Willowbrook School is a small private school that has retained your services as a systems analyst to assist in the development of a new information system for the school’s administrative needs.
After an initial conversation with Victoria and Kathy, the school’s administrators, they have decided that pursuing the possibility of an information system is a good idea. Michelle, the administrative assistant, in particular is feeling the strain of the increased workload associated with the rapid growth in the student population. The system that she has been using, of spreadsheets and word processing documents, worked well when enrollments were smaller, but now the amount of time spent copying information from one place to another is daunting, and the possibility of errors is increasing. An information system is necessary to cope with the growing administrative workload. After your meeting you developed a business profile, organization model, business process model, and began to identify information and processes for Willowbrook School’s new information system.
Based on your initial conversation and the work that you prepared, you begin planning to conduct a preliminary investigation. You call Victoria and discuss with her the strategic plan for the school including its mission and vision. You explain to her that planning IT systems and projects requires a similar approach to strategic planning as the school likely took when it initially created its mission, vision, and strategic plan. She begins to ask you questions about the next steps for developing the information system. You tell Victoria that you will put together a memo for detailing the need for strategic planning and describing the stages of preliminary systems investigations.
- Write a memo to Victoria detailing the need for strategic planning and describing the stages of preliminary systems investigations. Make sure the memo contains the proper formal heading and formatting. It should also include two sections. The first should define strategic planning and how Willowbrook School would benefit. The second section details the six stages that you will go through in the preliminary systems investigation.
- You need more information about the proposed system for your plan and need to conduct fact-finding. Make a list of people whom you might want to interview. Also, suggest other fact-finding techniques you should consider.
- Consider the internal and external factors that affect information systems. Which factors, in your opinion, will have the greatest impact on the system proposed for the school? Explain your answer.
- At the conclusion of the preliminary investigation, you will deliver a written summary of the results and deliver a brief presentation to Willowbrook School’s administration and probably its executive board. Prepare a list of recommendations that will help make your written and oral communications more effective. Put your list in priority order, starting with what you consider to be the most important suggestions. Before you complete this task, you should review Part A of the Systems Analyst’s Toolkit, which provides suggestions for oral and written presentations.