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Work Related Analysis

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The analytical process for a work-related project at any departmental level should include a plan for gathering the necessary information needed. There are several or more techniques to use when 'information-gathering' is taking place. Design methods will be reviewed as well, and once that process is complete the analytical and evaluation phase is in effect. This text will review a systems analysis for the Oracle database in an organization used to coordinate client's culinary preferences with the menu selections in the company database at the departmental level. The two interactive departments are the kitchen and suites staff who normally compiles individual reporting techniques to meet client needs.

Information-Gathering Techniques

The obvious need to gather information for review of system processes is the first step to understanding if the system is beneficial to the company needs. Ten techniques known to work in this situation are as follows, conduct one-on-one interview to understand the client needs. Another technique is group interviews where everyone involved is at the same level or plays the same role in the organization. With a focused group there is the likelihood that the information gained is more valuable as a collaborative effort produces a richer list of requirements.

Facilitated sessions are a technique that involves a larger group of individuals to bring forth common requirements in a swifter manner versus one-on-one interviews. The joint application development or JAD is similar to a facilitated session; however with this technique the group of individuals stay on task to complete the work until the issue is resolved. The session continues until parties are in agreement and documentation is complete.

Another technique or way to gather information is to distribute questionnaires. These documents seek out the necessary information by asking in question form what the need is. This is also a good way to reach stakeholders in remote locations. Questionnaires will reach a multitude of people versus smaller groups, and the same can be said for prototypes. Prototyping is a way to come to an initial solution while gathering preliminary requirements. It is a way for clients to add any additional requirements once the information gathering has started. The process continues until a finished product has been produced and the organization's needs are met.

The use cases will give examples for solutions based upon the needs of the system user. This view describes how the solutions work from the user's perspective. The use cases will are filtered into more specified and detailed requirements. Another technique close to the user view is shadowing people as he or she performs the necessary work-related functions. When following the steps of the individual; observing the current processes (gathering information) allows one to get a hands-on perspective for the business functions.

One of the last techniques for information gathering is sending a request for proposals or RFP's. RFP's is a way for vendors to receive requirements. The list of requirements will be used against the listed abilities of the vendor and whether he or she can deliver the requirements and meet the company needs. Last, when all other techniques are exhausted; brainstorming can produce an abundance of solutions. Brainstorming is the act of bringing forth many ideas to produce a common solution. Creative brainstorming will prioritize ideas and come up with the best qualified solution.

Design Methods

There are design methods that support information gathering techniques. One method in particular is the waterfall method. The waterfall method is just one among many methods but that is a sequential process. It is used in software development processes mostly, and appears as a steady downward flow hence the waterfall term. It comes from the initial concept, analysis, design, and testing and implementation phases. It also includes the maintenance and construction phases.

The waterfall method is normally based in the construction and manufacturing industries. However, in integrated systems this conventional method works in highly structured areas. At the time this method was introduced there were no other existing methods. The adaptation of software development developed from this model.

The Oracle Project

The Oracle database system for a foodservice organization needed to adopt a solution for coordinating culinary requests with necessary equipment and menu items. The team at company ABC could not uncover the reason for the missing link. The information gathered, and entered into the system should have been the supporting link but it was not working.

In the system, chefs, and suite managers could not combine the results of analytical reports from the individual departments. The need to link those reports that would put equipment with menu items was also an issue. The help-desk was of no help as the IT staff could not provide a solution from the headquarters remote location. Therefore, the local team of IT professionals got together with the department heads and executive chefs to come up with a solution.

In a facilitated session, the group of managers and culinary executives sat down with the in-house IT manager, and began brainstorming. The group came to the conclusion that what was needed was to link the equipment



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