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BUS 362 (18)
Chapter 3

Chapter 3 – Requirements Analysis

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Simon Fraser University
Business Administration
BUS 362
Drew Parker

Chapter 3 – Requirements Analysis Intro • SDLC is process by which org. moves from as-is (current) system to to-be (new) system • Outputs from planning phase: system request, feasibility study, project plan • Analysis = breaking a whole into its parts in order to understand the parts’ nature, function, and interrelationships • Final deliverable of analysis phase is the system proposal o If accepted, on to design phase o A bit of ovestap btwn the two – deliverables from analysis phase are really the 1 step in design • In many ways, the requirements determination step is the single most critical one of the whole SDLC • Failing to determine the correct requirements is a major cause of project failure Requirements Determination What is a Requirement? • Requirements = statement of what the system must do or what characteristics it needs to have • Analysis stage reqs. focus on business needs, so they are often called business requirements • Types: o Functional = relates directly to a process the system has to perform or info it needs to contain (eg. able to search for inventory)  Either process-oriented or information-oriented o Nonfunctional = behavioural properties that the system must have, such as performance and usability (eg. user interface)  Operational  Performance  Security  Cultural and political (eg. currency, company policy) Requirements Definition • Straightforward text report lists functional/nonfunctional requirements in an outline format • Sometimes reqs. might be ranked/prioritized • Most obvious purpose: provide info needed by other deliverables in the analysis phase • Most important purpose: define the scope of the system – it tells analysts exactly what the final system needs to do • Establishes users’ expectations for system Determining Requirements • Need both business and IT perspectives • Study by Standish Group: lack of user involvement = top reason for IT project failure • The analyst will use one of the several techniques to acquire info from users, and then critically analyze it and use it to craft the requirements definition Creating the Requirements Definition • Iterative and ongoing process throughout analysis phase • Steps: 1) Determine the kinds of functional/nonfunctional requirements they will collect 2) Use requirement-gathering techniques to collect info and list business requirements identified 3) Work with entire project team and users to verify/change/complete the list and help prioritize • Key to project success: keeping requirements list tight and focused Requirements Analysis Techniques • Process involves 3 steps: o Understanding the existing situation (as-is) o Identify improvements o Define requirements for new system (to-be) • Note that requirements analysis and requirements-gathering go hand in hand; they happen concurrently and are complementary activities • 3 requirements analysis techniques, discussed below Business Process Automation (BPA) • Used when basic business reqs outline in system request focus on employing computer technology in some aspect of the business process, but leave the basic manner in which the organization operates unchanged • Improve organizational efficiency, but have least impact/value for the business • Two popular activities in the BPA technique: o Problem Analysis (most straightforward and commonly used)  Ask users/managers to identify problems with the as-is system and describe how to solve them  Improvements tend to be small/incremental – no significant benefits  Tend only to address symptoms to underlying problems o Root Cause Analysis  Focuses on problems first, rather than solutions  Users generate list of problems and prioritized them  Users/analysts then generate all possible root causes until true underlying cause(s) is revealed Business Process Improvement (BPI) • Basic business requirements target moderate changes to the organization’s operations • Can improve efficiency and effectiveness • Primary focus is on improving business processes, less focus on as-is system • Three popular activities in the BPI technique: o Duration Analysis  Requires detailed examination of amount of time it takes to perform each process in the current system  Compare total time it takes to complete a process with the sum of its parts – the larger the difference, the more it needs to be overhauled  Likely cause is bad fragmentation in process  Process integration – changing fundamental process so that fewer people work on the input (wider responsibilities for staff)  Parallelization – changing process so that individual steps are performed at the same time o Activity-Based Costing  Examines cost of each major process, identify the most costly processes, and focus improvements on those o Informal benchmarking  Studying how other companies perform a business process to learn how your company can do things better Business Process Reengineering (BPR) • Used to change the fundamental way in which the organization operates – ‘obliterating’ the current way of doing things • Major changes to take advantage of new ideas/technology • Focus: new ideas, new ways of doing business • Three popular activities in BPR: o Outcome Analysis  Focus on understanding fundamental outcomes that provide value to customers  Think about it from the c
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