Chapter 5 Review Questions
1. Describe systems analysis and the major activities that occur during this phase of the systems development life cycle.
During systems analysis, you determine how the current information system functions and assess what users would like to see in a new system. Requirements determination, requirements structuring, and alternative generation and selection are the three primary systems analysis activities.
2. What are some useful character traits for an analyst involved in requirements determination?
Requirements determination is a crucial part of the systems development life cycle; therefore impertinence, impartiality, relaxing constraints, attention to ...view middle of the document...
6. What are the general guidelines for collecting data through analyzing documents?
Document analysis is an effective way to learn about the current system and future system’s requirements. It is important for the analyst to collect and review as many documents as he/she can. He/she should collect organizational mission statements, business plans, organization charts, business policy manuals, job descriptions, internal and external correspondence, and reports from prior organizational studies. Specifically, he/she should review business forms, reports, written work procedures, and existing system documentation.
7. Compare collecting information through observation and through document analysis. Describe a hypothetical situation in which each of these methods would be an effective way to collect information system requirements.
The observation method is high in information richness; requires significant time, can be expensive, and provides the chance for follow-up and probing. The person watching is known to the analyst and the potential audience is small. In contrast, the information richness of document analysis is low and old; the time required is low to moderate; its expense is low to moderate, and the chance for follow-up is limited. The confidentiality of the document depends on the nature of the document; there is no clear commitment on the subject’s part, and there is potentially bias by which documents were retained.
8. What is JAD? How is it better than traditional information-gathering techniques? What are its weaknesses?
JAD is a structured process in which users, managers, and analysts work together for several days in a series of intensive meetings to specify or review system requirements. It is better than traditional techniques because you have key personnel in one place at one time, saving everyone time and resulting in high levels of system ownership as more people have more of a role in the development process. Weaknesses include the level of commitment necessary to make the JAD work, the high degree of required planning, and the typical lack of computer support.
9. How has computing been used to support requirements determination?