The main objective of system analysis is to develop an understanding of the proposed project, ensure all business requirements are supported and a solid foundation is built up for system development. In this system analysis phase, models and other documentation tools are used as a tool to describe and visualize the proposed system (Shelly, B.G. & Rosenblatt, J.H. 2010).The requirement planning is important to the success of a software development as it combines all the elements of the system together. It is a system analyst job to analyse what business needs are, the project scope, constraints and the authorisation or to continue developing a model. The purpose of this essay is to distinguish how important system analysis is, and in particular the analysis requirements that lead to the success of the software development. To begin with, this essay will clarify the importance of system analysis, the requirement analysis, and finally it will discuss the key roles that make a software development successful.
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System analysis is a detailed examination that provides the system analyst specific data they require in order to ensure that all the clients requirements are fully met. The general model of the software lifecycle describes each phase and the order in which they should be executed. Each phase produces deliverable requirements that must be met by the next phase in the life cycle. These requirements are translated into designs which are produced during implementation. Finally tests are done that verify the deliverable implementation against the requirements.
The key area that system analyst focus on is investigation of the business needs. This is done by asking questions to yield the required information and searching through documents to gather information that is useful in constructing a better understanding of the business needs. Communication with the client based on the accurate specification of their requirements is another key factor that leads to the success of outcomes from the analysis system. The assessment of documentation is important for the user as it ensures accuracy and a close working relationship is created from this. Understanding the information collected can be cross-checked. The planning of the analysis involves the management’s time, resources, detailed presentation and walkthroughs. These key factors lead to the success of a software development.
In the Waterfall model, system development is broken down into a number of stages that are represented by boxes. In this model, each stage must be fully completed before it can move onto the following next stage. As a result, output is delivered from one stage to the next. Progress flows from top to bottom, which resembles to a waterfall. The waterfall development model has its origins in the manufacturing and construction industries which are highly structured physically and primitively costly. In view of the fact that no formal software developments existed during that time, this hardware-orientated model was simply adapted for software development. The advantages of the Waterfall model is that it can be managed easily due to rigidity of the model, it is simple and easy to use and each phase has specific deliverables and a review process. As a result of phases and processes being completed one at a time, work for smaller projects are made easier as the requirements are more clearly understood. However, there are disadvantages such as the adjusting of the scope during the life cycle that can kill the project altogether. In addition to this, no working software is produced until late during the life cycle as it is highly risky and involves a lots of uncertainty. It is a poor model for complex and object orientated, long and ongoing projects and where requirements are at risk of changing (Ragunath, P. K.et al.2010).
The spiral consists of four phases, which are: Risk Analysis, Concept of Operation, Requirements Validation, Design Validation and Verification and Implementation. A software project is passed though these stages repeatedly in iterations (known as spirals in this model). The baseline spiral that starts in the planning phase is where requirements are gathered and risks are assessed. Each subsequent spiral is then built up from the baseline spiral. In the risk analysis phase, risks are identified and alternate solutions are established. A prototype is then produced at the end of the risk analysis phase. In the engineering phase software is produced, which is tested at the end of the stage. This is then followed to the evaluation phase, where customers evaluate the output of the project to date before it is continued to the next spiral. The angular component of the spiral represents progress and the radius signifies the cost. The main advantage of the spiral model is that in contrast to the Waterfall model, it can be used for large critical projects. Another advantage is that software is produced early in the life cycle and risk analysis is kept high to ensure nothing is incomplete. However, there are drawbacks to this model. It is highly costly, it does not work well with smaller projects and specific expertise is required for the risk analysis as the project’s success is highly dependent on this phase (Yeates, D. & Wakefield, T. 2004).
The job of the requirement analysis is to obtain a detailed understanding of the business needs of the project in hand. During the system requirements analysis, a development of the framework for the application is produced which provides the foundations for all future designs and developments processes. The Software Requirements Analysis Process covers complex tasks such as eliciting and documenting the users’ requirements, modelling and analysing it and documenting them on the basis for system design. The Requirement Analysis function may fall under the scope of Project manager, Program manager, of the Business analyst, however this depends on the hierarchy of the organisation. The Software Requirement Analysis and the Documentation Process is crucial in the success of the software project (Robertson, S. & Robertson, J. 2006)
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The requirement gathering helps in indentifying how the new application integrates with the business process. The new application will directly or indirectly impact on users, customers or stakeholders. The specification of the software requirements involves scoping the requirements to match the customers’ vision. As a result of collaboration between the end user who is often not a technical expert, the situation is therefore approached in technical terms by a Technical or System Analyst.
Requirements Specification serves as a starting point software, hardware and database design. The systems function (Functional and Non-Functional specifications), the systems performance and the operational and user interface constraints are described. Functional requirements must be fulfilled by the product to meet the stakeholders’ interest. Manual and computer processing is involved in this system. The main reason for modelling the current system is that radical change in underlying data and core processing is rarely found. The main aim on providing better performance and facilities is by improving and extending the systems model and taking advantage of the modern hardware and software’s. As a result, the current model provides a starting point for the development of the new system model. As the current system model is being developed, requirements for the new system are captured and recorded in a a new requirements catalogue. The application of the new data and processing requirements produces a data flow model and a logical data model for the new system (Grady, O.J. 2006)
To conclude a software projects outcome cannot be ascertained completely at the start as the nature of the software development is that of a craft. The main difficulty in software development is related to stakeholders because it will fail if the software product does not give a tangible benefit to them. Overall, the main factors that lead to the success of the software development include stakeholders, a sound process and the support of a modelling language and tools. The software development therefore, follows a lifecycle that includes phases such as the analysis design, implementation, integration and deployment and operation and maintenance.
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