Business Systems Analysis (pdf)

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Business Systems AnalysisINFS 5093SP2 2018 Systems Analysis AssignmentIntroductionThis document extends the instructions on the course website. Read the instructions on the coursewebsite in addition to this document.This assessment consists ofA case study that requires you to apply your learning from the systems planning module.An ethical analysis which requires you to apply one of the readings provided on the coursewebsite.A conceptual development section that requires you to consider how systems planning tasksimpact on a systems development project.A peer review/learning reflection section; students who are working in teams are to answer thepeer review questions; students working independently are to answer the learning reflectionquestions.The feedback sheet lists the assessment criteria. Look for it on the assessment’s webpage. Take noteof which sections carry the most marks.Note that this document’s word count is 3650 without any answers, soDon’t worry if the final word count seems high.Also, there are some diagrams in this assessment so don’t worry if the final word count seemslow.Draw the diagrams by hand, photograph, and insert the photographs in this file. If you prefer, youcan use Word’s drawing tools (or some other drawing or modelling software) but you may findworking with pen and paper is faster, easier to amend, less cumbersome, and more reliable withrespect to layout.When referring to the exemplars on the course website, read the old assessment specificationscarefully because the assessments differ every study period.InstructionsIn the previous study period, teams spent an average of 41 hourson this assessment.Pace your team accordingly.For best resultsoDo not attempt to complete the whole assessment in one session.oWork slowly and carefully.In addition to the instructions on the course websiteDo not overlook the ‘Why?’ questions.Read the case study carefully.1
Keep track of the hours you spend.Make assumptions where necessary. Scope for assumptions has been deliberately included in thisassessment because it is often necessary to make assumptions openly when dealing with a clientwho is under-informed with respect to information systems. Label assumptions clearly. Here’s anexample from a previous study period,Assumption: As the passengers of Titanic II may be from any nation, we have assumed acurrency converter is required for the ticket-purchasing function.Case study: Nexus DistributionFrom the systems planning assignmentNexus Distribution is a small film distribution agency that focuses on limited release art-house films.It has been in business for a decade and has an existing information system for administering itsbusiness processes. Joy Moody started Nexus with her long-time professional contact DeaneJackson. Joy has a leadership and marketing role and Deane manages operations. Louise Taylor andElizabeth Page are spotters who attend film festivals (eg Sundance, Cannes, Sydney, Toronto,London, etc), identifying films that align with the Nexus Distribution focus, bidding for, and oftensigning, those films. This team of four work closely to sign 15-20 films each year, optimising thedistribution of each film so that returns for Nexus and for their clients (the film-makers and thetheatres) are maximised.The existing information system consists of three databases.CatalogueDistributionNetworkTravelLouise and Elizabeth do most of their work while travelling and they communicate with Deane viaemail, text messaging and phone calls. Louise and Elizabeth attend only the largest film festivalstogether; usually they work independently of each other. When they are at a film festival, they workhighly irregular hours and, in addition to the tasks outlined above, their work includes socialisingwith, and occasionally entertaining, potential and existing clients. Clients are entertained when thefilm they have made is of such high quality that more than one distribution agency is competing forits distribution rights. In these cases, Elizabeth and Louise take the clients out for dinner or to a barin order to build robust working relationships and to create an opportunity for uninterrupteddiscussion of why and how the client’s interests are best served by Nexus. Louise and Elizabeth areconsummate networkers; they are confident, good-humoured and charming in all socialcircumstances, building relationships with and between people working at all levels of theinternational art-house film industry.However, the communication practices between Nexus staff are not up to date and this has led toinefficiencies and wastage of Louise and Elizabeth’s talents and efforts. As their time at film festivalsis expensive (flights, accommodation, registration fees, entertainment costs, etc) it is desirable thattheir time is not wasted. For example, a new film may be shown at several film festivalssimultaneously; if Elizabeth has already seen it at Toronto and passed on it (or bid for it and signedit), when Louise is at the Venice film festival, she does not need to waste her time viewing that film2
and can focus on other films. There are many other instances in which their communicationpractices fail to optimise the (mostly asynchronous) day-to-day collaborations between Louise,Elizabeth and Deane.While Louise and Elizabeth work on building Nexus’s catalogue, Deane builds its distribution network(in addition to his significant administrative role). This entails signing various distribution serviceproviders (both independent and chain) to the Nexus distribution network. A distribution serviceprovider might be a VOD (Video on Demand) provider, a chain of theatres, an independent theatre,etc. Deane spends about half of his recruitment effort approaching providers that do not alreadyscreen art-house films. The other half is spent on providers which already adopt an art-house focus.While it is a key facet of the Nexus business model, building the distribution network does notconsume anywhere near as much effort, money and time as spotting films. Deane estimates that forevery dollar spent on building the distribution network, a hundred are spent on spotting films.Deane is directly responsible for accounting, travel arrangements and reporting. Also, he is indirectlyresponsible for contracts, which he outsources to a legal firm specialising in contracts for this type ofwork.Joy’s role is largely centred on vision and leadership. However, prior to starting Nexus she built areputation in film marketing and her practical skills in this area are an essential ingredient in Nexus’ssuccess. Every time a new film is signed to Nexus, Joy, Deane, Louise, Elizabeth and the film-makershave a four hour meeting. Occasionally, these meetings are in person, but more often they are heldonline. These meetings can be hard to schedule because participants are very busy and in differenttime zones.During these meetings, in order to design the film’s marketing strategy, they leverage Louise orElizabeth’s observations of the film, Deane’s knowledge of the Nexus distribution network, Joy’smarketing expertise and the client’s vision. A marketing strategy includes artistic vision, media,release windows and release schedule.Artistic vision is primarily driven by the client and Joy with input from Louise or Elizabeth. It isactioned by Deane, who reviews the artists who have worked with Nexus in the past, considers theartistic vision, and prioritises the artists according to how well their unique talent, reliability andexperience match up with the marketing strategy’s artistic vision. After the meeting, Deaneapproaches the artists one by one to discuss their availability and to eventually establish a contract.Media (film, video, television, DVD, VOD, etc) is negotiated between Joy, whose mission is tooptimise returns, and the film-maker, whose mission is exposure. With input from Louise andElizabeth, who have viewed more films than anyone else in the meeting and who therefore have themost comprehensive view of the international market, a binding consensus is reached anddocumented.Joy and Deane, who aim to maximise the size of the audience, are largely responsible fordetermining release windows and schedule, however the client’s needs are taken into consideration.This is achieved by application of market intelligence and expertise. In most cases, a film is screenedin theatres on a schedule that will maximise the audience (eg avoidance of major cultural events,avoidance of similar films, knowledge of forthcoming films, etc). Also, films are screened in theatres3
(primary distribution service providers) prior to being released via secondary distribution serviceproviders (eg VOD service providers, DVD runs, etc). The duration for which the film is screened intheatres depends upon various factors (audience, the film’s performance in other markets, theagreement between Nexus and the film-makers, the agreement between Nexus and the theatres,etc). For most films, the theatrical release date is preceded by four weeks of postering and trailers,wherever possible working with the film-makers in order to leverage the social profiles of those whoworked on the film (eg the actors and crew). For highly anticipated films, these four weeks mayextend to six or eight and may require Deane to schedule interviews for the film-makers or actorswith local media.Although the existing IS meets Nexus’s administrative needs, the ongoing daily communicationproblems and the difficulties of scheduling and running online meetings need to be addressed.Deane thinks Nexus needs its own app so that database updates can be done by anyone at any timeand he has contacted your workplace, IT Foundry, to enquire further. You have been allocated thetask of systems planning for the development of an app for Nexus.Also, although they are very talented, experienced and respected in their fields, the entire Nexusteam are inexperienced in systems analysis and design. They are confident you will come up withrelevant ideas, they anticipate your suggestions and they expect you to catalyse and drive alltechnical aspects of the project. These clients are very much open to suggestion.New informationThe preliminary investigation you wrote up for the Nexus project enabled you to develop a basicunderstanding of the business context. Your scope lists captured the project’s key elements andmade a positive impression on Joy, Deane, Louise and Elizabeth. They have approved the project’sprogression to system analysis and you have scheduled a meeting with them.Recall: you can make assumptions in this assignment (as noted in the instructions above). Also, youcan use the course forum if you have any questions.1.Prepare for this meeting. Write an agenda that includes six topics you would like to discuss withthem (if you do not know what an agenda is, look it up on the internet). These topics should bederived from your planning documents and should enable your clients to talk about the thingsyou need to know during systems analysis (eg, the data and how it is processed).Agenda 1: System requirements and its analysisAgenda 2: Organizational structure of Nexus DistributionAgenda 3: System analysis as per requirementsAgenda 4: Design of system interfacesAgenda 5: System developmentAgenda 6: System diagrams and client’s approvalAfter this meeting, the following requirements are known:4
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