Systems Analysis and Design Instructor's Manual
Preparing the Systems Proposal
Key Points and Objectives
In order to prepare the systems proposal in an effective way, systems analysts must use a
systematic approach to identify hardware and software needs—ascertaining hardware and
software needs, identifying and forecasting costs and benefits, comparing costs and benefits, and
choosing the most appropriate alternative.
In ascertaining hardware and software needs, systems analysts may take the following steps.
First, inventory computer hardware already available in the organization. Second, estimate both
current and projected workload for the system.
Then, evaluate the performance of hardware and
software using some predetermined criteria.
Next, choose the vendor according to the evaluation.
Finally, acquire the hardware and software from the selected vendor.
When inventorying computer hardware, systems analysts should check such items as type of
equipment, repair status of equipment, estimated age of equipment, projected life of equipment,
physical location of equipment, department or person responsible for equipment, and financial
arrangement for equipment.
When evaluating hardware, the involved persons, including management, users, and systems
analysts, should take the following criteria into consideration: time required for average
transactions (including time for input and output), total volume capacity of the system, idle time
of the central processing unit, and size of memory provided.
When evaluating hardware vendors, the selection committee needs to consider hardware support,
software support, installation and training support, and maintenance support as well as the
performance of the hardware.
When evaluating software packages, the selection committee needs to take the following factors
into consideration as well as total dollar amount to purchase them.
They are: performance
effectiveness, performance efficiency, ease of use, flexibility, quality of documentation, and
Analysts may need to weigh the options for building custom software, purchasing COTS
(commercial off-the-shelf) software, or using an application service provider (ASP).
A decision support system should be able to support multiple-criteria decision making.
available for this support include a weighing method, sequential elimination by lexicography,
sequential elimination by conjunctive constraints, goal programming, Analytic Hierarchy
Processing (AHP), expert systems, neural nets, and recommendation systems.
Analytic Hierarchy Processing requires decision makers to judge the relative importance of each
criteria and indicate their preference regarding the importance of each alternative criteria.