The Computer Revolution/Programming/The Six Phases of System Analysis and Design

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Conduct a preliminary investigation[edit]

Conducting a preliminary investigation is basically finding out the purpose of the program, to propose alternative solutions, describe costs and benefits and submit a preliminary plan with recommendations. There are 4 steps in this phase, they are, 1) conduct the preliminary analysis 2) propose alternative solutions 3) describe the costs and benefits and 4) submit a preliminary plan.

Do an analysis of the system[edit]

Doing an analysis of the system is basically to gather data from the old system and see how to make it work in your program. there are 3 steps to phase 2 and they are, 1)Gather data 2)Analyze the data and 3) Write a report.

Design the system[edit]

The designing a system phase does exactly what it says, it creates the first design of the system. There are also 3 steps to this phase and they are, 1) Do a preliminary design 2) Do a detail design and 3) write a report.

All good system designs must include a cost benefit analysis to determine if the benefits of the new system outweigh the costs of developing and implementing the system. The costs of the system need to include the entire life-cycle costs (e.g. initial investments plus on-going maintenance). The benefits include labor and resource savings. There are also intangible savings, but these are much more difficult to quantify (e.g. better data, better customer support, etc.). Performing a cost-benefit analysis will help to show decision makers outside of the IT department that the project is warranted and cost-effective.

Develop the system[edit]

Developing a system phase is the phase where the system analyst gather proper hardware and software to create the system. The three steps for this phase are to 1) develop or acquire the software 2) acquire the hardware and 3) test the system. Testing the system then breaks down into unit testing and system testing.

Implement the system[edit]

Implementing the system means that you convert the hardware, software and files into a new system and also training the users. There are two steps in this phase, they are, 1) Convert to the new system and 2) Train the users. Before any converting can be done, it has to be tested, to ensure that it could be working properly. After the new system is tested, they can then start to transfer their information to the new one. Converting to the new system breaks down into direct implementation, parallel implementation, phased implementation and pilot implementation. Pilot conversion means that the new system is used at only one location with the organization and nowhere else. To train the users, there is usually a head trainer who will lead the users and direct them on how to use the system by explaining them how to operate it. Sometimes it can be done online, in which they will not need an instructor because it can come with a robot or chatterbox.

Source: Understanding Computers Today and Tomorrow Deborah Morley, Charles S.Parker. Chapter 12 pg. 496,497

Maintain the system[edit]

The final phase, maintaining the system is the phase where all the bugs are ironed out. Any last minute changes happen here so the system can operate at its best.

clean and organize, a broom to illustrate the meaning of having a maintained system

It is also a never ending process. Like a car, you have to keep the system maintained so it can run smoothly so there will no be any problems. Sometimes when they maintain a system, it can come with an upgrade, which includes new features to an existing software. Like how in (Understanding Computers Today and Tomorrow, 497) says, if there is any major change, the organization can develop a new system to replace the current one, thus developing the life cycle. Maintaining the system means to grade the problems occurring if any, and to make it run as smoothly as possible. You can not run a good system without it running at its best !

Source: Understanding Computers Today and Tomorrow Deborah Morley, Charles S.Parker. Chapter 12 pg.497

Definition[edit]

According to the authors of Using Information Technology the six phases can be seen within a life cycle creating a step by step process each following the next.