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Feasibility Analysis Introduction Feasibility is a measure of how beneficial the development of an information system would be to an organization. Feasibility.

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Presentation on theme: "Feasibility Analysis Introduction Feasibility is a measure of how beneficial the development of an information system would be to an organization. Feasibility."— Presentation transcript:

1 Feasibility Analysis Introduction Feasibility is a measure of how beneficial the development of an information system would be to an organization. Feasibility analysis is the process by which feasibility is measured and it should be performed throughout the SDLC.

2 While determining feasibility, the concept of "software creep" should be kept in mind. The scope and complexity of an apparently feasible project can change after the current problems are fully understood or after the end- users' needs have been defined in detail or after technical requirements are established. Thus, a project that is feasible at one stage of development may become less feasible or infeasible at a later point in time.

3 Defining Objectives for Software Development There are several acceptable objectives for the developing system projects. These may include: Reducing errors and improving the accuracy of data input Reducing cost of system output Integrating sub-systems Upgrading present services Speeding up inputs Shortening data processing time Automating manual procedures

4 Ascertaining the overall feasibility of a requested project means finding out what the organizational objectives are and then determining if the project serves to move the organization towards attaining its objectives in some way. The objectives of the project should be clarified through interviews with the person, group or department proposing it.

5 Determining Feasibility Feasibility report is generated after a preliminary study of the system. It precedes the detailed analysis of the system and must be accomplished quickly so that the resources devoted to it are minimal and information output from the study is solid.

6 The process of feasibility assessment is effective in screening out projects that are inconsistent with the organization's objectives. While it is painstaking, feasibility study is worthwhile and saves organizations and analysts a good deal of time and money in the long run.

7 Most analysts agree that feasibility should encompass the following three areas:

8 Technical feasibility It is a measure of the practicality of the specified technical solution and of the availability of technical resources. The analyst must find out whither current technical resources can be upgraded or added to in a manner that fulfills the request under consideration.

9 Technical feasibility can only be evaluated after the design and evaluation phases of the SDLC have been completed. Today, very little is technically impossible and consequently, technical feasibility will only look for practicality and reasonability of the system. The major issues covered in technical feasibility are:

10 Is the proposed technology or solution practical? Whether the available resources are mature enough to be used in the system. A mature technology has a larger customer base for obtaining advice concerning problems and improvements. Is the required technology available? For example, will a printer be able to print the reports and forms required for the new system? If YES, can it be easily procured?

11 Is the required expertise available? The technology may be available, but are the skills required to properly apply that technology also available? For example, a newer network of Windows NT may require a fresh MCSE to run it. Is the schedule feasible? Are the project deadlines reasonable? Is it preferable to deliver a properly functioning information system two months later than to deliver an error-prone, useless system on time? If the deadlines are desirable rather than mandatory, the analyst can propose alternative schedules.

12 Economic feasibility Is a measure of the cost-effectiveness of a project or solution. This is also called the cost-benefit analysis and tells the concerned organization the value of investment it is about to make before committing to a detailed study of the system. If short-term costs are not compensated by long-term gains or profits, then the system is not feasible and the project should not proceed any further.

13 Economic feasibility is the bottom line in many projects. During the early phases of the project development, costs are practically impossible to estimate because the end-users' requirements and alternative technical solutions have not yet been identified. However, as soon as these two things get a distinguishable, definite shape, the analyst can weigh the cost and benefit of each alternative.

14 Operational feasibility This is a measure of how well the solution of problems or a specified alternative solution will work when installed in the organization. It also tells about how people feel about the new system and whether or not it will be used. If the users are virtually wed to the current system, see no problems with it and are not involved in requesting a better system, there might be strong resistance to implementing the new system or if implemented, may lead to its failure.

15 There are a few aspects to be considered while determining operational feasibility of a system :

16 Is the problem worth solving? How much is the urgency of a solution? A preliminary study of the system can highlight areas requiring immediate amendment or upgrading. Effort, time and resources can then be directed towards these rather than towards finding and eliminating problems that have not yet surfaced.

17 Will the proposed solution to the problem work? Does the system provide adequate throughput and response time? Does the system provide end users and managers with timely, pertinent, accurate and usefully formatted information (reports)? Does the system have the capacity to reduce the costs or increase the profits of the organization?

18 Does the system offer adequate control over the accuracy and security of information? Does the system make maximum use of the available resources? Does the system provide desirable and reliable services to those who need them? Is the system flexible and expandable?

19 How do the end users and managers feel about the problem (solution)? Does the management support the system? How do the end users feel about their role in the new system? What end users and/ or managers will resist the changes and can this resistance be overcome? How will the working environment of the organization change and how will the workers adapt to these changes?

20 Feasibility Checkpoints in a Project - The Umbrella Activity A thorough SDLC standard will have many go/ no go or management review checkpoints. These identify specific times during the SDLC at which feasibility needs to be reevaluated. A project can be cancelled or resource estimates can be changed at such a time.

21 This idea may bother the new analyst at first because the natural inclination would be to justify continuing with the project on the basis that a lot of time and effort already spent can not be recovered. However, a fundamental principle of management is never to throw good money after bad money - if the project is now infeasible, minimize further loss by canceling or revising and reducing the project scope - what is sunk is sunk!

22 These checkpoints can be placed before or after the distinct phases of SDLC. Some of the places where checkpoints can be implemented are:

23 After Survey phase The feasibility is more of a measurement of the urgency of the problem and first-cut estimate of development costs.

24 After Selection phase In some SDLC, selection phase is the feasibility study. Certainly, this stage sets the most important feasibility checkpoint since it is during this phase that alternative solutions are defined and a target computer-based solution is selected.

25 After Acquisition phase, before design A feasibility analysis is required before a hardware or software contract is extended to the vendor, since this requires a big economic decision. The hardware and software selected from the last checkpoint may have a significant impact on the feasibility of the solutions being considered if there is fluctuation in the prices or availability of these.

26 After Design phase A final checkpoint can be installed after the proposed system has been designed, the complexity of the problem have been fully understood and the detailed design specifications have been completed. This checkpoint gives one last chance to update project estimates or reevaluate feasibility because the subsequent phases of coding and implementing are the most expensive and time consuming.

27 Judging Feasibility Once the alternative solutions have been evaluated with the technical, economical and operational feasibility, how can the best solution be picked? It is not always easy. Operational and economical issues often conflict e.g. the solution that provides the users with the best operation may as well be the most expensive (a mainframe or mini-frame as the server instead of a micro-frame).

28 In such situations the final decision can only be made by sitting with the end users and managers, reviewing the data and choosing the best overall alternative.

29 What is Software Engineering? The primary goal of software engineering is to provide the quality of software with low cost. Software Engineering involves project planning, project management, systematic analysis, design, validations and maintenance activities.

30 Role of System Analyst? The system analyst is the person (or persons) who guides through the development of an information system. In performing these tasks the analyst must always match the information system objectives with the goals of the organization. Role of System Analyst differs from organization to organization. Most common responsibilities of System Analyst are following

31 1) System analysis It includes system's study in order to get facts about business activity. It is about getting information and determining requirements. Here the responsibility includes only requirement determination, not the design of the system. 2) System analysis and design: Here apart from the analysis work, Analyst is also responsible for the designing of the new system/application.

32 What is Software Engineering? Software Engineering is the systematic approach to the development, operation and maintenance of software. Software Engineering is concerned with development and maintenance of software products.

33 3) Systems analysis, design, and programming: Here Analyst is also required to perform as a programmer, where he actually writes the code to implement the design of the proposed application.

34 Due to the various responsibilities that a system analyst requires to handle, he has to be multifaceted person with varied skills required at various stages of the life cycle. In addition to the technical know- how of the information system development a system analyst should also have the following knowledge.

35 Business knowledge: As the analyst might have to develop any kind of a business system, he should be familiar with the general functioning of all kind of businesses. Interpersonal skills: Such skills are required at various stages of development process for interacting with the users and extracting the requirements out of them Problem solving skills: A system analyst should have enough problem solving skills for defining the alternate solutions to the system and also for the problems occurring at the various stages of the development process.

36 Who are the Users of System (System end Users)? The system end users of the system refer to the people who use computers to perform their jobs, like desktop operators. Further, end users can be divided into various categories. Very first users are the hands-on users. They actually interact with the system. They are the people who feed in the input data and get output data. Like person at the booking counter of a

37 gas authority. This person actually sees the records and registers requests from various customers for gas cylinders. Other users are the indirect end users who do not interact with the systems hardware and software. However, these users benefit from the results of these systems. These types of users can be managers of organization using that system. There are third types of users who have management responsibilities for application systems. These oversee investment in the development or use of the system.

38 Fourth types of users are senior managers. They are responsible for evaluating organization's exposure to risk from the systems failure.

39 System Design It is the general and detailed specification of a computer-based solution that was selected during system analysis. Design specifications are typically sent to the computer programmers for system implementation. System Implementation It is placing the system into operation. Computer programs are written and tested, managers and users are trained to use the new system and operations are converted to the new system. System Support It is the ongoing support of the system after it has been placed into operation. This includes program maintenance and system improvement.

40 System Analyst Synonyms for System Analyst System Designer, System Engineer, System Consultant, Management Consultant, Operations Analyst, Information Analyst, Data Analyst, Business Analyst. A System Analyst studies the problems and needs of an organization to determine how people, methods and computer technology can best accomplish improvements for that organization. SA works as a key person for the whole system design. The Analyst uses a systematic approach to study a system and acts as a bridge between two different groups - users and programmers. On one hand he deals with the user to understand the job they have to perform within their organization and on the other hand he communicates with the programmers about how the users needs are to be transformed into functional programs.

41 The users do not (mostly) understand how a computer works or how to make it do what they want. So they hire a System Analyst to design a computerized system to help them. When the Analyst studies the whole system and gets the idea about the user's needs, he designs a suitable system and that design is turned over to the programmers. The programmers (typically) do not understand the user's needs but they do understand how a computer system works and how to write a program to perform the required function. Thus, the Analyst perform a dual role to bridge the gap between the knowledge that the user has about the function that must be performed and the technology that should be used to perform it.

42 Roles of a System Analyst Consultant The System Analyst frequently acts as a consultant to an organization and, thus, maybe hired specifically to address information system issues with that organization. This can be an advantage since outside consultants can bring with them fresh ideas that other members of the organization do not have. It also means that the outside consultants are at a disadvantage, because the true organizational culture can never be known to an outsider. Supporting Expert The Analyst provides professional expertise concerning computer hardware and software and their usage within an organization. This work is often not a full-blown system project, but rather a small modification or decision affecting a single department.

43 Change Agent It is the most comprehensive and responsible role that a System Analyst takes whether internal or external to the organization. The presence of an Analyst in an organization brings about changes in its working. If a change seems warranted after analysis, a plan is developed with the help of the people who enact the changes. Additionally the System analyst is required to teach the users the process of change, because the changes in the information system do not occur independently but cause changes in the rest of the organization as well.

44 Qualities of a System Analyst Problem solver Communication capability Works as a challenger Computer literate Self disciplined Self motivated The SA must have the wisdom of Solomon, the patience of a saint and the skin of a rhino to act as a good analyst.

45 An information system is an arrangement of interdependent human and machine components that interact to support the operational, managerial and decision making information needs of an organization.

46 System A System is a set or arrangement of interdependent things or components that are related, form a whole and serve a common purpose. A system is a collection of small components called subsystems that are interrelated and interdependent and work together to achieve the goals of the organization.

47 Types of Systems There are two types of systems: Natural The solar system and the human body are natural system. They exist in nature. Fabricated Fabricated systems are built by people. A manufacturing operation, an accounting system and an information system all are examples of fabricated systems.

48 What is Software Engineering? Software Engineering is the systematic approach to the development, operation and maintenance of software. Software Engineering is concerned with development and maintenance of software products.

49 Information Everything we do revolves around decisions, and decisions require information. For instance, if you are about to go out you need to decide which clothes to wear, if any, and to make that decision, you need information about what the weather is like. Information is the data that has been processed in such a way as to be meaningful to the person who receives it.

50 The quality of source data affects the value of information. Information is worthless if the source data is flawed. For example, if a group of researchers fill in the questionnaires themselves, inventing the answers, then the conclusions drawn from the processed data would be wrong which might lead to poor decisions.

51 The qualities of good information are: Accurate and Reliable Complete Cost beneficial (less volume, more information) User targeted Relevant Adaptable (in terms of communication) Timely Easy to use

52 Information System An information system is a subsystem of the organization. It is an arrangement of interdependent components that interact to support the operations, management and decision making information needs of an organization.

53 To maximize the usefulness of information, an organization must manage it correctly, just as it manages other resources. Thus, the purpose of an information system is to collect, process and exchange information amongst the workers in an organization.

54 An information system is an arrangement of interdependent human and machine components that interact to support the operational, managerial and decision making information needs of an organization.

55 An information system is an arrangement of interdependent human and machine components that interact to support the operational, managerial and decision making information needs of an organization.

56 An information system is an arrangement of interdependent human and machine components that interact to support the operational, managerial and decision making information needs of an organization.

57 An information system is an arrangement of interdependent human and machine components that interact to support the operational, managerial and decision making information needs of an organization.

58 Computerized Information System (CIS) Although manual systems get the job done, they are often inefficient and error- prone. How does computerization help? Perhaps by amplifying the potential of the information system by increasing efficiency, reducing errors and increasing effectiveness. The computer (most of the time) complements rather than replaces the human users.

59 The computer system is a common but not essential subsystem of many information systems. Information systems that use the computer are sometimes called Computer Information Systems (CIS).

60 Applications of CIS Data Processing Systems (DPS) It is a computerized information system developed to process a large amount of data for routine business transactions such as payrolls, inventory control, stock control and marketing etc. DPS supports the day to day activities of the organization. The working of DPS can be shown as: Input  Processing  Output

61 Knowledge Work Systems (KWS) These systems support work at knowledge level. KWS support knowledge workers such as scientists, engineers and doctors by aiding them to create new knowledge and contribute it to their organization or to the society at large.

62 Management Information Systems (MIS) MIS is a system that provides data or information about the operations of the organization. MIS supports the activities, functioning and working of employees, owners, customers and other people in that organization's environment. They provide efficient processing to assist with a workload of transactions or decisions for the higher management. MIS has following subsystems:

63 Transaction Processing System (TPS) Transactions are business events such as orders, invoices, requisitions and the like. Some organizations consider their transaction processing systems to be different from their information systems, which in reality is not. There are two types of transaction processing: Input Transactions Customer orders, accounting vouchers, course registration, time cards, airline reservations, payments, bank deposit slips etc. Output transactions Customer invoices, course schedules, paychecks, airline reservation confirmations, payment receipts, sales receipts, etc.

64 Management Report System (MRS) Management reporting is the natural extension of transaction processing. Data that was captured and stored during transaction processing can be used to produce information of value to users, especially managers. This information is used to plan, monitor and control business operations.

65 Management reporting systems typically produce four types of information: Detailed reports Present information with little or no filtering. Examples are customer accounts reports, student transcripts etc. Historical reports Provide information on all transactions processed and serve as an audit trail that confirms transactions processing and ensures that the data can be recaptured in case it gets lost somewhere in the system. Examples are daily orders register, ledgers, journals, deposit/ withdrawals registers etc.

66 Summary reports Categorize information for managers who do not want to wade through details. The data is categorized and summarized to indicate trends and potential problems. Examples are sales department report, income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement etc.

67 Exception reports Filter data before it is presented to the manager as information. Only exceptions to some condition or standard are reported. Examples are outstanding purchase orders, items- low-in-stock report, backorders etc.

68 Office Automation System (OAS) These support data workers who do not usually create new knowledge but rather use information for analysis to transform data or manipulate it in some way and then share it or formally disseminate it throughout the organization and sometimes beyond. Examples are word processing, spreadsheets, scheduling, voice-mails, e-mails etc.

69 An information system is an arrangement of interdependent human and machine components that interact to support the operational, managerial and decision making information needs of an organization.

70 An information system is an arrangement of interdependent human and machine components that interact to support the operational, managerial and decision making information needs of an organization.

71 Decision Support System (DSS) It provides the user with decision making information when a decision making situation occurs. Decisions can be of the following types: Structured Occurrence is predictable but it can not be predicted when they will happen. Example is online credit check.

72 Unstructured These can not be predicted. Because they can not be predicted or predefined, it is not possible to define what information will be required to assist the decision making process. DSS is primarily intended to support the unstructured decisions. Semi-structured These can be predicted but not all variables can be defined.

73 Expert System and Artificial Intelligence (AI) These use the techniques of AI. One of the avenues of research of AI is analyzing the ability to reason through a problem to its logical conclusion. An expert system effectively captures and uses the knowledge of an expert for solving a particular problem experienced in an organization. People called knowledge engineers capture the expertise of experts, build a computer system in which to include expert knowledge, and then implement it.

74 Artificial Intelligence software works by creating a knowledge base that consists of facts, concepts and the relationships between them and then searches it using pattern-matching techniques to solve problems. An organization can use an expert system when a number of conditions are met such as: The problem is reasonably well defined The experts can define some rules by which the problem can be solved The problem can not be solved by conventional transaction processing or data handling The experts could be released to more difficult problems, in the case of certain types of work The investment in an expert system is cost justified

75 Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) GDSS are intended to bring a group together to solve a problem with the help of various supports such as polling, questionnaires, brainstorming and scenario creation. GDSS are used in special rooms equipped in a number of different configurations that permit group members to interact with electronic support - video conferencing etc.

76 Executive Support Systems (ESS) An ESS help executives to organize their interactions with the external environment by providing graphics and communications support in accessible places such as board rooms or personal corporate offices. Although ESS rely on the information generated by the TPS and MIS, they help their users address unstructured decisions problems by creating an environment that is conducive to thinking about strategic problems in an informed way.

77 Components of an Information System 1.End users 2.Methods and procedures 3.Computer software 4.Computer hardware 5.Data storage 6.Internal controls

78 Artificial Intelligence software works by creating a knowledge base that consists of facts, concepts and the relationships between them and then searches it using pattern-matching techniques to solve problems. An organization can use an expert system when a number of conditions are met such as: The problem is reasonably well defined The experts can define some rules by which the problem can be solved The problem can not be solved by conventional transaction processing or data handling The experts could be released to more difficult problems, in the case of certain types of work The investment in an expert system is cost justified

79 Artificial Intelligence software works by creating a knowledge base that consists of facts, concepts and the relationships between them and then searches it using pattern-matching techniques to solve problems. An organization can use an expert system when a number of conditions are met such as: The problem is reasonably well defined The experts can define some rules by which the problem can be solved The problem can not be solved by conventional transaction processing or data handling The experts could be released to more difficult problems, in the case of certain types of work The investment in an expert system is cost justified

80 Artificial Intelligence software works by creating a knowledge base that consists of facts, concepts and the relationships between them and then searches it using pattern-matching techniques to solve problems. An organization can use an expert system when a number of conditions are met such as: The problem is reasonably well defined The experts can define some rules by which the problem can be solved The problem can not be solved by conventional transaction processing or data handling The experts could be released to more difficult problems, in the case of certain types of work The investment in an expert system is cost justified

81 Artificial Intelligence software works by creating a knowledge base that consists of facts, concepts and the relationships between them and then searches it using pattern-matching techniques to solve problems. An organization can use an expert system when a number of conditions are met such as: The problem is reasonably well defined The experts can define some rules by which the problem can be solved The problem can not be solved by conventional transaction processing or data handling The experts could be released to more difficult problems, in the case of certain types of work The investment in an expert system is cost justified


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