Systems Analysis and Design (SAD) is an exciting, active field in which analysts continually learn new techniques and approaches to develop systems more effectively and efficiently. However, there is a core set of skills that all analysts need to know no matter what approach or methodology is used.
All information systems projects move through the four phases of planning, analysis, design, and implementation; all projects require analysts to gather requirements, model the business needs, and create blueprints for how the system should be built; and all projects require an understanding of organizational behavior concepts like change management and team building.
This book captures the dynamic aspects of the field by keeping students focused on doing SAD while presenting the core set of skills that we feel every systems analyst needs to know today and in the future.
This book builds on our professional experience as systems analysts and on our experience in teaching SAD in the classroom. This book will be of particular interest to instructors who have students do a major project as part of their course.
Each chapter describes one part of the process, provides clear explanations on how to do it, gives a detailed example, and then has exercises for the students to practice. In this way, students can leave the course with experience that will form a rich foundation for further work as a systems analyst.
OUTSTANDING FEATURES of Systems Analysis and Design
The goal of this book is to enable students to do SAD—not just read about it, but understand the issues so that they can actually analyze and design systems.
The book introduces each major technique, explains what it is, explains how to do it, presents an example, and provides opportunities for students to practice before they do it in a real-world project.
After reading each chapter, the student will be able to perform that step in the system development life cycle (SDLC) process.
The skills that students learn in a systems analysis and design course should mirror the work that they ultimately will do in real organizations.
We have tried to make this book as “real” as possible by building extensively on our experience as professional systems analysts for organizations such as IBM, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Australian Army.
We have also worked with diverse industry advisory boards of IS professionals and consultants in developing the book and have incorporated their stories, feedback, and advice throughout.
Many students who use this book will eventually apply the skills on the job in a business environment, and we believe that they will have a competitive edge by understanding what successful practitioners feel is relevant in the real world.
We have presented the topics in this book in the SDLC order in which an analyst encounters them in a typical project.
Although the presentation necessarily is linear (because students have to learn concepts in the way in which they build on each other), we emphasize the iterative, complex nature of SAD as the book unfolds.
The presentation of the material should align well with courses that encourage students to work on projects, because it presents topics as students need to apply them.