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The first activity of the systems planning and selection
phase of the SDLC is project identification and selection.
Organizations vary in their approach to identifying and
In some organizations, project identification and
selection is a formal process in which projects are
outcomes of a larger overall planning process.
Identifying and Selecting Projects
Three key sources for information
Project identification and selection consists of three
- Identifying potential development projects
- Classifying and ranking projects
- Selecting projects for development
The Process of Identifying and Selecting
Information Systems Development Projects
Organizations vary as to how they identify projects. This
process can be performed by:
- A key member of top management, either the CEO of a small or medium-
size organization or a senior executive in a larger organization
- A steering committee, composed of a cross section of managers with an
interest in systems
- User departments, in which either the head of the requesting unit or a
committee from the requesting department decides which projects to
submit (as a systems analyst, you will help users prepare such requests)
- The development group or a senior IS manager
Identifying potential development
Common Characteristics of Alternative
Methods for Making Information
Sytems Identification and Selection
Assessing the merit of potential projects is the second
major activity in the project identification and selection
The criteria used to assign the merit of a given project
can vary based on the size of the organization.
The relative ratings of projects are used to guide the final
activity of this identification process—project selection.
Classifying and ranking IS development
Possible Evaluation Criteria When
Classifying and Ranking Projects
The selection of projects is the final activity in the
project identification and selection phase.
As business conditions change over time, the relative
importance of any single project may substantially
Thus, the identification and selection of projects is an
important and ongoing activity.
Selecting IS development projects.
Numerous Factors must be considered
when selecting a project
The primary deliverable, or end product, from the project
identification and selection phase is a schedule of
specific IS development projects.
These projects come from both top-down and bottom-up
sources, and once selected they move into the second
activity within this SDLC phase—project initiation and
Deliverables and Outcomes
An outcome of this activity is the assurance that people in
the organization gave careful consideration to project
selection and clearly understood how each project
could help the organization reach its objectives.
Incremental commitment means that after each
subsequent SDLC activity, you, other members of the
project team, and organization officials will reassess your
1. Requirements Determination
2. Requirements Structuring
Two Parts of Systems Analysis
-At the end of the systems planning and selection phase of
the SDLC, management can grant permission to pursue
development of a new system.
- A project is initiated and planned (as described in
Chapter 4), and you begin determining what the new
system should do.
The Process of Determining
1. Impertinence. You should question everything.
2. Impartiality. Your role is to find the best solution to a
business problem or opportunity.
3. Relaxing of Constraints. Assume anything is possible
and eliminate the infeasible.
4. Attention to Details. Every fact must fit with every
5. Reframing. Analysis is, in part, a creative process.
Characteristics of a System Analyst
needed during R.D.
-The primary deliverables from requirements
determination are the types of information
gathered during the determination process.
-The information can take many forms:
transcripts of interviews; notes from observation
and analysis of documents; sets of forms and
Deliverables and Outcomes
Analysis Paralysis - coined to describe a project that has
become bogged down in an abundance of analysis work.
Techniques that can be used to structure requirements
3. Agile Methodologies
Collection of information is at the core of
One of the best ways to get this information is to
talk to those directly or indirectly involved in the
different parts of the organization affected by
the possible system changes.
Traditional Methods in Determining
Prototyping is most useful for requirements determination
- User requirements are not clear or well understood,
which is often the case for totally new systems or systems
that support decision making.
- One or a few users and other stakeholders are involved
with the system.
- Possible designs are complex and require concrete form
to evaluate fully.
- Communication problems have existed in the past
between users and analysts, and both parties want to be
sure that system requirements are as specific as possible.
- Tools (such as form and report generators) and data are
readily available to rapidly build working systems.
- A tendency to avoid creating formal documentation of
system requirements, which can then make the system
more difficult to develop into a fully working system.
- Prototypes can become idiosyncratic to the initial user
and difficult to diffuse or adapt to other potential users.
- Prototypes are often built as stand-alone systems, thus
ignoring issues f sharing data and interactions with other
- Checks in the SDLC are bypassed so that some more
subtle, but still important, system requirements might be
forgotten (e.g., security, some data-entry controls, or
standardization of data across systems).