Analyze organizational processes to identify information systems


Before responding to this discussion, read both Requirements and Developing Requirements for an IT System assigned for Week 5.

For your Stage 3 assignment, you will analyze the hiring process at Maryland Technology Consultants (MTC) to identify the essential requirements for the hiring system.  For this discussion, you will practice analyzing processes to identify user requirements for a system to improve a process.

Some students may still have difficulty identifying processes; be sure to refer to the Week 3 readings that describe various processes and review the Week 3 discussion.  Keep in mind that a process is a set of specified steps to accomplish a task.

This week’s discussion topic focuses on system requirements that need to be clearly written so that the people who are developing the system or evaluating a system for use can discern whether the requirements are met or not. 

The requirement statement:

  • Is a complete sentence, with a subject (system) and predicate (intended result, action or condition)
  • Identifies only one requirement; does not include the words “and,” “also,” “with,” and “or.”
  • For User Requirements, states what tasks the system will support or perform
  • Includes a measure or metric that can be used to determine whether the requirement is met (time or quantity), where appropriate
  • Is stated in positive terms and uses “must” (not “may” or “should”); e.g., “the system must xxxx”not “the system must not xxx”
  • Avoids the use of terms that cannot be defined and measured, such as “approximately,” “robust,” “user friendly,” etc.
  • Must be testable; that is, there must be some way to test the system to determine whether the requirement is met

Group 1:

1.      Drawing from your own experience, select a process used at your place of work or in your interaction with an organization that you would like to see improved.  Explain why you picked that process. 

2.      Imagine that a system is to be implemented (or an existing system improved) to make that process better and write five (5) user requirements that the system would need to satisfy.  Each requirement is one sentence in length and addresses one thing the system must do.  Here we are interested in user requirements – the activities the system must perform to support the identified process.  We are not including system performance, quality or security requirements that express how the system would perform.  Use the information above to create your requirements statements.

Groups 2, 3, and 4:  Reply to three different main postings.  You are to critically evaluate all of the following as you reply:

1.      Should the process identified actually be considered a “process”?  That is, does it meet the definition of “a set of specified steps to accomplish a task”? Why or why not?

2.      Do the requirements listed support the selected process?

3.      Are the requirements clearly stated such that system testers will be able to ascertain whether or not the requirement has been implemented?  

4.     Provide an example of a rewritten requirement that improves one of the user requirements using the information provided above.  

Remember – the Group 1 initial posting is due by Wednesday midnight; it should be about two short paragraphs in length, supported by external research, and it should be posted by clicking on “Start a New Thread”.  These postings need to thoroughly respond to the questions and incorporate relevant research correctly.  Please look at what has been posted by your classmates before choosing your examples, and then select something that has not yet been discussed, if possible. Let’s try to spread the discussion across as many examples as possible. 

Then members of Groups 2, 3, and 4 should reply to at least three different postings by other classmates before Sunday midnight.  Responses to initial postings should be specific and assess whether the posting accurately and sufficiently addresses the questions asked in the discussion topic, and should incorporate relevant research correctly.  Explain your assessment as to why the information is or is not correct and/or complete, providing correct information to enhance the discussion.