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This chapter is from the book

How You and the Project Come Together

In the next few paragraphs, we’ll explain how you’ll do the systems analysis for Piccadilly Television. For now, ignore all unfamiliar terms, and keep on reading. We’ll give you a complete explanation of them before long.

The Project Section and the Textbook Section of this book teach the modeling techniques you will be using. We will guide you on a trail between the Project and Textbook chapters as the need arises. Later we’ll tell you more about the structure of the book and how the trails work, but now let’s concentrate on how you will do the Piccadilly Project.

At first, since you will be unfamiliar with the Piccadilly organization, you will build models that will be a faithful reproduction of the current business system. We refer to these models as having a physical viewpoint, and you will take the appropriate trail through the book to read about viewpoints and physical models before you have to build one for Piccadilly. You’ll start the analysis by defining the boundaries, and by developing a context diagram.

Analyzing the stored data of a system helps you get a better understanding of the system. That’s why early in the Project, you’ll build a data model. As before, if you are unfamiliar with this type of model, we shall guide you through the data modeling chapter in the Textbook Section, where you can work on some practice exercises before tackling the Piccadilly data model.

After the data model, you’ll need to begin the data dictionary, and then expand your context diagram by building some lower-level physical models. Once you have done these, naturally with the help of the Textbook (if you want it), the Project shifts up a gear and you will start to look at the essential requirements.

The essential requirements are critical to your analysis. The Textbook provides chapters on the essential viewpoint and on event-response models, which are used in the Piccadilly Project to determine the essential, or real, requirements for the television company.

Your next assignment will be to define the essential processes using mini specifications. You will write some for Piccadilly. If you are unfamiliar with developing and using this type of specification, a Textbook chapter will tell you how.

The Project then enters a stage where you will consolidate all of the work you have done to date, and flesh out the analysis by building more event-response models. By now, you will have a good enough understanding of the analysis process to proceed without help from the Textbook-that is, until you come to defining the new requirements.

At this point, you may need help from the Textbook before modeling the additional functions and data that Piccadilly needs to complete the new system. Once the requirements are complete, you will move on to look at how they might be implemented. Here you will use the new physical viewpoint to model your proposals for the computers and human organizations that can successfully carry out the requirements you have gathered during the systems analysis.

This is a long adventure in systems analysis, but we know that by the time you reach the end of the adventure, you will have a complete and practical knowledge of the art and craft of systems analysis.

Now let’s see how you can get the best value out of this book.

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