ISDP1: system methodologies-PROJECT SELECTION UNIT 1

1.0 INTRODUCTIONSystems analysts do not start working on any projects they desire. They receive a lot of requests from the management for starting different types of projects. When projects are formalized, the systems analysts, under the management’s direction, conduct a preliminary investigation to analyze the reasons for the request and collect various facts to respond to the request in a systematic way. Some projects are feasible, while others many not be feasible for various reasons.2.0 OBJECTIVESAfter going through this unit you will be able to:• describe different reasons for developing new systems projects. • state the different sources of project requests. • discuss how to select a project out of a number of project requests.
  • Why System Projects?

Systems projects are initiated for different reasons. The most important reasons are:

  • Capability

Business activities are influenced by an organization’s ability to process transactions quickly and efficiently. Information systems add capability in three ways:

  • Improved processing speed: The inherent speed with which

computers process data is one reason why organizations seek the development of systems projects.

  • Increased volume: Provide capacity to process a greater amount of activity, perhaps to take advantage of new business opportunities.
  • Faster retrieval of information: Locating and retrieving information from storage. The ability in conducting complex searches.

(b)  Control

  • Greater accuracy and consistency: Carrying out computing steps,

including arithmetic, correctly and consistently.

  • Better security: Safeguarding sensitive and important data in a formthat is accessible only to authorized personnel.

(c)  Communication

  • Enhanced communication. Speeding the flow of information and messages between well as within offices. This includes the transmission of documents within offices.
  • Integration of business ideas: Coordinating business activities taking place in separate areas of an organization, through capture and distribution of information.


  • Monitor costs: Tracking the costs of labor, goods and overhead is

essential to determine whether a firm is performing in line with expectations — within budget.

  • Reduce costs: Using computing capability to process data at a lower cost than possible with other methods, while maintaining accuracy and performance levels.


  • Lock in customers: changing the relationship with the services

provided to customers in such a way that they will not think of changing suppliers.

  • Lockout competitors: Reducing the chances of entering the competitors in the same market because of good information systems being used in the organization.
  • Improve arrangements with suppliers: Changing the pricing, service or delivery arrangements, or relationship between suppliers and the organization to benefit the firm.
  • New product development: Introducing new products with characteristics that use or are influenced by information technology.

Sources of Project Requests

There are mainly four primary sources of project requests. The requesters inside the organization are: Department Managers, Senior Executives and Systems Analysts. In addition, government agencies outside the organization may also ask for information systems projects.

3.2.1 Requests from Department Managers

Frequently, department managers who deal with day-to-day business activities are looking for assistance within their departments. They are often not satisfied with the amount of time that the staff takes to complete the job. Sometimes, they feel that the staff members are involved in duplication of work also. In this case, the manager will discuss this problem with other administrators regarding their clerical as well as processing work and persuade higher authority to approve the development of a computer based system for office administration.

3.2.2 Requests from Senior Executives

Senior executives like presidents, vice-presidents usually have more information about the organization as compared to departmental managers. Since these executives manage the entire organization, so naturally they have broader responsibilities. Obviously, systems project requests submitted by them carry more weight and are generally broader in scope also.

3.2.3 Requests from System Analysts

Sometimes systems analysts find areas where it is possible to develop projects. In such cases, they may prefer either writing systems proposal themselves or encouraging a manager to allow the writing of a proposal on their behalf. For instance, in an organization, an analyst who sees that the library information system takes more time in processing and is inefficient, may prepare a project proposal for a new library information system. By the direction of the analyst who is fully aware about the new technology that improves the existing library information-system, the librarian may initiate the development of information system to the higher authority for approval.

3.3.4 Requests from Outside Group

Developments outside the organization also lead to project requests. For example, government contractors are required to use special cost accounting systems with government stipulated features. Generally, it has been observed that new demands from external groups bring about project requests, either for new systems or changes in current ones. Project requests originated from this source are also quite important.


It is often easy to overlook the initial routing of project initiation. But it is generally accepted that someone will start the request. Often there are different requests from different sources, but all aimed at ensuring the informational efficiency of the organization. It is vital to the systems

analyst to ensure that these different requests are all catered for since they reflect the various segments of the organization.


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