Information Systems
College of Business Administration
University of Missouri - St. Louis
The Donkey and the Wonderful Barn

Once upon a time on a farm owned by Farmer Milton there was a wise old Donkey. One day while meeting among themselves, the animals looked around and noticed their barn was quite dilapidated. Winter was fast approaching and promised to be a hard one. They decided it was imperative that they build a new barn.

Donkey brayed that they should begin with a feasibility study. To this horse whinnied loudly that action not studying feasibility would build the barn. He volunteered to draw up the blueprints for the new barn. Goat bleated his agreement and volunteered to help horse by questioning all the other occupants concerning their needs. Rooster offered to direct the construction. Pig squealed his delight with the idea and said that he would direct the construction. Not to be outdone, duck quacked that she would assemble the necessary materials. The dogs barked and cats meowed their consent and decided they would be the builders. Donkey remained quiet and thoughtful in the general excitement as the animals rushed back and forth to quickly accomplish their respective tasks.

The old barn was torn down and a new one erected in its place in record time. Almost all the animals were overjoyed by their wonderful new barn. Only donkey looked worried.

The day of the inauguration, Farmer Milton returned from vacation. He was devastated to see the new barn. Unfortunately, the animals had neglected to obtain the required building permits for their construction. Not only was farmer Milton obliged to tear down the new barn but, he had to sell his farm animals to pay the fines levied upon him for building without obtaining the required permits.

Moral: A complete feasibility study is an essential step in systems analysis. It is not enough to informally satisfy technical, economical, operational, time, social, and management requirements but, when designing and analyzing a problem, before implementation legal constraints should also be considered.

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

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