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Question:

Compare the use of SDLC and agile development approaches and Justify your choice of your selected approach to systems development.What are the primary functional requirements for the system in the case study and What are the non-functional requirements for the system in the case study.Discuss your Project Cost Benefit Analysis and Provide an excel spread sheet with details in a Project Cost Benefit Analysis.Show a work breakdown structure and a project schedule (as a Gantt Chart). Explain each of them and discuss how they relate. Explanation of your chosen 3 most useful investigation techniques.

 

 

Answer:

Introduction


Rapidly changing business environment has forced organisations to rethink about their business strategy. One important aspect related to present strategy is related to use of information technology. In this regard, organisation mentioned in the case study Professional and Scientific Staff Management (PSSM) has specific requirements related to streamlining its end-to-end process of recruitment of a temporary staff for its client (Ashrafi et al, 2012). However, in order to meet such requirement, there is need to develop specific IT system, which can not only cater to its end-to-end processes/requirements, but can also provide a view of entire business processes existing within the organisation. Aim of this report is to understand the approach to an information system development which can be used by PSSM and can help it in improving its efficiency (Satzinger et al, 2012). Secondly, important objective of this report is to identify functional and non-functional requirements which will be part of the system. Overall, by end of this report, reader should be able to envision the kind of information system that will be developed for PSSM, and what all functionalities it will have to fulfil requirements of PSSM, also this report will help PSSM management to understand the project cost benefit analysis, and the expected timeline which will be required to complete and implement the project (Völter et al, 2013).

Approach to Systems Development


For a software solution development today there are several approaches available which can be used for system development (Coplien & Bjørnvig, 2011). However, every development approach has its advantages and disadvantages depending on the circumstances in which these methodologies are being used. Two potential system development approaches are SDLC and agile development approaches. Their comparison is as follows:

SDLC

Agile

SDLC (Software Development Life-Cycle) contains a series of sequential phases.

Agile development methodology consists of iterative development

Sequential phases of SDLC model do not overlap with each other.

In agile methodology, two different iterations might overlap each other.

Hence in SDLC each phase of development begins only when previous phase is finished and signed-off by the stakeholders

In agile methodology, development is iterative in nature. Hence release of certain functionality is done after each iteration is completed

Following are the phases in SDLC methodology:

  • Initiation Phase
  • System Concept Phase
  • Requirement Collection Phase
  • Functional Requirement Analysis (Functional Design) Phase
  • Technical Design Phase
  • Development Phase
  • Integration and Testing Phase
  • Release Phase
  • Maintenance Phase

In agile methodology every iterations has following stages:

  • Scope
  • Planning
  • Initiation
  • Construction iterations
  • Release iterations
  • Production
  • Retirement

In SDLC methodologies focus is more on system development as compared to the financial aspects or factors such as return on investments (ROI)

In Agile methodology focus is more on return on investment for the business.

More prone to errors and defects, and design change might lead to delay in the project

Less prone to error, since after every iteration is completed, original requirements are revisited to ensure its completion

 

As compared to SDLC method, it is suggested that PSSM opts for agile methodology for development of system (Highsmith, 2013). Considering the fact that PSSM is a relatively small organisation, hence it becomes important for it to select an approach which offers best ROI, and helps in delivering the functionalities in expected timelines. Also, agile methodology is relatively less error prone, which will ensure that there, will less effort wasted on defect resolution and more focus will be there on functionality implementation (Bischofberger & Pomberger, 2011)

Systems Requirements

Functional requirement for the system mentioned in the case study are as follows:

  • Functionality for client to raise a staffing request through a centralised system.
  • Capability required for the system, to receive the staffing request from the client, register it in a centralised database of customer.
  • Capability for system to cross checks the current contract validity of the client who has raised the staffing request.
  • Capability for system, to send an acknowledgement receipt via e-mail about the staffing request. Informing client about acceptance or rejection of the staffing request.
  • Capability for system, to provide real-time update on all the open, closed, terminated or abandoned staffing requestion in the system. Based on the access rights provided to employees of PSSM, they will be able to access the staffing request. However, if one staffing request is opened by a user to edit, then it will be locked for all other users of systems for editing, however users will be able to view it concurrently.
  • Capability for system to update the status of the staffing request, and further capability to ensure that every time a staffing request is valid, then automatic trigger should take place, where the PSSM placement department should get automated e-mail for further action to be taken.
  • Capability to block/reserve a potential candidate who fulfils the client’s resource requirements.
  • Capability to search about all the clients/any particular staffing request #/all registered human manpower with the organisation.

Non-functional requirements for the system are as follows:

Non-functional requirements cover all the remaining requirements which are not covered by the functional requirements. They specify criteria that judge the operation of a system, rather than specific behaviours (Dingsøyr et al, 2012).

  • Usability: More than one user can use the system concurrently
  • Performance: The system should be capable of performing searches on complex criteria.
  • Interoperability: System to be implemented should be capable of getting seamlessly integrated with other systems such as database etc.
  • Automatic data backup: System to be implemented should be capable of triggering automatic data back from time to time.
  • This application is secure for every kind of its users, because here is facility of session management. If any user logout from any session then nobody will be able to access his profile without knowing his confidential password.

Project Cost Benefit Analysis


Project cost benefit analysis (CBA) is a critical element of the project, as it is always required before a decision is taken to initiate or continue any specific development of a software/IT project (Kruchten, 2013).

 

Ideally, CBA should be performed before the project for PSSM will be initiated. Thus, cost element table which will be referred for PSSM is displayed below.

Cost element table

 

Figure 1: Cost element table

 

Hence, for PSSM following table represents the system life cycle cost matrix (Davis, 2013).

 System lifecycle cost matrix

 

Figure 2: System lifecycle cost matrix

 

Estimated overall, activity cost matrix is as follows (Basili et al, 2013):

 Activity cost matrix

 

Figure 3: Activity cost matrix


Project Schedule


Project schedule is the most important element of the project. It helps in setting a specific timeline, in which the project has to be development. In case of PSSM, total duration of project will be of 85 days, which will initiate from 01/January/2015 and will end on 20/March/2015.

 

Thus below figure displays the Gantt chart which identifies the activities which will be part of the project, and number of days which will be required to fulfil each of the activity (Osterweil et al, 2011).

 Gantt chart

Figure 4: Gantt chart

 

Based on the Gantt chart displayed above, following will be the work breakdown structure for the proposed project. A WBS can be defined as a hierarchical and incremental breakdown of the project into phases, deliverables and work packages (Eckstein, 2013). WBS Is mainly represented in a tree structure, which further has subdivision of efforts as displayed below.

WBS for PSSM Project

Figure 5: WBS for PSSM Project

System Information Requirement Investigation Techniques

Following stakeholders will be involved in the project:

  • Project Manager
  • Client
  • Technical resource’s’
  • Financial representative from client and development       company
  • Employees of PSSM, since they will be the primary user of the system

3 most useful investigation techniques are:

Face-to-Face interviews: As a functional person, it is important to have face to face interviews with the client to understand its core pain areas in terms of business processes. Similarly, face to face interviews are also important with technical resources, so that, they can easily translate business requirement in technical form and implement it (Clarke & O’Connor, 2012).

Questionnaires: this is another important investigation technique. It provides more comprehensive answers to important questions related to functional or non-functional requirement of the system. This is useful because, questionnaire helps in recording the responses to various system critical questions formally, and helps in creation of information related to system which can be used later on (Petersen & Wohlin, 2011).

 

Paper trail: Following information from the point that has been entered in the system and observing the output is also one of the efficient ways of investigation technique. This investigation is useful, because it helps in maintaining the record during the time of information gathering. Once the development initiates, such paper trails can be then used for purpose of auditing and checking back about the process of development.

 Reflections and Conclusions

As part of this project, one major achievement I had, was consolidation of the business processes of the client. Initially there was lot of redundancy in the business processes, due to which at times, critical hiring was impacted due to several issues. However, with this project and implementation of the application at PSSM, a more consolidated view of the business processes existing at various levels can be seen.

One major constraint as a consultant, was mapping of business processes with the functional requirements. This was a critical task/process of the project, especially since this mapping helps in future implementation of the project (Vijayasarathy & Turk, 2012).

References

Hoffer Ashrafi et al. 2012, COIT11226 Systems analysis and COIS20025 systems development overview, 1st edn, Sydney NSW Australia, Pearson Australia

Satzinger, JW, Jackson RB, & Burd SD 2012, Systems analysis and design in a changing world, 6th edn, Boston USA, Course Technology Cengage Learning.

 

Völter, M., Stahl, T., Bettin, J., Haase, A., & Helsen, S. 2013. Model-driven software development: technology, engineering, management. John Wiley & Sons.

Highsmith, J. 2013. Adaptive software development: a collaborative approach to managing complex systems. Addison-Wesley.

Bischofberger, W. R., & Pomberger, G. 2011. Prototyping-oriented software development: Concepts and tools. Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated.

Dingsøyr, T., Nerur, S., Balijepally, V., & Moe, N. B. 2012. A decade of agile methodologies: Towards explaining agile software development. Journal of Systems and Software, 85(6), 1213-1221.

Davis, A. 2013. Just enough requirements management: where software development meets marketing. Addison-Wesley.

Basili, V. R., Heidrich, J., Lindvall, M., Münch, J., Regardie, M., Rombach, D., ... & Trendowicz, A. 2013. Linking software development and business strategy through measurement. arXiv preprint arXiv:1311.6224.

Osterweil, L. J. 2011. Toolpack—An experimental software development environment research project. In Engineering of Software (pp. 179-206). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Eckstein, J. 2013. Agile software development in the large: Diving into the deep. Addison-Wesley.

Clarke, P., & O’Connor, R. V. 2012. The situational factors that affect the software development process: Towards a comprehensive reference framework. Information and Software Technology, 54(5), 433-447.

Petersen, K., & Wohlin, C. 2011. Measuring the flow in lean software development. Software: Practice and experience, 41(9), 975-996.

Vijayasarathy, L., & Turk, D. 2012. Drivers of agile software development use: Dialectic interplay between benefits and hindrances. Information and Software Technology, 54(2), 137-148.

Coplien, J. O., & Bjørnvig, G. 2011. Lean architecture: for agile software development. John Wiley & Sons.

Kruchten, P. 2013. Contextualizing agile software development. Journal of Software: Evolution and Process, 25(4), 351-361.

 

 

 

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