SAD-Information Gathering

KINDS OF INFORMATION REQUIRED

Information gathering is an art and a science. The approach and manner in which information is gathered require persons with sensitivity, common sense and a knowledge of what and when to gather and the channels used to secure information. Before one determines where to go for information or what tools to use, the first requirement is to figure out what information to gather. Much of the information we need to analyze relates to the organization in general, the user staff, and the workflow.


INFORMATION OF THE FIRM

Information about the organization’s policies, goals, objectives, and structure explains the kind of environment that promotes the introduction of computer-based systems. Company policies are guidelines that determine the conduct of business. Policies are translated into rules and procedures for achieving goals. A statement of goals describes management’s commitment to objectives and the direction system development will follow. Objectives are milestones of accomplishments toward achieving goals. Information from manuals, pamphlets, annual reports etc help the analyst to get an idea of the goals of the Organization.

After policies and goals are set, a firm is organized to meet these goals. The organization structure indicates management directions and orientation. The organization chart represents an achievement-oriented structure. It helps us understand the general climate in which candidate systems will be considered. In gathering information about the firm, the analyst should watch for the correspondence between what the organization claims to achieve goals and actual operations. Policies, goals, objectives and structure are important elements for analysis.

INFORMATION ABOUT THE USER STAFF

Another kind of information for analysis is knowledge about the people who run the present system, their job functions and information requirements, the relationships of their jobs to the existing system and the interpersonal network that holds the user group together. The main focus is on the roles of the people, authority relationships, job status and functions, information requirements and inter personnel relations. Information of this kind highlights the organization chart and establishes a basis for determining the importance of the existing system for the organization. Thus the major focus is to find out the expectations of the people before going in for the design of the candidate system.

INFORMATION ABOUT THE WORK FLOW

The workflow focuses on what happens to the data through various points in a system. This can be shown by a data flow diagram or a system flow chart.

A data flow diagram represents the information generated at each processing point in the system and the direction it takes from source to destination.

A system flowchart describes the physical system. The information available from such charts explains the procedures used for performing tasks and work schedules.
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