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Title: The chapter will address the following questions:


1
Introduction
  • The chapter will address the following questions
  • What are the seven fact-finding techniques and
    what are the advantages and disadvantages of
    each?
  • What are the types of facts a systems analyst
    must collect?
  • How do you develop a questionnaire and interview
    agenda?
  • What is a fact-finding strategy that will make
    the most of your time with end-users.
  • What is the role of ethics in the process of
    fact-finding.

2
What is Fact-Finding?
  • Introduction
  • Fact-finding is the formal process of using
    research, interviews, questionnaires, sampling,
    and other techniques to collect information about
    systems, requirements, and preferences. It is
    also called information gathering or data
    collection.
  • Tools, such as data and process models, document
    facts, and conclusions are drawn from facts.
  • If you can't collect the facts, you can't use the
    tools.
  • Fact-finding skills must be learned and
    practiced.
  • Systems analysts need an organized method of
    collecting facts.
  • They especially need to develop a detective
    mentality to be able to discern relevant facts!

3
What Facts Does the Systems Analyst Need to
Collect and When?
  • When do you perform fact-finding?
  • Fact-finding is most crucial to the systems
    planning and systems analysis phases.
  • It is during these phases that the analyst learns
    about the vocabulary, problems, opportunities,
    constraints, requirements, and priorities of a
    business and a system.
  • During systems design, fact-finding becomes
    technical as the analyst attempts to learn more
    about the technology selected for the new system.
  • During the systems support phase, fact-finding is
    important in determining that a system has
    decayed to a point where the system needs to be
    redeveloped.

4
What Facts Does the Systems Analyst Need to
Collect and When?
  • What types of facts must be collected?
  • Any information system can be examined in terms
    of four building blocks DATA, PROCESSES,
    INTERFACES, and GEOGRAPHY.

5
What Fact-Finding Methods are Available?
  • There are seven common fact-finding techniques
  • They are as follows
  • Sampling of existing documentation, forms, and
    databases.
  • Research and site visits.
  • Observation of the work environment.
  • Questionnaires.
  • Interviews.
  • Rapid Application Development (RAD).
  • Joint Application Development (JAD).
  • An understanding of each of these techniques is
    essential to your success.
  • An analyst usually applies several of these
    techniques during a single systems project.

6
Sampling of Existing Documentation, Forms, and
Files
  • Collecting Facts from Existing Documentation
  • The first document the analyst should seek out is
    the organizational chart.
  • Next, the analyst may want to trace the history
    that led to the project.
  • To accomplish this, the analyst may want to
    collect and review documents that describe the
    problem. These include
  • Interoffice memoranda, studies, minutes,
    suggestion box notes, customer complaints, and
    reports that document the problem area.
  • Accounting records, performance reviews, work
    measurement reviews, and other scheduled
    operating reports.
  • Information systems project requests past and
    present.

7
Sampling of Existing Documentation, Forms, and
Files
  • Collecting Facts from Existing Documentation
  • Next, the analyst may want to trace the history
    that led to the project. (continued)
  • There are usually documents that describe the
    business function being studied or designed.
    These documents may include
  • The company's mission statement and strategic
    plan.
  • Formal objectives for the organization sub-units
    being studied.
  • Policy manuals that may place constraints on any
    proposed system.
  • Standard operating procedures (SOPs), job
    outlines, or task instructions for specific
    day-to-day operations.
  • Completed forms that represent actual
    transactions at various points in the processing
    cycle.
  • Samples of manual and computerized databases.
  • Samples of manual and computerized screens and
    reports.

8
Sampling of Existing Documentation, Forms, and
Files
  • Collecting Facts from Existing Documentation
  • Next, the analyst may want to trace the history
    that led to the project. (continued)
  • Don't forget to check for documentation of
    previous system studies and designs performed by
    systems analysts and consultants. This
    documentation may include
  • Various types of flowcharts and diagrams.
  • Project dictionaries or repositories
  • Design documentation, such as inputs, outputs,
    and databases.
  • Program documentation.
  • Computer operations manuals and training manuals.

9
Sampling of Existing Documentation, Forms, and
Files
  • Collecting Facts from Existing Documentation
  • All documentation collected should be analyzed to
    determine currency of the information.
  • Don't discard outdated documentation.
  • Just keep in mind that additional fact-finding
    will be needed to verify or update the facts
    collected.
  • As you review existing documents, take notes,
    draw pictures, and use systems analysis and
    design tools to model what you are learning or
    proposing for the system.

10
Sampling of Existing Documentation, Forms, and
Files
  • Document and File Sampling Techniques
  • Because it would be impractical to study every
    occurrence of every form, analysts normally use
    sampling techniques to get a large enough cross
    section to determine what can happen in the
    system.
  • Sampling is the process of collecting sample
    documents, forms, and records.
  • Experienced analysts avoid the pitfalls of
    sampling blank forms -- they tell little about
    how the form is used, not used, or misused.
  • When studying documents or records from a
    database table, you should study enough samples
    to identify all the possible processing
    conditions and exceptions.

11
Sampling of Existing Documentation, Forms, and
Files
  • Document and File Sampling Techniques
  • How to Determine Sample Size
  • The size of the sample depends on how
    representative you want the sample to be.
  • One simple and reliable formula for determining
    sample size is
  • Sample size 0.25 x (Certainty factor/Acceptable
    error)2
  • The certainty factor depends on how certain you
    want to be that the data sampled will not include
    variations not in the sample.
  • The certainty factor is calculated from tables
    (available in many industrial engineering texts).
    A partial example is given here.
  • Desired Certainty Certainty Factor
  • 95 1.960
  • 90 1.645
  • 80 1.281

12
Sampling of Existing Documentation, Forms, and
Files
  • Document and File Sampling Techniques
  • How to Determine Sample Size
  • Suppose you want 90-percent certainty that a
    sample of invoices will contain no unsampled
    variations.
  • SS 0.25(1.645/0.10)2 68
  • We need to sample 68 invoices to get the desired
    accuracy.
  • Now suppose we know from experience that one in
    every ten invoices varies from the norm. Based
    on this knowledge we can alter the above formula
    by replacing the heuristic .25 with p(1-p).
  • SS p(1-p) (1.645/0.10)2. Where p is the
    proportion of invoices with variances.
  • SS .10(1-.10) (1.645/0.10)2 25

13
Sampling of Existing Documentation, Forms, and
Files
  • Document and File Sampling Techniques
  • Selecting the Sample
  • Two commonly used sampling techniques are
    randomization and stratification.
  • Randomization is a sampling technique
    characterized as having no predetermined pattern
    or plan for selecting sample data.
  • Therefore, we just randomly choose 25 invoices.
  • Stratification is a systematic sampling technique
    that attempts to reduce the variance of the
    estimates by spreading out the sampling -- for
    example, choosing documents or records by formula
    -- and by avoiding very high or low estimates.
  • For computerized files, stratification sampling
    can be executed by writing a sample program.

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15
Research and Site Visits
  • Introduction
  • A second fact-finding technique is to thoroughly
    research the application and problem.
  • Computer trade journals and reference books are a
    good source of information.
  • Exploring the internet and world wide web (WWW)
    via your personal computer can provide you with a
    immeasurable amounts of information.
  • Internet is a global network of networks.
    Conceived in 1964 by the United States Department
    of Defense to create a national military
    communications network that would be imperious to
    attacks.

16
Research and Site Visits
  • Introduction
  • A second fact-finding technique is to thoroughly
    research the application and problem.
  • Exploring the internet and world wide web (WWW)
    via your personal computer can provide you with a
    immeasurable amounts of information. (continued)
  • World Wide Web (WWW) was proposed in 1989 by a
    group of European physics researchers as a means
    for communicating research and ideas throughout
    the organization.
  • Corporations use the internet as an effective
    means of communicating with their employees.
  • These corporate networks called intranets,
    function and provide the same assets of the WWW,
    but can restrict access from anyone outside the
    corporation.

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19
Research and Site Visits
  • Introduction
  • A similar type of research involves visiting
    other companies or departments that have
    addressed similar problems.
  • Memberships in professional societies such as
    Data Processing Management Association (now known
    as AITP), or Association For Information Systems
    (AIS) among others can provide a network of
    useful contacts.

20
Observation of the Work Environment
  • Introduction
  • Observation is one of the most effective
    data-collection techniques for obtaining an
    understanding of a system.
  • Observation is a fact-finding technique wherein
    the systems analyst either participates in or
    watches a person perform activities to learn
    about the system.
  • This technique is often used when the validity of
    data collected through other methods is in
    question or when the complexity of certain
    aspects of the system prevents a clear
    explanation by the end-users.

21
Observation of the Work Environment
  • Collecting Facts by Observing People at Work
  • The Railroad Paradox. About thirty miles from
    Gotham City lay the commuter community of
    Suburbantown. Each morning, thousands of
    Surburbanites took the Central Railroad to work
    in Gotham City. Each evening, Central Railroad
    returned them to their waiting spouses, children,
    and dogs.
  • Suburbantown was a wealthy suburb, and many of
    the spouses liked to leave the children and dogs
    and spend an evening in Gotham City with their
    mates. They preferred to precede their evening
    of dinner and theater with browsing among Gotham
    Citys lush markets. But there was a problem.
    To allow time for proper shopping, a Suburbanite
    would have to depart for Gotham City at 230 or
    300 in the afternoon. At that hour, no Central
    Railroad train stopped in Suburbantown.
  • Some Suburbanites noted that a Central train did
    pass through their station at 230, but did not
    stop. They decided to petition the railroad,
    asking that the train be scheduled to stop at
    Suburbantown. They readily found supporters in
    their door-to-door canvass. When the petition
    was mailed, it contained 253 signatures. About
    three weeks later, the petition committee
    received the following letter from the Central
    Railroad
  • Dear Committee
  • Thank you for your continuing interest in Central
    Railroad operations. We take seriously our
    commitment to providing responsive service to all
    the people living among our routes, and greatly
    appreciate feedback on all aspects of our
    business.In response to your petition, our
    customer service representative visited the
    Suburbantown station on three separate days, each
    time at 230 in the afternoon. Although he
    observed with great care, on none of the three
    occasions were there any passengers waiting for a
    southbound train.We can only conclude that there
    is no real demand for a southbound stop at 230,
    and must therefore regretfully decline your
    petition.
  • Yours sincerely,
  • Customer Service Agent Central
    Railroad

22
Observation of the Work Environment
  • Collecting Facts by Observing People at Work
  • Observation Advantages
  • Data gathered by observation can be highly
    reliable.
  • The systems analyst is able to see exactly what
    is being done.
  • Observation is relatively inexpensive compared
    with other fact-finding techniques.
  • Observation allows the systems analyst to do work
    measurements.

23
Observation of the Work Environment
  • Collecting Facts by Observing People at Work
  • Observation Disadvantages
  • Because people usually feel uncomfortable when
    being watched, they may unwittingly perform
    differently when being observed.
  • The work being observed may not involve the level
    of difficulty or volume normally experienced
    during that time period.
  • Some systems activities may take place at odd
    times, causing a scheduling inconvenience for the
    systems analyst.
  • The tasks being observed are subject to various
    types of interruptions.

24
Observation of the Work Environment
  • Collecting Facts by Observing People at Work
  • Observation Disadvantages (continued)
  • Some tasks may not always be performed in the
    manner in which they are observed by the systems
    analyst.
  • If people have been performing tasks in a manner
    that violates standard operating procedures, they
    may temporarily perform their jobs correctly
    while you are observing them.
  • In other words, people may let you see what they
    want you to see.

25
Observation of the Work Environment
  • Guidelines for Observation
  • Observation should first be conducted when the
    work load is normal.
  • Afterward, observations can be made during peak
    periods to gather information for measuring the
    effects caused by the increased volume.
  • The systems analyst might also obtain samples of
    documents or forms that will be used by those
    being observed.

26
Observation of the Work Environment
  • Guidelines for Observation
  • The sampling techniques discussed earlier are
    also useful for observation.
  • Work sampling is a fact-finding technique that
    involves a large number of observations taken at
    random intervals.
  • This technique is less threatening to the people
    being observed because the observation period is
    not continuous.
  • When using work sampling, you need to predefine
    the operations of the job to be observed, then
    calculate a sample size as you did for document
    and file sampling.
  • Make that many random observations, being careful
    to observe activities at different times of the
    day.
  • By counting the number of occurrences of each
    operation during the observations, you will get a
    feel for how employees spend their days.

27
Observation of the Work Environment
  • Guidelines for Observation
  • With proper planning completed, the actual
    observation can be done.
  • Effective observation is difficult to carry out
    however, the following guidelines may help you
    develop your observation skills
  • Determine the who, what, where, when, why, and
    how of the observation.
  • Obtain permission from appropriate supervisors or
    managers.
  • Inform those who will be observed of the purpose
    of the observation.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Take notes during or immediately following the
    observation.

28
Observation of the Work Environment
  • Guidelines for Observation
  • Effective observation is difficult to carry out
    however, the following guidelines may help you
    develop your observation skills (continued)
  • Review observation notes with appropriate
    individuals.
  • Don't interrupt the individuals at work.
  • Don't focus heavily on trivial activities.
  • Don't make assumptions.

29
Questionnaires
  • Introduction
  • Questionnaires are special-purpose documents that
    allows the analyst to collect information and
    opinions from respondents.
  • The document can be mass produced and distributed
    to respondents, who can then complete the
    questionnaire on their own time.
  • Questionnaires allow the analyst to collect facts
    from a large number of people while maintaining
    uniform responses.
  • When dealing with the large audience, no other
    fact-finding technique can tabulate the same
    facts as efficiently.

30
Questionnaires
  • Collecting Facts by Using Questionnaires
  • Advantages
  • Most questionnaires can be answered quickly.
  • People can complete and return questionnaires at
    their convenience.
  • Questionnaires provide a relatively inexpensive
    means for gathering data from a large number of
    individuals.
  • Questionnaires allow individuals to maintain
    anonymity.
  • Individuals are more likely to provide the real
    facts, rather than telling you what they think
    their boss would want them to.
  • Responses can be tabulated and analyzed quickly.

31
Questionnaires
  • Collecting Facts by Using Questionnaires
  • Disadvantages
  • The number of respondents is often low.
  • There's no guarantee that an individual will
    answer or expand on all of the questions.
  • Questionnaires tend to be inflexible.
  • There's no opportunity for the systems analyst to
    obtain voluntary information from individuals or
    to reword questions that may have been
    misinterpreted.
  • It's not possible for the systems analyst to
    observe and analyze the respondent's body
    language.
  • There is no immediate opportunity to clarify a
    vague or incomplete answer to any question.
  • Good questionnaires are difficult to prepare.

32
Questionnaires
  • Types of Questionnaires
  • There are two formats for questionnaires,
    free-format and fixed-format.
  • Free-format questionnaires
  • Free-format questionnaires offer the respondent
    greater latitude in the answer. A question is
    asked, and the respondent records the answer in
    the space provided after the question.
  • The analyst should phrase the questions in simple
    sentences and not use words -- such as good --
    that can be interpreted differently by different
    respondents.
  • The analyst should ask questions that can be
    answered with three or fewer sentences.
  • Otherwise, the questionnaire may take up more
    time than the respondent is willing to sacrifice.

33
Questionnaires
  • Types of Questionnaires
  • Fixed-format questionnaires
  • Fixed-format questionnaires contain questions
    that require specific responses from individuals.
  • Given any question, the respondent must choose
    from the available answers.
  • This makes the results much easier to tabulate.
  • On the other hand, the respondent cannot provide
    additional information that might prove valuable.

34
Questionnaires
  • Types of Questionnaires
  • Fixed-format questionnaires
  • There are three types of fixed-format questions.
  • Multiple-choice questions
  • For multiple-choice questions, the respondent is
    given several answers.
  • The respondent should be told if more than one
    answer may be selected.
  • Some multiple-choice questions allow for very
    brief free-format responses when none of the
    standard answers apply.
  • An example of a multiple-choice, fixed-format
    question is Is the current accounts receivable
    report that you receive useful? YES NO If
    no, please explain.

35
Questionnaires
  • Types of Questionnaires
  • Fixed-format questionnaires
  • Rating questions
  • For rating questions, the respondent is given a
    statement and asked to use supplied responses to
    state an opinion.
  • To prevent built-in bias, there should be an
    equal number of positive and negative ratings.
  • The following is an example of a rating
    fixed-format question The implementation of
    quantity discounts would cause an increase in
    customer orders. Strongly agree Agree No
    opinion Disagree Strongly disagree

36
Questionnaires
  • Types of Questionnaires
  • Fixed-format questionnaires
  • Ranking questions
  • For ranking questions, the respondent is given
    several possible answers, which are to be ranked
    in order of preference or experience.
  • An example of a ranking fixed-format question
    is Rank the following transactions according to
    the amount of time you spend processing
    them __________ new customer
    orders __________ order cancellations ________
    __ order modifications __________ payments

37
Questionnaires
  • Developing a Questionnaire
  • Good questionnaires are designed.
  • If you write your questionnaires without
    designing them first, your chances of success are
    limited.
  • The following procedure is effective
  • Determine what facts and opinions must be
    collected and from whom you should get them.
  • If the number of people is large, consider using
    a smaller, randomly selected group of
    respondents.
  • Based on the needed facts and opinions, determine
    whether free- or fixed-format questions will
    produce the best answers.
  • A combination format that permits optional
    free-format clarification of fixed-format
    responses is often used.

38
Questionnaires
  • Developing a Questionnaire
  • Good questionnaires are designed.
  • The following procedure is effective (continued)
  • Write the questions.
  • Examine them for construction errors and possible
    misinterpretations.
  • Make sure that the questions don't offer your
    personal bias or opinions.
  • Edit the questions.
  • Test the questions on a small sample of
    respondents.
  • If your respondents had problems with them or if
    the answers were not useful, edit the questions.
  • Duplicate and distribute the questionnaire.

39
Interviews
  • Introduction
  • The personal interview is generally recognized as
    the most important and most often used
    fact-finding technique.
  • Interviews are a fact-finding technique whereby
    the systems analysts collects information from
    individuals face to face.
  • There are two roles assumed in an interview.
  • The systems analyst is the interviewer,
    responsible for organizing and conducting the
    interview.
  • The system user, system owner, or adviser is the
    interviewee, who is asked to respond to a series
    of questions.

40
Interviews
  • Collecting Facts by Interviewing People
  • Advantages
  • Interviews give the analyst an opportunity to
    motivate the interviewee to respond freely and
    openly to questions.
  • Interviews allow the systems analyst to probe for
    more feedback from the interviewee.
  • Interviews permit the systems analyst to adapt or
    reword questions for each individual.
  • Interviews give the analyst an opportunity to
    observe the interviewee's nonverbal communication.

41
Interviews
  • Collecting Facts by Interviewing People
  • Disadvantages
  • Interviewing is a very time-consuming, and
    therefore costly, fact-finding approach.
  • Success of interviews is highly dependent on the
    systems analyst's human relations skills.
  • Interviewing may be impractical due to the
    location of interviewees.

42
Interviews
  • Interview Types and Techniques
  • There are two types of interviews, unstructured
    and structured.
  • Unstructured interviews
  • Unstructured interviews are conducted with only a
    general goal or subject in mind and with few, if
    any, specific questions. The interviewer counts
    on the interviewee to provide a framework and
    direct the conversation.
  • This type of interview frequently gets off track,
    and the analyst must be prepared to redirect the
    interview back to the main goal or subject.
  • For this reason, unstructured interviews don't
    usually work well for systems analysis and design.

43
Interviews
  • Interview Types and Techniques
  • There are two types of interviews, unstructured
    and structured.
  • Structured interviews
  • In structured interviews the interviewer has a
    specific set of questions to ask of the
    interviewee.
  • Depending on the interviewee's responses, the
    interviewer will direct additional questions to
    obtain clarification or amplification.
  • Some of these questions may be planned and others
    spontaneous.
  • Open-ended questions allow the interviewee to
    respond in any way that seems appropriate.
  • Closed-ended questions restrict answers to either
    specific choices or short, direct responses.

44
Interviews
  • How to Conduct an Interview
  • Select Interviewees
  • You should interview the end-users of the
    information system you are studying.
  • A formal organizational chart will help you
    identify these individuals and their
    responsibilities.
  • You should attempt to learn as much as possible
    about each individual prior to the interview.
  • Attempt to learn what their strengths, fears,
    biases, and motivations might be.
  • The interview can then be geared to take the
    characteristics of the individual into account.

45
Interviews
  • How to Conduct an Interview
  • Select Interviewees
  • Always make an appointment with the interviewee.
  • Never just drop in.
  • Limit the appointment to somewhere between a half
    hour and an hour.
  • The higher the management level of the
    interviewee, the less time you should schedule.
  • If the interviewee is a clerical, service, or
    blue-collar worker, get their supervisor's
    permission before scheduling the interview.
  • Be certain that the location you want for the
    interview will be available during the time the
    interview is scheduled.
  • Never conduct an interview in the presence of
    your officemates or the interviewee's peers.

46
Interviews
  • How to Conduct an Interview
  • Prepare for the Interview
  • Preparation is the key to a successful
    interview.
  • To ensure that all pertinent aspects of the
    subject are covered, the analyst should prepare
    an interview guide.
  • An interview guide is a checklist of specific
    questions the interviewer will ask the
    interviewee.
  • The interview guide may also contain follow-up
    questions that will only be asked if the answers
    to other questions warrant the additional
    answers.

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49
Interviews
  • How to Conduct an Interview
  • Prepare for the Interview
  • Avoid the following types of questions
  • Loaded questions, such as Do we have to have
    both of these columns on the report?'' The
    question conveys the interviewee's personal
    opinion on the issue.
  • Leading questions, such as You're not going to
    use this OPERATOR CODE, are you?'' The question
    leads the interviewee to respond, No, of course
    not,'' regardless of actual opinion.
  • Biased questions, such as How many codes do we
    need for FOOD-CLASSIFICATION in the INVENTORY
    FILE? I think 20 ought to cover it.'' Why bias
    the interviewee's answer with your own?

50
Interviews
  • How to Conduct an Interview
  • Prepare for the Interview
  • You should especially avoid threatening or
    critical questions.
  • The purpose of the interview is to investigate,
    not to evaluate or criticize.
  • Additional guidelines for questions are provided
    below
  • Use clear and concise language.
  • Don't include your opinion as part of a question.
  • Avoid long or complex questions.
  • Avoid threatening questions.
  • Don't use you'' when you mean a group of people.

51
Interviews
  • How to Conduct an Interview
  • Conduct the Interview
  • The actual interview can be characterized as
    consisting of three phases the opening, body,
    and conclusion.
  • The interview opening
  • The interview opening is intended to influence or
    motivate the interviewee to participate and
    communicate by establishing an ideal environment.
  • You should identify the purpose and length of the
    interview and explain how the gathered data will
    be used.
  • Here are three ways to effectively begin an
    interview
  • Summarize the apparent problem, and explain how
    the problem was discovered.
  • Offer an incentive or reward for participation.
  • Ask the interviewee for advice or assistance.

52
Interviews
  • How to Conduct an Interview
  • Conduct the Interview
  • The interview body
  • The interview body represents the most
    time-consuming phase.
  • During this phase, you obtain the interviewee's
    responses to your list of questions.
  • Take notes concerning both verbal and nonverbal
    responses from the interviewee.
  • It's very important for you to keep the interview
    on track.
  • Anticipate the need to adapt the interview to the
    interviewee.
  • Probe for more facts when necessary.

53
Interviews
  • How to Conduct an Interview
  • Conduct the Interview
  • The interview conclusion
  • During the interview conclusion, you should
    express your appreciation and provide answers to
    any questions posed by the interviewee.
  • The conclusion is very important for maintaining
    rapport and trust with the interviewee.
  • The importance of human relations skills in
    interviewing cannot be overemphasized.

54
Interviews
  • How to Conduct an Interview
  • Conduct the Interview
  • Below is a set of rules that should be followed
    during an interview.
  • DO
  • Be courteous.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Maintain control.
  • Probe.
  • Observe mannerisms and nonverbal communication.
  • Be patient.
  • Keep interviewee at ease.
  • Maintain self-control.

55
Interviews
  • How to Conduct an Interview
  • Conduct the Interview
  • Below is a set of rules that should be followed
    during an interview.
  • AVOID
  • Continuing an interview unnecessarily.
  • Assuming an answer is finished or leading
    nowhere.
  • Revealing verbal and nonverbal clues.
  • Using jargon.
  • Revealing your personal biases.
  • Talking instead of listening.
  • Assuming anything about the topic and the
    interviewee.
  • Tape recording -- a sign of poor listening skills.

56
Interviews
  • How to Conduct an Interview
  • Follow Up on the Interview
  • To help maintain good rapport and trust with
    interviewees, you should send them a memo that
    summarizes the interview.
  • This memo should remind the interviewees of their
    contributions to the systems project and allow
    them the opportunity to clarify any
    misinterpretations that you may have derived
    during the interview.
  • The interviewees should be given the opportunity
    to offer additional information they may have
    failed to bring out during the interview.

57
Rapid Application Development (RAD)
  • RAD
  • Rapid Application Development is gaining
    popularity as a fact-finding technique for
    discovering user requirements.
  • This technique allows analysts to quickly create
    mock forms and tables to simulate the implemented
    system.
  • Users can suggest changes to the prototype
    real-time and in most cases watch as the analyst
    tweaks the software to produce the desired look
    and feel.
  • This process may take several iterations to
    correctly capture the functions necessary to
    automate the required business processes.
  • Once the prototype is completed, you have the
    basis for a users manual, a requirements
    specification, and a template for a test plan.

58
Fact-Finding Ethics
  • Introduction
  • More often than not during your fact finding
    exercises you may come across or be analyzing
    information which is sensitive in nature.
  • The analyst must take great care to protect the
    data they have been entrusted with.
  • Most computer professional societies such as DPMA
    have a code of conduct and code of ethics their
    members must adhere to and abide by in the way to
    conduct business.

59
Fact-Finding Ethics
  • Introduction
  • The following paragraphs are a fragment of DPMAs
    Code of Ethics relating to the protection of
    information
  • Code of Ethics
  • I acknowledge
  • ...............Further, I shall not use knowledge
    of a confidential nature to further my personal
    interest, nor shall I violate the privacy and
    confidentiality of information entrusted to me or
    to which I may gain access.
  • That I have an obligation to my employer whose
    trust I hold, therefore, I shall endeavor to
    discharge this obligation to the best of my
    ability, to guard my employer's interest, and to
    advise him or her wisely and honestly.
  • That I have an obligation to my country,
    therefore, in my personal, business, and social
    contacts, I shall uphold my nation and shall
    honor the chosen way of life of my fellow
    citizens.
  • I accept these obligations as a personal
    responsibility and as a member of this
    Association, I shall actively discharge these
    obligations and I dedicate myself to that end.

60
Fact-Finding Ethics
  • Introduction
  • Washington, D.C. is the home of the Computer
    Ethics Institute, a nonprofit research, education
    and policy study organization.
  • It strives to make people more aware of computer
    ethics and to use computers more responsibly.
  • One of their primary goals is to make computer
    ethics part of the standard school curriculum and
    to promote more awareness they have published The
    Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics.

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62
A Fact-Finding Strategy
  • Introduction
  • To waste your end-users' time is to waste your
    company's money.
  • To make the most of the time that you spend with
    end-users, don't jump right into interviews.
  • First collect all the facts you can by using
    other methods.
  • Consider the following step-by-step strategy
  • Learn all you can from existing documents, forms,
    reports, and files.
  • If appropriate, observe the system in action.
  • Given all the facts that you've already
    collected, design and distribute questionnaires
    to clear up things you don't fully understand.

63
A Fact-Finding Strategy
  • Introduction
  • Consider the following step-by-step strategy
    (continued)
  • Conduct your interviews (or group work sessions,
    such as JAD or RAD).
  • Follow up.
  • The strategy is not sacred.
  • A fact-finding strategy should be developed for
    every pertinent phase of systems development,
    every project is unique.
  • Sometimes observation and questionnaires may be
    inappropriate.
  • But the idea should always be to collect as many
    facts as possible before using interviews.

64
Summary
  • Introduction
  • What is Fact-Finding?
  • What Facts Does the Systems Analyst Need to
    Collect and When?
  • What Fact-Finding Methods are Available?
  • Sampling of Existing Documentation, Forms, and
    Files
  • Research and Site Visits
  • Observation of the Work Environment

65
Summary
  • Questionnaires
  • Interviews
  • Rapid Application Development (RAD)
  • Fact-Finding Ethics
  • A Fact-Finding Strategy
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