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ISY00243 Systems Analysis and Design

Answer:

Grow Your Business is a small business that produces fully organic vegetables for sale to its customers in the surrounding areas and fruits on a small scale basis. The business is owned by John Jones who inherited the farm from his late Grandfather. John has a partner called Jane who is also his wife. John deals with all matters production and harvesting while Jane deals with the client side of the business which comprises of dealing with the clients, their orders, pickups and payments. The business has a simple business model where by John produces vegetables organically and for this reason his customers are willing to pay a fair amount of money to get the produce. The customers make their orders through a phone call and it’s through the phone call that they are informed of other existing products they can purchase. After making an order the customers have to come and collect the order from the farm. Because of its reputation in producing fully organic foods, the business is growing at a very fast pace. John and Jane have employed a few staff to help with different aspects of the business. Some of the staff answer to John while the rest of the staff answer to Jane. However, employing new staff has not fully solved the problems that keep arising with the constant growth in the business thus Jane thinks there is need to purchase an information system which will be used to run the Farm. Organizational chart

Business functions to be handled by the new IS

With the ongoing plan to purchase an information system to help manage all the possible aspects, John and Jane are hopeful that the information system will handle the following functions;

  • The new information system should help maintain a record of all customers served by the business. Each customer will have their own account that they can use to login and perform various functions that require a customer to be logged in.
  • The new information system should provide an interface through which customers can view different produce items that are available for sale.
  • The new information system should provide a function through which customers can place an order for different items. The business should be able to view all the orders made by the customers so that all the packaging can be done according to the orders. The person in charge of orders should be able to update those orders that are ready for delivery. This section of the information system can be referred to as the order management subsystem and will be a module of the complete information system.
  • The system should be able to recommend items to customers based on their previous orders while the customer is placing an order. This functionality will act as a basic recommender system to help customers place orders more quickly.
  • The system should provide a functionality to update quantities that are available for sale by maintaining some a custom inventory subsystem. This sub system will be used by the production department to update items as they are harvested.
  • The system should provide a function to record payments for various orders by customers. Recording the orders will help the business to know their income at any times.
  • The system should be able to create, track and maintain documentation for John’s organic growing methods for all types of vegetables and fruits that are grown in the farm. This sub system can be implemented as a part of the information system or can be implemented as a small system itself.
  • The system should provide a module to track deliveries for orders placed by customers. The system should help determine the best delivery schedule for various orders at a given time using the customer’s address.

System vision document

Problem description

Grow Your Business has adopted a fully organic model of farming vegetables and fruits and for this reason, the business has been able to get a lot of customers who are willing to place orders and pick up the orders from the farm. The number of customers is growing exponentially so is the activities of the farm. Initially, John and Jane were able to manage the production and harvesting aspects of the farm as the well as the client and orders side of the business with a help of a few staff. However, with the current growth, the business is losing some of its customers because of lack of simplified ways to place orders and to pick the order. The business itself is also finding it hard to track payments for various orders made by their customers. With all the current challenges the business is facing, Jane is assured that an information system is the solution to deal with the current challenges faced by the business and to improve the business operations significantly.

Expected business benefits

Implementing an information system will be very beneficial to the business in many aspects. Some of the benefits expected include;

  • The system will help to create, track and maintain records of all the customers. Each customer will have an account in the system and they will use the account to perform functions that require a customer to be logged in.
  • The system will help create, track and maintain a record of all items sold by the business. This feature will be implemented as an inventory system. By linking the inventory system with the orders web page, customers will be able to see items that are available for sale so that they can make orders. The inventory sub subsystem will also help the business to track their harvests.
  • The system will help create customers to make orders using a web form. The web form will simplify the ordering process significantly as it will have a simple recommender system that will recommend items to customers based on their previous orders. For the business, the system will enable them to see orders that have been placed so that they can package the items. This will greatly reduce the time between making of the order and delivery of the order as it is will be easy to track orders.
  • The system will help the business to track and maintain deliveries for various orders. By using the system to manage the deliveries, the business will be able to track which deliveries have already been made and which are pending at any moment in time. This will ensure that the no single order misses its delivery unless for unexpected circumstances.
  • It is expected that the system will run on a backend database which will be used to store all the data. This data can be very beneficial to the business as it can be analyzed to give business insights which will help the business to make better and informed decisions based on the previous data generated overtime by the business.

System capabilities

The proposed information system will be implemented in form of different modules each delegated to perform different functions according to the operations of the business (Nishardha, 2015). The current structure of the organization is made up of two departments; production and harvesting department and the clients and orders department. The proposed system should be able to help the organization to achieve the following capabilities;

  • The new information system should provide an interface through which customers can view different produce items that are available for sale. This can be done through a web page structured as an e-commerce website.
  • The new information system should help maintain a record of all customers served by the business. A customer will be required to register using a registration form and log in using a login form for them to access their profile. Their profile will show the history of their previous orders.
  • The new information system should provide a function through which customers can place an order for different items. This feature will be implemented using a cart where customers will add items they want to buy to the cart.
  • The business should be able to view all the orders made by the customers so that all the packaging can be done according to the orders. The person in charge of orders should be able to update those orders that are ready for delivery. This section of the information system can be referred to as the order management subsystem and will be a module of the complete information system.
  • The system should be able to recommend items to customers based on their previous orders while the customer is placing an order. This functionality will act as a basic recommender system to help customers place orders more quickly.
  • The system should provide a functionality to update quantities that are available for sale by maintaining some a custom inventory subsystem. This sub system will be used by the production department to update items as they are harvested.
  • The system should provide a function to record payments for various orders by customers. Recording the orders will help the business to know their income at any times.
  • The system should be able to create, track and maintain documentation for John’s organic growing methods for all types of vegetables and fruits that are grown in the farm. This sub system can be implemented as a part of the information system or can be implemented as a small system itself.
  • The system should provide a module to track deliveries for orders placed by customers. The system should help determine the best delivery schedule for various orders at a given time using the customer’s address.

Tasks and their duration


Task

Duration

Meeting with all farm staff

2 days

Staff interviews

5 days

Review records

2 days

Observing business operations

2 days

Customer interviews

1 day

Analyze accounting processes

2 days

Studying sample of orders and payment transactions

2 days

Home delivery field work

2 days

Report preparation

1 day

Overall duration of the project

The overall duration in days is 19 days

Possible risks

Number

Risk

Description

Probability of occurrence

1

Scope creep

Unforeseen requirements come up thus leading to an increase in the scope of the project (Boyen, 2013)

Low

2

Lack of executive support

The executive directors do not fully support the project for example Jack Jones may not be on board since he is used to working with no information system.

Very low

3

Disengagement of critical stakeholders

Some critical stakeholders in the project are not engaged in the project because of lack of communication using the agreed upon channels

Low

4

Underestimation of the schedule

Time required to complete some tasks is not enough

Low

5

Underestimation of the budget

The budget estimated to complete the project is not enough

Low

6

Shallow scope definition

The scope is not defined to details thus some activities may be missing

Low

7

Change in the business

The business shifts to another model of doing business like selling another product completely different from the current products

Very low

8

Unguided expectations from the end users

End users are not satisfied with the product (Lornegan, 2015)

Low

9

Misunderstanding between stakeholders

Stakeholders do not agreed on certain requirements

Low

10

Loss of a key member in the development team

A critical member in the development quits or falls ill and is unable to perform the role allocated to him or her

Low

System benefits

Implementation of the system will result to the following benefits.

  • The proposed information system will simplify the process of creating and maintaining customer records through customer registrations.
  • The proposed system will make it easier for customers to view items that are available at the moment.
  • The proposed system will make it easier for customers to place their orders.
  • The proposed system will make it easier for the business to see orders that have been placed.
  • The proposed system will make it easy for the farm to record all harvests that has been made as stock in.
  • The proposed system will make it easy to document and maintain organic procedures followed to grow different vegetables and fruits.
  • The proposed system will create an online identity for the business thus giving the business an edge of its competition.
  • Data generated by the system overtime can be analyzed to facilitate better decision making based on the insights from the data.

Costs

Activity

Estimated cost

Requirement Engineering

$4500

Development costs

$35000

Purchase of cloud services (per year)

$500

Training

$3000

Maintenance per year (after the second year)

$1000

Cost benefit analysis

Cost benefit analysis helps to determine whether the project is worth undertaking or not. BY doing cost benefit analysis the organization is able to compare the cost of the information system with the returns expected to be generated because of the information system (Langer, 2007). According to the cost specified in section 4.3 above the total estimated cost for the system for the next 5yrs is $49000. This cost does outweigh the profits that the business will incur as a result of implementing the system. The system will result to more customers and better management of all aspects of the business whether production and harvesting side and the client and orders side of the business. Improved business process means that the business will be able to serve more customers and this will result to more profits.

Assumptions and interpretations

  • The application will run a private cloud with Software As A service (SAAS) capabilities. This will significantly reduce the cost the business would have incurred to setup their own server room
  • The application will be designed as a web based application system that will be able to run on both mobile and desktop devices. This means that the web application should have a high degree of mobile friendliness as more people are using mobile phones.
  • Training is compulsory for all the staff of the business.

Recommendation

With the current growth in the business this project is feasible because it will help the business to handle the growth by providing an efficient and easy way to deal with data and different operations of the business. Thus my recommendation is that this project should proceed according to the schedule and the budget specified.

Requirements gathering techniques

The following methods of fact finding or requirements gathering can be used;

  • Questionnaires- This technique involves preparing questionnaires which are given to the staff in order to get facts from their answers of the questionnaire (Famuyide, 2013).
  • Observation- This technique involves observing the business process sometimes even engaging in the process so as to understand everything about the businessInterview questions

The selected persons for the interview are Jack and Jane who have primary roles in the farm. Jack is in charge of production and harvesting while Jane is in charge of the clients, orders and deliveries. The interview is estimated to take up to 1 hour for both Jack and Jane.

Interview with Jack

The following set questions are expected to be answered by Jack. The interview will be a combination of structured and unstructured i.e. semi-structured meaning the interview can deviate a bit from the questions in order to clarify on other areas not specifically covered in the interview.

  1. How many types of vegetables do you produce for sale?
  2. What is the normal procedure followed when a plant is ready to harvest and people can start making orders?
  3. How do you record the vegetables that have already been harvested and ready for sale?
  4. How do you track the usage of the raw materials from planting to harvesting of each type of vegetable?
  5. How do you know which vegetable is on more demand than other vegetables?
  6. Do you think an information system can help make some work easier for you?
  7. What would you recommend the new information system to feature and how would you like it to help you?

Interview with Jane

The following set questions are expected to be answered by Jane. The interview will be a combination of structured and unstructured i.e. semi-structured meaning the interview can deviate a bit from the questions in order to clarify on other areas not specifically covered in the interview;

  1. How do you track your customers?
  2. How do you receive orders from your customers?
  3. How do you record orders that have been made by customers?
  4. How do you verify if the item that the customer is ordering is available?
  5. How do you track the orders that have been processed and those that are pending?
  6. How do you receive payments for the orders and how do you know which order has been paid for and which order has not been paid for?
  7. How will be the deliveries for different orders take place?
  8. How do you track which deliveries have been made and which are still pending?
  9. Would you recommend a customer to track his or her order delivery status?
  10. How would you recommend the proposed information system to track customers, orders or deliveries?

These interview questions should lead to more questions that will help get more facts from both John and Jane.

Main functions

  • The new information system should provide an interface through which customers can view different produce items that are available for sale. This can be done through a web page structured as an e-commerce website.
  • The new information system should help maintain a record of all customers served by the business. A customer will be required to register using a registration form and log in using a login form for them to access their profile. Their profile will show the history of their previous orders.
  • The new information system should provide a function through which customers can place an order for different items. This feature will be implemented using a cart where customers will add items they want to buy to the cart.
  • The business should be able to view all the orders made by the customers so that all the packaging can be done according to the orders. The person in charge of orders should be able to update those orders that are ready for delivery. This section of the information system can be referred to as the order management subsystem and will be a module of the complete information system.
  • The system should be able to recommend items to customers based on their previous orders while the customer is placing an order. This functionality will act as a basic recommender system to help customers place orders more quickly.
  • The system should provide a functionality to update quantities that are available for sale by maintaining some a custom inventory subsystem. This sub system will be used by the production department to update items as they are harvested.
  • The system should provide a function to record payments for various orders by customers. Recording the orders will help the business to know their income at any times.
  • The system should be able to create, track and maintain documentation for John’s organic growing methods for all types of vegetables and fruits that are grown in the farm. This sub system can be implemented as a part of the information system or can be implemented as a small system itself.
  • The system should provide a module to track deliveries for orders placed by customers. The system should help determine the best delivery schedule for various orders at a given time using the customer’s address.

Roles 

The following roles will be interacting with the system

  • System administrator- will have access to all the features of the system
  • Accounts module role- will be able to access the accounts module
  • Inventory module role- will be able to access the inventory module
  • Order module role- will be able to access the orders module
  • Customers role- will be able to access customer module of the system.
  • Delivery module role- will be able to access the delivery module

Recommendation

Based on the feasibility study conducted on the project, its economical to undertake the project as it will help the business improve its operations by improving the overall efficiency which will lead to an improved business model that is able to serve more customers. This will in turn lead to a faster growth rate and more profits. The recommended development strategy is to hire an in-house development team that will be develop the information system custom to all the specifications required.

Conclusion

The proposed information system should be implemented to help the business to manage and improve its business processes since the business is already losing customers over something that can be fixed using an information system.

References

Bowen, R., 2013. Types of Feasibility Studies. Bright Hub Project Management. Available at: https://www.brighthubpm.com/project-planning/56372-types-of-feasibility-studies/ [Accessed August 16, 2017].

Famuyide, S., 2013. Data Flow Diagram: A Practical Guide. Business analyst learnings. Available at: https://businessanalystlearnings.com/ba-techniques/2013/2/12/how-to-draw-a-data-flow-diagram [Accessed September 20, 2017].

Langer, A.M., 2007. Analysis and Design of Information Systems Third Edition., New York: Springer.

Lonergan, K., 2015. Example Project risks – good and bad practice: PMIS. Available at: https://www.pmis-consulting.com/example-project-risks-good-and-bad-practice/ [Accessed August 16, 2017].

Nishadha, 2015. Use Case Diagram Tutorial ( Guide with Examples ). Creately. Available at: https://creately.com/blog/diagrams/use-case-diagram-tutorial/ [Accessed September 20, 2017]

Stoy, A., 2010. IT Project Risk Examples. Bright Hub Project Management. Available at: https://www.brighthubpm.com/risk-management/90414-it-project-risk-examples/ [Accessed August 16, 2017].

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