CIS 321 Case Study ‘Equipment Check-Out System’
MILESTONE 2– PROBLEM ANALYSIS
There’s an old saying that suggests, “Don't try to fix it unless you understand it.” With
those words of wisdom, the next milestone of our project is to study and analyze the
existing system. There is always an existing business system, regardless of whether it
currently uses a computer. The problem analysis phase provides the project team with a
more thorough understanding of the problems, opportunities, and/or directives that
triggered the project. Indeed, the analyst frequently uncovers new problems and
opportunities. The problem analysis phase may answer the questions, “Are the problems
worth solving?'' and “Is a new system worth building?''
The purpose of the problem analysis phase is threefold. First and foremost, the project
team must gain an appropriate understanding of the business problem domain. Second,
we need to answer the question, “Are these problems (opportunities and directives) worth
solving”? Finally, we need to determine if the system is worth developing. The problem
analysis phase provides the systems analyst and project team with a more thorough
understanding of the problems, opportunities, and/or directives that triggered the project.
In the process, they frequently uncover new problems and opportunities.
In this milestone you will perform Cause-Effect Analysis on the Equipment Check-Out
System (ECS) and document your findings using the Problems, Opportunities,
Objectives, and Constraints Matrix. The PIECES framework, originally developed by
James Wetherbe and then adapted by the authors, can serve as a useful tool to classify the
various problems, opportunities, and directives identified in Milestone 1.
After completing this milestone, you should be able to:
Complete the Problems, Opportunities, Objectives, and Constraints Matrix.
Complete the List of Business Activities based on Requirement analysis.
Before starting this milestone, the following topics should be covered:
• The problem analysis phase — Chapters 3 and 5
• PIECES framework — Chapters 3 and 5
• Problem analysis techniques — Chapter 6
• Milestone 1 Solution