?

Like JAD, it uses a group approach

End product of JAD is a requirements model.

End product of RAD is the new IS.


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Rapid Application Development feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

RAD Phases and Activities


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Rapid Application Development feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

RAD Objectives

To cut development time and expense by involving the users in every phase of systems development

Successful RAD team must have IT resources, skills, and management support

Helps a development team design a system that requires a highly interactive or complex user interface


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Rapid Application Development feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

RAD Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

Systems can be developed more quickly with significant cost savings

Disadvantages

RAD stresses the mechanics of the system itself and does not emphasize the company’s strategic business needs

Might allow less time to develop quality, consistency, and design standards


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Modeling Tools and Techniques feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

CASE Tools

Document business functions and processes

Develop graphical models

Provide an overall framework for IS development

Functional Decomposition Diagrams (FDD)

Also called structure charts

Top-down representation of a function or process


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Modeling Tools and Techniques feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Data Flow Diagrams (DFD)

Shows how the system stores, processes and transforms data


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Modeling Tools and Techniques feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Unified Modeling Language

Widely used method of visualizing and documenting software systems design

Uses object-oriented design concepts

Provides graphical tools such as:

Use case diagrams

Visually represents the interaction between users and the IS.

The User becomes an Actor with a specific role.

Sequence diagrams

Shows the timing of interactions between objects


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System Requirements Checklist feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

System requirement

A characteristic or feature that must be included in an IS to satisfy business requirements and be acceptable to users.

Five general categories:

Outputs

Inputs

Processes

Performance

Controls


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System Requirements Checklist feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Outputs

The Web site must report online volume statistics every four hours, and hourly during peak periods

The inventory system must produce a daily report showing the part number, description, quantity on hand, quantity allocated, quantity available, and unit cost of all sorted by part number


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System Requirements Checklist feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Inputs

Manufacturing employees must swipe their ID cards into online data collection terminals that record labor costs and calculate production efficiency

The department head must enter overtime hours on a separate screen


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System Requirements Checklist feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Processes

The student records system must calculate the GPA at the end of each semester

As the final step in year-end processing, the payroll system must update employee salaries, bonuses, and benefits and produce tax data required by the IRS


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System Requirements Checklist feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Performance

The system must support 25 users online simultaneously

Response time must not exceed four seconds


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System Requirements Checklist feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Controls

The system must provide log-on security at the operating system level and at the application level

An employee record must be added, changed, or deleted only by a member of the human resources department


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Future Growth, Costs, and Benefits feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Scalability

A scalable system offers a better return on the initial investment

To evaluate, you need information about projected future volume for all outputs, inputs, and processes


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Future Growth, Costs, and Benefits feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Total Cost of Ownership

Total cost of ownership (TCO) is especially important if the development team is evaluating several alternatives

One problem is that cost estimates tend to understate indirect costs

Rapid Economic Justification (REJ):

Microsoft’s method for measuring total costs and benefits


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Fact-Finding feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Fact-Finding Overview

The first step is to identify the information you need

Develop a fact-finding plan describing:

Who, What, Where, When, How, and Why?

Difference between asking

what is being done and

what could or should be done


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Interviews feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Systems analysts spend a great deal of time talking with people

Much of that time is spent conducting interviews


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Interview feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Step 1: Determine the People to Interview

Informal structures

Step 2: Establish Objectives for the Interview

Determine the general areas to be discussed

List the facts you want to gather


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Interviews feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Step 3: Develop Interview Questions

Creating a standard list of interview questions helps to keep you on track and avoid unnecessary tangents

Avoid leading questions

Open-ended questions

Closed-ended questions

Range-of-response questions


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Interviews feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Step 4: Prepare for the Interview

Careful preparation is essential because interview is an important meeting and not just a casual chat

Limit the interview to no more than one hour

Send a list of topics

Ask the interviewee to have samples available


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Interviews feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Step 5: Conduct the Interview

Develop a specific plan for the meeting

Begin by introducing yourself, describing the project, and explaining interview objectives

Use engaged listening

Allow the person enough time to think about the question

After interview, summarize the session and seek a confirmation


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Interviews feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Step 6: Document the Interview

Note taking should be kept to a minimum

After the interview, record the information quickly

After the interview, send memo expressing appreciation, including the main points discussed so the interviewee has a written summary and can offer additions or corrections


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Interviews feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Step 7: Evaluate the Interview

In addition to recording the facts obtained in an interview, try to identify any possible biases

Unsuccessful Interviews

No matter how well you prepare for interviews, some are not successful


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Other Fact-Finding Techniques feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Document Review

Observation

Seeing the system in action gives you additional perspective and a better understanding of the system procedures

Plan your observations in advance

Hawthorne Effect:

Productivity improves whenever the workers know they are observed.


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Other Fact-Finding Techniques feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Questionnaires and Surveys

When designing a questionnaire, the most important rule of all is to make sure that your questions collect the right data in a form that you can use to further your fact-finding

Fill-in form


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Other Fact-Finding Techniques feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Sampling: collecting examples of actual documents

Main objective of a sample is to ensure that it represents the overall population accurately

Systematic sample

(select every 10th customer for review)

Stratified sample

(geographically balanced using ZIP code)

Random sample

(selecting any 20 customers)


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Other Fact-Finding Techniques feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Research

Can include the Internet, IT magazines, and books to obtain background information, technical material, and news about industry trends and developments

Site visit


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Other Fact-Finding Techniques feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Interviews versus Questionnaires

Interview is more familiar and personal

Questionnaire gives many people the opportunity to provide input and suggestions

Brainstorming

Structured brainstorming

Unstructured brainstorming


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Documentation feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

The Need for Recording the Facts

Record information as soon as you obtain it

Use the simplest recording method

Record your findings in such a way that they can be understood by someone else

Organize your documentation so related material is located easily


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Documentation feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Software Tools

CASE Tools

Productivity Software

Word processing, spreadsheets, database management, presentation graphics programs

Histogram


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Documentation feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

Software Tools

Graphics modeling software

Personal information managers

Personal information manager (PIM)

Handheld computers

Personal digital assistants (PDAs)

Wireless communication devices


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Preview of Data and Process Modeling feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further

At the conclusion of requirements modeling, systems developers should have clear understanding of business processes and system requirements

The next step is to model the logical design of the system


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Logical design feasibility study, to see whether it is worthwhile to proceed further – the translation of business user requirements into a system model that depicts only the business requirements and not any possible technical design or implementation of those requirements. Common synonyms include conceptual design and essential design.

System model – a picture of a system that represents reality or a desired reality. System models facilitate improved communication between system users, system analysts, system designers, and system builders.


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