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To provide learners with the knowledge and skills needed to undertake a systems analysis investigation by following a recognised methodology.
The systems life cycle provides a comprehensive framework for initially capturing data and information through a feasibility study and the use of recognised fact-finding techniques. Learners will be encouraged to identify and consider a full set of stakeholder interests to be sure that the wider implications of any development are considered. To provide perspective, learners will examine different life cycle models and appreciate their particular strengths and weaknesses and to which situations they are most appropriate. Theoretical understanding will be translated into practical skills through actual systems investigations and learners will become confident in the use of particular tools and techniques relevant to the methodology chosen. Although for practical purposes, it is likely that one particular methodology and related tools and techniques will be chosen for practical work, it is important that learners understand that others are available.
Lifecycle models: examples eg Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC), Rapid Applications Design (RAD), Spiral, Agile, Dynamic Systems Design Methodology (DSDM), Waterfall and Prototyping
Lifecycle procedure/stage: lifecycle stages within different models; lifecycle stages exampleseg (feasibility study, analysis, design, implementation, testing, review) or (analysis, design, implementation, maintenance, planning)
Fact-finding techniques: eg, interviews, observation, investigation of documentation, questionnaires, focus groups
Feasibility criteria: issues eg legal, social, economic, technical, timescales; organizational constraints
Components: purpose; structure; intended audience; outcomes
Identify requirements: stakeholders; requirements identification; requirements specification eg scope, inputs, outputs, processes and process descriptors; consideration of alternate solutions; quality assurance required
Constraints: specific to activity eg costs, organisational policies, legacy systems, hardware platforms
Report documentation: structure eg background information, problem statements, data collection process and summary, recommendations, appendices
Systems analysis terminology and tools: data stores and entities; data flows; processrepresentation techniques relationships – 1:1, 1:Many (1:M) and Many: Many (M:M)
Investigation: eg upgrading computer systems, designing new systems
Techniques: examples relevant to methodology chosen eg Context Diagrams, Data Flow Diagrams (DFDs), Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERDs); Business Systems Options (BSOs); Technical Systems Options (TSOs); quality considerations eg Total Quality Management (TQM)
Dennis A and Haley Wixom B – Systems Analysis and Design (John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2009) ISBN-10: 0470400315
LejkM and Deeks D – An Introduction to System Analysis Techniques, 2nd Edition (Addison Wesley, 2002) ISBN-10: 0201797135