1. SLC - Defining the problem

Specification point:

b. explain the importance of defining a problem accurately;

The most vital part of the SLC process is for the problem to be defined accurately in the first place.

Normally the person / department / company needing the new system does not have the technical expertise to define the problem in a formal way. These people are called the 'users' of the system.

They know what they want, but usually in a fairly vague, non-technical way - "It has to be faster", "I need to deal with a new kind of client", "I want less typing in of forms to do the same thing".

Therefore to help them realise a new system, a 'system analyst' is needed.

The system analyst is able to talk to users and understand their requirements. They are also expert in knowing what a potential computer solution is capable of.

The system analyst does not need to understand the fine technical details of every part of the system - that is down to the teams of software coders and engineers that will develop the system.

The role of the system analyst is more like an architect - the client (users) explain what they want in terms they are comfortable with, then the analyst comes up with a design that works in terms that the engineers are comfortable with.

So they act as the go-between. This is a very skilled job as it needs a lot of professionalism to do it well.

Here are some reasons for wanting a new system.


The current one is out of date and no longer doing its job effectively

Technology might have moved on and new things are possible that couldn't be done with the previous system

A competitor has developed a new system or process and the organisation needs something similar in order to offer the same service to customers

The organisation has grown and the current system can't cope with the increased demands placed on it. Perhaps the company had only a few customers to start with but now it needs to be able to deal with hundreds of accounts.

A new part of the company needs IT support e.g. a new customer service help desk.

The company might want to improve the quality of a repetitive task. Doing the same thing over and over is very tiring and tedious for a person whereas a computer has no such problem.



Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: System Life Cycle


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