Explain the system analysis phase of the system development life cycle.

A Management Information System ICT Revision Questions and Answers

Answer
The development of a computer-based information system includes a systems analysis phase which produces or enhances the data model which itself is a precursor to creating or enhancing a database. There are a number of different approaches to system analysis. When a computer-based information system is developed, systems analysis (according to the Waterfall model) would constitute the following steps:
* The development of a feasibility study, involving determining whether a project is economically, socially, technologically and organizationally feasible.
* Conducting fact-finding measures, designed to ascertain the requirements of the system’s end- users. These typically span interviews, questionnaires, or visual observations of work on the existing system.
* Gauging how the end-users would operate the system (in terms of general experience in using computer hardware or software), what the system would be used for etc.

Another view outlines a phased approach to the process. This approach breaks systems analysis into 5 phases:
* Scope definition
* Problem analysis
* Requirements analysis
* Logical design
* Decision analysis

Basically, this is conducted to find out:
* The information needs of the company and the end users.
* The activities, resources, and products of any present information systems being used.
* The information systems capabilities required to meet the information needs of end users, and those of other e-business stakeholders that may use the system.

Depending upon the size and nature of the system being developed, the following analysis are done in detail:

Organizational Analysis
Organizational analysis involves evaluating the organizational and environmental systems and subsystems involved in any situation. Systems analysis traditionally involves a detailed study of the organizations:
* Environment
* Management structure
* People

* Business activities
* Environmental systems it deals with
* Current information systems

Analysis of the Present System
Before designing a new system, a detailed analysis of the current system (manual or automated) must be completed. An analysis of the present system involves analyzing activities, resources, and the products. You must analyze how the present system uses:
* Hardware, software, people resources to convert data resources into information products, such as reports and displays.
* Document how the information activities of input, processing, output, storage, and control are being accomplished.

Functional Requirements Analysis
This step of systems analysis is one of the most difficult. Steps involve:
* Working as a team with IS analysts and end users to determine specific business information needs.
* Determining the information processing capabilities required for each system activity (input, processing, output, storage, and control) to meet the information needs. Goal is to identify WHAT should be done NOT how to do it.
* Develop functional requirements (information requirements that are not tied to the hardware, software, network, data, and people resources that end users presently use or might use in the new system).



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