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8 – System Development, Implementation, Management and Applications
What is SSADM? 1. Structured Systems Analysis and Design Method is a set of standards developed in the early 1980s for systems analysis and application design widely used for government computing projects in the United Kingdom. 2. SSADM uses a combination of text and diagrams throughout the whole life cycle of a system design, from the initial design idea to the actual physical design of the application. 3. Unlike rapid application development, which conducts steps in parallel, SSADM builds each step on the work that was prescribed in the previous step with no deviation from the model. Because of the rigid structure of the methodology, SSADM is praised for its control over projects and its ability to develop better quality systems. What are the stages in SSADM? SSADM application development projects are divided into five modules that are further broken down into a hierarchy of stages, steps and tasks: 1. Feasibility study The business area is analyzed to determine whether a system can cost effectively support the business requirements. 2. Requirements analysis The requirements of the system to be developed are identified and the current business environment is modeled in terms of the processes carried out and the data structures involved. 3. Requirements specification Detailed functional and non-functional requirements are identified and new techniques are introduced to define the required processing and data structures. 4. Logical system specification Technical systems options are produced and the logical design of update and enquiry processing and system dialogues. 5. Physical design
A physical database design and a set of program specifications are created using the logical system specification and technical system specification. What are the advantages of using SSADM in designing a new system? 1. It is a standard approach to system analysis and design 2. User training is available in the methods used 3. It can be used for managing large scale software developing projects 4. It allows using teams on different tasks 5. It identifies precisely defined stages or modules 6. It enables standard documentation throughout 7. It enables a new manager to take over the project if necessary 8. It makes system maintenance easier What are the graphical representations of system design that can be used to document a system? 1. Data flow diagram (DFD) 2. Entity relationship diagram 3. Jackson structure diagram What are the advantages of using DFDs? 1. It is a very useful design tool which models the system in terms of data, processes, data stores and the sources from which the data input and output occurs 2. It clearly specifies the data communications in the system 3. It is easy to understand by users, analysts and programmers
What are the symbols used in DFDs?
External entity: This symbol represents the users or other systems which put data to the system or get data out of the system
External entity duplicated in the DFD: The diagonal line shows that the symbol Customer, which is an external entity occurs more than once in the current DFD
Reception Data validation
Process: This symbol represents data processing occur in the system such as data validation, calculations, sorting data, merging data files etc.
Data store: This symbol represents a data file or a database
Data store duplicated in the DFD: This symbol represents a data store that occurs more than once in the current DFD Data flow: This represents the transfer of a piece of data between two processes or between a process and a data store or between a process and an external entity
Advantages of employing a Team rather than an individual to carry out a Project 1. Can complete the task sooner by sharing the project tasks between team members 2. Can use specialist skills and talents of each team member for specific tasks 3. Reduce the problems arise when someone becomes ill or leaves the job 4. Easier to supervise the project How can two or more members work together in a Software Development Project? 1. Programmers can be assigned to code different modules
2. One member can code while another member documents 3. One member can code while another member tests 4. One member can code while another member liaise with the client 5. All members can work together on agreed deadline What are the Project Management Activities? 1. Planning the project 2. Analyzing tasks 3. Scheduling tasks 4. Identifying required resources 5. Allocating required resources 6. Identifying team members 7. Assigning tasks to team members 8. Team management 9. Gantt charting 10. Critical path analysis 11. Managing exceptional circumstances What is a Gantt chart? A Gantt chart is a graphical representation of the project schedule. It is a bar chart which shows the duration of project tasks against the progression of time. Some Gantt charts show the dependency or the relationship betweencomplete 75 % the project tasks. It is a bar chart which shows the Task 1 proposed or actual progress of a project using horizontal bars. Gantt chart is a static timemanagement chart useful for the overall visualization of a project. Start-to-start dependency Gantt charts can be used to show current100 % complete using percent-complete shadings and a schedule status Task 2 vertical "TODAY" line as shown here.
57 % complete
50 % complete Finish-to-finish dependency
0 % complete
Start-to-start dependency – Task 2 does not start before Task 1 is started Finish-to-start dependency – Task 3 does not start before Task 2 is finished Finish-to-finish dependency – Task 4 does not finish before Task 3 is finished How Gantt charting is used for Project Management? 1. Used to identify project tasks 2. Helps to determine the length of each task 3. Helps to determine the order in which the project tasks are needed to be carried out 4. Helps to rearrange the project tasks or manage the dependencies between tasks 5. Helps to indicate or signal when resources are required 6. Helps to assess how long a project would take to complete What information can be obtained from the Gantt chart? 1. Shows individual components of tasks 2. Shows earliest start times and latest end times 3. Shows relationships between components
4. Shows shortest time to finish the project 5. Shows percentage of tasks finished Describe the features of a software tool that can be used to produce Gantt charts 1. Should include standard Gantt templates 2. Should be able to insert and edit duration of tasks 3. Should be able to identify parallel tasks automatically 4. Should be able to identify resource loads automatically 5. Should be able to superimpose and monitor project progress continually What are the strengths of Gantt Charts? 1. Gantt chart shows whether the project is progressing on schedule. 2. Gantt charts are ideal for planning simple projects where there are not many tasks which depend on each other. What are the weaknesses of Gantt Charts? 1. Gantt charts are not sufficient for analyzing and monitoring the progress of complex projects where many tasks depend on each other. 2. Gantt charts are not sufficient for analyzing projects where some tasks are dynamic in nature (those tasks which may get delayed or change in their demand for resources). What is a PERT (Project Evaluation and Review Technique)? PERT is a method of analyzing the tasks involved in completing a given project, especially the time needed to complete each task, and identifying the minimum time needed to complete the total project. What is Critical Path? Critical path is the sequence of project network activities taken from the initial event to the terminal event, which adds up to the longest overall duration. It determines the total calendar time required for the project; and, therefore, any time delays along the critical path will delay the reaching of the terminal event by at least the same amount. What is a Network Diagram?
Complex projects require a series of activities, some of which must be performed sequentially and others that can be performed in parallel with other tasks. This collection of sequential and parallel activities can be modeled by a network diagram. In a project, an activity is a task that must be performed and an event is a milestone marking the completion of one or more activities. Before an activity can begin, all of its predecessor activities must be completed. Project network diagrams represent activities by arc and milestones by nodes. Example of a PERT Chart
t = 1wk C
F t = 2wk D
t = 3wk
t = 3wk A
B t = 4wk
E t = 2wk
The milestones generally are numbered so that the ending node of an activity has a higher number than the beginning node. Incrementing the numbers by 10 allows for new ones to be inserted without modifying the numbering of the entire diagram. The activities in the above diagram are labeled with letters along with the expected time required to complete the activity. What information can be obtained from the PERT chart? 1. Different paths or tasks of the project are represented by different lines of different value 2. Direction of arrows shows the necessary order of completion 3. Longest journey along arrows shows shortest time for completion of the project 4. Resources can be allocated 5. Critical path can be found 6. Changes to the project can be implemented easily 7. “What If” analysis can be done 8. Gives duration of the project Describe the features of a software tool that can be used to produce PERT charts
1. Should represent different tasks or paths by different lines 2. Should represent the order of completion of tasks by arrows pointing at different directions 3. Should contain tools to figure out the critical path 4. Should be able to identify deadlines and bottlenecks What are the benefits of PERT • • • • • Provides expected project completion time Provides the probability of completion before a specified date Shows the critical path activities that directly impact the completion time Indicates the activities that have slack time and that can lend resources to critical path activities Indicates activity start and end dates
What are the weaknesses of PERT 1. The activity time estimates are somewhat subjective and guessed. 2. In other cases, if the person or group performing the task estimates the time, there may be bias in the estimate. Training requirements necessary to successfully implement a computerized system? 1. All the staff members must be trained relevant to their work 2. Many staff members may find the new system difficult to learn 3. Type of training provided: (a) Training provided by the trainer This restricts training times, can be intimidating, difficult to satisfy all the demands, needs human contact for help (b) Software based training Can learn at times when the user is free, individual training eliminates intimidation, allows for practice, allows repetition, the user can learn at his own pace 4. Age factor has to be considered Young users may have preconceptions whereas older users may have worries about their Abilities 5. Customers have to learn new procedures and may have problems in learning how to use the new system
6. Upgrade of software and hardware makes training needs to be repeated Advantages of providing computer based individual learning sessions rather than arranging courses for the employees 1. Employees can get trained by taking their own time 2. Employees can get trained at their own speed 3. Employees can use virtual systems to learn 4. Training can be done outside working hours 5. Employees can learn on additional areas in order to advance their knowledge 6. Training programs can be individually tailored 7. Testing can be revisited as often as necessary 8. Employees can revisit testing areas as needed 9. Testing can be tailored automatically according to test results 10. Test results can be reported to the management through the system 11. Workers are not intimated by being in a group What is technical documentation? This documentation describes anything that will be helpful for a technician to maintain the system. Therefore it is also known as the system maintenance document. Technical documentation contains: (a) System design specifications and (b) Program specifications What is user documentation? This documentation describes the things that would be helpful for a person who will be using or operating the system.
Why technical documentation is necessary? Because a technician can alter the system or correct the system when necessary
Why user documentation is necessary? It provides instructions for users about how to use the system and what to do when something goes wrong What are the items to be included in the user manual? 1. Details of how to enter data 2. Details of how to use the system illustrated with screen shots 3. Help facilities and frequently asked questions 4. Troubleshooting guide for errors What are the items to be included in the technical manual? 1. Details of installation and start up procedure 2. Minimum system specifications of the computer on which the software is to run 3. Algorithms 4. Database design Testing and implementation planning When implementing the new system, the analyst 1. Must ensure that the correct hardware is available 2. Must train the staff to use the new system 3. Must input the data to the data files, either manually or by importing them from the original System Describe the four system implementation (changeover) methods 1. Parallel running The old and new systems are run side by side until it is made sure that the new system is fault free. This method of implementation is adopted where a system failure is not affordable. The advantages of this method are that
(a) The results of the two systems can be compared to ensure that there is no fault with the new system (b) The staff training on the new system can be carried out effectively The disadvantage of this method is that it is very expensive as the things have to be done twice. Examples of systems which are ideal for implementing with parallel running are: Exam marks processing system 2. Pilot running The new system is implemented initially only in a certain part of the company such as a branch. The advantages of this method are that (a) If there is a fault in the new system, it would affect the organization only in a relatively small area of data processing. (b) It allows the analyst to test how the system would perform with a smaller amount of data. The disadvantage of this method is that it is not possible to check how the system would perform with a large amount of data, which is the actual case when it is implemented at the organization level. 3. Phased implementation The system is implemented by replacing the parts of the old system gradually with the corresponding parts of the new system while the rest of the system is still running with the old system. The advantages of this method are: (a) Can repair a faulty module without affecting the other modules (b) It allows staff to be trained gradually The disadvantage of this method is that one or many part(s) of the old system and the part that has been computerized may not be compatible. It would also take relatively a long time to fully implement the new solution. Examples of systems which are ideal for phased implementation are: Example 1: Process control system of a chemical plant 1. One phase can be the computerization of the mixing of raw materials, monitoring and controlling the conditions such as the temperature and pressure involved with one reaction 2. Another phase can be the computerization of the packing process of the final product Example 2: ATM machine system
1. One phase can be the development of the withdrawing process of money 2. Another phase can be the development of the depositing process of money Example 3: Computerized ticketing machine system 1. One phase can be the issuing of the printed ticket and returning the balance money only when the coins are put into a till. 2. Another phase can be the capability of using a magnetic swipe card or smart card to pay the bus fare Example 4: Point of sale system 1. One phase can be the capability of using the barcode scanner as the device to input the product ID 2. Another phase can be the capability of using magnetic swipe card or smart card facility to pay the bill by a credit card or a debit card Example 5: Pay phone system 1. One phase can be the capability of taking a call by inserting coins or bills to the system 2. Another phase can be the capability of using a prepaid phone card to pay and take the call Example 6: Proximity card system 1. One phase can be the capability of taking a call by inserting coins or bills to the system 2. Another phase can be the capability of using a prepaid phone card to pay and take the call 4. Direct Conversion or “big bang” The new system replaces the old system immediately and completely. The advantages are that (a) The cost of implementation is less. (b) No confusion to the staff The disadvantage is that it is risky. If the new system has a fault and malfunctions there will be a loss of data and even the loss of customers. Allows no time for training and finding errors in the system. Explain what implementation method is suitable for a new POS system developed for a supermarket
Parallel running is not feasible as customers would not put up with the delays Pilot running can be done by implementing the new system only in some of the checkout counters. It would cause no problems even if it fails because the customers can be moved to other counters which run the old system. Also it is ideal for training the cashiers to the new system. Direct conversion is risky because if the new system fails all the counters have to be closed which means that the store must be shut down. System maintenance and the software lifespan The three kinds of system maintenance and the reasons for the system maintenance are: 1. Corrective maintenance This kind of maintenance is performed to correct bugs found in the system after the system has been commissioned. 2. Adaptive maintenance This kind of maintenance is performed to make changes in the system because of the changes that have taken place in way that the organization works (for example due to the changes in tax rates, due to the changes in law etc.) 3. Perfective maintenance This kind of maintenance is performed to improve the performance of the system.
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