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System Analysis and Design

Need to complete system analysis and design for an information management requirements specification and want practical timesaving suggestions?

Non functional requirements are system requirements needed to satisfy functional business requirements.
How do we determine system requirements?

These are mostly technical in nature and need to be defined by the architecture and design team and the operations support team.

This sounds technical, why are they in a requirements document?

Some project development methodologies have two requirement documents:
  • Business requirements, which identify all functional requirements; and
  • System requirements, which identify all system related, or non functional requirements.
Information management projects are “data centric” and a lot of requirements are really system related, hence, they are included in the information management requirement specification.

The following non functional requirements should be considered when completing system analysis and design and non functional requirements analysis.


Examine the following topics and document any requirements that might impact architecture and design:
  • Legal and regulatory policies;
  • Existing systems limitations;
  • Hardware limitations;
  • Software limitations;
  • Communications constraints;
  • Architecture and design standards (should reference all standards and best practices);
  • Production support standards;
  • Data modeling standards; and
  • Operational environment standards.
Performance requirements

Consider things such as:
  • Are there requirements specifying when needed functions are needed, e.g. ad hoc reporting?
  • Are there requirements for synchronization of databases?
  • Are there requirements governing the replication of data/functions across distributed platforms?
  • Are there specific constraints on acceptable response time (e.g. within a certain number of seconds for a specific percentage of queries)?
  • Are there response time requirements for specific queries or classes of queries?
System analysis and design quality and production support requirements

Consider the following:
  • Ability to audit, e.g. what type of data access is required to information maintained for audit purposes?
  • Reliability, e.g. how long should the system function without downtime?
  • Availability, e.g. specify the amount of time, during normal use periods, that the system must be available;
  • Data currency, e.g. are there constraints governing the maximum allowable latency for data? (Latency refers to the amount of time that has passed since the data was deemed current);
  • Flexibility, e.g. define requirements related to the degree to which the system can be changed to include new business functions and future technologies;
  • Accuracy, e.g. are there requirements governing the quality of specific data attribute values?
  • Consistency, e.g. are there specific constraints on user interface screens?
  • Maintainability, e.g. are user managed tables or parameters allowed, helpful or prohibited?
  • Scalability, e.g. will the solution require scalability across hardware and software?
  • Monitoring, consider requirements for monitoring:
    • Performance, e.g. what type of data access is required to information maintained for system monitoring purposes? What is the anticipated frequency of such monitoring?
    • Command and control, e.g. will there be a need to control the system remotely?
    • Failure management, e.g. should failures be detected both automatically and manually? How will failures be reported?
    • Logging, e.g. will data logs be required? What data will be captured and logged?
    • Error handling, e.g. is there specific data that must be captured in order to determine the problem source?
Training requirements

Identify training needed by users, to use the system, and production support teams, to operate and maintain the system.

System Analysis and Design Summary…

Information management projects are “data centric”. Most of the requirements are non functional, and provide direction to the architecture and design team. It is critical that system analysis and design identify these non functional requirements requirements early in the project so that potential impact on project schedule/cost can be evaluated before requirement specifications approval.

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