Information Systems

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College of Business
University of Missouri - St.

Systems Analysis Web Sites
General Systems Analysis Fables Systems Analysis Humor Class Humor Previous Term Papers
What is
What is
The Problem:
g and
Agile Methods
Object Oriented
CASE Tools

Soft System

Data Flow
Use Case
and Budgeting
Quality and
Visio Demos
s and

More: Ethics
Teams and
Team Building
Wide Solutions
Humor and
Analysis HomePage Undergraduate "Current" Page Graduate "Current" Page Link Suggestions?

General Systems Analysis Links
Systems and Systems Thinking
Definition of a System
A system definition courtesy of the Pentagon. This is the actual image used by Gen.
Stanley A. McChrystal, the leader of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, to
portray the complexity of American military strategy.
Horizonwatching: A Smarter Planet --- aka a system!
Systems and Systems Thinking
Dr. Ackoff talk about his views of thinking, check out his YouTube video, Exploring
Systems Thinking. See Part 2 and Part 3.
Benefits of Systems Analysis
Product Design by Business Week
Systems Theory at work: Using a Complex Systems Approach to Study Educational
Horizonwatching: A Smarter Planet --- aka a system!
Victorian Data Processing
Modern Systems Analyst
Don Norman's website.
Helsinki's Systems Analysis Lab
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Risoe Systems Analysis Department
It's About the Business Stupid
Web-based Information Systems
Hospital begins process by re-examining patient experience
Places to Intervene in a System
Systems Analysis for Beginners
To Combat Terrorism, a Systems Approach is Vital -- read the article.
Systems Analysis: A Tool to Understand and Predict Terrorist Activities
Systems Thinking at Wikipedia
Trials and Tribulations of a Systems Analyst
Systems Thinking from MIT
VIDEO: Warriors of the Net
An Example Systems Analysis
The previous edition of your textbook had a chapter entitled "Succeeding as a Systems
Analyst." It is available here with permission of the publisher.
An example consultant's analysis report: Strider and Cline evaluate UM's implementation
of PeopleSoft.
Systems Thinking in the Workplace - An Action Research Approach
Humor in Systems Analysis
What are the benefits of modern systems analysis? Find out here
Creativity and Systems Analysis
The Future of Design is Human-Centered
An interview with Tim Brown, CEO of IDE-O
More on creativity and play
Stanford Design Thinking Process
Sustainability -- Part 1
Sustainability -- Part 2
Sustainability -- Part 3
IDE-O comes to St. Louis
IDE-O's Website
Product Design by BusinessWeek
More about design from IDEO: Paul Bennett finds design in the details.
Even more about the work at IDEO
Why Design Education Must Change.
Why writing software is not like engineering
unintended consequences in systems analysis
The Standish Reports
Standish Group Report: Chaos
Resolution of Projects
Resolution of Projects, 1994-2004
Cost Overruns
Cost Overruns, 1994-2004
Top Ten Reasons for Success
CHAOS Report: 1994
Glass, Robert L. The Standish Report: Does It Really Describe a Software
Crisis?, Communications of the ACM, 49(8), August, 2006, pp. 15-16.
Jørgensen, Magne and Kjetil Moløkken, How Large Are Software Cost Overruns?
A Review of the 1994 CHAOS Report, Information and Software Technology, 48(4),
April 2006.
Standish view of Best Practices for SAD
A humorous view of best practices. (View pdf Version)

Software Project Failure Costs Billions.. Better Estimation & Planning Can Help
The Art And Science Of IT Architecture Design, by J. Dowling
To assure flexibility and lasting value, information system designs and product
selection must be guided by an architectural plan for infrastructure and
applications systems. The Art of architecture design is in extracting business
requirements; the Science is translating them into technology solutions.
To read the entire article, click here.
From ACM TechNews, November 21, 2003.
"Computing Power Tries to Keep Up With Information Flood"
USA Today (11/19/03) P. 3B; Maney, Kevin
The University of California-Berkeley report, "How Much Information 2003,"
estimates that five exabytes of data--equivalent to all words spoken by human
beings--was created last year, and reckons that the volume of information
worldwide is expanding at a yearly rate of 30 percent. This information flood has
been hastened by the Internet, writes Kevin Maney. He explains that data growth
has been fiercely competing with Moore's Law--the tenet that computing power
doubles every 18 months--but warns that Moore's Law is in danger of falling behind,
which could lead to a situation in which massive amounts of information cannot be
exploited because computing technology has hit a wall. "The good news is that in
18 months [a computer] will be twice as fast," says IBM Research scientist Bill
Pulleyblank. "The bad news is that in 18 months, it will only be twice as fast." IBM
and other companies are working to transcend Moore's Law with the development
of machines such as IBM's Blue Gene/L, a supercomputer that promises to be 30
times more powerful than the world's fastest existing computer once it is up and
running next year. At its current stage, Blue Gene is about the size of a dishwasher
and is ranked as the 73rd fastest computer in the world. Maney writes that by the
time a consumer version of Blue Gene is introduced, the amount of information
generated annually could conceivably surpass 15 exabytes. Click Here to View Full
From ACM's TechNews, March 31, 2006.
Business Skills in Demand for IT Workers
Network World (03/29/06) Dubie, Denise
IT employers will be placing more emphasis on business-related skills in the years
to come, according to a new survey of 100 companies by members of the Society of
Information Management (SIM). Kate Kaiser, a charter member of the Wisconsin
chapter of SIM and an associate professor at Marquette University, says there has
been a need for IT professionals to pick up business skills for some time, but
employers now want them to have business and industry knowledge much earlier in
their careers. "Computer science is very technical by design, but two of the more
popular areas in demand are systems analysis and systems design, both of which
are customer-facing positions that require user interaction and communications
skills," says Kaiser. Companies cited business-related capabilities as five of the 10
skills they need to retain. They also said there are not enough project managers
with skills in project planning, leadership, and risk management, adding that entry-
level employers often lack communication skills. The report says employment
numbers for the IT industry, including in-house, independent contractors, and third-
party provider full-time equivalents, will remain largely the same from 2005 through
2008. And outsourcing will have little impact on employees in the United States. The
ACM Globalization and Offshoring of Software Report is available at Click Here to View Full Article
From ACM's TechNews, January 23, 2006.
"'Play' Model of Information System Design Makes Teammates of Users and Designers"
Penn State Live (01/11/06)
System designers are focusing too much on the "killer application," and neglecting
the different needs of users, according to researchers at Penn State. At the 26th
International Conference on Information Systems in Las Vegas, Frederico Fonseca,
assistant professor in the School of Information Sciences and Technology (IST),
and James Martin, a professor emeritus of the Penn State psychology department,
presented their argument for having designers and users act as teammates during
the development process. In their paper, "Play as the Way Out of the Newspeak-
Tower of Babel Dilemma in Data Modeling," they suggest that a back-and-forth
dialogue between designers and users will ultimately allow for the development of
IT systems that meet the various needs of its users. "For example, departments in
banks interpret the term 'loan date' differently," says Fonseca. "One department
views it as the date when the loan was applied for, another when the loan was
approved and yet another when the money was released." They refer to
communication of designers and users as 'play,' enterprise-wide solutions as
'newspeak,' and multiple systems as the 'Tower of Babel problem.' Fonseca and
Martin say the failure to design systems that address the perspective of every user
is the problem, and not the user. Click Here to View Full Article
From ACM's TechNews, January 9, 2006.
"Skills That Will Matter"
InformationWeek (01/02/06) No. 1070, P. 53; McGee, Marianne Kolbasuk
A new report from the Society for Information Management is another indication of
how important business and industry knowledge, and communications and
negotiating skills, have become for IT workers. Of the 100 IT managers who
identified the most important talents to keep in-house through 2008, more than 77
percent of respondents cited project planning, budgeting, and scheduling; followed
by 75 percent who listed functional-area process knowledge; and 71 percent who
noted company-specific knowledge. Three technical skills topped 60 percent in
systems analysis at 70 percent, systems design at 67 percent, and IT architecture
and standards at 61 percent. And 55 percent of IT execs mentioned security skills.
"The higher you go in the IT organization, the more you need to know about
business," says Stephen Pickett, new SIM president and CIO of transportation
company Penske, as firms rely more on off-the-shelf software and outsource IT.
Pickett describes IT as an umbrella that allows someone with IT skills to see more
of a company. More employers are starting to demand business-technology
professionals who have "customer-facing, client-facing" skills and understanding,
the survey also reveals. Click Here to View Full Article

Systems Analysis Fables
Aesop's Fables
The Astronomer
The Axe
Bear and the Shield
The Bee and the Beetle
The Big House
Blind Imitation
Bunge Cord
Buying a Car
The Chevrotain
The Chicken and the Ostrich
The Chick's Coat
Confucius and the Thieves of Rice
The Curse
The Contest
Dancing Monkeys
Donkey and the Wonderful Barn
Dream House
The Elves' Mistake
The Entrepreneurial Evangelist
The Explorer
A Foolish Man Buys Shoes
The Fox and the Grapes
The Frog
The General's Horse
George's Flight -- or Plight
Great Warrior
Happy Fish
The Hidden Nuts
Home Sweet Home
The Houses
The Industious Mouse
Trying To Get Home
Joey's Airplane
Kingdom of Beal
The King's Companion
The King and the Castle
Mr. Kringle's Ornaments
Let's Talk Over Lunch
The Lion's Party
Look Before You Leap
The Medicine Man
Mother Hen
The Mouse and the Crow
The New Cell Phone
Newly Married Couple
The Ph.D. and the Donkey
The Peacock and the Crane
The Poor Spider and the Rich Snake
The Poor Couple
The Portuguese Explorers
The Prince's Party
Scoop Creep
A Suitable Partner
The Rabbit and the Turtle
The Seven Little Lambs
Seven Sons
The Shoemaking Machine
Six Blind Men and the Elephant
The Old Man Who Wanted to Quit Smoking
The Table Legs
Take Me Out To the Ballpark
The Tale of Many Zebras
The Timbla
The Travelers
Three Robots
The Warrior and the Island
The Two Sons
The Water Fountains
The Water Shortage
Whale Tales
What's in a Name?
The Wrong Direction

Previous Term Papers
Agile Methodology and System Analysis
Agile Developments Influence on System Analysis
The Alignment of Business and IT: Integrating Opposing Forces
Analysis and Enterprise Resource Planning
Analysis of Critical Success Factors in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Automated Tools
Breaking the Rules: A Closer Look into the Business Rules Management Systems
Capability Maturity Model With Information Systems Development
Capturing The Value Of Flexibility In Information Technology Project Using Real Option
Challenges of Requirements Elicitation
Can Your Customer’s Requirements Be Too Agile?
CASE Tools
CMMI and ISO: Success Rate
Comparison of Diagramming Tools
Comparison of Project Management Software
Conflict Resolution in Project Management
Data Modeling In Information System Analysis
Data Modeling for System Analysis
Data Modeling in Systems Analysis
Data Modeling in System Analysis
Decision Making in Information Technology Acquisition: A System Analysis Approach
Defining User Requirements During the Analysis Phase: A Look at Use Cases
Earned Value Concepts
Effective Ways to Improve Internal and External Communication in System Development
ERP Adoption
Enterprise Resource Planning: Factors Affecting Success and Failure
Extreme Programming
Feasibility Study for Information System Projects
A History Of Structured Systems Analysis & Design Methodologies
The Importance of Business Understanding in Requirements Structuring
Importance of Interview and Survey Questions in Systems Analysis
The Importance of Requirements Definition in IT Systems Development
Incorporation Of Joint Application Design (JAD) In Systems Requirement Determination
Information Technology Infrastructure Library
Intranet Usability
An Investigation of Use Cases and Their Role in Systems Development
IT Enterprise Architecture
Joint Applications Design
Joint Application Development (JAD)
A Laboratory Example
Managing User Expectations
Negotiating Contracts
New Fashions in Prototyping
Object-Oriented Analysis
Object Oriented Analysis and Design: What is it? How Does it Work? Why is it used?
Object-Oriented Analysis Methodology
A Primer to Communicating as a Systems Analyst in Today’s World
Project Management in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Implementation
Project Success And Failure...
Requirements Analysis Paradigms
Risk Management
The Role of Project Manager for IS Project Success
Requirements Analysis Paradigms
Systems Thinking in the Workplace - An Action Research Approach
Requirements Determination and Requirements Structuring
Requirement Gathering And Management In Globally Dispersed Teams
Requirement Analysis for Portfolio of IT Decisions in A/E Firms
Risk Identification in IS projects ?the sooner the better
Role of Use Cases in System Analysis and Development
Scope Creep
Scope Creep
Selecting Information Technology Projects
Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) in Information System Analysis
Success Factors in Higher Education Administrative Systems Implementation...
Systems Development And Organizational Politics
The Effective Methodology for System Requirement Analysis
Understanding The Aspects Of The Customer And Resolving Differences...
Usability Testing
Using the System's Security Audit Process and Ethical Hacking to Protect Systems
Vulnerabilities in Applications Such As Lotus Notes and SAP
Various Approaches for Systems Analysis and Design
Virtual Project Management
Waste Elimination in Software Development
Web Applications: Vulnerabilities and Security
Web-based Information Systems
Writing Effective Use Cases

Brainstorming and Creativity
Brainstorming Pitfalls and Best Practices from ACM's Interactions, September-October,
Step up to the world's coolest staircases How to be Creative
Conceptual Design
Tim Brown - From Design to Design Thinking
Stanford Design Thinking Process
David Kelley: How to build your creative confidence
An example of IDE-O's Work
Read more about creativity from the New York Times
29 Ways to Stay Creative
How to be Creative
The IDEO Philosophy (also available as a pdf file).
VIDEO: Improv Group Provides Creative Outlet for Graduate Students
VIDEO: South Park Elementary
VIDEO: Brainstorming @ Google
Product Design by BusinessWeek -- see especially articles on creativity
The approach to design thinking, and more about Design Thinking
The Future of Design is Human-Centered
Insight in the brain - the cognitive and neural bases of Eureka! moments
The Eureka Hunt: Where in our brains do insights come from?" by Jonah Lehrer)
An interview with Tim Brown, CEO of IDE-O
Stanford Design Thinking Process
Sustainability -- Part 1
Sustainability -- Part 2
Sustainability -- Part 3
Paul Bennett finds design in the details.
IDE-O comes to St. Louis
Tracing the Spark of Creative Problem-Solving
IDE-O's Website
Where good ideas come from
Stuart Brown says play is more than fun
The Secrets of Success
From Ian I. Mitroff and Harold A. Linstone, The Unbounded Mind: Breaking the Chains of
Traditional Business Thinking, New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
Almost without exception, all who write about the new, global information age
acknowledge that we are literally drowning in an overload and overabundance of
information. Never before has humankind had access to so much, so quickly, and
from every part of the globe. We have more data and information on every
conceivable subject, yet less understanding at the same time. Data and information
do not automatically lead to greater insight; they may now travel at the speed of
light, but understanding and wisdom do not.
There is also common agreement that "data," "information," and "knowledge" are
not the same, even though they are often -- wrongly so -- used interchangeably.
Their differences are often as unclear to the experts as to the lay person.
One aspect above all else is especially disturbing. It is the strong, taken-for-granted
assumption that agreement between the monumental and voluminous databases
that both government and businesses are constantly producing will eventually
result, and further that agreement itself is fundamentally desirable. -- p.20
In the end, the most general conclusion is "seek agreement or consensus but do
not trust them fully." Agreement and consensus are important in reaching
conclusions and in achieving the necessary support to carry out complex,
important policies. However, as with all things human, they cannot be followed
blindly. Nor are they the ultimate consideration for deciding all important questions.
-- p. 37
Finally, we can state some rules of thumb ....
·Seek the obvious, but do everything in your power to challenge and even
ridicule it.
·Question all constraints. The most limiting constraints in building a model or a
representation of a problem are usually imposed not by the problem itself but by
the mind set of the problem solver.
·Challenge as many assumptions about the problem and the model as possible.
Remember that what seems self-evident to the problem formulator is not always
evident to others.
·Question the scope or the definition of a problem or model. Frequently what is
omitted from the statement of a problem or model is more important than what is
·Question whether a problem is to be "solved," "resolved," or "dissolved." There
are important differences between "solving," "resolving," or "dissolving" a problem.
They are not necessarily the same. To "solve" a problem means to produce an
exact or optimal solution to it. To "resolve" a problem means to seek a solution that
is "good enough." On the other hand, to "dissolve a problem is to realize that there
may be some other problem that is more important to focus one's attention on. The
old or initial problem may still exist but may not be as important in the broader
scope of things.
·Finally question the logic itself. Being logical and being right are not always the
same. The more logical a solution to a complex problem sounds, the more strongly
it deserves to be challenged. -- p. 47-48

Business Needs
The Alignment of Business and IT: Integrating Opposing Forces
IT is from Venus, non-IT is from Mars
Breaking the Rules: A Closer Look into the Business Rules Management Systems
Decision Making in Information Technology Acquisition: A System Analysis Approach
The Importance of Business Understanding in Requirements Structuring
Places to Intervene in a System
Product Design by BusinessWeek
Risk Identification in IS projects ?the sooner the better
The Importance of Requirements Definition in IT Systems Development
To learn more about interacting with clients, read the article Know Thy Client
You can lower the odds of being outsourced
We must always look for the unintended consequences in systems analysis. A
Fable: Confucius and the Thieves of Rice

A Primer to Communicating as a Systems Analyst in Today’s World
To learn more about interacting with clients, read the article Know Thy Client
Challenges of Requirements Elicitation
Effective Ways to Improve Internal and External Communication in System Development
Importance of Interview and Survey Questions in Systems Analysis
Systems Development And Organizational Politics
A Fable: Santa
VIDEO: The PolyKey
VIDEO: Rockwell Automation Jargon-Speak

Documenting the System and Requirements
Comparison of Diagramming Tools

Process Modeling
Process Modeling
Introduction to Data Flow Diagram (DFD)
Give us back our verbs!
VIDEO: Drawing a Context Diagram
VIDEO: Tools of Analysis (part 6 of 8) - Process & Data (DFD / Data Flow Diagram) Data
Flow Diagram (DFD) Example (Context and Level 0 Diagrams)
Data Flow Diagram (DFD) Example (Level 4 Explosion)
An example
VIDEO: Connect your Data to the Diagram
High Level Examples
Data Dictionary
More samples
What is MetaData?

Data Modeling
Introduction to Entity Relationship Diagrams
An example of Entity Relationship Diagrams
VIDEO: Use Cases
Use Case Notation (view as a pdf)
An Example
VIDEO: Creating Use Case Diagrams in Visio 2007
Entities and Attributes
ER Primer
ER Discussion
Guidelines for ER Diagrams
Domain Analysis
Data Modeling In Information System Analysis
Data Modeling in Systems Analysis
Data Modeling in System Analysis
Data Modeling for System Analysis

Object Modeling
Use Case Notation
An Example
Use Case Diagrams Examples
Role of Use Cases in System Analysis and Development
VIDEO: Creating UML Use Case Diagrams
VIDEO: Use Cases
My stencil for use case diagrams
Copy this file to C:\Documents and Settings\user name\My Documents\My Shapes
To open the stencil, on the File menu, point to Shapes, point to My Shapes, and
then click the use_case.

Dictionaries and Repositories
Data Dictionary Example
More samples

CASE Tools
Automated Tools
CASE Tools and the Productivity Paradox
A Comparison of Diagramming Tools
CASE Tools
CASE Tools
Arcadia Research Project (tools and techniques for software engineering)
VIDEO: Corporate Modeler
Specific Products
Artiso Visual Case
The COOL:Gen Index
IEF Instructions
An example of use of IEF-Composer is available for an ordering system
iGraphx Flowcharter
Microsoft Visio
Open Source CASE Tools
Rational Rose
SmartDraw ERD
Tigris: Open Source Software Engineering Tools
Visible Analyst

Soft Systems Methodology
Getting to the right idea
From the Accidental Successful CIO: What CIOs Can Learn From The Failure Of A British
IT Project and Hello IT Manager: You’re In Politics Now!.
The Coming Culture Shift for IT/Web Analysts and CIOs
Six 'Soft Skills' Every Analyst Needs to Know
A video
Conceptual Design
An Outline
Systems analysis defined: View this video. Seriously, view this video to talk about soft
systems methodologies.

Enterprise Wide Solutions
A Fable: The Bee and the Beetle
ERP and analysis
IT Enterprise Architecture
Analysis and Enterprise Resource Planning
Software That Can Make a Grown Company Cry
Enterprise Resource Planning: Factors Affecting Success and Failure
Success Factors in Higher Education Administrative Systems Implementation: A Review
of the Literature
Project Management in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Implementation
ERP Adoption
Analysis of Critical Success Factors in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
VIDEO: ARIS for SAP - ARIS Solution for Process-Driven SAP

Evaluating Information Technology Investments
An Analytical Framework for Capital Planning and Investment Control for Information
Estimation Process
Function Points and Metrics
Function Point Explanation
Estimating and Metrics
Longstreet Consulting -- Function Point Consulting
Software Economics
Benefits of Function Point Counting
Productivity of Software Since 1970
Function Point Articles
Online Training Video regarding Function Points
Function Point Manual

Ethics and Systems Analysis
Ethics Survey
ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
From Knowledge@Emory, August 14-28, 2002
What's Behind the Breakdown in Ethics? The vast majority of Fortune 500
companies have codes of ethics, yet the spectacle of top executives being led away
in handcuffs or shrinking under the bright lights of a Congressional hearing is
becoming all too familiar. What's behind the lack of ethics in business today?
Ethics professors and other Emory scholars explore the reasons for the current
crisis. Read article.

Feasibility Analysis
Another Kind of Project Failure
Estimation and Feasibility Analyses
Initiating Projects
Project Risks
Project Mix
A Fable: The Axe
A Fable: Donkey and the Wonderful Barn
A Fable: The Hidden Nuts
A Fable: Mord
A Fable: The Peacock and the Crane
A Fable: The Poor Couple
A Fable: The Poor Spider and the Rich Snake
A Fable: The Portuguese Explorers
A Fable: Two Sons
Systems Development And Organizational Politics
Feasibility Study for Information System Projects
US firms put social values before big profits
Random Thoughts on Project Management Overview of Issues
Feasibility To learn more about interacting with clients, read the article Know Thy
Client Political Considerations in Requirements Analysis
Managing Customer Expectations
Screening Feasibility Issues
Project Mix VIDEO: Roman Fountains
VIDEO: Brydon vs. Not Brydon
Worth reading
Guides & How to Manuals
Especially: A Program Manager's Guide to Buying Performance, which includes:
System Operational Effectiveness
Acquisition Focus
From ACM TechNews, August 14, 2002
"Why Tech Falls Short of Expectations, "Optimize (07/02) No. 9, P. 20; Hartman,
Amir: Prodded by Y2K concerns, the Internet boom, and an unstable economy,
many companies have made excessive IT investments that have not generated
sufficient returns or fulfilled corporate goals. Mainstay Partners conducted a four-
year survey of 450 companies across a variety of industries, and discovered that IT-
smart businesses that have achieved significant returns on investment (ROI) share
three core IT strategies: Optimization of existing processes for incremental gains;
the reengineering of core processes to handle efficiency and productivity
fluctuations; and the creation of new processes and capacity for growth. The study
also revealed many instances of bad IT investment management, including
underestimation of spending, lack of a decision-making process and senior
executive involvement, poorly defined business metrics, inadequate alignment of IT
investments to corporate strategy, poor communication of IT strategy, and
suboptimization due to poor governance. Mainstay outlines a number of business
principles that companies could follow to better manage their IT investments. One
principle is to forge a solid link between IT and business strategy by building a
good business case for every major IT program, funneling IT funding directly from
the business units' operating budgets, holding executives accountable for IT
investments, and annually conducting "voice of the customer" evaluations. Other
principles include promoting simple and flexible technology via a road map that
balances the need for ease-of-use and next-generation capabilities; making IT a
strategic adviser to the enterprise by IT-business collocation; optimizing IT's asset
value by implementing value-based availability, holding quarterly operational
reviews, not over committing to initiatives, and deploying strict metrics, among
other things; and delivering near-term results every three months. Click here to
view full article
The productivity paradox is discussed at the following link -- The Solow Productivity
Paradox: What Do Computers Do to Productivity?
Earned Value Concepts
Information Technology Infrastructure Library

Humor and Systems Analysis
Gene Fool by Scott Adams, and 20th Century Technology
Random (Humorous) Thoughts on Information Systems Analysis
Standish view of Best Practices for SAD.

View pdf Version

Life Cycle Information
Software Development Life Cycle Cost of Software A Comparison of
Methodologies The Life Cycle Application Lifecycle Management Overview of
Methodologies: Best Practices from the Standish Group
Joint Applications Design
A History Of Structured Systems Analysis & Design Methodologies
Incorporation Of Joint Application Design (JAD) In Systems Requirement Determination
Joint Application Development (JAD)
Modern RAD
Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) in Information System Analysis
Requirements Analysis and Specification Briefing Study Guide
SDLC revisited.
Various Approaches for Systems Analysis and Design
Some information about Methodologies
Software Development Life Cycle
Cost of Software
A Comparison of Methodologies
VIDEO: Plague Homeland Security & Law Enforcement
VIDEO: Agile vs Waterfall
VIDEO: A. Giles and Walter
VIDEO: The Cost of Software
VIDEO: Agile vs. Waterfall: A Tale of Two Teams
From ACM TechNews, December 5, 2003.
"Open-Source Practices May Help Improve Software Engineering"
Newswise (12/03/03)
Open-source software development has many advantages over by-the-book
corporate software development, according to university researchers. UC Irvine
Institute for Software Research senior research scientist Walt Scacchi says open-
source development projects hold a wealth of information about the software
development process that would not be available if studying a traditional in-house
system. Scacchi and colleagues from the University of Illinois and Santa Clara
University analyzed hundreds of thousands of bug reports and other data available
in transparent open-source development projects such as the Linux kernel. By
mining this data, the researchers were able to find out what advantages bug
reporting confers on software quality, for example, and how to apply those lessons
to traditional in-house software development. The study targeted different areas of
open-source software development: Network games and game mods; open-source
scientific applications; Internet and Web infrastructure projects such as Linux,
Apache, and Mozilla; and corporate-sponsored projects such as Sun Microsystems'
NetBeans and IBM's Eclipse project. Among the benefits of open-source
development are faster development times, continuing improvement, wide
distribution of knowledge and skills, and the collective resources of those involved.
Scacchi says open-source development may not be the best option for many
projects, including niche software applications such as air defense radar software.
Another aim of the study is to discover why some open-source projects have been
so successful in garnering wide support while others falter and die off. The studies
are supported by the National Science Foundation. Click Here to View Full Article
From Good Experience newsletter, November 17, 2003.
The ROSE Framework
The ROSE framework is a distillation of some of the more valuable lessons I've
learned in customer experience work over the past 10 years or so.
I have presented ROSE at various events and organizations recently and people
have said they found this useful - so here are some of the high points.
ROSE is Results, Organization, Strategy, Experience.
(I call it ROSE because it's more positive than SORE, and less racy than EROS.
Never promise a speech on EROS and then talk about customer experience strategy
the whole time.)
Customer experience work only matters to a business if it generates *business
results*. That's different from *usability results*, which means improving "task
success" or "time on task."
Business results are metrics that the CEO can understand: revenue, conversion
rate, operating savings. You have to create a team and a process to measure those
results; the metrics-announcement e-mail won't magically float into your inbox.
Most importantly, you have to use the right method to create those improvements in
the first place. This is different from writing a "usability report" that no one reads; I
mean actually changing what the user reads, clicks, touches. And the only way
you'll create any tangible change is with the next bullet.
The only way changes ever get made to a customer experience is if the organization
buys into those changes.
And the only way the decision-makers buy into those changes is if they feel some
Hint: no one feels ownership when a usability researcher plops a report on the desk
and makes academic pronouncements about the site.
Involve the decision-makers in your process - the listening labs, the strategy
sessions, the wireframes - and they might just buy in.
By the way, I've written about this in the past:
Fry the biggest fish you can. This means, try to solve the most important problems
in the user experience. These are almost always strategic, not tactical.
For years, usability professionals have concerned themselves with tactical details
in the user experience (where to put the navbar, exactly how many items it should
hold, etc.) and have missed the reality of customer experience: it's *strategic*.
Here's a common example: If the user can't figure out what the site does, or what its
primary feature is, don't do *anything* else on the site until you fulfill the user's key
unmet need. Don't rewrite the site map, don't run tactical usability tests, and for
heaven's sake, don't spout off about "branding" and run a new multi-million-dollar
ad campaign. (Yes, I've seen it happen.)
Instead, fix the strategic problem. Make the experience better. (See next bullet.)
Remember that this entire process is about the *experience* that a user has on the
site, or in the store, or with the product.
It's not primarily about "branding" or "market penetration" or "information
architecture" or even "usability." Those things may be important, but the *primary*
concern is, did the user have a good experience?
It's a holistic question that joins many parts of the organization, has strategic
implications, and can generate huge results. But you have to ask the right question:
is it a good experience?

Agile Methods
Is Agile Old School?
Agile Methods
Challenges of Migrating to Agile Methodologies
Agile Developments Influence on System Analysis
An Investigation of Use Cases and Their Role in Systems Development
From ACM's Tech News, March 15, 2006.
Agile Programming Has Fallen Short, Conference Told
InfoWorld (03/13/06) Krill, Paul
In a presentation at the SD West 2006 Conference, Construx Software Builders'
Steve McConnell argued that agile software development has not yet lived up to its
promise, having been focused more on processes and tools than on people and
interactions. "It seems to me that the promise of agile development has fallen short
at least so far," said McConnell. In his presentation, McConnell offered his lists of
best and worst ideas. McConnell claimed that agile development has been framed
on the belief that developers can anticipate every possible requirement before
building an architecture, an idea that made his "worst" list. Among McConnell's list
of best ideas are the imperative of incremental software development, that fixing
glitches decreases costs, and that software estimation abilities can be improved
over time. McConnell also lauded the notion that full reuse is the most powerful
form of reuse, and that intellectual flow guides software projects. Making
McConnell's worst list are the ideas that the only software models are fully iterated
or completely non-iterated, defect cost increase dynamics do not affect agile
development projects, and that there is such a thing as a one-size-fits-all
development approach. Click Here to View Full Article
From ACM TechNews, July 22, 2002
"Taking Programming to the Extreme,"
Technology Review Online (07/19/02); Sherman, Erik
So that they can churn out quality software in a market clamoring for fast rollouts of
new products and features, software companies are increasingly adopting
development tactics that emphasize collaborative engineering. "Agile development"
emphasizes teamwork, flexibility, and end-user cooperation. One form of agile
development is extreme programming, in which two programmers work together--
one writes the software code while the other checks for mistakes and finds
possibilities for improvement; continuous testing is also a key element of the
process. Peer programming involves development partners taking turns writing
code and describing logic functions, and supports constant review by regularly
switching partners. Testing is also undergoing a change: For example,
pharmaceutical software developer Phase Forward has instituted a strategy in
which programmers and quality assurance personnel continuously interact to find
and fix bugs during application development; the traditional testing approach
involves programming, followed by separate quality testing. Customer feedback is
another form of quality control, one that Cognizant Technology Solutions follows.
Rather than setting formal specifications followed by code writing, Cognizant
project starts with prototypes that are adjusted by an "industrialization" cycle, in
which future users make suggestions during the development process. However,
consumers themselves may set the limits of software quality by determining what is
Compatible partners in agile programming
Agile Methodology and System Analysis
Extreme Programming
See also Object-Oriented Methodologies

Object-Oriented Methods
DSM Forum
Rational Methodology
OOA Bibliography
OSA: Object-oriented Systems Analysis
More about Use Case Modeling

Project Management
Project Management Overview
Project Management Overview
An Updated overview on Project Management
Overview of Project Management by Piesbergen
Project Management Issues
VIDEO: Application Lifecycle Management
VIDEO: Project Management: Complete Idiot's Guide
Effective Ways to Improve Internal and External Communication in System
VIDEO: Project Tools & Techniques Articles
VIDEO: 537 Ways to Screw Up a Project
The Role of Project Manager for IS Project Success
Humor in Project Management
Scope Creep
A Fable: Horseplay
Waste Elimination in Software Development
A Fable: The Shoemaking Machine
A Fable: The General's Horse
A Fable: Blind Imitation
A Fable: Scoop Creep
A Fable: The Prince's Party
Project Management Institute
Threats to Project Management
Comparison of Project Management Software
Conflict Resolution in Project Management
IT Metrics for Success
Project Management for Mission Critical Systems
Project Success And Failure: What Is Success, What Is Failure, And How Can You
Improve Your Odds For Success?
Risk Management
Scope Creep
Virtual Project Management

Introduction of Prototyping
An analogy: Prototyping Star Wars Figures as an example of how different kinds
of prototypes are used to answer different kinds of questions
Design Prototyping Technologies (DPT)
The Effects of Practical Business Constraints on User Interface Design
IDEO Make-a-thon
New Fashions in Prototyping
Variations in interpretation of specifications (requires Power point: you must "run
show" and turn on speakers to appreciate)
VIDEO: Transformation Lab - Prototyping the Future
VIDEO: Paper Prototyping
VIDEO: Low Fidelity Prototyping
VIDEO: Microsoft CIW Prototype Demo - UXE
VIDEO: Suspended Roller Coaster Prototype
VIDEO: Rare Book Store
VIDEO: Microsoft CIW Prototype Demo - UXE
Why You Should Talk Less and Do More
Humor in Prototyping
A Fable: Joey's Airplane
A Fable: The Chick's Coat
An example of how prototyping can be used to elicit user feedback:
this example is replicated here for you to consider as a way of doing prototyping,
and does not function
The Analysis and Prototyping of Effective Graphical User Interfaces
Prototyping Tools
Card Sorting
Web Page Test
Paper Prototyping
The Paper Prototyping Website
What is Paper Prototyping?
Paper Prototyping: Getting User Data Before You Code
How do we decide if we should use paper?
Five Paper Prototyping Tips
Checklist: Working Interface or Paper Prototype
Paper Prototyping Methods
Six Signs that you Should Use Paper Prototyping
Pros and Cons of Paper Prototyping
Using Paper Prototypes to Manage Risk
More References

Questionnaires and Interviews
Traditional Methods of Defining Rerquirements
Why Interview?
Introduction to Interviews
Interview Content
Be careful about jargon!
VIDEO: IT Systems Analyst - Plan the Interview
VIDEO: IT Systems Analyst - Conduct Interview
Business Analysts Need Creative Questioning for Better Requirements: What Are
Your Best Questions?
Interview Hints
How to Improve It? Ask Those Who Use It
Interview Content
Be careful about jargon!
Challenges of Requirements Elicitation
The Importance of Business Understanding in Requirements Structuring
Importance of Interview and Survey Questions in Systems Analysis
The Cognitive Interview
Guidelines for determining Specifications
Humor in Questionnaires
Humor in Jargon Use
A Fable: The King's Companion
A Fable: Kingdom of Beal
Missing the point
Example 1
Example 2
A Fable: The Fairy and the Pig
Interviewing Tools
Card Sorting
Web Page Test

Search for Zero Defect Software
The Book of Testing
Web Applications: Vulnerabilities and Security
From ACM's TechNews, March 15, 2004
"Watts Humphrey on Software Quality"
Computerworld (03/08/04); Anthes, Gary H.
The Personal Software Process (PSP) and the Team Software Process (TSP) are
designed to show individual developers and their teams how to apply the principles
of the Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model (CMM) in their
work, according to Watts S. Humphrey in an interview with Computerworld
magazine. Humphrey, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh,
wrote the first version of CMM for software in 1987, and developed PSP and TSP. He
suggests that PSP and TSP were needed because the CMM framework only told
engineers what to do. The best approach to PSP and TSP is to have a small group
in a department use them for a couple of projects. Once the group understands how
it works, it will be easier to gain more support from the organization and gain
momentum for CMM. PSP and TSP offer productivity improvements between 70
percent to 80 percent, as well as 100-to-1 quality improvements in shipped code.
Humphrey says the new Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) product suite
is more of a business solution that supports the overall organization, but he does
not recommend moving up the old CMM ladder then switching to CMMI at Level 5.
And he advises IT managers to focus more on making improvements in an orderly
manner than on trying to get to Level 3 or Level 4, to gain the support of senior
management, and to reward line managers with bonuses but also hold them
accountable. Click Here to View Full Article
From ACM's TechNews, April 16, 2004
"Can Software Kill You?"
TechNewsWorld (04/13/04); Germain, Jack M.
Faulty software is becoming a larger concern now that computers are involved in
nearly every aspect of people's lives. Bad code can even lead to deaths in some
cases, such as at the National Cancer Institute in Panama, where 21 patients died in
2000 due to radiotherapy overdose, caused by improper programming. Software
glitches have been behind major vehicle recalls in North America, some affecting
critical safety functions such as brake warning lights. Yet according to the National
Institute of Standards and Technology, software developers spend about zero
percent of their development budget on code-checking and correction. While no
software can be made perfect, a more responsible attitude can improve software
quality, according to Cigital Labs CEO Jeffrey Payne. In fact, the Institute of
Electrical and Electronics Engineers reported that simple peer review would
eliminate 60 percent of all software bugs. Many software developers are wary of the
cost of building better software upfront and instead rely on patching, says
Christopher Nolan of application testing and monitoring firm Empirix. He says
software that is used for applications other than originally intended also leads to
failure. Quality assurance processes offer a way to drastically improve software
quality, says Nolan. Companies should first conduct risk analysis and apply
resources more effectively. Software testers are also important, and need to be able
to think up extraordinary cases in which software might fail. Agitar CTO Alberto
Savoia says computers can be used to improve software quality using testing
applications. With the increase of available computing power, computers today can
scan individual software modules before the entire code is run to ferret out bad
code, he says. Click Here to View Full Article
From ACM's TechNews, March 22, 2004
"Why Software Quality Matters"
Baseline (03/04) Vol. 1, No. 28, P. 32; Gage, Deborah; McCormick, John; Thayer,
Berta Ramona
Software errors that led to the deaths of Panamanian cancer patients from
overexposure to radiation--and criminal prosecution against the technicians who
used the software--illustrates the vital need to anticipate and remove glitches before
they become a problem with potentially fatal consequences. Other deadly incidents
attributed to buggy software include the 2000 crash of an Marine Corps Osprey tilt-
rotor aircraft that left no survivors; the shooting down of friendly aircraft by the
Patriot Missile System in Operation Iraqi Freedom; and at least three fatalities
resulting from last summer's East Coast power outage. Among the reasons given
for bad software is a flawed programming model, poorly thought-out designs, lax
testing procedures, and the unpredictability of program interaction. The FDA
distributes "guidance" documents suggesting that software manufacturers comply
with generally-accepted software development specifications, keep tabs on design
specs, and formally review and test the code they create--but without making any
specific recommendations. The Panama incident is causing some industry experts
to consider the possibility that more stringent regulation of software development
is necessary. Observers note that not only are software development regulatory
agencies few in number, but existing agencies such as the FDA do not go far
enough to ensure quality software. For instance, the FDA approves products under
either premarket approval or premarket notification. The former mechanism applies
to dramatically unique technologies that are subjected to rigorous testing, while the
latter applies to products that fit into existing device categories, and do not require
FDA or corporate trials to be approved; the Multidata Systems International
software responsible for the radiation overdoses in Panama was certified under the
premarket notification process. SCC director William Guttman estimates that there
could be 20 to 30 bugs for every 1,000 lines of code generated by corporate
programmers or commercial software manufacturers. Click Here to View Full Article
From ACM TechNews, February 23, 2004.
"Unplugged: Charles Simonyi Creates Software Intentionally"
Tech Update (02/15/04); Farber, Dan
Intentional Software founder Charles Simonyi attributes most software problems to
a gap between design intent and the actual coding, and cross training subject
matter experts and programmers will not solve these problems. His solution is to
move programming further upstream while preserving the design intent. In such a
scenario, subject matter experts would present their ideas to programmers via
PowerPoint, for instance, and the programmers would write a generator program in
C# that reads the presentation and writes the program. The computer-aided design
(CAD)-like program that the generator can read and process its input from will be
provided by Intentional Software. Simonyi explains that writing generators will
excuse programmers from the burden of redoing the same transformations each
time the problem statement is modified or changed by the stakeholders, thus
allowing the result of changes to be deployed in seconds instead of weeks and at
vastly less expense--and free of deployment bugs, as well. The generators can be
built and adjusted by coders in the same way that automated equipment can be
adjusted by engineers and mechanics. Simonyi adds that though intentional
programming does not reduce domain bugs, it facilitates rapid turnaround for fixes.
The Intentional Software founder says, "With intentional software, there will be no
limitation on the nature of the domain notation, and the implementation will be
expressed in terms of a generator, which can be simply re-run if the design or
implementation, or both, change." Simonyi notes that his company should roll out
design tools and a generator interface next year.Click Here to View Full Article
From ACM TechNews, December 12, 2003.
"Why Software Quality Stinks"
CIO (12/01/03) Vol. 17, No. 5, P. 28; Surmacz, Jon
The poor quality of software can only be improved by the deployment of an
effective software quality assurance (SQA) program, yet 38 percent of developers
polled by the Cutter Consortium across more than 150 software development
organizations report that their companies lack such programs, while 31 percent say
they have no SQA personnel at all. Seventeen percent claim no software quality
problems, while 36 percent say they do not address quality until the very end of the
development cycle. Another 36 percent attest that their companies boast a SQA
team that is closely involved in most (if not all) software development projects, 29
percent report the presence of integrated SQA team members in each project, and
25 percent remark that most or all projects are the responsibility of an SQA
manager. Fifty-three percent of respondents indicate that their senior management
believes the company's software quality is reasonable but should be improved; 30
percent say management considers the software to be of consistently high quality;
11 percent of developers note that senior management never discusses software
issues with them, and 6 percent report that management is very dissatisfied with
software quality. A five-step procedure for setting up an effective software quality
team can be extrapolated from the survey's findings: First, getting senior
management on the side of the SQA manager is critical. Second, a quality
organization must be established with a manager "who has spent a few years in the
trenches and has gotten products out the door," according to the Cutter
Consortium's E.M. Bennatan. The three remaining steps include training developers
as well as the quality assurance group, obtaining customer or user group feedback,
and collating metrics to track software quality improvements. Click Here to View
Full Article
From ACM News, October 6, 2003
"Buggy Software Taking Toll"
Orlando Sentinel (10/05/03); Cobbs, Chris
Software is increasingly pervasive in modern products, as are the glitches that
inevitably show up in growing pools of code. Unlike relatively lithe programs that
operated computers years ago, many of today's software programs have millions of
lines of code; enhanced programming tools have enabled this productivity, but the
test and debug tools used to check these products have remained mostly
unchanged, according to Florida Institute of Technology computer science
professor Cem Kaner. SRI International principal scientist Peter Neumann predicts
the software bugs that inhabit these programs will have more impact on people's
everyday lives in the future--a message Neumann has brought before Congress five
times as an expert witness. Besides inconvenience, software bugs cost the U.S.
economy at least $59.5 billion each year, according to a study by the National
Institute of Standards and Technology. Neumann says one underlying reason
software is so error-prone is because the marketplace rewards speed-to-market and
functionality more than reliability, and he notes that software engineering is a still-
developing art compared to other engineering disciplines such as building
architecture and civil engineering. Defects in software programs are also embedded
in numerous details, and their presence is not as obvious as a missing strut in a
bridge, for example. Carnegie Mellon University associate professor Philip
Koopman says the average high-end European sedan made today uses around 70
computer chips and is programmed with 500,000 lines of code, with an average
error rate of one defect per 1,000 lines of code. In a car, some of these defects could
have life-threatening consequences, while recent catastrophes caused by software
errors include the crash of the Mars Polar Lander in 1999, where programmers
mixed metric and standard measurements.
"Rethinking Software Testing"
Software Development Times (10/01/03) No. 87, P. 29; Rubinstein, David
Buggy software, products that fail to function as they are supposed to, and lost
profits are the result of developers not testing their software until very late in the
development process, and rushing through testing in order to get products out
quickly. Many development proponents strongly agree that the development cycle,
software production costs, and time-to-market can be significantly reduced when
flaws are detected earlier. According to vendors and industry experts, the chief
strategy is to move up testing to an earlier point in the development cycle, writing
and testing code simultaneously being one example. Delaware North's Internet and
Information Systems has chosen a different route by keeping software development
and quality assurance testing separate, employing virtualization software to
replicate the development environment for testers and cut hardware and software
costs, not to mention reduce DLL conflicts and versioning difficulties.
AutomatedQA's Robert Leahy reports that more developers need to conduct unit
testing, and Peter Varhol of Compuware comments that developer/tester
convergence requires new tools, while developers must become familiar with
conducting static source-code analysis or unit tests before moving on to the next
coding step. QACenter product manager Mark Eshelby believes that companies
facing a tight product deadline can lower the odds of failures by identifying the
highest areas of risk and testing them when the crunch comes, but says that
automated tests are still an important component. He adds that 11th-hour code
revisions can be made without dramatically affecting the test environment via the
design of object-oriented test scripts and data-driven test automation. Click Here to
View Full Article
From ACM News, September 19, 2003
"Testing Information Systems During Development Will Prevent Problems"
EurekAlert (09/16/03)
Penn State researcher Dr. Sandeep Purao has taken a systematic approach to
applying the more than 350 existing metrics to object-oriented systems. Purao,
associate professor of information sciences and technology, and co-researcher
Vijay Vaishnavi, professor of MIS at Georgia State University, grouped the metrics
that apply to any IT development project using the object-oriented approach and
found gaps and overlaps in the stages of project requirements; design
specifications; implementation; and operation. "No one had proposed a systematic
approach to deciding when to apply specific metrics whether at an early stage,
throughout the development or at the end," says Purao. Developers should be able
to evaluate projects at various stages, rather than having to wait until the project is
completed to conduct a test. Knowing which metrics to apply at different stages of
software development can lead to fewer problems. For example, a software problem
has emerged in the new $16 million computer system of the school district in
Baltimore, Md., forcing the school system to pay about $500,000 a month to address
the software issue. Purao and Vaishnavi believe their research will help reduce the
IT snafus that lead to overruns in cost and delays in the implementation of
systems. Click Here to View Full Article

Requirements Analysis
A Fable: The King's Companion
A Fable: Kingdom of Beal
A Fable: Joey's Airplane
A Fable: The Chick's Coat
A Fable: The Table
A Fable: The New Cell Phone
Can Your Customer’s Requirements Be Too Agile?
Requirements Analysis Paradigms
How to Tell When the Requirements Are Done
Risk Management
Information Audit
Managing Requirements: practical information on managing requirements
Capturing The Value Of Flexibility In Information Technology Project Using Real
Option Valuation
Requirement Gathering And Management In Globally Dispersed Teams
Requirements Determination and Requirements Structuring
Requirements Analysis and Specification Briefing Study Guide
The Importance of Requirements Definition in IT Systems Development
Using the System's Security Audit Process and Ethical Hacking to Protect
Systems Vulnerabilities in Applications Such As Lotus Notes and SAP
VIDEO: Ultimate Gaming System Requirements
Humor in Specifications
From ACM TechNews, August 5, 2002
"Are Vendors Doing Enough to Improve Software?" Optimize (07/02) P. 15; Parker,
Bob; Guttman, William: Bob Parker of AMR Research and William Guttman of
Carnegie Mellon University's Sustainable Computing Consortium (SCC) offer
differing opinions about whether enterprise software vendors are making enough of
an effort to improve the quality of their products. Parker attributes many problems
in software quality to external factors, such as over customization of applications,
conflicting standards from multiple standards bodies and infrastructure vendors,
and project complexity. He also thinks that the perpetual-license model enterprise
software markets rely on is flawed, and must be modified with higher initial prices,
larger annual fees, and renewable licenses. Guttman, on the other hand, says the
fault lies with a software industry that freely admits that its system of rushing new
products to market first and delivering patches second is unworkable. "We need to
make software as reliable as water and electricity, but we know there's no quick
fix," he notes. Guttman asserts that the SCC was formed as a platform where the
creation of secure, sustainable, reliable, and high-quality computing can be
discussed. Its goals include the development of solid sustainability measurement
techniques and tools; the organization of empirical models for studying public
policies and how they affect sustainable computing; and the creation of reliability
metrics. "The goal is to quantify those best practices and make them more widely
available, changing the model from 'release and patch' to 'develop, test, fix, and
release,'" Guttman says. Click here to view full article
From ACM TechNews, August 7, 2002
"Why Software Is So Bad," Technology Review (08/02) Vol. 105, No. 6, P. 32; Mann,
Charles C.: Engineers posit that software quality is declining because it suffers
from a profound lack of design. The increasing size and complexity of programs
have significantly reduced the effectiveness of the "code and fix" method, in which
programmers write code and use compilers to detect errors, which they then
correct. And although component-based programs made up of modular elements
are considered to be very useful, critics say their usefulness is canceled by the
numerous features wired into software because of marketing pressures. Former
Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold adds that constant customer demand for new
software and new features is contributing to the reliability shortfall. Software
vendors have also turned defective software into a profit center by accompanying it
with poorly developed help files that give users no choice but to seek expensive
customer support. Some software companies, such as Microsoft, believe they can
reverse the decline in quality by dramatically reforming their engineering processes
and implementing higher standards of reliability measurement, but there are coders
who think that product liability lawsuits will be even more effective in spurring
developers to improve their software. "It's either going to be a big product reliability
suit, or the government will come in and regulate the industry," forecasts Cigital
Labs chief scientist Jeffrey Voas. Critics contend that commercial software
developers must stop making quality a secondary priority, which they say is a
practice deeply ingrained in corporate
The Art And Science Of IT Architecture Design, by J. Dowling
To assure flexibility and lasting value, information system designs and product
selection must be guided by an architectural plan for infrastructure and
applications systems. The Art of architecture design is in extracting business
requirements; the Science is translating them into technology solutions. To read
the entire article, click here.
Views of Specifications
Requirements Gathering
Systems Requirements
Evaluating Systems Requirements
Origins of Specifications
You might want to look at my annotated version of an article about Labadie, MO
that originally appeared inPost Dispatch.
Hints for successful innovation: The 15-minute Competitive Advantage
Requirements Engineering Bibliography
The Analysis and Prototyping of Effective Graphical User Interfaces
How to Test Requirements
From Good Experience (by Mark Hurst), 04 Feb 02
As a sidenote, USA Today recently commented on the state of product
design. The three common flaws, it says, are "Consumers are ignored...
product design teams are flawed... [and] technology runs amok."
Companies really can make a difference -- in customers' lives and on
the bottom line -- by focusing on a good customer experience. I
recommend that companies pay positive attention to *all three* of those
- Listen to customers.
- Build the right customer experience team.
- Understand the benefits and limitations of your technology.
USA Today
Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design

Standards for Methodologies: SEI-CMM and ISO
A discussion of CMM and ISO
A Presentation about ISO-CMM
Another Presentation about ISO-CMMI
An overview of ISO-CMM
Another Overview of SEI CMMI
CMMI and ISO: Success Rate
Published Appraisal Results for CMM Evaluation
Published Appraisal Results for CMM Evaluation
From the SEI-CMM Institute
SEI Documents
CMM Integration
Insights on Program Success
Process Maturity Profile
Other Views on CMM, CMMI and ISO
The Capability Maturity Model and ISO 9000 Standards: Similarities and
The Immaturity of CMM
Capability Maturity Model With Information Systems Development

Teams and Team Formation
Launching a Cooperative Learning Team
Characteristics of Successful Teams
The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing (version 3.0)
Skills Associated with the SDLC
Winning Project Teams
Key To Successful Software Development: Teamwork, Not High Tech, Study
Importance of Group Members

User Expectations
Design Research as the Fourth Estate
A Fable: Kenny
A Fable: The King's Companion
A Business Perspective of Analysis
The Value of Information Technology (best viewed with Internet Explorer); Power
point version
A view of how clients view specifications
10 Business Lessons I Learned from Playing Dungeons & Dragons
From ACM's TechNews, April 19, 2004
"Testing 101: AWOL on the College Campus"
Software Development Times (04/15/04) No. 100, P. 1; Correia, Edward J.
Few college and university computer science curricula include testing for quality,
which is a vital ingredient in software development, according to industry experts.
Go Pro Management President Robin Goldsmith maintains that college curricula
overemphasize people and project management, leaving quality assurance in the
lurch: "There's a notion that a project manager should not be directing attention to
hands-on skills associated with testing, requirement analysis and design because if
they are busy doing that, they are not doing project management," he notes.
"Requirements determine what needs to be done, and testing determines if it's
being done right." Gartner research director Theresa Lanowitz adds that software
quality testing and career goals deserve equal consideration, while both she and
Goldsmith agree that the scope of computer science curricula should be expanded
to more fully include testing. "Colleges should have parallel tracks on how to put
quality code to use by testing against requirements," asserts Lanowitz. A common
argument against including software testing in curricula is that testing does not
constitute a real career, according to Boston University's Azer Bestavros; Lynn
Robert Carter of Carnegie Mellon University's Institute for Software Research
International adds that software QA testers usually earn less money and are more
likely to have their jobs outsourced. Florida Institute of Computer Science professor
James Whittaker strongly believes that companies must place more value in quality
if they are to have successful-selling products. He concludes that quality will be the
chief point of discernment for applications once those applications and
development tools become equal in terms of time-to-market and feature sets. Click
Here to View Full Article
From ACM's TechNews, March 31, 2004
"Researchers Question I.T. Subcultural Values"
NewsFactor Network (03/29/04); Martin, Mike
Over three-quarters of IT projects are doomed to failure not because of complexity,
usability, and new technology's unpredictability, as many people assume, but
because an IT occupational subculture often clashes with users and managers,
according to Jeffrey Stanton of Syracuse University. "Occupational subcultures are
groups of individuals who, based upon their occupation, develop their own
language, values and behaviors that distinguish them from other groups within an
organization," Stanton observes. His conclusion that subcultural conflicts were
responsible for failed IT projects is based on 18 months of research with Kathryn
Stam encompassing 12 New York organizations that were implementing major tech
projects, and over 100 interviews. The technical jargon IT staffers use acts as a
barrier that blocks outsiders' access to knowledge, while another source of
frustration is IT personnel's tendency to explain things too rapidly. "A tech problem
often seems routine to the IT worker, but--as one user said--it doesn't help 'when
they come in and go zoom, zoom, zoom, zip, zip, zip with a mouse and they've
totally lost me, so I never learn anything,'" notes Stanton. IT workers, on the other
hand, often harbor feelings that their contributions are under appreciated by
management and end users. Clif Boutelle of the Society for Industrial and
Organizational Psychology attests that outsiders respect IT workers who are
helpful, responsive to problems, and are "good teachers," although Stam reports
that many IT personnel she and Stanton interviewed expressed a reluctance to
nursemaid non-IT personnel. Stanton says his research emphasizes the need for
organizations to close subcultural gaps, but cautions that assigning blame is more
likely to exacerbate the situation. A more effective solution is acknowledging and
understanding subcultures within an organization.

Visio Demos
Microsoft Overview
Demo from Microsoft
Visio Self Training
Linking Data to Diagrams
How To Use MS Visio
Visio: Using the Status Bar
Using Autoconnect
Applying a Theme
Connect your Data to the Diagram
Add and Customize Data Graphics
Applying a Theme
Visio Demos

What is Information?
Measures of the value of information
alternate syllabus (an example of data, not information)
Information Comparison
Building Blocks of IS
Information Flow

What is Systems Analysis?
Systems Thinking from Wikipedia
Trials and Tribulations of a Business Systems Analyst
What Does A Systems Analyst Really Do?
What is Systems Analysis
Systems Development Life Cycle
Process v. Data Orientation
Different Types of Systems
Stage Deliverables
More about Deliverables
Six 'Soft Skills' Every Analyst Needs to Know
Agile Methods
Soft Systems Methods
Benefits of Systems Analysis
unintended consequences in systems analysis
What are the benefits of modern systems analysis? Find out here.
Systems Analysis Want Ads
Systems Development Life Cycle
Overview of the Products of the SDLC phases
Systems Analysis Deliverables
Process-Oriented vs. Data-Oriented Analysis
Different Types of Systems
Stage Deliverables
More about Deliverables
Agile Methods
A Systemic Perspective from the Systemic Perspective Series.
Evolution of Systems Thinking
Systemic Perspective
Habits of a Systems Thinker
Systems Thinking in Schools
System Boundaries
System Perspective Intent
Health Care as an Example
Systems Development for Different IS Types
Systems Theory
What is a System?
A system definition courtesy of the Pentagon. This is the actual image used by
Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the leader of American and NATO forces in
Afghanistan, to portray the complexity of American military strategy. View system
definition of Afghanistan Stability/COIN Dynamics.
Dr. Ackoff talk about his views of thinking, check out his YouTube video, Exploring
Systems Thinking.
IT Interaction Model: nice description of the components of a system.
Systems Development Methodology
Principia Cybernetica: What is Systems Analysis?
unintended consequences in systems analysis
The Philosophy of Systems Analysis: Extreme Programming (XP)
To Combat Terrorism, a Systems Approach is Vital --- read the article
Systems failure begins with poor systems analysis. Read about the Denver
VIDEO: A Day in the Life - Computer Systems Analyst
Think about the skills associated with systems analysis. One of the items in the
list is "systems thinking." We will look at the definition of a System and think about
what Systems Thinking means.
For more information about the tasks necessary for Systems Analysis, visit some
of the sites on the Analysis Links page. In particular, visit the What Does A Systems
Analyst Really Do? and theSystems Analysis Want Ads pages, and the Systems
Development Life Cycle page.
This is an actual e-mail that I received, which I provide to you because it provides
some good insights.
Professor Sauter,
I stumbled onto your page (ref above) following another link. It took me
back too many years to my days as a student just starting out in
information theory and analysis. I hope you don't mind a few gratuitous
First of all, it is good to see some systems theory being used in the
classroom. It seems that all the focus these days in on the technology
even in systems analysis curriculum.
One additional approach to systems theory is control, what information
from the output of the process is needed for feedback into the process
in order to maintain control? and what internal process state
information is needed with in the process for control. The distinction I
am trying to communicate very poorly here are the concepts of quality
control, ie measuring the output of the process to tune it, and statistical
process control, measuring the state of the process it self to assure that
the output is going to be correct. The latter being a more robust
approach. In manufacturing the process capability index is used as a
measure of the robustness of the process. The same approach can be
applied to administrative processes.
Deming's observations on specific causes and general causes of
system faults is very relevant. approximately 15% of defects in a system
come from specific causes, the balance (general causes), are intrinsic to
the design of the system (process) itself. Management is responsible for
correcting the general problems. The worker for correcting the specific
problems. (Gee, not too much recall from reading such a big book!)
I would also like to draw your attention a book on information theory by
Prof James C Emery of the university of Penn. (about 30 yrs old!) You
might be able to find a copy in a college library somewhere. Two
thoughts to take away 1. Value of information - To have value three
conditions must exist a. Information must be new b. You must be able to
act on the information c. You actions must be able to create value or
influence the outcome in some way.
2. Role of buffers between subsystems - serve to decouple the
subsystems but at a cost - the buffer inventory (Material or information
inventory) Buffers can be eliminated or reduced by greater processing
of information. ex. in manufacturing we have been able to move to more
JIT concepts only by having a great deal more information processing
going on instead of holding larger inventories with min max order rules.
Another example is in integrated systems - shifts a company from
subledgers that are 'closed' into the G/L at the end of the month to
realtime accounting for each business transaction.
Good Luck with your courses, we have too many technologists
(relatively speaking) and too few business or information analysts
graduating. The analogy - the cars are getting faster but we aren't
training anyone to drive them well! Hope you are successful in adjusting
this balance.
Tom Collins
Vice President, CIO
Cookson Electronics Email: [email protected]
508 541-5850 - Office
508 541-5878 - Fax

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This page was last modified on: 10/31/2013 17:21:02
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