Whatever methodology you selected, you would likely find four common threads – analysis, design, “programming”, and implementation. Programming here may be loosely interpreted to include packaged software and even outsourcing, which will be addressed shortly. It seems somewhat obvious that before you can create, improve, or replace an information system, you should stop to study the current system, whatever it might be, to see how it operates. This is typically an integral part of the analysis stage.There is, however, another viewpoint – ignoring the old system entirely, at least ignoring the “customary” way of thinking. Instead perhaps you should start from scratch to create a new mousetrap. From Childrens’ Letters to God: Dear God, Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones why don’t you just keep the ones you have now.
Eric L. Dear God, Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It worked with my brother. Larry Dear God, Why is Sunday school on Sunday?I thought it was supposed to be our day of rest. Tom L. Sometimes people and organizations become so mired in the “can’t see the forest from the trees” syndrome, that they cannot think their way out of the challenges that exist before them. This challenge is know as the “Gordian Knot.
” An ancient tale speaks of a king of Gordon who tied a very difficult knot. He offered the hand of his daughter to the man who could untie it. Many men tried unsucessfully. Finally a man came along who raised up his sword and with a mighty blow cut the rope.That man was known as Alexander the Great. Many would say that he did not “follow the rules”.
Others would say that he established new rules where none existed. In a more recent story, when an U. S.
Army General recently took over a new command, several of his high level executives asked him when he was going to issue a “vision” statement. He cursely replied that before he could see any vision he needed to cut down some of the trees (his top heavy staff) that were blocking his view.On a more immediate and practical note, in the analysis stage an analyst would use such tools as questionnaires, interviews, and flow charts to help determine the makeup and flows of the current system.
You will learn more about these in the next lesson and in a later course in this series. The later design and programming stages are typically closely intertwined. This is because detail requirements for what the system is to accomplish are written into exact specifications or “pseudocode. ” Those instructions are then translated into computer code.Much about the efforts in these two stages are dependent upon the general approach that is taken. If the approach involves outsourcing, then the efforts in these stages would be handled by the outsourcing organization.
If the approach involves packaged software, then frequently these stages would involve packaged software modification. The last stage “implementation” is frequently given short shrift. During installation, systems should be run in parallel to insure full operability. Often it is only in this stage when adaptability problems are discovered.