A methodology is a problem-solving approach to building systems. The term problem is used to include real problems, opportunities for improvement, and directives from management. The classic problem-solving approach is as follows:
1. Study and understand the problem and its context.
2. Define the requirements of a suitable solution.
3. Identify candidate solutions and select the “best” solution.
4. Design and/or implement the solution.
5. Observe and evaluate the solution’s impact, and refine the solution accordingly. Systems analysts should approach all projects using a problem-solving approach.
Inexperienced problem solvers tend to eliminate or abbreviate one or more of the above steps. The result can range from (1) solving the wrong problem, to (2) incorrectly solving the problem, to (3) picking the wrong solution. A methodology’s problem-solving orientation can reduce or eliminate the above risks.