Information Systems
College of Business Administration
University of Missouri - St. Louis
Analysis Stages Overview

| Feasibility Study | Requirements Definition | System Specification |

The Feasibility Study

Objective: To prove the project is practical.

A brief description of the proposed system and its characteristics.
A brief description of the business need for the proposed system.
A cost/benefit analysis, including gross estimates of schedules and costs, as well as a payback period.
A proposed tentative schedule for the delivery of key stage deliverables.

Analyze the proposed project and produce a written description.
Define and document possible types of systems.
Develop a statement of the probable types of system (centralized, decentralized, mainframe, etc.).
Analyze the costs of similar systems.
Produce a rough estimate of the system size, costs, schedules, etc.
Define the benefits of the system. Include both quantitative and qualitative measures.
Produce an estimate of the next life cycle stage.
Present feasibility document to clients for discussion.

System description (as it is now)
Project team organization
Deliverables schedule
Business need
Cost-benefit analysis

The Requirements Definition

see requirements example 1

see requirements example 2

see requirements example 3

Objective: To expand the brief description of the project into a comprehensive set of user-defined specifications.

An analysis of the current system.
What is the scope of the proposed system in terms of (a) functions,
(b) users, (c) dimensions, and (d) constraints?
A detailed set of user-specified requirements for the new system.
A summary description of the system.
Estimates of the next stage of the process.
An index to all related material.

Define the scope of the new system.
Interview all users.
Determine: (a) their uses of the current system; (b) perceived deficiencies of the current system; (c) their requirements for the new system.
Document: (a) current system description; and (b) current deficiencies.
Analyze current system.
Draw diagrams of current system (including data flow and entity-relationship diagrams)
Summarize and critique new system requirements.
Include: (a) prioritized user requirements; and (b) resolution of current system's deficiencies.
Produce a list of benefits.
Include both tangible and intangible benefits; include both quantitative and qualitative benefits.
Estimate the next stage.
Produce detailed estimate of costs, schedules, resources, and the like, including a schedule for the production of major deliverables.
Produce requirements definition document.
Final review of document.

Analysis of current system
New system requirements
Description of new system (perhaps with a prototype)
Estimates for the next and subsequent stages
Index to related material

Review Points:
Scope of the new system
Analysis of current system
New system requirements
Tangible and intangible benefits
Requirements definition document

The System Specification

Objective: To translate the user requirements into more information systems/technology language.
System description
Data requirements
Network and telecommunications requirements
System controls (password access, recovery/restart, etc.)
Revised cost/benefit analysis and payback schedule
Estimates of the next stage and remainder of project

Define the type of system
Consider the physical, environmental, and operational constraints into system constraints.
Evaluate possibilities such as on-line, transation-based, distributed, centralized, terminals, workstations, etc.
Draw diagrams of proposed system (including data flow and entity-relationship diagrams)
Develop system data dictionary
Describe all elements on diagrams above, including functions and data.
Document all interfunction and interdata relationships.
Ensure compatibility with corporate data dictionary.
Review and expand cost-benefit analysis
Update previous estimates with new data.
Estimate next stage
Produce system specifications document
Review system specification document

Alternative system descriptions
Include detailed system description, including descriptions and specifications of the following:
Programs, reusable modules and objects
Files and databases
Records and transactions
Data dictionary
Schedules and timings
Interfaces (both human and machine)
Data requirements
Revised cost-benefit analysis
Recommended design alternatives: prototyping techniques, phased development, etc.
Recommended implementation techniques, self code purchased packages, or external development
Preliminary system test plan
Management summary of proposed system
Index to related material
Network and telecommunications requirements
System controls

Review Points:
Definition of the new system
System schematic and system data dictionary
Updated cost/benefit analysis
System specification document

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