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© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1 Succeeding as a Systems Analyst Modern Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition Jeffrey A. Hoffer Joey F. George Joseph S. Valacich
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-2 Learning Objectives Describe the organizational roles involved in information systems development. Discuss analytical skills required for success as a systems analyst. Discuss technical skills required for success as a systems analyst. Discuss management skills required for success as a systems analyst. Discuss interpersonal skills required for success as a systems analyst. Describe the systems analysis profession.
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-3 The Role of the Systems Analyst Skills required: analytical, technical, managerial, interpersonal Liaison between users, programmers, and other systems professionals
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-4
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-5 Characteristics of Successful Teams Diversity in background, skills, and goals Tolerance of diversity, ambiguity, and uncertainty Clear and complete communication Trust Mutual respect Reward system that encourages shared responsibility
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-6
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-7 Major Information Systems Development Roles IS department manager Systems analysts Programmers Business managers Other IS managers/technicians Stakeholders
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-8 Analytical Skills for Systems Analysis Four Sets of Analytical Skills: Systems Thinking Organizational Knowledge Problem Identification Problem Analyzing and Solving 2.8
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-9 What is a System? A group of interrelated procedures used for a business function, with an identifiable boundary, working together for some purpose.
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-10
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-11 Characteristics of Systems Boundary: divides system from environment Inputs: data from environment to system Output: data from system to environment Components: subparts of systems operating independently (also called subsystem) Interrelationships: associations between components of a system Interfaces: point of contact between system and environment, or between subsystems Constraints: limit to what a system can accomplish Purpose: overall goal or function of a system Environment: everything external to the system that interacts with it
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-12 Important System Concepts Decomposition: breaking down a system into smaller constituents Modularity:the result of decomposition; parts of a system Coupling: dependencies between subsystems Cohesion: extent to which a subsystem performs a single function
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-13 Decomposition and modularity make systems easier to understand, analyze, design, and maintain.
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-14 Logical and Physical Descriptions Logical System Description Portrays the purpose and function of the system Does not tie the description to a specific physical implementation Physical System Description Focuses on how the system will be materially constructed
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-15 Organizational Knowledge Understanding of how organizations work Knowledge of specific functions and procedures of organization and department How work officially gets done Internal policies Competitive and regulatory environment Organizational strategies and tactics
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-16 Problem Identification Problem is the difference between an existing situation and a desired situation. Identification is process of defining differences. Differences are defined by comparing the current situation to the output of a model that predicts what the output should be.
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-17 Herbert Simon’s Phases of Problem Solving Intelligence All relevant information is collected. Design Alternatives are formulated. Choice Best alternative solution is chosen. Implementation Solution is put into practice.
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-18
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-19 Technical Skills for Systems Analysis Constant re-education is necessary as technology changes rapidly. Activities to keep skills up-to-date: Trade publications Professional societies Attend classes or teach at a local college Attend courses sponsored by organization Conferences and trade shows Browse Websites Participate in new groups and conferences
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-20 Technical Skills for Systems Analysis (cont.) Understanding of a wide variety of technologies is required: Microcomputers, workstations, minicomputers and mainframe computers Programming languages Operating systems Database and file management systems Data communication standards Systems development tools and environments Web development languages and tools Decision support system generators
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-21 Management Skills for Systems Analysis Four categories: Resource Management Project Management Risk Management Change Management
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-22 Resource Management Systems analyst needs to know how to get the most out of the resources of an organization, including team members. Includes the following capabilities: Predicting resource usage Tracking resource consumption Using resources effectively Evaluation of resource quality Securing resources from abusive use Relinquishing resources when no longer needed
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-23 Project Management Two Goals: Prevent projects from coming in late Prevent projects from going over budget Assists management in keeping track of project’s progress Consists of several steps: Decomposing project into independent tasks Determining relationships between tasks Assigning resources and personnel to tasks
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-24 Risk Management Ability to anticipate what might go wrong in a project Minimize risk and/or minimize damage that might result Placement of resources Prioritization of activities to achieve greatest gain
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-25 Change Management Ability to assist people in making transition to new system Ability to deal with technical issues related to change Obsolescence Reusability
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-26 Interpersonal Skills for Systems Analysis Mastery of interpersonal skills is paramount to success as a Systems Analyst Four types of skills: Communication skills Working alone and with a team Facilitating groups Managing expectations
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-27 Communication Skills Effective communication helps to establish and maintain good working relationships with clients and colleagues Skills improve with experience Main types used by Systems Analyst: Interviewing and Listening Written and Oral Presentations
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-28 Interviewing and Listening Means to gather information about a project Listening to answers is just as important as asking questions Effective listening leads to understanding of problem and generates additional questions
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-29 Written and Oral Presentations Used to document progress of project and communicate this to others Communication takes several forms: Meeting agenda Meeting minutes Interview summaries Project schedules and descriptions Memoranda requesting information Requests for proposals from vendors and contractors
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-30 Steps to Improving Communication Skills Practice Conduct a training class Volunteer to speak Videotape presentation and do a self- appraisal of your skills Make use of college writing centers Take classes on business and technical writing
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-31 Working Alone and with a Team Working alone on aspects of project involves managing: Time Commitments Deadlines Team work involves establishing standards of cooperation and coordination
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-32
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-33 Facilitating Groups Involves guiding a group without being a part of the group Useful skill for sessions such as Joint Application Development (JAD)
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-34 Guidelines for Effective Meetings Be comfortable with facilitator role. Make sure group understands expectations. Use physical movement to indicate where to focus. Give thanks and respect for participation. Ask questions instead of making statements. Be a patient and good listener. Keep the group focused. Encourage group members to feel ownership of goals and outcomes.
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-35 Managing Expectations Managing expectations is directly related to successful system implementation. Skills for successful expectation management: Understanding of technology and workflows Ability to communicate a realistic picture of new system to users Effective education of management and users throughout systems development life cycle
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-36 Systems Analysis as a Profession Standards have been established for education, training, certification and practice. Several aspects: Standards of Practice Ethics Career Paths
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-37 Standards of Practice Endorsed Development Methodology Specific procedures and techniques are to be used during development process. Promote consistency and reliability across all of an organization’s development projects. Approved Development Platforms Organizations standardize around a specific platform, sometimes tied to development methodology.
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-38 Standards of Practice Standardization of Roles Roles are becoming better defined across organizations. Development of a Common Language Common programming languages Common modeling languages, such as Unified Modeling Language (UML)
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-39 Ethics Professional Ethics ACM Code of Ethics Business Ethics Stockholder approach Any action taken by a business is acceptable as long as it is legal and maximizes stockholder profit. Stakeholder approach Any action that violates rights of stakeholder must be rejected. Social Contract approach Any action that is deceptive, can dehumanize employees or that could discriminate is rejected.
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-40 ACM Code of Conduct
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-41 ACM Code of Conduct (cont.)
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-42 ACM Code of Conduct (cont.)
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-43 ACM Code of Conduct (cont.)
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-44 Career Paths Consulting Information Systems within a large corporation Software vendors Other opportunities outside of systems analysis
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Appendix 1-45 Summary In this chapter you learned how to: Describe the organizational roles involved in information systems development. Discuss analytical skills required for success as a systems analyst. Discuss technical skills required for success as a systems analyst. Discuss management skills required for success as a systems analyst. Discuss interpersonal skills required for success as a systems analyst. Describe the systems analysis profession.
© 2005 by Prentice Hall Chapter 6 Determining System Requirements Modern Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition Jeffrey A. Hoffer Joey F. George Joseph.
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