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Systems Analysis Development

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School of Business, Management & Information TechnologyFdSc Internet Computing for Business Yr 2 Sem 1 Level 2Assessment | |

Module Title: Systems Analysis & Design (NCD-CN10)

Module Leader: M Binner

Assessment Title: Car Hire Company
Hand in Date: 21/1/2011

David Ray
Student no. 30162106

Contents 1 Introduction 2 2 Life Cycle Models 3 2.1 What is a Life Cycle Model 4 3 Fact Finding and Feasibility 7 Fact Finding 7 Feasibility 7 4What is a Problem Statement? 9 4.1 Writing a Problem Statement 9 4.2 Problem Statement 11 5Evaluation of the current System 13 6Problem Statement Solution 13 6.1 High budget solution 15 6.2 Low Budget Solution 17 7Dataflow Diagrams 19 What is a Dataflow diagram? 19 Different levels of Data Flow Diagrams 20 Level 1 Data Flow Diagram 21 Level 2 Data Flow Diagram 22 8 ERD of New System 23 9Data Dictionaries 25 10Cost Benefit Analysis 26 11A Cost benefit Analysis for Car Hire Company 26 12Evaluation of Proposed New System 27 13Summary and Reflection 27 14References 28 15 Bibliography 28 16Appendices 29

1 Introduction

For this assignment I have been asked to develop a new system that could resolve issue’s within a Car Hire Company.

For the assignment I will be looking at what a System Life Cycle model is and how it relates to business. I will be briefly looking at various cycles and will explain why I chose the system life cycle that I will be using regarding the assignment.

The first task in doing this is to look at the existing system that is currently in place and create a Problem Statement for issues within the company. For the assignment I will go into detail about what a Problem Statement is, and what the benefits of making a Problem Statement.
Following the Companies Problem Statement I will give a general evaluation of the current process.

The next stage is to give a solution to the problem statement. Here I will look at each problem and present an appropriate solution. The client Raj has also requested details and costs of two solutions, which will be a high budget solution and a low budget solution, to which I will go into detail within the report.

The following section will look at what Data Flow Diagrams are, and what a Data Flow Diagram for the new system would look like for the Car Hire Company. I will also go into detail about what Entity Relationship Diagrams are and give a Data Dictionary for the new system.

Once the new systems have been developed, I will be creating a Cost Benefit Analysis for both of the new systems. I will be researching what a “Cost Benefit Analysis” is and how it relates to a business investing in a new system.

Finally I will be giving my evaluation on the new system created, and then giving a summary and reflection on the process.

2 Life Cycle Models

For the report about the creation of a new system for the Car Hire Company, I have been asked to refer to each part of the development of the system against the stages of a Life Cycle Model. The next section will go onto explain what Life Cycles are, and which Life Cycle model I will be using for the report.
.
2.1 What is a Life Cycle Model

First we need to define what a Life Cycle Model is and also how it relates to System Analysis Design.

A System Life Cycle has been defined as

“Cradle-to-grave journey of a system, compromising of broad phase’s such as conception, definition, design, testing, implementation, maintenance, modification or upgrading, and retirement or replacement.” http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/system-life-cycle.html 30/11/10

This is the basic concept of a life cycle, however there are different various types of Life Cycle Models such as Waterfall Cycles, Spiral Cycles, Incremental Cycles and Modified Waterfall Cycles.

Waterfall Life Cycle Model

The waterfall cycle is the most well-known model for development and follows structured stages. Only when a stage is completed can the next stage be started. Figure 1 shows an example of what a Waterfall Cycle looks like

Figure 1 A Waterfall Development Cycle

The waterfall cycle is easy to follow which is why it is a popular cycle to use, and each stage has to be completed before the next stage commences. However that is also its downfall. When a system is created using this cycle, the client has a small input into the development of the product. So if the finished product is not what the customer requires, or there is part of the product not suitable, the product has to be started again. This will cost money and time and possibly damage reputations.

Incremental Cycle Model

The incremental Cycle model is similar to the Waterfall Cycle model, however the system is designed, implemented and tested in small stages until the system is finished. Below is a diagram of how this cycle looks like.

Figure 2 An Incremental Life cycle

This cycle delivers the final product in stages and puts the finished stages all together to produce the final product. The advantages of this cycle are that it is more flexible than the waterfall cycle. However a disadvantage of the cycle is that the system is not finished until all the stages are completed.

Rapid Application Design

Figure 3 A Rapid Application Design Cycle

The Rapid Application Design Cycle is a prototype based development cycle. The first stage gathers information from the client about the requirements for the system, a prototype design is created and shown to the client who either approves it, or suggests other possibilities for the design. The next stage is to then refine it until the client is satisfied. This is done for all parts of the system, upon completion and testing is implemented to the client. The advantages of this system is that the client has a clear idea of what the final product will be, however a disadvantage is that the developer may create more work when developing prototypes that are not used.

With this in mind, the life cycle model that I am going to follow is the Rapid Application Cycle. The reasons are that the client is central to the development and ensures that the client gets what they are paying for.

3 Fact Finding and Feasibility

Fact Finding

Before any system can be developed, a systems developer would have to do some research on old system or procedures with the client. The reason why this stage is completed is to ensure that the client gets the system that they require. If a developer did not complete any fact finding work, they would not know how to produce a good working system for the client.

While completing research on the client, a developer is looking at five different elements.

1. What the basic business processes are? 2. What are the problems with the current process? 3. What data is being used or processed during the process? 4. Are there any limits imposed by time and volume? 5. What performance controls are there in place?

Various techniques are used to gather the information needed to produce a new system. The more popular techniques are interviews, questionnaires, document reviews, observations, and doing the job itself.

Although there are many pros and cons to each technique, for the assignment we have been given an interview transcript with the current systems procedures and also questions on what the client wishes to have in the new system.

In the systems life cycle, the fact finding procedure is at the initial analysis and quick design part of the cycle.
Figure 4 Current lifecycle positions

Feasibility

A systems developer must also be able to decide if the new system is feasible. To do this the new system is looked at using the T.E.L.O.S. guide for feasibility. This stands for:-

T – Technology. Is the technology available that you need to use.

E – Economy. Is it affordable, will the system pay for itself within a reasonable time? Will it save the client money?

L – Legal. Consider what laws/legislation needs to be applied to the new system.

O – Operation. Does it have to be made compatible with another system to work? Will staff need further training?

S – Schedule. Can the system be created in the time allocated?

If any of the points from TELOS suggest that the project has a problem there are three choices.

1. Go ahead with the project 2. Postpone the project until whatever the situation can be resolved. 3. The project gets cancelled all together

Once the new system is deemed feasible, the next part of the project can be undertaken, which is the creation of a problem statement.

In the Life Cycle model this is part of the analysis and quick design part of the life cycle model.

4What is a Problem Statement?

The following quote defines what a Problem Statement is.

“A problem statement describes the research problem and identifies potential causes or solutions. A problem statement also conveys the reason the problem is important and who is affected by the problem.” http://www.ehow.com/facts_6803325_definition-problem-statement.html Having researched what a problem statement does for project management, it is necessary for a Problem Statement to be created for the development of a new system for the car hire company. Developing a problem statement also gives a clear outline of current problems that need to be addressed. Snedaker (2005) writes

“Begin all projects by defining the problem to be solved. Describe either the problem itself or why the company (or your department) should care about the problem. This will help you not only make sure that you are solving the right problem with the project, but it will give you a solid foundation for validating the project and project parameters later.”
Snedaker, S (2005). How to Cheat at IT project Management. Rockford, MA: Syngress Publishing. p179.

This passage is re-iterating why it is important to complete a problem statement as it focuses on what and where the current problems are within the existing system, and also gives you and your client a clear view on functions/processes that need to be addressed.

The following section explains how a problem statement is created.

4.1 Writing a Problem Statement

A Problem Statement merely states what the problems are, however the statement should not detail a cause for the issue.

“Your problem statement should never detail a cause for the issue at hand.”
Carpenter,C. (2005). The Problem Statement. Available: http://www.quality-improvement-matters.com/problem-statement.html. Last accessed 2nd Dec 2010.

A good problem statement makes use of the five “W”’s

Who – Who does the problem effect
What -What is the issue, what is the impact of the issue?
When - When does the issue occur?
Where - Where does the issue occur?
Why - Why is it important to fix the issue?

The first process to undertake is to write down the current problems within the system in a basic form. An example from the car hire company would be:-

* Bonuses are calculated by Mike using a calculator

The next part of the statement is to define the impact the problem has on the business.

* The Calculation of bonuses by Mike takes “ages”

The following part of the statement details how it effect’s the business.

* The calculations of bonuses by Mike using a calculator for each individual costs the time that it takes for the calculations to be made every month. It also does not allow for any in-discrepancies that could be done by mistake while using a calculator.

So in a problem statement, this information would be put together to define the statement as a whole.

“Mike calculates bonuses every month manually by calculator. This is a problem as it costs the business money to pay Mike for 12 hours of work every month, not including any over payments that are mistakenly made. These mistakes could be made as Mike is doing these calculations manually, and everybody is prone to making mistakes. It is important to rectify this problem as Mike is needed elsewhere within the company, as well as making sure that bonuses are paid correctly, accurately and calculated quickly.”

For more information on Problem Statement Creation refer to the appendices reference (i) How to write a Problem Statement.

This procedure is part of the prototype and development stage of the Life Cycle Model.

The following section is the Problem Statement for Raj’s Car Hire Company.

4.2 Problem Statement

The purpose of this Problem Statement is to understand the difficulties of the current system in use at Raj’s Car Hire Company.

Computers

The Company has only one computer, to which Raj admits that he does not “know what to do for the business.”
How this is effecting the business is that there is no current use of any computer systems within the organisation, and that all documentation is hand written/hand typed by the employees and the owner.
The impact of this in the business is the time that every employee takes in writing, not including any mistakes that could be made by the person.

By not having a computer, Mike has to calculate the companies’ wages using a calculator. Mike having to do this affects the business in several ways.

The impact on the business of this procedure:-

* The time it takes Mike to calculate six employees’ wages. * There is a possibility that Mike makes a mistake in calculating the wages. If Mike was to make a mistake and pay too much to an employee, this will mean that the company is paying out too much in wages. However Mike could also be paying too little to employees, in which case the company could be landed with a large outgoing of money to reimburse short paid workers.

Document Storage

The business has no knowledge of the current Data Protection Act

This problem affects both the Business and the person who owns or is responsible for the business.

The impact of this problem:-

* The Act details a number of civil and criminal offences which the data controllers of the business are liable for. Failure to adhere to the Data Protections Act may result in hefty fines and/or possible criminal record.

The business currently stores all information in filing cabinets, and has a document storage “facility” in the upstairs of the current building.

At present the business stores all of its paperwork in filing cabinets and all further related paperwork in the upstairs of the building.

This has several detrimental effects on the business:-

* Excessive Document Storage costs the business money in several ways (i) The cost to the business of having premises to store the filing cabinets. The more business that the company accomplishes, the more storage is going to be needed to keep the ever expanding number of filing cabinets. (ii) The Price of Filing Cabinets as seen in the screenshot below is expensive.

Figure 5 Showing the price of a Filing Cabinet

(iii) The business can spend hours of manpower searching for relevant business records. This costs the business to pay the employee. (iv) All financial records are stored in the filing cabinets on site. This could affect the business if these financial records are damaged or lost, as the business would still be liable to pay the tax even if there are no records. The Inland Revenue would estimate the tax bill and the business would have no option but to pay. (v) Business Records date back to eight years. This is a problem as the business is unaware of how long information needs to be stored. This again impacts the business in the way of paying for storing records longer than necessary.

Processes and Document Duplication

The Business processes create excessive paperwork and duplicates paperwork. This has many detrimental effects on the business:-

* Millie sends out handwritten invoices every day.

This impacts the business in the time it takes Millie to write the invoices and also there is a possibility that Millie may get the price wrong or even forget to write one. In both instances it would cost money.

* The process of booking customers jobs is a lengthy one which contains exchanging papers and job sheets.

“The person who takes the booking (can really be any of us) has to write the job sheet out when the customer books a car for anything. They have to write the whole lot out, customer’s name, address etc, car they want to book, when they want it and where to pick up and drop off. There’re a few more details but I have some examples for you to look at. They check the dates the customer wants against our bookings diary and give them alternative dates if we’re booked up.
After the job has been completed the driver gives Millie the job sheet and she has to write out the invoice, which contains the same information as is on the other sheets”
Extract taken from the Interview with Raj

The above process has an impact on the business in the time it takes to write the information out, go through records of diary entries, checking which cars are available and then when the job is complete, Millie has to write out an invoice that contains the same information again. This is a time consuming, costly process for the company.

Skills

What’s an Operating System?

The employees of the business have limited experience/knowledge of computing systems. This is going to have an impact on the business such as:-

* The majority of the staff does not know how to use a computer. This will have an impact as the company want to introduce a computerized system. If the staffs do not know how to use the computers then the business cannot work as needed costing money.

5Evaluation of the current System

The current system that is in place at The Raj Car Hire is long, labour intensive and time consuming. The system is takes too much man hours of administration which could be used more effectively in promoting the business and looking for further trends in the market for the owner to explore.
The business is relying heavily on a paper based system, which if it was to be destroyed, would effectively finish the business.
The whole process is in need of updating to make it able to cope with the increase in business that the owner wishes to improve.

6Problem Statement Solution

The results of the Problem Statement Solution will enable Raj Car Hire to work more efficiently and reduce the amount of document duplication and document storage.

Computers

The current computer system in use at the Car Hire Company is a sole computer that is used to play solitaire. What is recommended is the installation of new computers sharing resources over an installed network within the building.

Once the computer system is installed, each person will be able to have access to a diary system that enables all employees to check records, print job sheets, send promotional mail. This will be done by using Microsoft Office software package.

Computer Specific Solutions

* The calculations of bonuses by Mike.
Using the new Office Software, Mike will be able to calculate all the bonuses quickly and accurately using the Office software spread sheet package. This will save hours of work every month as well as being accurate as the chances of making a miscalculation are minimal. * Database and Diary System
A database and diary system is to be implemented into the business. This system will enable all users to input data into a database that can record names and addresses of customers, as well as checking the availability of cars for customers to hire by using a diary system. A system like this will help cut down on data duplication and speed up the administration process within the company.

* Accounting software
It is possible to incorporate Accounting software within the database and diary software package. This will help Millie with the invoicing as she will not have to write all the information down, as the information has already been previously inputted at an earlier stage in the process, thus saving time and also ensuring that the invoicing is done in a correct fashion.

* Marketing
The Office package contains a Word processor that can be used in conjunction with a Database. The benefit of this is that Millie can for example create a template for a promotional letter and be able to mail merge the letter with a database of records containing names and addresses. This can be done in a matter of minutes and hundreds can be done, rather than 25 a month.

Document storage

The main problem that exists within the company is the excessive amount of storage needed for files, invoicing and general paperwork.

The Computer System can help reduce the amount of storage space needed for the company as all files can be saved to the hard drive of the computer.

All previous documents can be Scanned into the computer and stored on an external hard drive that can be the size of a small book. Considering a 1 GB of disk space can store the equivalent of 215,000 A4 paper full of text, a 1Tb (Tb is 1 Tera byte which is 1,000 Giga byte of disk space) External hard drive can hold 215,000,000 A4 pieces of paper. Other advantages of this are that you can store all this information away from the building in a safe location.

The other advantage of having all files stored in a computer system is that files can be easily found in a matter of seconds rather than hours.

Skills

As the majority of the staff is inexperienced in the use of computers, investing in employee computer skills will enable the staff in using the new system correctly. The European Computer Driving License would give them the required skills to utilise the new system as well as investing in the future work ability of the staff. If you pay for the relevant training, they can’t tell you that they don’t know how to use it.

The following sections give a High Budget Solution and Low Budget Solutions; however both solutions incorporate training and Computer Hardware and Software

6.1 High budget solution

Computers

A Higher Spec computer x 6 = £3676.56

Figure 6. Showing Computer Specification. http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/5083730.htm?_$ja=tsid:11527%7Ccc:%7Cprd:5083730%7Ccat:office%2C+pcs+and+phones+%2F+computers+and+monitors+%2F+desktop+computers+%2F#pdpFullProductInformation 17/1/11

Microsoft Licence for 6 Computers x 3 = £644.97

Figure 7 Showing the price of the Office 2010 Software

European Computer Driving License x 6 = £1500 http://www.liv.ac.uk/csd/training/ecdl/index.htm 17/1/11
This includes online registration and exam fees as well as expenses for learning.
Broken down as follows
£30 registration
£70 exam Fees Per Person
£150 Expenses for learning

Printers x 6 = £1242

Figure 8 Showing the Printer Pricehttp://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?q=printer+scanner+copier&hl=en&show=dd&cid=14964164967714077443&ei=ZWU0TfDXDJL-wAXzodCzDg&sa=title&ved=0CD4Q8wIwCTg8#p 17/1/11

Sage Accounting Software Package = £445

Figure 9 Showing Sage Accounts package http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?q=sage+software+uk&hl=en&cid=15902159972309539944&ei=fmY0TcX3GZL-wAXzodCzDg&sa=title&ved=0CAcQ8wIwADgA#p 17/1/11

Networking

6 double points £130
24 u patch panel £50
7 u cabinet £125
Dell server £314

Total Cost of Network installation provided DataCat http://www.datacat.co.uk/price-list.php
= £619

Storage £940

Figure 10 A 2Tb storage system

Database and Diary system development= £3500

Total Cost of System £13825.38 + Vat. This price includes a 10% commision fee for the System Developer
6.2 Low Budget Solution
For the Lower budget solution, the system will include the same elements of the higher budget, but lower specification equipment. For the business system I am recommending Sages Act business software. It has the majority of the functions that are required for the company, however it is not bespoke and may have some limitations that a custom built system would not.

Computers x 3 -£1200

Figure 11. Showing lower Specification computer
Microsoft Office Software x 2 = £428

Sage Software ACT! = £455

Figure 12 Showing the Sage Act system price

Sage Accounting Software = £445

Networking

6 double points £130
24 u patch panel £50
7 u cabinet £125
Dell server £314

Total Cost of Network installation provided DataCat http://www.datacat.co.uk/price-list.php
= £619

Storage – Portable Harddrive =£64 http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?q=1tb+external+hard+drive&hl=en&cid=4568332296208287988&ei=K3Q0TaDSFoKC3ASZqOiwDg&sa=title&ved=0CDMQ8wIwCDgA#p 17/1/11

Printers x 3 = £144

Figure 13 Showing the Lower spec Printer Scanner Copiershttp://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?q=printer+scanner+copier&hl=en&cid=11625600298241327965&ei=p3U0TZ2LEIGU2QT8ptiVDg&sa=title&ved=0CBAQ8wIwATgA#p 17/1/11

European Computer Driving License x 6 = £1500 http://www.liv.ac.uk/csd/training/ecdl/index.htm 17/1/11
This includes online registration and exam fees as well as expenses for learning.
Broken down as follows
£30 registration
£70 exam Fees Per Person
£150 Expenses for learning

The total Cost of the lower budget system = £4869 = Vat. This price includes a 10% fee for the systems development.

My Recommendation

Based on the size of the business and the technical experience within the company, I would suggest opting for the lower budget solution. The reason for this is that the computer systems that come with the lower solution are lower specification; they are still powerful enough to cope with the business now and for the next 4 years at least. As well as this the networking is the same price however it does give room for an expansion in computer operations. The printers that are in the lower budget are again lower specification, yet they will do the same job as the higher specification printer.
Also the Sage ACT! Business systems are a cheaper alternative to having a custom built system and it does look if it will serve the same purpose.

Not mentioning that there is a £9000 price difference

The Budgeting part of the development is again part of the Prototyping section of a life cycle model
7Dataflow Diagrams

What is a Dataflow diagram?

A data flow diagram is used in Systems Analysis Design to show the flow of information in the business. This is summarised in the following quote

“Information Flow Diagrams provide a simplistic overview of how information is routed between different parts of an organization and also how information is communicated between the internal and external components of an organization.”
Yull, S, 2009. BTEC National for IT Practitioners : Core Units :Common Core and Specialist Units for All Pathways. 1st ed. Oxford: Elslevier Ltd. P76

With this in mind, a data flow diagram shows the person what is happening in a business and this is shown in a diagram using symbols. The symbols that I use within the diagram are those that are used within the Structured System Analysis and Design Method (SSADM)

A Process is the following

1 Role or Location

Meaningful Process Description

Figure 14 A process symbol

The Process incorporates a unique number or reference followed by where or who does this process, and in the main bulk of the box a description of what happens An External entity
Customer
Customer

Figure 15 Diagram showing external Entity and duplicate entity Symbol

An external entity is symbolized by an oval symbol with what the external entity is. In the examples case the external entity is a customer. The oval with the line in the corner symbolizes the same entity, but it’s duplicated elsewhere in the flow diagram. Once the entity has been duplicated, all of the symbols must have the line in the corner of the symbol. Also the name of the entity can only be singular. So the example cannot be described as “Customers.”

Data Store

Data storage in a SSDAM is represented in an open ended box as shown below
D1
Database & Online Diary

Figure 16 Diagram of a Data Storage Symbol

D1
Database & Online Diary
The “D” Represent that the storage is digital and the number is again the unique reference number that is used. If the Data Store is used again elsewhere then the Symbol would have a line at the far left of the box as shown in the diagram below

Figure 17 A duplicate data storage symbol

If data storage is a paper based storage, or something is physically stored then the ‘D’ would be replaced with an ‘M’ for manual.

Data Flow

An arrow is used to represent the flow of information between a process and external entity or a data store. This flow of information must have a label to show what is actually moving.

Different levels of Data Flow Diagrams

Data Flow Diagrams have different levels ranging from Level 0 to Level 3. For this report I have created a Level 1 DFD and also a Level 2 DFD.

The Level 1 DFD shows all the major processes of the system and their interrelation. A Level 2 DFD is a decomposition of a process shown in a Level 1 DFD and generally shows the intricacy of the process described. The following pages show Levels 1 & 2 Data Flow Diagrams for the Car Hire Company.

Level 1 Data Flow Diagram

Level 2 Data Flow Diagram

1 Office

1.1 Office 1.2 Office 1.3 Office

Greets Customer and inputs Checks availability of Date Input booking into Diary

Customer Customers Details to Database and Car Availability and move on to Process 2

Customer Information D1
Database & Online Diary Contact Date

8 ERD of New System The first process in designing a database is to develop an Entity Relationship Diagram.
This is classed as a Top Down approach involving entity analysis techniques.
An Entity is a thing of interest about which data is kept. An example of this would be the customer, order or employee. Every Entity in an ERD will become a table in the database.

In an Entity Relationship Diagram the symbol for an entity is a rounded rectangle with the name of the entity inside it.

Customer

Figure18 An example of an Entity symbol

The entities are then connected by the use of cardinality. Cardinality is looking at whether there are one or many relationships between the entities.

Customer
Customer

Order

Order

Figure19Figure 20
An example of a connection between entities an example of a one tomany relationships

Raj’s Car Hire Entity Relationship Diagram Customer ID
Invoice No
Maintenance ID
Vehicle ID
Booking No.

This Entity Relationship diagram is worded as; The Customer may have one or many Bookings. A Booking will have one or many Vehicles. A Vehicle will be Maintained possibly several times

Many Bookings can lead to One Invoice

9Data Dictionaries

When designing a database it is necessary to create a data dictionary.
A definition of a data dictionary is
“In database management systems a file that defines the basic organization of adatabase. A data dictionary contains a list of all files in the database, the number of records in each file, and the names and types of each field. Most database management systems keep the data dictionary hidden from users to prevent them from accidentally destroying its contents. Data dictionaries do not contain any actual data from the database, only bookkeeping information for managing it. Without a data dictionary, however, a database management system cannot access data from the database.” (http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/D/data_dictionary.html)

The Data Dictionary for the customers table of the Database would look like the figure below

| Data Type | Field Size | Input Mask | Customer ID | Auto Number | Long Integer | | Forename | Text | 15 | >L…...

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