investigation of a system’s
operation with a view to
changing it to new
requirements or improving
its current working.
NEED FOR SYSTEMS ANALYSIS
Systems analysis will identify
1. outputs and processing needed.
2. data required to provide this processing and
3. role of people in the process.
4. security aspects to ensure the efficient
continuation of the business.
5. costs of providing the system.
THE ROLE OF THE SYSTEMS ANALYST
Liaison with senior management and
the computer manager on the need
for new/improved systems.
Begin the implementation by
convening a meeting of the new
Investigate aspects of the business
and produce a Feasibility Report
Consult with the users who are using
the current system.
Order Hardware and any
structural/electrical wiring changes
needed to buildings.
Supervise testing of new programs. User
training with programs.
Design all aspects of a new system.
Report on developments to the
board and identify any likely
discovered as a result of
investigations. Produce a systems
Supervise completion of
Acceptance tests. Changeover. Handover
Monitoring of existing systems. Regular
reviews to see if changes are needed.
Supervise maintenance and inclusion
of new requirements.
INVOLVEMENT OF OTHER STAFF
1. Departmental managers & board. Initiate new systems.
2. Departmental managers. Brief systems analyst on departmental needs, identify
key processes, documents and key workers.
3. Users. Assist manager and systems analyst in providing information about
current systems . Identify particular individual needs of a new system.
Undertake training from initial outlines of the new system to specific training
on using it.
4. IT Technical staff. Installing and testing new equipment.
5. Development Programmers. Initial briefing about the whole new system, oneto-one briefing about individuals own designated tasks. Keep systems analyst
updated on progress and problems. Assist with testing of the new system.
Assist with training users. Provide documentation.
6. Maintenance Programmer(s). Become familiar with all programs including one
not written by the programmer. Perform changes as required as a priority.
There are four methods of doing this:
The aim of observation
is to find out what
actually happens, not
what the workers think
observers expect to
The point of observation is
to see who does what in an
organisation and what
information they do it with.
By simply watching people
working it is also fairly
straightforward to watch
how data flow around a
system. Observers have to
be careful of the
Hawthorne effect. This is
where workers modify their
behaviour because they
know they are being
Data gathered can be very
Can see exactly what is
being done in complex
compared with other
Can do work
People may perform
differently when being
Work observed may not be
representative of normal
Timing can be inconvenient
Some tasks not always
performed the same way
May observe wrong way of
Determine the who, what, where, when, why, and how
of the observation.
Obtain permission from appropriate supervisors.
Inform those who will be observed of the purpose of
Keep a low profile.
Review observation notes with appropriate individuals.
Don't interrupt the individuals at work.
Don't focus heavily on trivial activities.
Don't make assumptions.
2 Examination of
All documents which are
used within a system need
to be examined. These will
be eventually duplicated
or replaced with
alternative versions or
even discarded in the
The types of document which
need to be examined are:
The use of questionnaires is a
very popular method of fact
finding. A great deal of time
is spent on preparing
questionnaires in order that
the right type of question is
asked in order that the most
relevant information is
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
Fixed-format questionnaire – a
questions that require
selecting an answer from
Often can be answered
Return rate is often low
No guarantee that an
individual will answer all
People can complete at
Relatively inexpensive way
to gather data from a large
No opportunity to reword or
Allow for anonymity
Responses can be
Cannot observe body
Difficult to prepare
Types of Fixed-Format
• Multiple-choice questions
• Rating questions
• Ranking questions
Rank the following transactions according to the amount of
time you spend processing them.
___ % new customer orders
___ % order cancellations The implementation of quality discounts
___ % order modifications would cause an increase in customer
___ % payments
___ Strongly agree
Is the current accounts
___ No opinion
receivable report that you
___ Strongly disagree ___ Yes
Developing a Questionnaire
Determine what facts and opinions must be
collected and from whom you should get them.
Based on the facts and opinions sought, determine
whether free- or fixed-format questions will
produce the best answers.
Write the questions.
Test the questions on a small sample of
Duplicate and distribute the questionnaire.
An interview can take
more time to organise
and it is extremely
difficult to repeat so it
is vital that the
questions asked are
the right ones.
Get the end-user involved
Solicit ideas and opinions
The personal interview is generally
recognized as the most important and
most often used fact-finding technique.
Types of Interviews and
Unstructured interview –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
Structured interview –interviewer has a specific set of
questions to ask of the interviewee.
Open-ended question – question that allows the
interviewee to respond in any way.
Closed-ended question – a question that restricts
answers to either specific choices or short, direct
Give analyst opportunity
to motivate interviewee
to respond freely and
Allow analyst to probe
for more feedback
Permit analyst to adapt
or reword questions for
Can observe nonverbal
dependent on analyst's
human relations skills
May be impractical due
to location of
A Fact-Finding Strategy
Learn from existing documents, forms, reports, and
If appropriate, observe the system in action.
Given all the facts that already collected, design and
distribute questionnaires to clear up things that aren’t
Conduct interviews (or group work sessions).
(Optional). Build discovery prototypes for any
functional requirements that are not understood or for
requirements that need to be validated.
Follow up to verify facts.