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Information Systems Analysis

Need to complete information systems analysis for an information management project and want practical suggestions to ensure rapid project delivery?

Requirements analysis objectives
Information Systems Analysis
The objective of the requirements analysis phase is to identify and secure approval for a project requirements specification.

A complete requirements analysis is needed to ensure rapid project delivery and optimal return on information management investment. 

What is a requirements specification?

An information management project is concerned with getting the right information, in the right hands, at the right time to make the right decision.

Information systems analysis and requirements analysis produces a requirements specification. This specification states the project goal and the related data storage, data movement, security, quality, usage, functional and non-functional requirements that must be achieved in order to achieve the business goal stated in the business case.

It is intended to act as the master list (roadmap) of all requirements that must be met by the project.

Why is information systems analysis important?

Imagine that you have decided to renovate your house. You have met with an architect and agreed on some basic concepts, time and cost estimates. Your family has approved these costs in the form of a “business case”.

Now imagine that you let the tradesmen start work—They have no real idea of what you require in sufficient detail to start renovations. Even with the best of intentions it is unlikely they will construct something that meets your requirements, and cost estimates.

Information management projects are similar--Requirements should be identified first, and approved by the business owner, before technical design begins. This way, the business owner is involved in “sign-off” of the requirements. The technical team is also involved with specifying requirements so they are in a better position to understand what is needed.

How does this help deliver projects faster?

The requirements specification provides a means of specifying all requirements and the criteria that will be used to accept that the requirements have been met. It helps ensure that the technical team does not design and build something that is not specified.

Requirements management will ensure that project management scope for design and construction does not deviate from requirements thus minimizing time delays and cost over-run due to re-work.

When should the requirements specification be completed?

Requirements analysis is the second phase of an information management project methodology and should be started upon approval of the business case.

What is included in requirements analysis?

Requirements analysis activities include:
  • Analysis of business requirements and business models;
  • Business analysis requirements and business requirements analysis;
  • Requirements analysis and definition of data warehouse requirements; and
  • Systems analysis requirements modeling.
The following information systems analysis deliverables are produced as part of the information management requirements specification:
  • Data movement requirements are documented in a data flow diagram, and data integration specifications, which specify database mapping and business rules. Requirements for data conversion projects are included with data movement requirements;
  • Data warehouse security requirements and associated security testing requirements are included to specify who should have access to the information and who should be allowed to use it;
  • The requirements specification should specify data quality objectives and requirements and how data quality issues should be handled by the solution;
  • Functional requirements should specify any specific things that the users wishes to see in the solution such as the specific distribution or reports;
  • System analysis and design identifies non functional requirements (or system requirements) should specify requirements for things like production support, data maintenance, service level requirements and performance expectations;
  • Acceptance criteria requirements should be specified to define the criteria that will be used for user acceptance testing to ensure that the technical team has a clear understanding of user expectations; and
Who is involved with requirements analysis?

A requirements specification team should be comprised of:
  • Business owner, to provide input to all specifications;
  • Data steward, to provide input on data quality and data security;
  • Data modeler, to analyze data requirements and take ownership for the requirements specification;
  • Data analyst to analyze and document data movement requirements; and
  • Business intelligence analyst, to analyze and document information usage requirements.
“Projects cannot succeed without common understanding of requirements”


A complete information systems analysis is needed to ensure rapid project delivery and optimal return on information management investment.

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