Q. What is preliminary investigation? Which functions are performed in this phase?
In the first phase, the system is investigated. The objective of this phase is to conduct an initial analysis and findings of the system as follows:
1. System Identification
This phase is used to identify the need for a new system. It is very important step. Everything performed in future depends on this phase.
2. System Scope
The scope of the system is defined at this stage. The scope of a system can be reduced due to financial and political problems etc.
3. Alternate Solutions
A system may be developed by many ways. This step identifies all possible ways to develop a system. It is used to select the best solution that fulfills the requirements.
4. Feasibility Study
A system must be affordable and acceptable for the organization. A feasibility study is used to find whether the proposed system is feasible. This decision depends on different issues such as financial and time limits.
5. Preliminary Plan
Preliminary plan consists of all findings in written form for approval.It is also called feasibility report. It is normally submitted to the top managers of the organization. They nay accept, modify or reject the report.
Q. Describe system analysis phase. Which activities are conducted in it?
In this phase, the current business system is studied in detail to find out how it works and how to improve it. The analyst conducts the following activities:
1. Need Analysis
Need analysis is also called requirements analysis. It consists of all requirements of the system from users and managers. The developed system must fulfill all these requirements determined in this step.
2. Data Gathering Techniques
Data gathering techniques are used to collect detailed information about system. These techniques are written documents, interviewing, questionnaires, observation and sampling.
A. Written Documents
The written documents of the current system are important source of information for the analyst. The analyst can study these document to find out the problems in the system. The documents include reports, forms and business plans etc.
Interviewing is used to get information from managers and users by discussing the problems. The analyst asks questions to understand the problems in a system. The questions asked in interview must be simple and relevant.
Questionnaires are used to collect information from a large number of people. It is very useful when interviews of many users cannot be conducted. It is also very simple and quick method of collecting information.
Observation is a process of watching the people while they are working. It helps the analyst to detect problems in the current system. It also enables the analyst to understand the working of the system more clearly
Samplingis a method of selecting users or units for getting information. A system in a large organization may involve many users. It is not possible to interact with all users. Sampling is very useful in such situation.
3. Data Analysis
Data analysisis a process of analyzing the data to obtain accurate information. Many tools are used for this purpose such as data flow diagram and flowcharts etc.
4. Analysis Report
Analysis report is produced at the end of system analysis. It is submitted to the top management for review. The report should consist of the following parts:
.It must explain the current system.
.It should explain the problems in the current system.
.It should describe the requirements and recommendations for new system.
Q. Briefly explain the system design phase.
System design phase is used to design the logical and physical model of new system. The system design states how the new system will meet the requirement identified in system analysis phase.
1. Logical Design
Logical design describes the general functional capabilities of new system. It reviews the system requirements and considers major system components. CASE tools and project management software are used in this step. Different tools are used to prepare logical design such as MS Project and Gantt chart etc.
2. Physical Design
Physical design describes how the proposed system will deliver the capabilities specified in the logical design. It specifies the following:
.Output requirements .Input requirements
.Storage requirements .Processing requirements
.System control .Backup and Recovery Procedures
A detailed report is prepared at the end of design phase. It is also submitted to the higher management for approval.
Q. What is the importance of testing phase? How the system is tested?
Complete testing of the system is very important. A system must be tested to detect and remove errors in it. The system is tested by giving sample data.
A system can be tested in two stages:
1. Unit Testing
It is also known as module testing. In this stage, individual units or modules of the system are tested by using sample data.
2. System Testing
In this stage, all modules or units are combined to make a complete system. The complete system is then tested as a whole.