Copyright Beaver 2000/2003
|In this work flow the requirements flowed down from the user
specification are analysed and turned into models, prototypes, and early
working products for both the functional requirements and the
non-functional requirements such as usability, reliability, performance
and cost requirements, to establish a design solution blue print or derive
detailed system requirements to flow down in further specialised design
and build teams.
The earlier business analysis and requirements work flows focused on establishing what is needed while this work stream, the system analysis and design, focuses on determining how they are best implemented. To support the decision making activity technical options are developed, that is alternative functional and physical designs are simulated for performance, utilisation levels against user demands, and even deriving a dynamic cash flow and P&L model, and tested with users during scenario work shops. Studying the results allows judgements to be made where functionality, performance, cost, delivery time and risk can be compared and traded off, and an appropriate set of requirements and design specification can be achieved.
Models test the solution early on, and act as the basis for refining requirements and the design, and driving trade offs. When a solution model can be shown to meet the functional and non-functional requirements imposed on it, the solutions detailed build can commence in confidence or the componants of the systems models form the basis of new derived requirements which are then flowed down to the next level, with the process then repeating its self.
This work flow commences with a detailed analysis of the requirements that have been flowed down and typical activities perfomred by Beaver include;
Beaver also offer verfication and validation support services to both structured methods such as Yourdon, Yourdon Ward-Mellor, and SSADM, as well as OOAD methods such as UML. Typical tracing tasks for UML include mapping use case preconditions, steps and post conditions to an objects properties and methods to ensure completeness and collating evidence that overall object loading can be implemented by the chosen physical architecture.
Beavers approach to systems analysis and design applys equally to call centres and business work flow systems through to manufacturing and transport management solutions including railways. In iterative development analysis, prototyping and early product deployment helps to derive and flush out detailed requirements, which are passed back into the specification and test plans. The requirements are then flowed into the design whether its COTS (commercially off the shelf) or a custom development, or a mixture taking account of what's available. This builds up a functional architecture and maps to a physical architecture of equipment and applications, and the organisational structure.
The critical factor here is the tight relationship between the requirements and the actual solution which can then be traced ultimately through to the business model, drivers, and benefits. The effect of changes anywhere along the chain can be established. Traditionally the process was either to use a method where detailed requirements were established, followed by analysis, and build phases occuring sequentially only to find late in the day it does not technically work or it has lost track of the business need, or alternative approach has been used, where the process was to immediately start to build or code without an adequate understanding of the business needs and ending up with a great solution but for the wrong problem.
Using the approach we recommend provides early confidence, addresses the business needs, and provides a means by which the needed services will be realised can be seen and evaluated, with real progress is being made with real products. It combines the best of both methods. See here to see our capability in analysis and design methods, click here for details of implementation stages covering build, testing, and operational readiness, as well as project management and configuration management and change control work flows, or click here to return to our solutions development main page.