Information Systems
College of Business Administration
University of Missouri - St. Louis
Blind Imitation

Once upon a time, there was a kingdom named Yue in China. An extremely beautiful woman, Xi Shi, lived in a village in Yue kingdom. Whenever she lift hand, smiled or spoke, she impressed people much. One day, she had a pain in her chest. So she had a frown on her face when she went out. The pain made her look more beautiful and grasped people’s attention. People said: “What a beautiful woman!”

There was also an ugly lady, Dong Shi, lived nearby. Although Dong Shi was ugly, she had her beauty dream all day long. This day, she saw Xi Shi and heard many people praised Xi Shi’s beautiful looking. Therefore, she also put her hand on her chest and had a frown on her face and wandered in the village. People were scared and screamed out: “Is she a human or a ghost?” They went back home immediately and shut doors tightly.

Interpretation of the fable: It was not Dong Shi’s fault of being ugly. However, imitating Dong Shi without analysis was her fault. She only knew that Xi Shi's frown looked beautiful. However, she did not know the reason for its beauty. Frown might make a beautiful lady more beautiful. Probably, it would make an ugly woman uglier. Dong Shi could improve her looking through other ways such as good manners, makeup, and dress.

Moral: In system analysis and design, feasibility analysis is very critical for a successful project. Everyone can frown, but get different effects. We need to choose the right one.

2. Risk management is very important for a system development. In the fable, when Dong Shi decided to imitate Xi Shi, she might need to know what kind of risk she would take.

3. In requirement determination, system analysts need to be careful not to jump to the following conclusion:“ I worded on a system like that once — this new system must work the same way as the one I built before.”

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

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