Describe systems analysis and the major activities that occur during this phase of the systems development life cycle.
Describe four traditional techniques for collecting information during analysis. When might one be better than another?
How has computing been used to support requirements determination?
Describe how prototyping can be used during requirements determination. How is it better or worse than traditional methods?
Why is continual user involvement a useful way to discover system requirements? Under what conditions might it be used? Under what conditions might it not be used?
Problems and Exercises
As mentioned in this chapter, one of the potential problems with gathering information requirements by observing potential system users is that people may change their behavior when they are being observed. What could you do to overcome this potential confounding factor in accurately determining information requirements?
Research other Agile methodologies and write a report about how they handle systems requirements determination.
Choose a work team at your work or university and inter- view them in a group setting. Ask them about their current system (whether computer-based or not) for performing their work. Ask each of them what information they use and/or need and from where/whom they get it. Was this a useful method for you to learn about their work? Why or why not? What comparative advantages does this method provide as compared to one-on-one interviews with each team member? What comparative disadvantages?
For the same work team you used in Field Exercise 6-35, examine copies of any relevant written documentation (e.g., written procedures, forms, reports, system documentation). Are any of these forms of written documentation missing? Why? With what consequences? To what extent does this written documentation fit with the information you received in the group interview?
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