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System Analysis and Design

Introduction to System Analysis and Design (SAD)

System are created to solve Problems. One can think of the systemsapproch as an organised
ay of dealing ith a problem. In thi s dynamic orl d! the sub"ect system analysis and design! mainly deals ith
the softare development activities.
#his post include$%
&hat is System'
&hat are diffrent Phases of System Development (ife )ycle'
&hat are the component of system analysis'
&hat are the component of system designing'
&hat is System'
A collection of components that ork together to reali*e some ob"ectives
forms a system. +asically there are three ma"or components in
every system! namely input! processing and output.
In a system the different components are
connected ith each other and they are interdependent. ,or e-ample! human body represents a
complete natural system. &e are also bound by many national systems such as political system!
economic system! educational system
and so forth. #he ob"ective of the system demands that some output is produced as a result of
processing the suitable inputs. A ell%designed system also includes an additional element
referred to as .control/ that provides a feedback to achieve desired ob"ectives
of the system.
System life cycle is an organi*ational process of developing and maintaining systems. It helps in
establishing a system pro"ect plan! because it gives overall list of processes and sub%processes
re0uired for developing a system.
System development life cycle means combination of various activities. In other ords e can
say that various activities put together are referred as system development life cycle. In the
System Analysis and Design terminology! the system development life cycle also means softare
development life cycle.
,olloing are the different phases of system development life cycle$
Preliminary Study
,easibility study
Detailed system study
System analysis
System design
#he different phases of system development life cycle is shon in this diagram
Phases of System Development (ife )ycle
P2AS3S O, S4S#31 D353(OP136# (I,3 )4)(3
(et us no describe the different phases and related activities of system development life cycle.
(a) Preliminary System Study
Preliminary system study is the first stage of system development life cycle. #his is a brief
investigation of the system under consideration and gives a clear picture of hat actually the
physical system is' In practice! the initial system study involves the preparation of a
.System Proposal/ hich lists the Problem Definition! Ob"ectives of the Study! #erms of reference
for Study! )onstraints! 3-pected benefits of the ne system! etc. in the light of the user
#he system proposal is prepared by the System Analyst (ho studiesthe system) and places it
before the user management. #he management may accept the proposal and the cycle proceeds
to the ne-t stage. #he management may also re"ect the proposal or re0uest some modifications
in the proposal. In summary! e ould say that system study phase passes through the folloing
Problem identification and pro"ect initiation
+ackground analysis
Inference or findings (system proposal)
(b) Feasibility Study
In case the system proposal is acceptable to the management! the ne-t phase is to e-amine the
feasibility of the system. #he feasibility study is basically the test of the proposed system in the
light of its orkability! meeting user/s re0uirements! effective use of resources and of course! the
cost effectiveness. #hese are categori*ed as technical! operational! economic and schedule
feasibility. #he main goal of feasibility study is not to solve the problem but to achieve the scope.
In the process of feasibility study! the cost and benefits are estimated ith greater accuracy to
find the 7eturn on Investment (7OI). #his also defines the resources needed to complete the
detailed investigation. #he result is a feasibility report submitted to the management. #his may be
accepted or accepted ith modifications or re"ected. #he system cycle proceeds only if the
management accepts it.
(c) Detailed System Study
#he detailed investigation of the system is carried out in accordance ith the ob"ectives of the
proposed system. #his involves detailed study of various operations performed by a system and
their relationships ithin and outside the system. During this process! data
are collected on the available files! decision points and transactions handled by the present
system. Intervies! on%site observation and 0uestionnaire are the tools used for detailed system
study. 8sing the folloing steps it becomes easy to dra the e-act boundary of the ne system
under consideration$
9eeping in vie the problems and ne re0uirements
&orkout the pros and cons including ne areas of the system
All the data and the findings must be documented in the form of detailed data flo diagrams
(D,Ds)! data dictionary! logical data structures and miniature specification. #he main points to be
discussed in this stage are$
Specification of hat the ne system is to accomplish based on the user re0uirements.
,unctional hierarchy shoing the functions to be performed by the ne system and their
relationship ith each other.
,unctional netork! hich are similar to function hierarchy but they highlight the functions
hich are common to more than one procedure.
(ist of attributes of the entities : these are the data items hich need to be held about
each entity (record)
(d) System Analysis
Systems analysis is a process of collecting factual data! understand the processes involved!
identifying problems and recommending feasible suggestions for improving the system
functioning. #his involves studying the business processes! gathering operational data!
understand the information flo! finding out bottlenecks and evolving solutions for overcoming the
eaknesses of the system so as to achieve the organi*ational goals. System Analysis also
includes subdividing of comple- process involving the entire system! identification
of data store and manual processes.
#he ma"or ob"ectives of systems analysis are to find ansers for each business process$ &hat is
being done! 2o is it being done! &ho is doing it! &hen is he doing it! &hy is it being done and
2o can it be improved' It is more of a thinking process and involves the creative skills of the
System Analyst. It attempts to give birth to a ne efficient system that satisfies the current needs
of the user and has scope for future groth ithin the organi*ational constraints. #he
result of this process is a logical system design. Systems analysis is an iterative process that
continues until a preferred and acceptable solution emerges.
(e) System Design
+ased on the user re0uirements and the detailed analysis of the e-isting system! the ne system
must be designed. #his is the phase of system designing. It is the most crucial phase in the
developments of a system. #he logical system design arrived at as a result of systems analysis is
converted into physical system design. 6ormally! the design proceeds in to stages$
Preliminary or General Design$ In the preliminary or general design! the features of the
ne system are specified. #he costs of implementing these features and the benefits to be
derived are estimated. If the pro"ect is still considered to be feasible! e move to the detailed
design stage.
Structured or Detailed Design$ In the detailed design stage! computer oriented ork
begins in earnest. At this stage! the design of the system becomes more structured. Structure
design is a blue print of a computer system solution to a given problem having the same
components and inter%relationships among the same components as the original problem. Input!
output! databases! forms! codification schemes and processing specifications are dran up in
In the design stage! the programming language and the hardare and softare platform in hich
the ne system ill run are also decided. #here are several tools and techni0ues used for
describing the system design of the system. #hese tools and techni0ues are$
Data flo diagram (D,D)
Data dictionary
Structured 3nglish
Decision table
Decision tree
3ach of the above tools for designing ill be discussed in detailed in the ne-t lesson.
#he system design involves$
i. Defining precisely the re0uired system output
ii. Determining the data re0uirement for producing the output
iii. Determining the medium and format of files and databases
iv. Devising processing methods and use of softare to produce output
v. Determine the methods of data capture and data input
vi. Designing Input forms
vii. Designing )odification Schemes
viii. Detailed manual procedures
i-. Documenting the Design
(f) Coding
#he system design needs to be implemented to make it a orkable system. #his demands the
coding of design into computer understandable language! i.e.! programming language. #his is
also called the programming phase in hich the programmer converts the program specifications
into computer instructions! hich e refer to as programs. It is an important stage here the
defined procedures are transformed into control specifications by the help of a computer
language. #he programs coordinate the data movements and control the entire process in a
system. It is generally felt that the programs must be modular in nature. #his helps in fast
development! maintenance and future changes! if re0uired.
(g) Testing
+efore actually implementing the ne system into operation! a test run of the system is done for
removing the bugs! if any. It is an important phase of a successful system. After codifying the
hole programs of the system! a test plan should be developed and run on a given set of test
data. #he output of the test run should match the e-pected results. Sometimes! system testing is
considered a part of implementation process.
8sing the test data folloing test run are carried out$
Program test$ &hen the programs have been coded! compiled and brought to orking
conditions! they must be individually tested ith the prepared test data. Any undesirable
happening must be noted and debugged (error corrections)
System #est$ After carrying out the program test for each of the programs of the system
and errors removed! then system test is done. At this stage the test is done on actual data. #he
complete system is e-ecuted on the actual data. At each stage of the e-ecution! the results or
output of the system is analysed. During the result analysis! it may be found that the outputs are
not matching the e-pected output of the system. In such case! the errors in the particular
programs are identified and are fi-ed and further tested for the e-pected output. &hen it is
ensured that the system is running error%free! the users are called ith their on actual data so
that the system could be shon running as per their re0uirements.
(h) Implementation
After having the user acceptance of the ne system developed! the implementation phase
begins. Implementation is the stage of a pro"ect during hich theory is turned into practice. #he
ma"or steps involved in this phase are$
Ac0uisition and Installation of 2ardare and Softare
8ser #raining
#he hardare and the relevant softare re0uired for running the system must be made fully
operational before implementation. #he conversion is also one of the most critical and e-pensive
activities in the system development life cycle. #he data from the old system needs to be
converted to operate in the ne format of the ne system. #he database needs to be setup ith
security and recovery procedures fully defined.
During this phase! all the programs of the system are loaded onto the user/s computer. After
loading the system! training of the user starts. 1ain topics of such type of training are$
2o to e-ecute the package
2o to enter the data
2o to process the data (processing details)
2o to take out the reports
After the users are trained about the computeri*ed system! orking has to shift from manual to
computeri*ed orking. #he process is called .)hangeover/. #he folloing strategies are folloed
for changeover of the system.
(i) Direct )hangeover$ #his is the complete replacement of the old system by the ne system. It
is a risky approach and re0uires comprehensive system testing and training.
(ii) Parallel run$ In parallel run both the systems! i.e.! computeri*ed and manual! are e-ecuted
simultaneously for certain defined period. #he same data is processed by both the systems. #his
strategy is less risky but more e-pensive because of the folloing$
1anual results can be compared ith the results of the computeri*ed system.
#he operational ork is doubled.
,ailure of the computeri*ed system at the early stage does not affect the orking of the
organi*ation! because the manual system continues to ork! as it used to do.
(iii) Pilot run$ In this type of run! the ne system is run ith the data from one or more of the
previous periods for the hole or part of the system. #he results are compared ith the old
system results. It is less e-pensive and risky than parallel run approach. #his strategy builds the
confidence and the errors are traced easily ithout affecting the operations. #he documentation
of the system is also one of the most important activity in the system development life cycle. #his
ensures the continuity of the system. #here are generally to types of documentation prepared
for any system. #hese are$
8ser or Operator Documentation
System Documentation
#he user documentation is a complete description of the system from the users point of vie
detailing ho to use or operate the system. It also includes the ma"or error messages likely to be
encountered by the users. #he system documentation contains the details of system design!
programs! their coding! system flo! data dictionary! process description! etc. #his helps to
understand the system and permit changes to be made in the e-isting system to satisfy ne user
(i) 1aintenance
1aintenance is necessary to eliminate errors in the system during its orking life and to tune the
system to any variations in its orking environments. It has been seen that there are alays
some errors found in the systems that must be noted and corrected. It also means the revie of
the system from time to time. #he revie of the system is done for$
knoing the full capabilities of the system
knoing the re0uired changes or the additional re0uirements
studying the performance.
If a ma"or change to a system is needed! a ne pro"ect may have to be set up to carry out the
change. #he ne pro"ect ill then proceed through all the above life cycle phases
System Analyst:
A system analyst is a person responsible for the development of software and hardware solution
to the efficient working of the organization. Analysts study the environment and problems of an
organization to determine whether a new information method can provide solution to the
The main job of system analyst is to provide right type of information, in right uantity at the
right time in post effective manner to the management or the end user.
!oles of System Analyst:
" #efining $T reuirements of organization
" %athering #ata&'acts
" Analyzing the problem
" Setting priority amongst reuirements
" (roblem solving
" #rawing Specification
" #esigning System
" )valuating System
*. #efining $T reuirements of organization:
The most imp and difficult task of an analyst is to understand the organization+s reuirement+s
information. $t includes interviewing users finding out what information is they are using in the
current system.
,. %athering #ata&'acts:
'or gathering data or facts, written documents are important because these documents represent
the formal information flow in the system. The analyst studies documents such as input forms,
output records, invoices etc to understand how data are passed and used in the present system.
-. Analyzing the problem:
After gathering data or facts the analyst analyses the working of current system and find out to
what e.tent it meet the user+s needs.
/. Setting priority amongst reuirements:
$n the organization there are many types of users, each user has different types of information
needs. $t may not e possible to satisfy the reuirements of everyone due to limited availability of
resources so it is necessary to give priority. The priorities are set on the basis of urgency and
importance of user+s need.
0. (roblem solving:
The system analyst helps $T users to solve their information problems. $n that role he must
understand the problem and suggest solutions.
1. #rawing specification:
The analyst obtains the input and output specification for optimal functioning of the system to be
2. #esigning system:
3nce the specifications are accepted by the management the analyst gets on to the design of the
system. The analyst must be aware of the latest design tools for the system design so analyst also
knows as architect.
4. )valuating system:
An analyst must critically test the performance of the designed system with specifications after it
has been in use for a reasonable period of time.
System (lanning
#ata 5 'act gathering techniues:
The specific methods that an analyst uses for collecting data about the reuirement of a new
system are called fact finding techniues.
*. $nterview:
$n this techniue analyst collects information from individuals. $t is a formal meeting where the
analyst can obtain information about the operation of the present system and reuirements of
planned system.
i. $t is helpful for gathering information from individuals who do not
communicate effectively by writing.
ii. $t allows discovering areas for unrealistic e.pectation, misunderstanding to the
proposed system.
iii. Analyst can observe the interviewee+s non verbal communication.
iv. This method gives the analyst the opportunity to motivate the interview to
response freely 5 openly to uestions.
i. $t is very time consuming.
ii. Success of interview is dependent on system analyst+s human relation skills.
iii. $nterviewing may be impractical due to location of the interviewees.
Types of interview
i. Structured $nterview:
$n structured interview interviewer has specific set of uestions to ask. All uestions prepared in
advance and answers are already available.
ii. 6nstructured $nterview:
$n this method uestions and corresponding responses are open ended. This are conducted with a
general goal or subject.
(lanning for interview
*. (urpose of interview should be clear. The purpose of meeting clearly e.plained to the all
participant so that relevant document can be supplied in advance.
,. (roper time, duration and place for interview must be selected before so this will allow the
participants to scheduled work accordingly.
,. %roup 7ommunication&#iscussion:
8hen information is reuired from face to face communication but there is not enough time to
conduct personal interview, group interviews can be held.

i. There are many persons presents so more types of ideas and views can be
discussed in short time.
ii. The comments of one person may prompt other person to contribute facts which
they thoughts.
i. The group may be dominated by a few persons.
ii. The situation could lead to a verbal fight between the persons and may need
iii. $nternal politics of an organisation may determine what is said and what is left thus
resulting in false picture.
-. 9uestionnaires:
9uestionnaires are special purpose documents that allow the analyst to collect information and
opinions from respondance. This is more structured and formal method of collecting data.
i. 8hen it is used for group of users, it is relatively cheap.
ii. A uestionnaire can be administered to larger no of individual simultaneously.
iii. The respondance feels greater confidence.
i. All the uestions given in uestionnaire are usually not answered completely.
ii. $t is not possible to observe and analyse the respondance body language.
iii. %ood uestionnaires are difficult to prepare.
iv. 7ost may be high.
Types of uestionnaires :
$. Structured : Answer and uestion are fi.ed
$$. 6nstructured : ;ot fi. pattern
/. 3n site observation:
$t allows the analyst to gain information which cannot be obtained by other fact finding methods.
$t is also useful when analyst need to actually observe how documents are handled, what
processes are carried on etc.
<3n site observation provide close view of working of the real system. The analyst can
observe people, objects, documents and occurrence of events.=
i. #ata collection by observation highly reliable.
ii. $t is relatively ine.pensive
i. (eople usually feel uncomfortable when being watched.
ii. $t is very time consuming.
iii. Some activities may take place odd time causing a scheduling inconvenience for
system analyst.