Information Systems Analysis and Design
[Short Questions; 20 marks total]
(a) [Systems Theory – 5 marks]
Give one example of each of (1) a natural system, (2) a
designed system and (3) a human activity system. For each example, list some of the inputs and
outputs it has with its environment, and identify at least one control mechanism that keeps the
A natural system:
. Inputs: Water, plants and debris that fall in, etc. Outputs: Water (into
the sea); water vapour (by evaporation), fish (extracted by fishers!), etc. Control: the flow of
water keeps the river’s path clear, which means the river keeps flowing that way.
[Many other possible examples, eg: the weather, an ecosystem, a rock, a plant, the human body,
an organ of the human body, etc.
A designed system:
. Inputs: Fuel, passengers, oil, spare parts, etc. Outputs: exhaust,
passengers (at their destination), oil dripping from a leak, etc. Control: the driver controls the car
to prevent it crashing, the engine keeps it moving towards a destination.
[Many other possible examples, eg: a computer, a building, a coffee machine, the filing system in
my office, etc.]
A human activity system:
A football team
. Inputs: new players, food, training, advice from the
coach, sponsorship money. Outputs: scores, damage to football fields, happy spectators, players
(when they leave or retire). Control: The coach keeps the team working together.
[Many other possible examples, eg: will do: e.g. a business, a market, parliament, a club, , the
entire NFL, a meeting, a lecture, a course, etc…
(b) [Feasibility Analysis – 5 marks]
What is the difference between technical feasibility and
operational feasibility? Give an example of a question you might ask (of a stakeholder) when
assessing each of these two types of feasibility.
Technical feasibility refers to what is technologically possible, and whether the necessary
technology can reasonably be obtained for the project, within the project’s constraints.