Information Systems
College of Business Administration
University of Missouri - St. Louis
Information Systems Analysis
Current Events Discussions and Announcements
Hello World

Remember to check the Analysis Links Page for more information on specific topics, and Canvas for assignments.

A sample project paper and the associated presentation are also available for reference.

. The order of presentations will be
. Group E
. Group A
. Group C
. Group B
. Group D
. Group F

. Cost-Benefit Analyses
. Overview of Issues

. Feasibility and Cost Assessment
. The Law of Expectation Management
. The Importance of Managing Expectations
. Project Stakeholder Management
. To learn more about interacting with clients, read the article Know Thy Client
. Political Considerations in Requirements Analysis

. Managing Customer Expectations
. Intro to Cost-Benefit Analysis
. The Short Run vs. The Long Run
. Putting A Price Tag On Life
. Cost-Benefit Analysis
. Managing Client Expectations, by Scotty
. Grover on Customer Service - High Expectations

. A new Networking event- A Hands On Introduction to Design Thinking Seminar at CORTEX. Registration is at online. More information can be found there as well.

. The second exam is available.

Denim Day on April 25

. Hit the Mark: Make Complex Ideas Understandable

. The Hopper blog from the last few years is now available.

. Project Management

. Prototyping
. Introduction of Prototyping
. Rapid Prototyping Google's way
.     Sketching and Paper Prototyping
.     Digital Prototyping
.     Native Prototyping
. Fast Prototyping with Sketch, Invision and Craft
. 14 Smart Habits That Will Make You a Better UX Designer
. Sketching Techniques
. Paper Prototyping As a Usability Testing Technique
. Paper Prototyping Defined
. Paper Prototyping: The 10 Minute Practical Guide
. How to choose a user research method
. The Rapid Prototyping Process
. An analogy: Prototyping Star Wars Figures as an example of how different kinds of prototypes are used to answer different kinds of questions
. Prototyping the User Interface
. Lessons Learned
. Wanna Create A Great Product? Fail Early, Fail Fast, Fail Often
. Examples
    . An example of how prototyping can be used to elicit user feedback: this example is replicated here for you to consider as a way of doing prototyping, and does not function
    . The Analysis and Prototyping of Effective Graphical User Interfaces
. Content Prototyping
. Webflow University
Tools and references
.     Prototyping Tools
.     Design Interactive Website, App and Mobile Prototypes and Wireframes with ProtoShare
.     Webflow

. Data Dictionaries
.Data Dictionary
.More samples

. Object Oriented Analysis
. VIDEO: Use Cases
. Overview
. Use Case Notation (view as a pdf)
. An Example
. VIDEO: Creating Use Case Diagrams in Visio 2007

. More about communication: How Engineers and Managers Communicate: A Video Parody

. Questionnaires (and Interviews)
. Traditional Methods of Defining Requirements
. Sometimes interviews don't go the way we want them to go. Check out this video.
      . And, a response from D. Scott Williamson, Expert
. Be careful about jargon!
. What is a questionnaire
. 10 Step Guide to Questionnaire Design
. Questionnaire layout & question wording
. How to Conduct an Interview
. Group Interview
. Expert Interview
. Conversation Starters
. Card Sort
. Observation
. Introduction to Gaining Information from Stakeholders
. Research Tips
. Why Ask?
. Ratings & scales
. Content
. VIDEO: IT Systems Analyst - Plan the Interview
. VIDEO: IT Systems Analyst - Conduct Interview
. Fables about Interviewing
     .The King's Companion
     .The Kingdom of Beal

.Design Thinking: What it is and How it works

. Midterm Distribution

. International Issues in Systems Analysis

. An Opportunity

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, held each Fall, is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. This three-day conference brings together women in computing and male-advocates of women in computing to discuss research, employment opportunities, and careers. The conference includes presentations on a variety of topics, professional development activities, an open source day, and more. This year, the conference will be September 26-28 in Houston. Last year there were over 16,000 participants; we anticipate larger crowds this year.

The last couple of years, the UMSL IS Department provided funding for eight - to - ten students to attend Hopper. A successful crowd-funding event provided the funding for the trip in previous years. The Department intends to run a crowd-funding event again this year and hopes we will be able to provide funding for more students to attend the conference this year!

We are transparent to our donors about the opportunities they provide. Selected students will participate in the crowd-funding efforts and document their experiences through blogging and social media posts.

If you are interested in attending the Hopper Conference, please complete the form at by April 27. All questions on the form must be completed. If you have any questions about it, you should email Dr. Sauter at the or call her at 314-516-6281.

You can learn about Hopper at

. Amazon's no-checkout grocery store

. If your life is your biggest project, why not design it?

. The questions the groups proposed for the client, and some additional information about the client are available on the Client Page

. IBM's view of Design Thinking

. The exam

. How Diversity Powers Team Performance

. Universities Rush to Roll out Computer Science Ethics Courses

. Movie Night: Hidden Figures, Friday March 9th at 7 pm in ESH 204

. Data Flow Diagrams
. Introduction to Data Flow Diagram (DFD)
. VIDEO: Drawing a Context Diagram
. VIDEO: Tools of Analysis (part 6 of 8) - Process & Data (DFD / Data Flow Diagram)
. Data Flow Diagram (DFD) Example (Context and Level 0 Diagrams)
. Data Flow Diagram (DFD) Example (Level 4 Explosion)
. An example
. VIDEO: Connect your Data to the Diagram
. Introduction to Data Flow Diagrams
. Access the Hub for Visio
clients do not know what they want

. Methodologies
. Overview of methodologies
. 12 steps to keep consultants and consultations on track
. Standish view of Top 10 Reasons for Success
. Standish view of Expanded List of Best Practices for SAD
. Argument FOR Methodologies
. Mindsets
. Usability testing
. Stop Being So Agile
. A Comparison of Methodologies (humor)
. Change Management
. Scope Creep Blues
. Improving Analytics Capabilities Through Crowdsourcing
. The Larger System
. 11 Tips to Develop Your User Empathy Journey Map
. IDE-O's Process as summarized in the Insights for Inovation
       .Observing: “Listen with your eyes" and discover what people really care about.
       .Learning from Extremes: Stretch your thinking beyond assumptions and get to bolder ideas.
       .Interviewing: Conduct interviews to get deeper, more honest responses.
       .Immersive Empathy: Learn what it means to “walk in someone else’s shoes.”
       .Sharing Insights: Craft compelling insights that will inspire innovation.
systems analyst freezing the system requirements

. IBM's view of Design Thinking

. More about IDE-O
. IDE-O Website
. 60 Minutes Interview (January 6, 2013)
. Creative Confidence
. Digital Tools for Design Research
. Design Thinking
. 5 Methods to Inspire You
. IDE-O’s Culture of Helping

. On Monday, during class, you will begin working on the Group Forming Assignment; the assignment is due on Friday, at 5 pm. The resume that you will consider are located at I recommend you look them over because you will be working in your groups for part of the class to put people into groups.

Your goal is to create a set of good systems analysis teams. They must be similar in capability across teams, and have sufficient diversity of skills within teams to expect that all will be successful. In addition, you must provide a justification for why you created the teams the way you did. This justification must reflect the systems analysis needs discussed in the text and in class as well as your experience in working in teams.

The grading of the assignment will reflect your ability to operationalize the systems analysis team needs by creating groups of approximately equal capability of success and to justify the approach that you took in creating those teams. (I will use the results of this assignment to form the actual teams for the projects.) Each group will provide a team assignment sheet (on which every resume is assigned to exactly one group), plus up to three pages of justification.

There will be five areas of grading.
1. What criteria were chosen and their relative importance (with justification).

2. What criteria were not chosen and why.

3. How were criteria operationalized? (How did they decide who was high/low on various categories.)

4. Why did they decide on the size of groups?

5. Did their efforts reflect the procedures they justified in items 1-4?

Possible Point Distribution
Area 1. 35 points
Area 2. 10 points
Area 3. 20 points
Area 4. 20 points
Area 5. 15 points

. Information
. Measures of the value of information
. alternate syllabus (an example of data, not information)
. Information Comparison (View pdf version)
. Building Blocks of IS
. How not to be ignorant about the world

. Teams
. 5 Tools for Building an Effective Team
. From TEDx Gateway Arch: Why we need to integrate the firm
. Interesting reading from the New York Times: Why Some Teams Are Smarter Than Others. The smartest teams were distinguished by three characteristics.

     First, their members contributed more equally to the team’s discussions, rather than letting one or two people dominate the group.

     Second, their members scored higher on a test called Reading the Mind in the Eyes, which measures how well people can read complex emotional states from images of faces with only the eyes visible.

     Finally, teams with more women outperformed teams with more men. Indeed, it appeared that it was not “diversity” (having equal numbers of men and women) that mattered for a team’s intelligence, but simply having more women. This last effect, however, was partly explained by the fact that women, on average, were better at “mindreading” than men.

. The One Surprising Person your Work Team Desparately needs

. We will break into groups and look at some creativity exercises today.

. A man walked into a bar and asked the barman for a glass of water. They had never met before. The barman pulled a gun from under the counter and pointed it at the man. The man said "Thank you" and walked out. Why should that be so?

. Two brothers were having a drink in a bar.Suddenly one of the brothers got into a heated argument with the barman. He pulled out a knife and, despite his brother's attempts to stop him, stabbed the barman in the chest. At the trial, he was found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon and grievous bodily harm. At the end of the trial, the judge said, "You have been found guilty of a vicious crime. However, I have no choice but to set you free." Why should that be so?

. A traveler came to a small town. He had never visited it before, he knew no one there, and knew nothing about the town or its inhabitants. He needed a haircut. There happened to be two barbershops close to each other on the main thoroughfare -- the only barbershops in town. The man studied each of them with care. One shop was very neat and tidy. Everything about it was smart. The barber was sweeping away the last traces of hair from the floor while waiting for his next customer. The other barber's shop was very untidy. Everything looked rather run down and ramshackle. The scruffy looking barber within was lolling on a chair waiting for his next customer. Both shops charged the same amount for a haircut. After careful consideration, the traveler decided to go to the scruffy barber for his haircut. Why?

. Systems Thinking Tools
. The 6 Fundamental Concepts of Systems Thinking
. How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Design Thinking
. Lessons from Design School
. The Future of Designg Education
. Systems Thinking Scales

. Dr. Mirchandani provided suggestions of other sources for buidling webpages:
. w3schools
. You can learn HTML and CSS through examples that you can edit in the browser.
. If you are a member of the St. Louis County Library, you can access’s video tutorials for free. These tutorials cover a range of topics including web design. Please do look into this excellent resource as you may find it useful for all your IS courses: I’d recommend “HTML Essential Training” by James Williamson.

. The law of unintended consequences

We can only blame ourselves for all the crime and violence today.  We removed all the phone booths and now Superman has no where to change!

. Creativity
. Creativity
. A Boost for the Creative (or those who want to be
. What's the Point of Creativity?
. Twelve Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking
. The Stairs Problem
. Coolest Staircases
. The One Thing You Need to Generate Great Ideas
. Defining Creativity and Innovation
. Science of Brainstorming
. Creativity
. What’s Blocking Corporate Creativity?
. Isaac Asimov Asks, “How Do People Get New Ideas?”
. 5 steps to successful problem solving


. Business Rules
. A BUSINESS RULE defines or constrains some aspect of business by and always resolving to either true or false.
     . Business rules are intended to assert business structure or to control or influence the behavior of the business. (Wikipedia)
     . Business rules are intended to prevent disruption in a company or business.
     . Business Rules are used every day to define entities, attributes, relationships and constraints.
     . Usually though they are used for the organization that stores or uses data to be an explanation of a policy, procedure, or principle.
     . Why a Business Rules Engine is Essential for Child Welfare Programs
     . Powering Better Social Services
     . IBM's definition of a Business Rule
     . An example of bad application of Business Rules

. Non IT Systems

. An example of a good systems analysis
. How Complex Systems will save Us
. As you may know, I collect photos of street lights for a hobby. Recently I received email from a man in Sheffield County UK. It read
I wonder if you are aware of a very special sort of streetlight, the J E Webb Sewer Gas Destructor Lamp. Patented in 1895, it was a typically ingenious product of the Victorian drive to improve sanitation. Lamps are connected both to mains gas supply and to the sewers, the column acting as a sewer chimney and the heat of combustion drawing off potentially dangerous sewer gases and microbes to be destroyed at high temperature. Many hundreds were installed in British towns and cities and also exported across the world. I only know of 46 that survive, all in the UK, and 25 of them in my home city of Sheffield. They were especially suitable here, as the hilly terrain meant that there were many points in the sewer network where gases could be trapped. A few even still burn gas: 18 were converted to natural gas in the early 1980s, but since then they have been neglected so that only 4 are working today (there are also 2 or 3 gas-burners in other towns).

The good news is that Sheffield City Council has a project to renew all streetlighting, under which the surviving lamps will be refurbished. Less good is that it is proposed to replace the burners with LEDs, meaning the loss of an internationally-unique heritage of lamps which have burnt gas almost continuously for up to 100 years.

Attached are a couple of pictures which I hope you will find interesting. The Brincliffe Edge Road lamp was the first in Sheffield, installed in 1914. The Rural Lane lamp shows how good they can look when someone looks after them -- a private householder, in this case -- although unfortunately this one is no longer burning gas.

  Sheffield County Streetlamp


. Business Analysts Guru

. What is a Complex System?

. Systems and Systems Thinking
. Definition of a System
. Systems Development Life Cycle
. A system definition courtesy of the Pentagon. This is the actual image used by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the leader of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, to portray the complexity of American military strategy.
. Systems and Their Environments: A transportation example
. In a World of Systems
. IBM’s Design-Centered Strategy to Set Free the Squares
. What do we need to Know about Systems

. Tools of a Systems Thinker
. Summary of Systems Approach
. What is systems thinking?
. Systems Thinking: What is it and how does one do it?
. Systems Thinking Skills
. Systems Thinking
. Essentials of Systems Thinking
. Whole Systems Thinking
      10xE Principles
. DARE to innovate
. Systems Literacy Videos

. Dr. Ackoff talk about his views of thinking, check out his YouTube video, Exploring Systems Thinking. See Part 2 and Part 3
. More from Russell Ackoff

. Don Norman: The three ways that good design makes you happy
. Enabling a Better Tomorrow: A Systemic Perspective
. Stakeholder Analysis
. Introduction to Systems Thinking
     . Why a Business Rules Engine is Essential for Child Welfare Programs
. Summary of Systems Approach (1/16/18)

. The Standish Reports
. Standish Group White Paper: Chaos Report
. The Big Boom
. CHAOS Report 2016: Outline
. Standish Group 2015 Chaos Report - Q&A with Jennifer Lynch
. 2015 Standish Reports 2013 Study Results
. Project Health Check
. Resolution of Projects, 1994-2004
. Cost Overruns
. Cost Overruns, 1994-2004
. Top Ten Reasons for Success
. Glass, Robert L. The Standish Report: Does It Really Describe a Software Crisis?, Communications of the ACM, 49(8), August, 2006, pp. 15-16.
. Jørgensen, Magne and Kjetil Moløkken, How Large Are Software Cost Overruns? A Review of the 1994 CHAOS Report, Information and Software Technology, 48(4), April 2006.
. Standish view of Best Practices for SAD
. A humorous view of best practices. (View pdf Version)

. Software Project Failure Costs Billions.. Better Estimation & Planning Can Help (1/17/18)

. Analysis Wisdom.

. How Complex Systems will save Us

. Systems Analysis
. What Does A Systems Analyst Really Do?
. What is Systems Analysis
. Stage Deliverables
. Deliverables
. Six 'Soft Skills' Every Analyst Needs to Know
. Benefits of Systems Analysis
. Cost of software repair by lifecycle stage
. unintended consequences in systems analysis

. Later in the semester, you will need to create a webpage. If you need a refresher, you can go to the HTML links noted on the syllabus, or to a video.(1/25/17)

. Useful Sites
. Design Thinking Blog
. International Institute of Business Analysis
. What is Code?
. Human-Centered Design
. Making Systems Thinking Sexy

. From Lori Bachman and her post on the Harvard Business Review - Reader's Forum

The dirty secret of the professional world is that you don’t learn about business in college – you can only learn on the job. You have to jump in, fail, figure it out, correct yourself, then you learn.

. An example consultant's analysis report: Strider and Cline evaluate UM's implementation of PeopleSoft. (1/25/18)

. The previous edition of your textbook had a chapter entitled "Succeeding as a Systems Analyst." It is available here with permission of the publisher. (1/17/18)

. A presentation from my former student.

. Good Advice
Dear Student: My Name Is Not 'Hey'
Professors’ Pet Peeves
Ten Things the Professor Loves
U can’t talk to ur professor like this

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