Information Systems
College of Business Administration
University of Missouri - St. Louis
A Foolish Man Buys Shoes

In the past there lived a foolish man in a small kingdom called Zheng. One day he wanted to buy himself a pair of new shoes. He measured his feet with a ruler first and wrote down his size. But he was in such a hurry to set out that he left it at home.

When he arrived at a shoe shop, he felt in the pocket only to find that it was not there. So he said apologetically, 'I have left the measurement at home and don't know the size. I'll fetch it in one minute.' With these words he hurried off as fast as his legs could carry him.

He ran back home, found it and then to the shop again. But still it took him quite a while and the shop was already closed then. He had gone to all this trouble for nothing and did not get his shoes.

Then someone asked him, 'Did you buy the shoes for yourself or someone else?' 'For myself, of course.' he answered. 'Then why don't you try the shoes on by yourself?'

Moral: Do not think the Zheng is so stupid. Nonetheless, we all have such a stupid time.

My point is: System analysis and design is more like art than science. There are no established rules such as the ˇ°measurement of feetˇ± in system analysis and design. Thinking creatively and keep our mind open are very important in the process. In addition to thinking creatively, we should have customer, supplier, and some other people who may be helpful involve in the analysis and design phase to ensure that we can look at problems from different angles, not just close the door make our own ˇ°measurementˇ±.

These stories are adapted examples written in my class, IS 6840 (formerly MSIS 488).
© Vicki L. Sauter. All rights Reserved.

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