Table of Contents
What is System Analysis and Design?
System development can generally be thought of having two major components:
- systems analysis
- systems design.
In System Analysis more emphasis is given on understanding the details of an existing system or a proposed one and then deciding whether the proposed system is desirable or not and whether the existing system needs improvements. Thus, system analysis is the process of investigating a system, identifying problems, and using the information to recommend improvements to the system.
The various stages involved in building the new or improved system. System design is the process of planning a new business system or one to replace or complement an existing system.
Analysis specifies what the system should do. The design states how to accomplish the objective. After the proposed system is analyzed and designed, the actual implementation of the system occurs. After implementation, the working system is available and it requires timely maintenance.
Role of System Analyst
The system analyst is the person (or persons) who guides through the development of an information system. In performing these tasks the analyst must always match the information system objectives with the goals of the organization. The role of a System Analyst differs from organization to organization. The most common responsibilities of a System Analyst are as following
Change Agent: The analyst may be viewed as an agent who will bring change to the organization. A candidate system is designed to introduce change and reorientation in how the user organization handles information or makes decisions. It is important, that change be accepted by the user. The way to secure user acceptance is through user participation during design and implementation.
In the role of a change agent, the systems analyst may select various styles to introduce change to the user organization, The styles range from that of persuader to Imposer. In between, there are the catalyst and the confronter roles. When the user appears to have a tolerance for change, the persuader or catalyst (helper) style is appropriate. On the other hand, when drastic changes are required, it may be
necessary to adopt the confronter or even the imposer style. No matter what style is used, however, the goal is the same to achieve acceptance of the candidate system with a minimum of resistance.
Investigator and Monitor: In defining a problem, the analyst pieces together the information hered to determine why the present system does not work well and what changes will correct the problem. In one respect, this work is similar to that of an investigator extracting the real problems from existing systems and creating information structures that uncover previously unknown trends that may have a direct impact are on the organization.
Related to the role of the investigator is that of the monitor. To undertake and successfully complete a project the analyst must monitor programs in relation to time, cost and quality.
Architect: The architect’s primary function is of liaison between the client’s abstract design requirements and the contractor’s detailed building plan may be compared to the analyst’s role as liaison between the user’s logical design requirements and the detailed physical system design. At the architect, the analyst also creates a detailed physical design of candidate systems. The analyst aids users in formalizing abstract ideas and provides details to build the end product the candidate system.
Psychologist: In systems, development systems are built around people. This is perhaps a bit exaggerated, but the analyst plays the role of a psychologist in the way he/she reaches people, intèrprets their thoughts, assesses their behavior, and draws conclusions from these interactions. Understanding inter-functional relationships is important. It is important that the analyst be aware of people’s feelings and be prepared to get around things in a graceful way. The art of listening IS important in evaluating responses and feedback
Salesperson: Selling change can be crucial as initiating change selling the system actually takes place at each step in the system life cycle. Sales skills and persuasiveness. Then, are crucial to the success of the system.
Motivator : A candidate system must be well designed and acceptable to the user. System acceptance is achieved through user participation in its development, effective user training and proper motivation to use the system. The analyst’s role as a motivator becomes obvious during the first few weeks after implementation and during times when turnover results in new people being trained to work with the candidate system. The amount of dedication it takes to motivate users often taxes the analyst’s abilities to maintain the pace. What was once viewed as a challenge can easily become a frustration if the user’s staff continues to resist the system.
Politician: Related to the role of motivator is that of politician. In implementing a candidate system, the analyst tries to appease all parties involved. Diplomacy and finesse in dealing with people can improve acceptance of the system. In as much as a politician must have the support of his/her consistency, so is the analyst’s goal to have the support of the user’s staff. He she represents their thinking and tries to achieve their goals through computerization.
Stills Necessary in Systems Analysis: An analyst must possess various skills to effectively carry out the job. Specifically, they can be divided into two categories: interpersonal and technical skills. Both are required for system development. Interpersonal skills deal with relationships and the interface of the analyst with people in business. They are useful in establishing trust, resolving conflict and communicating information. Technical skills, on the other hand, focus on procedures and techniques for operations analysis, systems analysis and computer science.
The interpersonal skills relevant to systems work include the following:
1. Communication – having the ability to articulate and speak the language of the user, a flair for mediation and the ability for working with virtually all managerial levels in the organization. Some indicators of a climate of closed communication are defensive memos, excessive correspondence and a failure to speak up for fear of being identified. Therefore, opening communication channels are a ust for system development.
2. Understanding – identifying problems and assessing their ramifications, having a grasp of company goals and objectives and showing sensitivity to the impact of the system on people at work.
3. Teaching – educating people in the use of computer systems, selling the system to the user and giving support when needed.
4. Selling – selling ideas and promoting innovations in problem-solving using computers.
Technical Skills of System Analysis and Design?
1. Creativity – helping users model ideas into concrete plans and developing candidate systems to match user requirements.
2. Problem solving-reducing problems to their elemental levels for analysis, developing alternative solutions to a given problem and distinguishing the pros and cons of candidate systems.
3. Project management-scheduling, performing well under time constraints, coordinating team efforts and managing costs and expenditures.
4. Dynamic interface – blending technical and non technical considerations functional specifications and general design.
5. Questioning attitude and inquiring mind-knowing the what, when, why, in where, who and how a system works
6. Knowledge of the basics of the computer and the business function.
System analyst requires interpersonal as well as technical skills, although the necessity for both skills depends on the stages of system development.
1. System Analysis: It includes a system’s study in order to get facts about business activity. It is about getting information and determining requirements. Here the responsibility includes only requirement determination, not the design of the system.
2. System Analysis and Design: Apart from the analysis work, Analyst is also responsible for the designing of the new system/application.
3. Systems Analysis, Design, and Programming: Analyst is also required to work as a programmer, where he actually writes the code to implement the design of the proposed application. Due to the various responsibilities that a system analyst requires to handle, he has to be a multifaceted person with all-round skills required at various stages of the life cycle. In addition to the technical know-how of the information system, the development of a System Analyst should also have the following knowledge.
Business Knowledge: As the analyst might have to develop any kind of a business system, he should be familiar with the general functioning of all kinds of businesses.
Interpersonal Skills: Such skills are required at various stages of the development process for interacting with all the users and extracting the requirements out from them.
Problem Solving Skills: A system analyst should have enough problem-solving skills for defining the alternate solutions to the system and also for the problems occurring at the various stages of the development process so in case of any misshaping alternate solutions are available.