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1. Propose an approach to requirements elicitation. To do this, you need to suggest a technology solution, identify end users and propose an approach to gathering users’ requirements.

2. Modelling task. Based on your student ID number, you must choose a modelling technique/approach to be used in your submission. Next, identify a suitable aspect of the case study and explore it in depth. Finally, create a model that illustrates and explains the (wisely) selected aspect of the case.

Task 1. Propose an approach to requirements elicitation

The proposal should select an approach to collecting and eliciting users’ requirements in undertaking the business analysis exercise for BB. The proposal should include the following aspects:

1. Name the proposed technology system for BB
2. List the end users of the proposed system and their characteristics
3. Describe two methods to collect and elicit their requirements
4. Suggest how to apply each of these methods to elicit users’ requirements for the proposed system
5. Highlight potential benefits and issues you may face as a business analyst when using each method and how to overcome.
6. Recommend an approach to collecting and eliciting users’ requirements in undertaking the business analysis exercise for BB
Week 4’s materials and additional readings (Topic 4) would be useful, cite and include references that you use in completing this task.

Task 2. Modelling Task

How to choose one specific technique/approach for modelling the case?

Decision Support System

The project is about a company known as BB that provides several different Banking services to customers in and around Australia. Owing to an increasing number of customer complaints in the past 2 years, the company has decided to go ahead with a dedicated IT system. This is supposed to help the company in streamlining their operations of processing loans, opening saving accounts and so on. The below mentioned report will present a systematic process of gathering requirements for the IT system so that the needs of the organization can be captured well and in return they can be provided with a working solution that alleviates their day to day business problems.

A decision support system or DSS is nothing but an interactive system that allows key members of the organization such as Managers, Executives and stakeholders to take better decision. The system help them to identify and solve the problems. The DSS system is nothing but a broad mixture of several different technologies namely data and document management, communication technologies, knowledge management, report generation and so on. DSS allows these key decision makers in their process of decision making. As mentioned previously, it is used by any person who is responsible to take decisions. Simply put DSS is any software system that enhances a person’s ability to take decision. However, over a period time, DSS have evolved to a point where it’s a culmination of multiple systems and have advanced business intelligence and data analysis built into them, that goes a step further in helping a person take decisions.

  • Front office staff  (Customer service officer) – The staff needs to take car loan requirements of the customer and also gather necessary documents. Along with this, type of customer i.e. new or existing  is also recorded by the service staff. All information is recorded in the pdf document.
  • Back office staff – The staff takes pdf document created by customer service officer as input. Depending on the type of customer, data is fed in the respective existing systems. The application and documents are fed in the current system. This staff is also interested in the credit history of the customer
  • External credit checking agency – This user will provide information regarding the credit history of the customer. This process is not carried by the internal staff of the company. It is also responsible to provide information regarding the quality of car to the BB system.
  • Customers – This user is an external end-user who is interested in taking car loan from the company. He/she will file an car loan application, provide all necessary documents to BB company and credit checking agency.
  • Management executive – This user is interested in generating reports with different criteria and also responsible to check for any complaints by the customers in loan taking process (Fujita and Johannesson, 2002). 

One of the most effective way of understanding the business rules and functions is by interviewing stakeholders. It is also among the most time-consuming process, yet it is the most suited one in this case. The system analysis in this method, would typically meet a group of users with different questions for them. They would ask these analysts these questions and continue a dialogue until they feel that they’ve received a certain degree of requirements. Usually, this process is divided in several sessions for each user or even the user group.

In order to conduct successful interviews, an analyst would be working in three distinct areas: a) Preparation for the interview b) Conducting the interview and c) Follow up for the given interview.

Questionnaires have a very specialized but limited use in the area of gathering information. The primary benefit is that it allows for the team to collect information from a large group of users at once. Irrespective of the geographical distribution of stakeholders, the requirements can still be gathered.

Interviews for Requirement Elicitation

The questionnaire method can be used by the team to collect information whenever needed. This allows the system analysts to understand and figure out areas that need further research via other methods such as interviews, observation and industry reports etc.

The system has different types of users as mentioned in above section.  Interview shall be conducted in following steps:

Step 1: Selecting interviewees – Firstly, an interview schedule shall be conducted which has three main elements: Name of the interviewee (end-user), purpose of the interview, location of interview and time of the interview (Hanif and Sajjad Rizvi, 2010).

End-user

Purpose

Location

Timing

Customer service officer

Current issues in application processing

BB office

[Date]

Back office staff

Current issues in entering data in the system.

Issues with communicating with credit agency

BB office

[Date]

External credit agency

Issues in communicating with customer and company

BB office

[Date]

Customer

Duplication issues, rejections in spite of correct document submission

BB office

[Date]

Management

Complaints from the customers (Koelsch, 2016).

BB office

[Date]

Step 2 - Designing Interview Questions

To conduct interview, a list of questions has to be prepared which will contain three types of questions, closed-ended questions, open-ended questions and probing questions. Closed-ended questions shall help the business analyst to control the interview and retrieve the information they require. There is a specific answer to these types of questions. In this case, following closed-ended questions can be asked (Lu and Jin, 2000):

  • How many car loan applications are received in a day?
  • How many car loan applications get rejected in a day?

However, these questions do not cover the “Why” perspective of the case.

Open-ended questions are those questions which need an elaborated answers to the questions. They are descriptive in nature. In this BB case, following open-ended questions can be asked:

  • How are the applications processed at front end office?
  • What types of errors occur during feeding data?
  • Why does an application gets rejected?

In probing questions, more elaborative details are required on what has already been discussed but analyst is still unclear over certain aspects. In the BB case, following probing questions can be asked:

  • Can an example be given for a pending-for-approval loan car application?
  • Can the back end process be more elaborative?

Step 3 – Interview preparation

Before approaching or even starting the interview, an interview plan shall be prepared depending on the type of user. In BB case, different set of interview questions hall be prepared for all different users. Each interview plan shall also include the anticipated answers along with a follow-up action plan.

Step 4 – Conduct Interview

The interview shall take place in BB office premises except for customer and credit checking agency. These are external users. Customer can be contacted over phone or any current customer who is willing to be a volunteer. Representative of credit checking company can be called and interview can be conducted.

Step 5 – Post-Interview Follow-up 

After all users have been interviewed, an interview report will be prepared which provided information like interview notes, what all information has been gathered about the entire car loan process, what all questions need another round of interview and a summary in a meaningful manner.

Questionnaires for Requirement Elicitation

The implementation of questionnaire in developing proposed system for BB company is similar to the interviews. However, in questionnaire instead of selecting every person to answer the question, a subset of users is selected. Next, step is to design questionnaire which is again consist mainly of closed-ended questions. The questions should be consistent without much variation (Valacich, George and Hoffer, 2014). After designing, it is required to administer the questionnaire. Business analyst needs to ensure that all the target users should send the questionnaire duly-filled. Like interview, administering questionnaire should be followed by questionnaire report containing summary of the questionnaire.  

The main benefits of interviews

  • It’s best suited for understanding complex requirements.
  • Ambiguities are cleared quickly.
  • More efforts by the interviewee as the person is being interviewed face-to-face.
  • Non-responsiveness of the interviewee remains low.
  • Helps provide the overview of the entire system. 

The mains disadvantages for the interviews are

  • Only a subset of people is involved as opposed to questionnaires.
  • Quite difficult to fix meetings because it would need a dedicated session.
  • Quality of overall data gathered is heavily dependent on the person interviewing.
  • Interviews often require follow ups to be done and that may not be the case always as the interviewees may be busy in other things.
  • These are expensive and time-consuming as well. 

In order to make the Questionnaires work appropriately in this case, it would require attention to details and a well-drawn questionnaire. It should also mention time limit as to when the questionnaires has to be returned. 

The main advantages in questionnaire techniques are:

  • It tends to reach a large part of the audience.
  • It requires significantly less efforts.
  • It requires significantly less time.
  • It is also cost-effective.
  • The questionnaires can be drawn by an expert one-time and need not require several interviewers to be able to handle interviews.
  • It’s easier at the end of audience as well. 

The main disadvantages to this process are:

  • This is not a two-way dialogue, so the conversations can never be progressive.
  • There cannot be any follow-ups if the interviewer wishes to know something more.
  • Questions could often be misinterpreted.
  • Sometimes ambiguities may arise.
  • Some people may not put in the required efforts to fill the questionnaire. 

As mentioned above, both of the techniques have their own set of inherent flaws and needs to be overcome. As a result, certain techniques and workarounds shall be used to overcome the issues faced by both of the methods provided above.

  • Emailing the interviewees in advance to decide upon the date and time of the meeting. The agenda and the duration for the respective meeting shall also be shared.
  • Also mentioning the interviewees, that there may be a follow-up within 5 days of the initial meeting.
  • Providing as much clarity as possible in the questionnaire, yet keeping it brief and simple.
  • Apart from this, for the questionnaire, it will be mandatory for the person filling it up to mention his or her contact details and preferable time to contact them in case a further follow-up is required.
  • Providing additional comment areas to capture additional information not mentioned elsewhere in the form.

Recommendation of approach for requirement elicitation

On the basis of application, pros and cons of both the methods, interview method is recommended for the analysing the proposed system of BB company. This method takes into consideration all types of users i.e. from customer to management. It helps in gathering considerable details of the current system. Since it takes place face-to-face, in case user fees hesitates in answering any questions, interviewer can make the user comfortable by changing the sequence of questions and also replacing open-ended questions with the closed-ended questions (Wundenberg, 2014). As compare to questionnaire, interview method can gather much more information because it has open-ended questions. For instance: Questionnaire can only answer questions such as –

  • How many car loan applications are received in a day?
  • How many car loan applications get rejected in a day?

This will just give a number but not the likely reasons behind the rejection and approval of the applications.

But it cannot answer questions like –

  • How are the applications processed at front end office?
  • What types of errors occur during feeding data?
  • Why does an application gets rejected?

These questions much more details about the loopholes in the car loan process. So this method will not help in providing details to come up with a solution for such a complicated system. 

Conclusion 

The report provided an overview of requirement gathering process that will be used for the IT System in question. The IT System in question is the Decision Support System and the requirements for the same shall be gathered with the help of Questionnaires and Interviews process. The report provided a framework on how the questionnaires and the interviews will be designed that would ultimately help in gathering of the requirements. The report also highlighted the importance of these process and if the requirements are not gathered completely, it would have a significant bearing on the ultimate usability of the system.

References

Fujita, H. and Johannesson, P., 2002. New Trends in Software Methodologies, Tools and Techniques. 1st ed. Amsterdam: IOS Press/Ohmsha, pp.22-24.

Hanif, M. and Sajjad Rizvi, U., 2010. Issues and Challenges of Requirement Elicitation in Large Web Projects. 1st ed. Saarbrücken: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, pp.110-112.

Koelsch, G., 2016. Requirements Writing for System Engineering. 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: Apress, pp.12-14.

Lu, R. and Jin, Z., 2000. Domain modeling-based software engineering. 1st ed. Dordrecht: Kluwer, pp.20-22.

Valacich, J., George, J. and Hoffer, J., 2014. Essentials of systems analysis and design. 1st ed. USA: Pearson, pp.24-16.

Wundenberg, S., 2014. Requirement engineering for knowledge-intensive processes. 1st ed. USA: Pearson, pp.112-113.

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My Assignment Help. (2019). Requirement Gathering Process For A Decision Support System For BB Company. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mis701-business-requirements-analysis.

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My Assignment Help (2019) Requirement Gathering Process For A Decision Support System For BB Company [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mis701-business-requirements-analysis
[Accessed 13 July 2024].

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