Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
The World of the Modern Systems Analyst
Chapter 1
Learning Objectives
After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

...
Chapter Outline
The analyst as a business problem solver
     •   How systems solve organizational problems
     •   The a...
Detailed Lecture Notes

The Analyst as a Business Problem Solver
•   Systems analysis: the process of understanding and sp...
defining what it takes to solve the problem. A business case must be made for solving the
problem – if the benefits don’t ...
•   Management information systems (MIS): information systems that take information
    captured by transaction processing...
Systems analysts need to understand business organizations and how they operate, since they are
solving problems for them....
•   Programmer analyst
•   Business systems analyst
•   System liaison
•   End-user analyst
•   Business consultant
•   Sy...
Information systems strategic planning

Developing the information systems strategic plan, the plan defining the technolog...
RMO also completed strategic information systems planning, including an application
architecture plan and a technology arc...
RMO’s organizational structure and locations

RMO is managed by John Blankens (President and CEO) and Liz Blankens (VP Mer...
The Customer Support System

The information system project followed in this text is the customer support system (CSS)
pro...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT

3,379

Published on

0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
3,379
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
97
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Transcript of "SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT"

  1. 1. The World of the Modern Systems Analyst Chapter 1 Learning Objectives After reading this chapter, you should be able to: • Explain the key role of a systems analyst in business • Describe the various types of systems an analyst might work on • Explain the importance of technical, people, and business skills for an analyst • Explain why ethical behavior is crucial for a systems analyst’s career • Describe the many types of technology an analyst needs to understand • Describe various job titles and places of employment where analysis and design work is done • Discuss the analyst’s role in strategic planning for an organization • Describe the analyst’s role in a systems development project 1-1
  2. 2. Chapter Outline The analyst as a business problem solver • How systems solve organizational problems • The approach to solving problems Systems that solve business problems • Information Systems • Types of Information Systems Required skills of the systems analyst • Technical knowledge and skills • Business knowledge and skills • People knowledge and skills • A few words about integrity and ethics The environment surrounding the analyst • Types of technology encountered • Typical job titles and places of employment The analyst’s role in strategic planning • Special projects • Strategic planning processes • Information systems strategic planning • Enterprise resource planning (ERP) Rocky Mountain Outfitters and its strategic information systems plan • Introducing Rocky Mountain Outfitters (RMO) • RMO strategic issues • RMO’s organizational structure and locations • The RMO information systems department • Existing RMO systems • The customer support system The analyst as a system developer (the heart of the course) • Part 1: The modern systems analyst • Part 2: Systems analysis tasks • Part 3: Systems design tasks • Part 4: Implementation and support 1-2
  3. 3. Detailed Lecture Notes The Analyst as a Business Problem Solver • Systems analysis: the process of understanding and specifying in detail what the information system should do. • Systems design: the process of specifying in detail how the many component parts of the information system should be physically implemented. • Systems analyst: a business professional who uses analysis and design techniques to solve business problems using information technology. A systems analyst needs to know about computers and programming, but also should know and have a desire to use computers to solve problems. The solution to the “problem” is generally a new information system. Systems analysts solve problems for business organizations, such as these: • Problems getting orders from customers • Problems planning production amounts • Problems causing inventory holding costs • Problems anticipating customer needs • Problems limiting complete information about financial position • Problems limiting employee flexibility in benefits plans A systems analyst uses a generic problem solving approach. The analyst uses a series of steps in order to systematically understand and solve the problem. The steps are: • Research and understand the problem • Verify that the benefits of solving the problem outweigh the costs • Define the requirements for solving the problem • Develop a set of possible solutions (alternatives) • Decide which solution is the best and make a recommendation • Define the details of the chosen solution • Implement the solution • Monitor to make sure the desired results were obtained When a new information system is a “solution” to a problem, it is important to understand the problem the system will solve. This is the essence of systems analysis – understanding and 1-3
  4. 4. defining what it takes to solve the problem. A business case must be made for solving the problem – if the benefits don’t outweigh the costs, then why should the problem be solved at all? There are always many alternative solutions that will solve the problem. They must be identified and evaluated. One of the solutions is chosen based on a variety of factors. The chosen solution is defined in detail and then it is implemented. While the new system is being used, it is important to monitor it to be sure it is doing what is needed to solve the problem. Over time it will need to be supported and perhaps modified. Systems that Solve Business Problems Although the approach to problem solving presented above can be applied to solving any type of problem, this text is about problems that are solved with information systems. Information Systems Although you are familiar with basic information systems concepts from prior courses, you should review some concepts: • System: a collection of interrelated components that function together to achieve some outcome. • Information system: a collection of interrelated components that collect, process, store, and provide as output the information needed to complete business tasks. • Subsystem: a system that is part of a larger system. • Supersystem: a larger system that contains other systems. • Functional decomposition: dividing a system into components based on subsystems that in turn are further divided into subsystems. • System boundary: the separation between a system and its environment that inputs and outputs must cross. • Automation boundary: the separation between the automated part of a system and the manual part of a system. Types of Information Systems There are six types of information systems found in business organizations. They are integrated through the use of shared data. The types of systems include: • Transaction processing systems (TPS): information systems that capture and record information about the transactions that affect the organization. 1-4
  5. 5. • Management information systems (MIS): information systems that take information captured by transaction processing systems and produce reports that management needs for planning and control. • Executive information systems (EI): information systems that provide information for executives to use in strategic planning. • Decision support systems (DSS): support systems that allow a user to explore the impact of available options or decisions. • Communication support systems: support systems that allow employees to communicate with each other and with customers and suppliers. • Office support systems: support systems that help employees create and share documents, including reports, proposals, and memos. Required Skills of the Systems Analyst Because of the complexity of business problems and the information systems that solve them, a systems analyst needs a great deal of knowledge and many special skills, including technical, business, and “people” knowledge and skills. Technical knowledge and skills These are the most obvious areas of expertise: computers, peripheral devices, communications networks, databases, programming languages, and operating systems. Analysts also use tools and techniques to build systems: Tools: Software products used to help develop analysis and design specifications and completed system components, for example development packages like Microsoft Access or Visual Age, and Powerbuilder, integrated development environments (IDEs), computer-aided system engineering (CASE) tools, program code generators, documentation generating tools, testing tools, project management tools, etc. Techniques: Strategies for completing specific system development activities. These are covered in detail in this text. Examples include project planning techniques, systems analysis techniques, systems design techniques, system construction and implementation techniques, and system support techniques. Some techniques cover completing smaller parts of systems analysis or systems design, such as data modeling techniques, process modeling techniques, interviewing techniques, feasibility studies, interface design techniques, database design techniques, etc. Business knowledge and skills 1-5
  6. 6. Systems analysts need to understand business organizations and how they operate, since they are solving problems for them. This is why the MIS or CIS majors are typically majors in a business degree. It is important to understand the business functions performed and how organizations are structured and managed, including finance, accounting, manufacturing, marketing, and other business functions. It is also important to understand the specific organization involved. What does it do? What makes it successful? What are its strategies and plans? What are its traditions and values? A system solution is tailored specifically for the needs of a specific organization. People knowledge and skills Analysts work with others to develop systems, including employees from various areas of the company and with other system developers. Therefore, people knowledge and skills are crucial. Analysts need to understand how people think, learn, react to change, communicate, and work. A few words about integrity and ethics It is also important for systems analysts to recognize the importance of ethical behavior. They are trusted with private and proprietary information. The Environment Surrounding the Analyst Systems analysts work with a variety of technical environments, have many different job titles, and work in different employment arrangements. Types of technology encountered Sometimes students get the idea that all systems are small desktop systems because those are the projects they do in classes. Large systems are very complex and involve thousands of users at hundreds of locations using databases with hundreds of tables with millions of rows of data. Different configurations of information systems technology an analyst might encounter include: • Desktop systems • Networked desktop systems that share data • Client-server systems • Large scale centralized mainframe systems • Systems using Internet, intranet, and extranet technology Typical job titles and places of employment People doing analysis and design work have many different job titles. Sometimes analysis and design work is only part of their job responsibilities. Sometimes systems analysts also manage the project, and are called project leader or project manager. Job titles include: 1-6
  7. 7. • Programmer analyst • Business systems analyst • System liaison • End-user analyst • Business consultant • Systems consultant • Systems support analyst • System designer • Software engineer • System architect • Webmaster • Web developer Analysis and design work is done at small businesses, medium sized and regional businesses, national Fortune 500 corporations, and multinational corporations. Some organizations have centralized information systems departments, and some are decentralized. Not all analysts work for the company with the problem to solve. There are many different work arrangements, including independent contractors, outsource providers, consulting firms, software package development firms, and application service providers (ASP). Some software development for packages like Microsoft Office XP or operating systems like Windows XP is more likely done by computer science graduates. This text is about developing systems that solve specific business problems. The Analyst’s Role in Strategic Planning Systems analysts can become involved in strategic issues relatively early in their careers. Special projects An analyst might work closely with executives to develop an executive information system (EIS). An analyst might also work on projects of interest to executives using business process reengineering, a technique that seeks to alter the nature of the work done in a business function with the objective of radically improving performance. Strategic planning processes All businesses complete strategic planning, a process in which executives try to answer questions about the company, such as where they are now, where they want to be, and what they have to do to get there. Analysts are often involved with issues related to the role of information systems. 1-7
  8. 8. Information systems strategic planning Developing the information systems strategic plan, the plan defining the technology and applications the information systems function needs to provide to support the organization’s strategic plan, also might involve analysts. It includes the applications architecture plan, a description of the integrated information systems needed by the organization to carry out its business functions, and the technology architecture plan, a description of the hardware, software, and communications networks required to implement planned information systems. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) Organizations are increasingly adopting enterprise resource planning (ERP), a process in which an organization commits to using an integrated set of software packages for key information systems. Working on an ERP project requires the analyst to understand the overall organization, and the decision to adopt an ERP solution is a strategic one. Rocky Mountain Outfitters and Its Strategic Systems Plan This text uses a case study to demonstrate important analysis and design techniques. This chapter introduces the company: Rocky Mountain Outfitters (RMO). RMO has a strategic plan that requires a comprehensive information systems strategic plan. This text describes one information systems development project that is included in the plan. Introducing Rocky Mountain Outfitters (RMO) RMO began in 1978 by John and Liz Blankens in Park City, Utah. They started manufacturing and selling winter sports clothing to local ski shops. Then they expanded by offering a more complete line of clothing through a mail order catalog. RMO is now a large regional sports clothing manufacturer and distributor in the Rocky Mountain and western states. Interest in winter and summer sports such as skiing, snow boarding, mountain biking, water skiing, river running, jogging, hiking, camping, mountain climbing, and rappelling led to rapid growth. They employ 600 people and produce almost $100 million annual sales. They now offer phone sales, catalog sales, and retail stores. RMO strategic issues RMO wants to upgrade its web site from an informational site to a complete B2C eCommerce site. The strategy also involves careful supply chain management (SCM - a process that seamlessly integrates product development, acquisition, manufacturing, and inventory management) and customer relationship management (CRM - processes that support marketing, sales, and service operations involving direct and indirect customer interaction). 1-8
  9. 9. RMO also completed strategic information systems planning, including an application architecture plan and a technology architecture plan. The plan focuses on implementing both SCM and CRM to maximize customer satisfaction 1-9
  10. 10. RMO’s organizational structure and locations RMO is managed by John Blankens (President and CEO) and Liz Blankens (VP Merchandising). Two other VPs are VP Marketing and Sales and VP Finance and Systems. Under VP Finance and Systems are Assistant VP Accounting and Finance and Assistant VP Information systems. The information system is organized into system development and system support departments. Manufacturing, distribution, and other facilities are located in Oregon, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. Corporate offices are still in Park City, Utah. The Information System Department is headed by Mac Preston and includes about fifty employees. Existing RMO systems Existing systems include: • Merchandising /Distribution • Mail Order • Phone Order • Retail Store Systems • Office Systems • Human Resources • Accounting Finance The information systems strategic plan The current RMO strategic plan was developed with the help of consultants based on the strategic plans of RMO. The information systems strategic plan defines a technology architecture plan and an application architecture plan to support the corporate plan. The technology architecture plan calls for distributing applications across multiple locations and computer systems, conducting more business processes via the Internet including SCM and CRM systems, and moving toward intranet applications for business functions such as HR, accounting, and finance. The application architecture plan includes future use of packages for accounting/finance and human resources, new system development for a customer support system and (CSS) supply chain management (SCM), and a package solution for a strategic information management system (SIMS). The timeline for the systems plan is as follows: • 2002-2003: New development of Supply Chain Management (SCM) • 2003-2004: New development of Customer Support System (CSS) (example in text) • 2004: Package solution for Strategic Information Management System (SIMS) • 2004: Replace Retail Stores System with new package • 2005: Replace the existing Accounting/Finance system with a intranet package • 2006: Replace Human Resource System with intranet package 1-10
  11. 11. The Customer Support System The information system project followed in this text is the customer support system (CSS) project, a system development project begun shortly after the SCM system project. The customer support system (CSS) includes integrating the mail order and phone order processes plus adding direct customer interaction via the Internet. The Analyst as a System Developer (The Heart of the Course) This section provides an overview of the text, which focuses on the system analyst as a system developer working on a system development project. The parts and chapters include: • Part 1: The Modern Systems Analyst 1. The World of the Modern Systems Analyst (this chapter) 2. The Analyst as a Project Manager 3. Approaches to System Development • Part 2: Systems Analysis Tasks 4. Beginning the Analysis: Investigating System Requirements 5. Modeling System Requirements: Events and Things 6. The Traditional Approach to Requirements 7. The Object-Oriented Approach to Requirements 8. Environments, Alternatives, and Decisions • Part 3: Systems Design Tasks 9. Moving to Design 10. Designing Databases 11. Designing User Interfaces 12. Designing System Interfaces, Controls, and Security • Part 4: Implementation and Support 13. Rapid Application Development and Component Based Development 14. Packaged Software and Enterprise Resource Planning 15. Making the System Operational 1-11

×