System Analysis

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Topics Covered:
Project initiation
Determining project feasibility
Project scheduling
Managing project activities
Manage systems analysis team members
Project Initiation
Projects are initiated for two broad reasons:
Problems that lend themselves to systems solutions.
Opportunities for improvement through
Upgrading systems.
Altering systems.
Installing new systems.
Organizational Problems
Identify problems by looking for the following signs:
Check output against performance criteria
Too many errors.
Work completed slowly.
Work done incorrectly.
Work done incompletely.
Work not done at all.
Observe behavior of employees
High absenteeism.
High job dissatisfaction.
High job turnover.
Listen to feedback from vendors, customers, and suppliers •Complaints.
Suggestions for improvement.
Loss of sales.
Lower sales.
Project Selection
Five specific criteria for project selection:
Backed by management.
Timed appropriately for commitment of resources.
It moves the business toward attainment of its goals.
Practicable.
Important enough to be considered over other projects.
Possibilities for Improvement
Many possible objectives exist including:
Speeding up a process.
Streamlining a process.
Combining processes.
Reducing errors in input.
Reducing redundant storage.
Reducing redundant output.
Improving system and subsystem integration.

Feasibility Impact Grid (FIG) – A feasibility impact grid (FIG) is used to assess the impact of any improvements to the existing system. It can increase awareness of the impacts made on the achievement of corporate objectives. Current or proposed systems are listed on the left while objectives are listed on the top. Red arrows indicate a positive impact and green arrows indicate implementation. A feasibility study assesses the operational, technical, and economic merits of the proposed project. There are three types of feasibility:

Technical feasibility – assesses whether the current technical resources are sufficient for the new system. If they are not available, can they be upgraded to provide the level of technology necessary for the new system •Economic feasibility – determines whether the time and money are available to develop the system. Includes the purchase of:

New equipment.
Hardware.
Software

Operational feasibility – determines if the human resources are available to operate the system once it has been installed. Users that do not want a new system that may prevent it from becoming operationally feasible.

Activity planning includes:
Selecting a systems analysis team.
Estimating time required to complete each task.
Scheduling the project.

Two tools for project planning and control are Gantt charts and PERT diagrams.

Estimating time
Project is broken down into phases.
Further project is broken down into tasks or activities. •Finally project is broken down into steps or even smaller units. •Time is estimated for each task or activity.
Most likely, pessimistic, and optimistic estimates for time may be used.
PERT-Program Evaluation and Review Technique
PERT diagrams show precedence, activities that must be completed before the next activities may be started. •Once a diagram is drawn it is possible to identify the critical path, the longest path through the activities. •Monitoring critical path will identify shortest time to complete the project.

Advantages
Easy identification of the order of precedence
Easy identification of the critical path and thus critical activities •Easy determination of slack time, the leeway to fall behind on noncritical paths

Timeboxing – sets an absolute due date for project delivery. The most critical features are developed first and implemented by the due date. Other features are added later.

Personal information manager (PIM) software is useful for scheduling activities and...
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