Chapter 3


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Chapter 3

  1. 1. Chapter 3Analysis: investigating system requirements<br />
  2. 2. Activities of analysis phase<br />Scope Definition Phase<br /> Is the project worth looking at?<br />Problem Analysis Phase<br />Is a new system worth building?<br />Requirements Analysis Phase<br />What do the users need and want from the new system?<br />Logical Design Phase<br />What must the new system do?<br />Decision Analysis Phase<br />What is the best solution?<br />
  3. 3. Fact finding methods<br />After understanding of the problems, the systems analyst can start to define requirements.<br /> Fact-finding – the formal process of using research, meetings, interviews, questionnaires, sampling, and other techniques to collect information about system problems, requirements, and preferences. It is also called information gathering or data collection.<br />
  4. 4. Fact-Finding Ethics<br />Fact-Finding often brings systems analysts into contact with sensitive information.<br />Company plans<br />Employee salaries or medical history<br />Customer credit card, social security, or other information<br />Ethical behavior includes:<br />Systems analysts must not misuse that information.<br />Systems analysts must protect that information from people who would misuse it.<br />
  5. 5. If ethics are not followed then following consequences may occur:<br />Systems analyst loses respect, credibility, and confidence of users and management, impairing ability to do job,<br />Organization and systems analyst could have legal liability,<br />Systems analyst could lose job.<br />Fact-Finding Ethics<br />
  6. 6. Sampling of existing documentation, forms, and databases. <br />Research and site visits. <br />Observation of the work environment. <br />Questionnaires. <br />Interviews. <br />Prototyping. <br />Joint requirements planning (JRP)<br />Fact finding methods<br />
  7. 7. A Fact-Finding Strategy<br />Learn from existing documents, forms, reports, and files.<br />If appropriate, observe the system in action.<br />Given all the collected facts, design and distribute questionnaires to clear up things that aren’t fully understood.<br />Conduct interviews (or group work sessions).<br />Build discovery prototypes for any requirements that are not understood or for requirements that need to be validated (optional) .<br />Follow up to verify facts.<br />
  8. 8. Fact finding methods<br />Sampling of Existing Documentation, Forms, and Files:<br />Sampling – the process of collecting a representative sample of documents, forms, and records. <br />Organization chart<br />The documents that describe the problem<br />Standard operating procedures for current system<br />Completed forms<br />Manual and computerized screens and reports<br />Samples of databases<br />Flowcharts and other system documentation<br />
  9. 9. Fact finding methods<br />Sampling Techniques:<br /> 1.Randomization – a sampling technique characterized by having no predetermined pattern or plan for selecting sample data. <br />2.Stratification – a systematic sampling techniquethat attempts to reduce the variance of the estimates by spreading out the sampling—for example, choosing documents or records by formula—and by avoiding very high or low estimates. <br />
  10. 10. Fact finding methods<br />2. Research & Site Visits:<br />Thoroughly researching the problem domain. <br />Other people may have solutions for non-unique problems.<br />The system analyst may contact and perform site visits with other companies.<br />If these companies share their information cost and time are saved. <br />Computer journals, website and reference books are also good source of information. <br />
  11. 11. Fact finding methods<br />3. Observation:<br />a fact-finding technique wherein the systems analyst either participates in or watches a person perform activities to learn about the system.<br />Work sampling - a fact-finding technique that involves a large number of observations taken at random intervals.<br />Observation Guidelines:<br />1. Determine the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the observation.<br />2. Obtain permission from appropriate supervisors or managers.<br />
  12. 12. Fact finding methods<br />Observation Guidelines:<br />3. Inform those who will be observed of the purpose of the observation.<br />4. Keep a low profile.<br />5. Take notes during or immediately following the observation.<br />6. Review observation notes with appropriate individuals.<br />7. Don't interrupt the individuals at work.<br />8. Don't focus heavily on trivial activities.<br />9.Don't make assumptions.<br />
  13. 13. Fact finding methods<br />4. Questionnaire:<br />A special-purpose document is created which allows the analyst to collect information and opinions from respondents. <br />A document is mass produced and distributed to respondents. <br />Following types of questionnaires can be formed:<br />Free-format questionnaire – a questionnaire designed to offer the respondent greater latitude in the answer. A question is asked, and the respondent records the answer in the space provided after the question. <br />
  14. 14. Fact finding methods<br />Types of questionnaire:<br />Fixed-format questionnaire – a questionnaire containing questions that require selecting an answer from predefined available responses.<br />Types of Fixed-Format Questions:<br />1. Multiple-choice questions <br />Is the current accounts report that you receive useful? Yes No<br />
  15. 15. Fact finding methods<br />Types of Fixed-Format Questions:<br />Rating questions<br />e.g. The implementation of quality discounts would cause an increase in customer orders. Strongly agree Agree<br />  No opinion<br />  Disagree<br />  Strongly disagree<br />
  16. 16. Fact finding methods<br />Types of Fixed-Format Questions:<br />Ranking questions:<br />e.g. Rank the following transactions according to the amount of time you spend processing them.___ % new customer orders___ % order cancellations<br /> ___ % order modifications<br /> ___ % payments<br />
  17. 17. Fact finding methods<br />Developing a Questionnaire:<br />Determine what facts and opinions must be collected and from whom you should get them. <br />Based on the facts and opinions sought, determine whether free- or fixed-format questions will produce the best answers. <br />Write the questions. <br />Test the questions on a small sample of respondents. <br />Duplicate and distribute the questionnaire. <br />
  18. 18. Fact finding methods<br />5. Interviews:<br />A fact-finding technique whereby the systems analysts collect information from individuals through face-to-face interaction. <br />Can be used to:<br />Find facts<br />Verify facts<br />Generate enthusiasm<br />Get the end-user involved<br />Solicit ideas and opinions<br />The personal interview is generally recognized as the most important and most often used fact-finding technique.<br />
  19. 19. Fact finding methods<br />Types of Interviews and Questions:<br />Unstructured interview – an interview that is conducted with only a general goal or subject in mind and with few, if any, specific questions. The interviewer counts on the interviewee to provide a framework and direct the conversation. <br />Structured interview – an interview in which the interviewer has a specific set of questions to ask of the interviewee. <br />
  20. 20. Fact finding methods<br />Types of Interviews and Questions:<br />Open-ended question – question that allows the interviewee to respond in any way that seems appropriate. <br />Closed-ended question – a question that restricts answers to either specific choices or short, direct responses. <br />
  21. 21. Fact finding methods<br />Procedure to Conduct an Interview:<br />Select Interviewees<br />End users<br />Learn about individual prior to the interview<br />Prepare for the Interview<br />An interview guide is a checklist of specific questions the interviewer will ask the interviewee. <br />Conduct the Interview<br />Summarize the problem<br />Ask the interviewee for assistance<br />Follow Up on the Interview<br />Memo that summarizes the interview<br />
  22. 22. Fact finding methods<br />Types of Questions to Avoid:<br />Loaded questions<br />Leading questions<br />Biased questions<br />Interview Question Guidelines:<br />Use clear and concise language. <br />Don’t include your opinion as part of the question. <br />Avoid long or complex questions. <br />Avoid threatening questions. <br />Don’t use “you” when you mean a group of people. <br />
  23. 23. Fact finding methods<br />Avoid<br /><ul><li>Continuing an interview unnecessarily.
  24. 24. Assuming an answer is finished
  25. 25. Revealing your personal biases.
  26. 26. Talking instead of listening.
  27. 27. Assuming anything about the topic and the person. Tape recording -- a sign of poor listening skills.</li></ul>Do<br /><ul><li>Be courteous.
  28. 28. Listen carefully.
  29. 29. Maintain control.
  30. 30. Observe mannerisms and nonverbal communication.
  31. 31. Be patient.
  32. 32. Keep interviewee at ease.
  33. 33. Maintain self-control.</li></li></ul><li>Fact finding methods<br />6. Discovery Prototyping:<br /><ul><li>It is the act of building a small-scale, representative or working model of the users’ requirements in order to discover or verify those requirements.
  34. 34. This technique is used specially when the requirements are not fixed.
  35. 35. The logic behind this technique is user will get the idea about requirements when they will use prototype.
  36. 36. The prototypes are discarded when final software is developed.</li></li></ul><li>Fact finding methods<br />Discovery Prototyping:<br />This technique minimizes the risk of delivering the software to customer where requirements are not defined properly.<br />Advantages:<br />Allows users and developers to experiment on software.<br />Helps to determine feasibility and usefulness of software.<br />Serves as a training mechanism to user.<br />Helps to define stable requirements.<br />Disadvantages:<br />Users may develop unrealistic expectations from software.<br />May extend the schedule and development cost.<br />
  37. 37. Fact finding methods<br />7. Joint Requirement Planning:<br />It is a process where highly structured group meetings are conducted to analyze problems and define requirements.<br />JRP Participants:<br />Sponsor: <br />Top management person.<br />He starts the meeting by introducing the participants.<br />Determines time and location of session.<br />Facilitator:<br />Plays the role of leader.<br />Should has excellent communication skills, ability to negotiate, good knowledge of business.<br />
  38. 38. Fact finding methods<br />7. Joint Requirement Planning:<br />JRP Participants:<br />Users & Manager:<br />Role is to communicate requirements and business rules.<br />Takes decisions for project priorities, approve schedules and cost.<br />Scribe:<br />Responsible for keeping record of meetings.<br />Use case tools to generate facts immediately.<br />System analysts may play this role.<br />IT staff:<br />Take notes during discussion.<br />The questions related to technologies are solved by them.<br />
  39. 39. Fact finding methods<br />To plan for JRP session:<br />Session spans from 3 to 5 days.<br />Success depends on effective planning and carrying out plan.<br />Following steps are involved in planning JRP session:<br />Selecting a location for JRP session:<br />Conducted away from workplace.<br />Conference room is allocated.<br />Many software required like CASE tools, spreadsheets, prototyping software, <br />Teleconferencing facilities should be available.<br />
  40. 40. Fact finding methods<br />To plan for JRP session:<br />2. Selecting JRP participants:<br />Participants selected should include JRP facilitator, scribe, user representative, IT professionals.<br />3. Preparing a JRP session agenda:<br />The facilitator must prepare documentation to brief participants about scope and objectives.<br />The agenda should consists of three parts: Opening, body and conclusions.<br />In conclusions day’s summarization is done and unresolved issues are mentioned.<br />
  41. 41. Fact finding methods<br />Guidelines for Conducting a JRP Session:<br />Do not unreasonably deviate from the agenda<br />Stay on schedule<br />Ensure that the scribe is able to take notes<br />Avoid the use of technical jargon<br />Apply conflict resolution skills<br />Allow for ample breaks<br />Encourage group consensus<br />Encourage user and management participation without allowing individuals to dominate the session<br />
  42. 42. Fact finding methods<br />Brainstorming:<br />Sometimes, one of the goals of a JRP session is to generate possible ideas to solve a problem. <br />Brainstorming is a common approach that is used for this purpose.<br />It is a technique for generating ideas by encouraging participants to offer as many ideas as possible in a short period of time without any analysis until all the ideas have been exhausted.<br />
  43. 43. Fact finding methods<br />Brainstorming:<br />Isolate the appropriate people in a place that will be free from distractions and interruptions.<br />Make sure everyone understands the purpose of the meeting.<br />Appoint one person to record ideas.<br />Remind everyone of brainstorming rules.<br />Within a specified time period, team members call out their ideas as quickly as they can think of them.<br />After the group has run out of ideas and all ideas have been recorded, then and only then should the ideas be analyzed and evaluated.<br />Refine, combine, and improve the ideas that were generated earlier.<br />
  44. 44. Fact finding methods<br />End product of JRP session:<br />A formal written document.<br />Created by JRP facilitator and scribes.<br />Specifies the specification confirmed by all participants.<br />Benefits of JRP:<br />JRP actively involves users and management in the development project<br />JRP reduces the amount of time required to develop systems.<br />