INF 340 Business System Analysis
Requirements Documentation for a system can be obtained in three ways: traditional, which is the process of conducting interviews, observing personnel in their own work environment and collection of information, Modern, which consists of joint application design (JAD), and finally radical which our text describes as process reengineering and the development of internet application (Valacich, George & Hoffer, 2015). For this paper, we will use traditional methods of requirement gathering to perform system analysis for our gym expansion.
What steps would you follow for requirements gathering?
The steps that I would follow for requirements gathering involve conducting interviews, observing actions and processes and collecting documentation. To begin this process in requirements gathering, I would start by interviewing those who are closely involved in the system to include employees, trainers and customers alike. “Interviewing is one of the primary ways analysts gather information about an information systems project” (Valacich, George & Hoffer, 2015, ch 5, para 2). Interviews are vital to this process because they allow for the analyst to grasp the inner workings of the system and determine the requirements for the system. While conducting the interview, one should keep in mind the goal for the interview. Planning is paramount, and active listening, note taking and seeking a diverse amount of views are just some of the key factors of conducting interviews (Valacich, George & Hoffer, 2015).
The next step in the traditional method would be observation, which is beneficial because interviews alone do not always obtain required information. “Because people cannot always be trusted to interpret and report their own actions reliably, you can supplement what people tell you by watching what they do in work stations” (Valacich, George, & Hoffer, 2015). Observation is an important tool that compliments interviews. While interviews obtain information based on answers that are under the assumption of truth, observation requires that employees and trainers alike are monitored to align written procedures with on-site actions. In turn, we also monitor customer response of the system as well to determine a positive or negative experience. Upon conducting these interviews, I would discover the process for setting up a new account takes on average about 25 to 30 minutes, however upon observing the actual process and comparing it to the information provided from the interviews, I learn that the actual process takes about 35 to 45 minutes and the full process involves a full tour of the gym, its training courses, amenities and facilities. I could conclude that the tour wasn’t added to the given time of new membership orientation.
The objective behind documentation is to determine what documents are required for record keeping as well as operational purposes. “Methods for determining system requirements can be enhanced by examining system and organizational documentation to discover more details about current systems and the organization they support” (Valacich, George & Hoffer, 2015). I would gather information such as duty descriptions, training requirements, policies and procedures that assist in inquiring the details of the system.
Discuss how a joint application design (JAD) can be used to help determine system requirements? Is using JAD for this process beneficial? Discuss briefly.
Joint Application Design is a “structure process in which users, managers and analysts work together for several days in a series of intensive meetings to specify or review system requirements” (Valacich, George & Hoffer, 2015). The concept behind this is that everyone who is directly involved with the new system; employee staff, trainers, managers, etc., would have to attend this meeting to discuss the system and provide feedback on pros and cons of the system. While I believe a JAD would be beneficial to the gym expansion and analyzing the system, one key member of the meeting would be missing, which is the customer. The solution to this would be relatively easy, and a meeting could be setup between all parties involved to receive feedback from a customer perspective, however the customer may or may not have time to make the meeting. Ultimately, having everyone available to attend the meeting would be ideal as it would provide relative information, however it wouldn’t be feasible due to time constraints.
When it comes to requirements documentation for a system, an analyst has many options to choose from to obtain the information required such as traditional, modern and radical. The analyst must however consider the fact that while all of these options are prime, they may not always apply to his/her specific information gathering preference. Never the less it is the analyst’s responsibility to use the right tool for the right job. When it comes to JAD, I strongly believe this method is ideal because it allows for several point of views to come together, share and disseminate information, and receive feedback on the system.
Valakati, J., George, J., & Hoffer, J. (2015). Essentials of systems analysis and design (6th ed.).
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.