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Complete Systems Analysis: Your Project Starts Here

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The authors of Complete Systems Analysis introduce you to their project to help you learn systems analysis and/or to improve your analysis skills—The Picadilly Project. Once you finish the Piccadilly Project and the practice exercises along the way, you will have enough hands-on experience to be able to apply these analysis techniques to your own projects.

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This chapter is from the book

Your Client

Nestled amongst the soft green hills of the English Midlands is the market town of Nuffield-on-the-Moor. A good place to start exploring the town is from the river. Cross Upminster Bridge and walk through Stonebridge Park until you come to the Elephant and Castle public house. Turn left here and you’ll find yourself in a large cobbled square. This is the market square, and, today being Wednesday, it is crowded with farmers, artisans, housewives, and children from the surrounding districts. Today is market day.

Figure 1.1.1

Figure 1.1.1: The market town of Nuffield-on-the-Moor.

Walk around the market and sample some of the regional products. See the homemade, unpasteurized green cheese, taste the fresh pepper pickles, buy a dozen smoked quail eggs, try a pint of freshly brewed malt ale, or buy a hand-thrown Nuffield pot as a souvenir. When you have eaten and drunk your fill, look around the charming Norman church in the southeast corner of the square. The church warden will lend you the key to the bell tower. Now climb the one hundred and forty-two steps to the top of the tower. You may get out of breath, but it’s worth the effort. Spread below you are some of the richest farmlands and prettiest villages in England.

However, green fields are not all you can see. In the distance, the factory chimneys, cooling towers, motorways, and all the other clutter of industrial complexes and large towns bring you back to the twentieth century. Now turn your attention to the west. Perched at the top of Nuffield hill, you can see the Piccadilly Television transmission tower.

Piccadilly Television holds the franchise for this part of the Midlands of England. Nuffield-on-the-Moor is located at the geographic center of Piccadilly’s franchise area, so by locating the transmission tower here, Piccadilly ensures that all the households in the area get good television reception.

A franchise entitles the holder to be the sole transmitter of television programmes and commercials within a defined geographical area. While a franchise holder has a monopoly in one region, most products are advertised nationally. A commercial television company is therefore competing with companies in other regions for a share of an advertiser’s national budget. This is a very competitive business, and that is the reason you’re here in Nuffield-on-the-Moor: Piccadilly is about to launch a project with the objective of building a new computer system to help get more of the advertisers’ money. The new system must be the best in the industry to give it an edge on the other commercial television franchise holders. Piccadilly management has decided that the best way to take maximum advantage of the latest technology is to have the project team study most of Piccadilly’s operations. The final decision on what is to be computerized will be made when the analysis is complete.

You are the chief systems analyst on the project. To help you get started, Piccadilly has provided some background material on how the British television industry works. Read through it, then we’ll discuss ways to tackle the project.

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