System Analysis and Design: Overview

Information system

  • A system to process, collect, store and produce result to fulfil business needs
  • Software/application and information system might be used interchangeably but they are not the same entity.
  • Software is a subset of an information system, an information system consists of software, hardware, storage, people components.
  • Information system is built for people’s need to solve problem, opportunity and/or directive
  • Motivation to have an information system

  • The jargon is Initiation in SDLC definition
  • Problem – events that hinders the functionality of an organization.
  • Opportunity – Although there is no problem with the current system, but people have the desire to improve the system
  • Directive – requirements, orders, policies by higher executives, managers, directors or government
  • (personal comment: usually it is really hard to get budget for a new project motivated by opportunity, sometime it was approved but the process was arduous. However if the project was initiated by a directive, approval could be as fast as immediate; (as good as rubber stamping without even looking at the official proposal)initially there could be budget constraint suddenly an influx of budget would be teleported magically!)

    System development life cycle

  • Initiation – The trigger or motivation to build an information system
  • Planning – Outsourcing for people to do the work, seeking quotation from vendors, plan for budget
  • Analysis – Identify the problem, seeking client’s requirement, finding out the stakeholders
  • (In a nutshell analysis sought to understand a system’s requirement to solve the current problem, to fulfil future opportunities, to comply with directives)

  • Design – Based on requirements gathered from Analysis, sought for a solution to piece components together to form a system
  • Construction – To build an information system based on design specification
  • Implementation – Testing the built system, coaching operation stakeholders to work on the new system. System goes live, stakeholders start to use the system.
  • Support – Maintenance, patching softwares of the information system, improve on security, resiliency and performance
  • (Personal comment: AS the information system gets older and more stakeholders use this system, the performance naturally deteriorates, this system will be used until it is end of support by external providers or there is no possibility of improving the resiliency and performance anymore which triggers the cycle from initiation again…)

    Detailed definition of SDLC
    Reference: System Analysis and design in a changing world by John Satzinger, Robert Jackson and Stephen Burd, page 7, Chapter 2 From Beginning to End: An Overview of Systems Analysis and Design.

    Core process

  • Initiation – Identifying the problem and obtain specification
  • (Personal comment: This should be initiation and analysis together)

  • Plan – Plan and monitor the project
  • (Personal comment: Monitor the project should be from start of design until implementation.)

  • Analysis – Discover and understand the details
  • (Personal comment: How do you get the specification when you have not discovered and understood the details?)

  • Design – Design system components
  • Construction – Build, test and integrate the system
  • Implementation – Complete system tests and deploy the solution
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