System Analysis and Design – Assignment 1
Instructor: Allan Anderson
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Pine Valley Furniture Alex Schuster began Pine Valley Furniture (PVF) as a hobby. Initially, Alex would build custom furniture in his garage for friends and family. As word spread about his quality craftsmanship, he began taking orders. The hobby has since evolved into a medium-sized business, employing more than fifty workers. Over the years, increased demand has forced Alex to relocate several times, increase his sales force, expand his product line, and renovate PVF’s information systems. As the company began to grow, Alex organized it into functional areas—manufacturing, sales, orders, accounting, and purchasing. Originally, manual information systems were used; however, as the business began to expand rapidly, a minicomputer was installed to automate applications.
In the beginning, a process-oriented approach was utilized. Each separate application had its own data files. The applications automated the manual systems on which they were modeled. In an effort the to improve its information systems, PVF recently renovated its information systems, resulting in a company-wide database and applications that work with this database. PVF’s computer-based applications are primarily in the accounting and financial areas. All applications have been built in-house, and when necessary, new information systems staff is hired to support PVFa ‘s expanding information systems.
How did Pine Valley Furniture go about developing its information systems? Why do you think the company chose this option? What were the other options available?
Answer: Pine Valley Furniture used an in-house built-in methodology to develop its system. The company would have chosen this option because of the rapid expansion of the business. Probably it was needed to meet the time constraints as the in-house methodology is associated with Rapid Application Development (RAD). Another reason might be the cost-effectiveness or the budget constraints of the company as it was basically a start-up company which was just begun to grow. Also, there are no additional costs incurred with user training of the system as it was built in-house and can be handled within the company. An in-house built-in software meets only the specific requirements of the organization and it reduces the confusions and unwanted functionality which comes along with off the shelf or an open source software.
The other options which were available for the company were
They could have gone to an information technology services firm, to have the system developed for them.
They could have bought a system off the shelf.
Or could have implemented an enterprise-wide system from a company such as SAP.
Open source software could have been obtained.
Alternatively, the company could have decided to outsource system development and operation.
One option available to Pine Valley Furniture was an enterprise-wide system. What features does an enterprise-wide system, such as SAP, provide? What is the primary advantage of an enterprise-wide system?
Answer: Enterprise-wide systems are large, complex systems that consist of a series of independent system modules. Developers assemble systems by choosing and implementing specific modules. Enterprise-wide systems usually contain software to support many different tasks in an organization rather than only one or two functions. For example, an enterprise-wide system may handle all human resources management, payroll, benefits, and retirement functions
within a single, integrated system (Valacich, George ; Hoffer, 2015, p.36).
The primary advantage of an enterprise information system is its ability to integrate information across the organization.
Pine Valley Furniture will be hiring two systems analysts next month. Your task is to develop a job advertisement for these positions. Locate several websites and/or newspapers with job advertisements for systems analysts. What skills are required?
Websites with advertisements for system analysts.
Indeed.com, Monster.com, Eluta.ca, Workopolis.com, Simplyhired.ca, Wowjobs.ca
Papers with advertisements for System Analysts
The Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star
Job Advertisement with the skills required is given below.
Sr Systems Analyst Pine Valley Furniture, Edmonton, Canada
Open Positions – 2
We are currently seeking 2 Senior Information Systems Analysts to be responsible for defining business needs and opportunities to drive the timely delivery of solutions that achieve intended business objectives. The Analyst will define functional and technical requirements documentation that translates business needs to high-level system design requirements.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Analyse and scope business requirements and opportunities to define detailed requirements and design specifications. Specifications include functional specifications, process designs, user interface (UI) designs and end-user documentation.Conduct design and test reviews with the project teams to ensure systems design, development, and testing are aligned to support the intended objectives.
Establish and maintain tight communication with impacted business functions to ensure a common schedule of activities.
Train, coach, and mentor project team members and user participants to improve the quality and completeness of requirements specifications.
Provide project requirements to project manager to develop project estimates and schedules.
Provide assistance with end-user testing, including User Acceptance Testing.
Work with application help desk function to ensure the rapid and effective transition to support mode at the end of a project.
Provide project management on small projects and supporting oversight on large projects.
To identify opportunities and problems, and to analyze and solve problems.
Systems thinking, or the ability to see organizations and information systems as systems.
You must also be able to work with programming languages such as C++ and Java
Experience in operating systems such as Windows and Linux, and computer hardware platforms such as IBM and Mac.
Management skills such as manage projects, resources, risk, and change.
Interpersonal skills help to work with end users as well as with other analysts and programmers.
Effective written and oral communication, including competence in leading meetings, interviewing end users and listening.
Position Requirements: Education and Experience:
Education equivalent to Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology, Business, or another related discipline, demonstrating the ability to re-engineer processes to make them more effective for the organization
Six or more years of experience in Systems Analysis and Requirements Management.
Four or more years of work experience in application development and testing.
Four or more years of demonstrated ability to re-engineer processes to make them more effective for the organization.
Three or more years of project management experience preferred.
Demonstrated knowledge and application of prevalent SDLC methodologies.
Targeted experience with financial systems and/or transportation logistics, a plus.
4. What types of information systems are currently utilized at Pine Valley Furniture? Provide an example of each.
Pine Valley Furniture was using a process-oriented system or in other words, a transaction processing system at first with each separate application had its own data files. Then it got upgraded to database application systems or management information systems.
Example for transaction processing system is Airline reservation systems.
Example for management information system – A database application system created for a supermarket for handling its sales, purchase, inventory, payroll and all.