A few years ago before the advent of the Internet, a man and a woman were preparing to leave for a vacation and they were planning on driving to their destination. The couple had meticulously packed everything they would need for the trip and all the luggage had been laded into the vehicle. The excited couple then entered the vehicle and embarked on their fun-filled journey. After a few hours in to the trip, the couple began to grow tired and their excitement began to wear off. Then, the woman saw something that concerned her. She saw a road sign for the city of Metropolis. She had taken this exact same trip as a child and didn't remember Metropolis being on the route. She then asked her husband if she could take a look at the map. Contrary to the male stereotype, he agreed and told her she could find them in his backpack. The woman pulled out the multiple maps the man had stuffed into his backpack. Although neither of them are cartographers, the woman felt she could get them back on the correct route for their destination. However, to her dismay, she could not read any of the maps contained in her husband's backpack. Apparently, when she asked him to get a map for the trip prior to their departure, he visited a local library and made copies of all the maps he could find. Therefore, the maps the woman held in her hands were topographic, relief, political, physical and weather maps. No road map was found!
Once the woman realized the mistake her husband had made, she berated him for his scatterbrained approach to this simple task. She then ordered him to stop at the nearest gas station to ask for directions to the nearest library. She realized that if she wanted something done right, she had to do it herself.
Moral: Any successful systems analysis/design must incorporate a "road map." Any company undertaking an analysis project should search for and employ the proper methodology. Utilization of the proper methodology will assist the project group in arrival at the correct destination and hopefully, within a reasonable time period. Like our travelers, failure to utilize the proper methodology, may lead the project astray.
These stories are adapted examples written in my class, IS 6840 (formerly MSIS 488).
© Vicki L. Sauter. All rights Reserved.