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Exercises in Systems Analysis and Design

For the next couple of classes we will explore the nature of both ebusiness applications and the methodology by which they are implemented. Simple role-playing exercises help to illustrate the complex dynamics of the systems that support a business and the people trying to design them.
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These exercise will require some imagination on your part. You should use The Systems Development Lifecycle as a guide where needed.


Knowledge Workers: The future of our business is in your hands…

You have been selected by your employer to represent the business in an important ebusiness application development project. Your company has contracted the services of a leading technology solutions consultancy. Your job is to articulate to the team of consultants the needs of your business so that they can design and deliver a great solution on time and on budget. First and foremost, the solution will provide for all the current needs of the business and allow for years growth. It will help the business to deliver great customer service, to improve operational efficiency, and to gain a step on its competitors. It is important that you work amicably with the team of consultants and provide them with all that they need to deliver a system that is sound both functionally and technically. Use your imagination!

Knowledge Workers Role – Functional Design

As a knowledge worker with expertise in the functional areas of business you have the key role in the Systems Development Lifecycle of drawing up the functional design of the new system.

General concerns:

Will the new system be able to support every function that is required of the business? Will the new system make it easier or more difficult for the business to function? Will the system provide me with the key information necessary to make good decisions? How will the new system affect our ability to deliver quality customer service? How will users of the new system react to the changes? How can we manage this project to maximize its potential yet make for a smooth transition?

Instructions:

Use ideas already raised in class and conceptual models (i.e draw the system) to articulate the needs of your business. Conceive of a complete functional design of the system. Use your imagination. There are no wrong answers. Be sure to consider:
• People
• Processes
• Data
• Integration with 3rd-parties
• Managing customers
• Managing suppliers


Day One - Present
1. Describe your business generally
2. Articulate the specific needs of this system

Day Two - Critique
1. Listen
2. Provide feedback to consultants in order to refine their design to your needs


Consultants: You’ve won the contract, now it’s time to deliver…

The consulting firm you work for has won an important contract from an important client to design and deliver an ebusiness application. They have chosen you to be part of the consulting team that delivers the project. Your job is to, along with knowledge workers from the client, facilitate in gathering the requirements of the new system, to take those requirements and translate them into a detailed design, and to deliver a great solution on time and on budget. First and foremost, the solution will provide for all the current needs of the business and allow for years growth. It will help the business to deliver great customer service, to improve operational efficiency, and to gain a step on its competitors. It is important that you work amicably with the team of knowledge workers and provide them with all that they need to deliver a system that is sound both functionally and technically.

Business Analyst Role -- Requirements Gathering, System Analysis and Design

As a business, or systems analyst, representing a 3rd-party consultant it is your job to act as a conduit between knowledge workers and technical specialists (instructor will do).

General concerns:

Do I have the details I need to convey what is needed to build this system? Can I design and deliver a system that will meet expectations? Can I appease the customer?

Instructions:

Use ideas already raised in class, found on the web, etc…. and draw conceptual models (i.e illustrate the system) to articulate your design. Analyze your clients needs and conceive of a detailed systems design that is both functionally and technically sound.

Remember:
• Your job is to facilitate, co-author functional design of the system with knowledge workers not to conceive of it.
• You must translate functional design of the system into detailed specifications for technical specialists (presentation, application, database).
• Get answers to key questions early and as needed.

Day One – Listen, gather requirements
1. Listen carefully, record the needs of the knowledge workers
2. Get answers to important questions so you can come up with a proper design

Day Two – Present, defend your design
1. Present Design
2. Accept feedback and/or defend reasons for your design


Posted by Mark Hemphill on February 9, 2004 | Permalink

Comments

I was at a meeting the other day with a peer of mine who works at Community and Family Services He was showing me a program they are having developed for their credit counselling services. The program collects info about clients, their bills, creditors, the amount of money each client owes each creditor, how much is paid by each client per month, how much goes to each creditor from that client per month, the total amount the creditor gets from all clients, etc. The point is, I could totally understand how it worked. I could "see" the three tiers and it all made sense!

Posted by: Sheila McDonald | Feb 18, 2004 8:49:05 AM

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