Preliminary Survey & Feasibility Study Preliminary Survey and feasibility study are generally described as stages in which the computer application is either approved or not approved. The major difference between Preliminary Survey and feasibility study is the amount of effort and level of detail involved. IS dept conduct a survey to see what type of system is needed and to eliminate grossly inappropriate system alternatives. In preliminary survey we suggest what type of system might meet requirements. The feasibility study has to contain enough detail about the alternatives so that one alternative can be selected for development. Before any type of survey or feasibility study can be undertaken we have to obtain a feeling of the existing system. Knowing Existing System It will be hard to identify any organized set of procedures that represent the existing information processing system. IS dept need to enumerate problems and determine what motivated the suggestion that a new system will help in processing information. Analysis of the current system Also known as: feasibility stage. Analyze the current situation at a high level. A DFD (Data Flow Diagram) is used to describe how the current system works and to visualize known problems. The following steps are part of this stage: A model of the business activity is built. Business events and business rules would also be investigated as an input to the specification of the new automated system. Investigate and define requirements. The objective of this step is to identify the problems associated with the current environment that are to be resolved by the new system. It also aims to identify the additional services to be provided by the new system and users of the new system. Investigate current processing. It investigates the information flow associated with the services currently provided, and describes them in the form of Data Flow Model. At this point, the Data Flow Model represents the current services with all their deficiencies. No attempt is made to incorporate required improvement, or new facilities. Investigate current data. This step is to identify and describe the structure of the system data, independently of the way the data are currently held and organized. It produces a model of data that supports the current services. Derive logical view of current services. The objective of this step is to develop a logical view of the current system that can be used to understand problems with the current system. Summary of what all factors should be analyzed in the existing system Decisions 1. Who is the major Decision Maker in system running. 2. What is the major Input 3. What is the actual output getting 4. How often decision taking is carried out during the running of the system. (Frequency) 5. cost incurred in each level of system. Information 1. Detection of crucial information flow 2. Various Attributes of information 3. In what format the information is received by the system. 4. Actual source of information 5. Actual storage of information. Processing 1. Detect major operations in the system. 2. Identify who is responsible for performing the major processes. 3. Identify what is the peak load experienced by the system. 4. Identify what is the average load experienced by the system. Cost 1. Estimate the current cost of information processing. Preliminary Survey Feasibility Study Develop very rough estimate Develop a refined and of the new system. comparatively accurate estimate of the new system. Collect sample of documents, Study of documents, Trace the interview only a few people flow of information through the and use approximations. system and spend time with people who originate and process the data. Suggest different Evaluate each of the alternative solutions for alternative on technical, the existing system . operational and economic criteria. Estimate technical and operational feasibility and compare cost with benefits. Outline Of Preliminary Survey & Feasibility Study Contents Summary :Presents a brief overview of the reasons for the study and ranks each processing alternative (including the present system) on the criteria established by the steering committee. This summary is the primary input for decision making. 1. Goals 2. For each alternative evaluation on standard Criteria Description of the Existing System 1. Problems 2. Goals of new System 3. Decision Considerations 4. Information Flow 5. Processing Finally each alternative is presented in detail. (Present a scenario on how the system would actually be used Include management, User, and IS Dept activities under each alternative.) For each alternative proposed 1. Overview-Percentage of goals achieved, benefits 2. Decisions 3. Information Flows 4. Technical details( Files, I/O, processing) 5. Development effort, Schedule, Cost 6. Operational aspects 8. Impact on the Organization (Which depts. and individuals will be affected by the system? what jobs will be changed? what will happen to any employees who are replaced by a system? Will the system provide additional Organizational flexibility? Will it affect the relationship b/w the Organization and its suppliers or customers?) 9.Total Cost versus Benefits Total System cost =Development Cost + Operations Cost Development Cost 1. Computer Time 2. System Analyst Time 3. Programmer Time 4. User Time Operation Cost 1. Computer Cost 2. Communication Cost 3. Operating Staff Cost 4. Incremental user cost 5. Maintenance Cost List of benefits to be considered for feasibility analysis Ability to obtain information previously unavailable (Tangible) Receipt of information on amore timely basis (Tangible). Improvement in operations (Tangible) The ability to perform calculations not possible before. (e.g.: simulation of product schedules) (Tangible) Reduction in clerical activity (Tangible) Improvements in decision making (Intangible) Improvements in customer service, image etc (Intangible) Generation of increased revenue (tangible) Ability to respond faster to changing conditions (tangible) Improvements in the working environment (Intangible) Ability to reengineer or make major improvements in a process. (tangible) Decision Making Body A steering committee should be formed for the selection of new applications. steering committee should ideally be comprise of a joint group of users, management, and the IS Dept staff. Through the use of the committee it is less likely that the department will be criticized for making arbitrary judgments. Management IS Dept Users Furnish the overall Provide Supply data goals of the technical specific to the organization Information problem area under consideration. Problems which can arise with the steering committee Lack of Commitment from the Management Side. Lack of Purpose :No one seems to know why the meetings are held. steering committee degenerate into design sessions. The set of criteria on which survey and Feasibility Study should be evaluated. 1. Time to implement the system. 2. Tangible and intangible savings 3. Benefits to the users 4. Total Cost 5. Effect on existing computer operations 6. Maintenance costs 7. Level of uncertainty (cost, benefit, development) 8. Potential revenue gains to the Org.
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