Systems Analysis & Design: Topic 8b
Finalization of the Analysis Phase -- Proposal & Specification
- Systems Proposal is the embodiment of all the analysis effort
and is the critical document for selling the system.
- The systems analyst has three main steps to follow for putting
together an effective systems proposal:
- functionally organizing the proposal content
- writing the proposal in an appropriate business style
- orally presenting an informative systems proposal
- Cover letter -- a letter to management and the MIS
task force listing people who did the study and summarizing the
objectives of the study.
- Title page -- lists the name of the project, the names
of the analysis team members, and the date of submission.
- Table of Contents -- needed in proposals of 10 pages
- Executive Summary -- explains the who, what, when,
where, why, and how of the proposal. It should include the recommendations
of the systems analyst and the desired management action.
- Outline of Systems Study -- provides information about
all of the methods used in the study and who or what was studied.
- Detailed Results of Systems Study -- details what the
analyst has found out about the current system.
- Systems Alternative -- two or three alternative solutions
that directly address the aforementioned problems.
- Systems Analyst's Recommendations -- details the recommended
solution, including the reasons supporting the recommendation.
- Proposal Summary -- a brief statement that reiterates
the contents of the executive summary.
- Appendices -- includes any information that is important
to specific individuals, but which is not essential for understanding
the systems study and what is being proposed.
Visual Appearance of the Proposal
- The writing style should be based on what is most appropriate
for the organization.
- The proposal can be enhanced through the correct
use of figures,
including tables and graphs. Figures must always be accompanied
by a written interpretation in the proposal.
- Formatting considerations include the use of enough white
space to set off text, sufficient headings and subheadings, page
numbers, and minimal references and appendices.
- The oral presentation is based on the written proposal.
- One option is to create a slide show using presentation software.
- Graphics presentation packages and clip art can be used to
produce more polished visual aids to accompany the oral presentation.
- Table of Contents -- a list of what the problem specification
- Current System Deficiencies - formal list of problems in current
- New System Restrictions -- documentation of any restrictions
that will limit the choice of systems, including the resources
available (machines, people, and money) and the maximum time until
- Acceptance Criteria -- details what must be delivered by any
- These criteria ensure that the requirements have been met.
- Analysts must work closely with users so there is some means
of modifying the system and its acceptance criteria as the project
- System Models -- consists of
- DFDs (both logical
and physical, showing the evolution from current model to
- process specifications (for all functional primitives)
- data models
- cost-benefit analysis
- chosen model is put into the problem specification, accompanied
by management's written authorization to continue forward with
- rejected system models are included in an appendix to the
problem specification, available for reference.
- Data Dictionary - if done correctly, the data dictionary has
been continually modified as the project has progressed, so it
should be in an advanced form at this point.
- Guide to the Problem Specification -- includes an explanation
of the function of each document and the conventions adopted for
each one. The guide should be reusable from project to project.
- Index - includes all key concepts and terms.
- Additional Requirements - can be used to document any peculiarities.