Information Gathering and Eliciting System Requirements

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Information Gathering and Eliciting System Requirements

Module 2: Information Gathering and Eliciting System Requirements

Case Overview

The Case for this Module discusses the interview process and modeling tools and techniques for users and developers to understand current and new systems requirements. The primary purpose of the systems analysis is to gather and document systems requirements. To gather information, the business analyst conducts interviews, administers questionnaires, and may conduct Joint Application Development (JAD) sessions. Compared to traditional interviews, JAD sessions are the most expensive, and the meetings can easily become out of control if too many participants attend. Large projects may require separate JAD sessions because the purpose is to obtain system requirements by specific processing departments. Small sessions are highly productive and deliver accurate requirements since participants are working towards a common goal.

A couple of PPT presentations are commended to your attention. These convey a general summary of data gathering for a successful systems analysis and design.

PMPDQ. (2009, May 19). IT systems analyst: Plan the interview. [Video file]. Retrieve from

Kendall, K.E., & Kendall, J. E. (2011. Chapter 4 information gathering: Interactive methods. Systems Analysis and Design 8th ed. [PPT presentation]. Retrieved from Chapter 4 Information Gathering: Interactive Methods

Or you can retrieve Kendall & Kendall PPT as a Word document at

Kuchmistaya, S. (2001). Incorporation of joint application design (JAD) in systems requirements determination. Retrieved from

The following PPT is very useful for designing interview questionnaires and conducting document analysis.

Dennis, A., Wixom, B. H., & Tegarden, D. (2008). Requirements determination. Systems Analysis and Design with UML 2.0. [PPT presentation]. Retrieved from


Case Assignment

Read the assigned materials and other outside reading you might find on your own. Then write a short paper (3-page) answering the following questions.

Describe at least five major steps in the interview process. How are participants selected for interviews and joint application development (JAD) sessions? Explain the differences between unstructured interviews and structured interviews. When would you use each approach?


Assignment Expectations

Your paper should be 3-pages, not including cover sheet and references and should be short and to the point. You are expected to:

  • Begin this paper by stating your position on these questions clearly and concisely
  • Use the below required sources to cite appropriate sources and answer questions directly. Be sure to make the most effective case you can. Then present the best evidence you can, again citing appropriate sources from the required reading material below.

By the end of your paper, you should be able to describe the context of systems analysis and design the role of a business analyst.

You will be particularly assessed on:

  • Your ability to see what the module is all about and to structure your paper accordingly.
  • Your informed commentary and analysis — simply repeating what your sources say does not constitute an adequate paper.
  • Your ability to apply the professional language and terminology of systems analysis and design correctly and in context; you are expected to be familiar with this language and use it appropriately.
  • Your effective and appropriate use of in-text citations to the assigned readings and other source material to support your arguments. Refer to the TUI Course Guidelines and or the Purdue University APA formatting and style guide for the proper formats.


Required Sources

PMPDQ. (2009, May 19). IT systems analyst: Plan the interview. [Video file]. Retrieve from

Kendall, K.E., & Kendall, J. E. (2011. Chapter 4 information gathering: Interactive methods. Systems Analysis and Design 8th ed. [PPT presentation]. Retrieved from Chapter 4 Information Gathering: Interactive Methods

Kuchmistaya, S. (2001). Incorporation of joint application design (JAD) in systems requirements determination. Retrieved from

Dennis, A., Wixom, B. H., & Tegarden, D. (2008). Requirements determination. Systems Analysis and Design with UML 2.0. [PPT presentation]. Retrieved from

SmartDraw. (2011). Software design tutorials. Retrieved from

CSUB. (n.d.). DFD example. Retrieved form

Creatively Diagraming and Collaboration. (2012). Ultimate guide to ER diagrams. Retrieved from

Optional Material

Kendall, K. E., & Kendall, J. E. (2008). Chapter 6 using questionnaires. Systems Analysis and Design 5th ed. [PPT presentation]. Retrieved from


Information Gathering Case

System development is not an event; it contains several processes and stages. Some of these steps include; project identification and definition, identification of all the required resources, system analysis, new system design, implementation of the new system, and system maintenance (Kendall, K., & Kendall, J.2014). Any mistake committed during the processes affects the outcome of the project. Errors at the preliminary stages are grievous compared to those at the later stages of change. Analysis of the requirements should be perfect to avoid unpredicted costs in future. In this essay, we will focus on the benefits of a proper definition of system requirements. We are also going to look into the merits of adopting Joint Application Design (JAD). Recent techniques used in determining required resources, and traditional methods such as interviews and questionnaires.

Any system contains users. We have primary or active users as well as secondary users. For a proper determination of needed requirement should be contributed by all the active users of the system. Therefore before citing any state, the organization should identify all the members who will be affected in the process. The in cooperation of these persons who interact with the system on a daily basis bring understanding thus making work easier and faster.

Savant Institute study found that more than 56% of errors are experienced because of poor communication. System developers in most cases fail to involve the users when determining the requirements of the system (Kendall, K., & Kendall, J.2014). After an error has occurred, much time is needed to correct the situation. The amendment process is costly and consumes at least 82% of the staffs’ productive time. Sourcing information from numerous user is a tiresome exercise; it is always a challenge to the IT professionals. It also gets more challenging when you try to meet every user’s desires. The process needs much attention because the views are obtained from different departments, sometimes the users are too many thus lacking time to reach all of them, and some of the information gathered is incomplete making analysis difficult.

Traditional methods vs. JAT

Conventional methods of gathering information are employed to simplify this process. Over the time JAD has proved to be the best in determining the requirements of a system. A lot of IT system developers and Business users have adopted this technique in their organization.

Traditional Techniques

Interviews and questionnaires are the most popular methods under this category. From the information gathered through this techniques IT professionals get the current picture of the organization, and the desired changes the users would like to see in future. One-on-one interviews allow interaction between the professionals and the users. Such platforms provide an environment for answering questions disturbing the users. Interviews are often prepared in advance; the preparation helps both the interviewer and the interviewee to stick to the main topic of discussion. The interviewer is given time to come up with questions on the matter while the interviewee evaluates the state of the organization to provide a proper picture of the current situation at the company.

There are open-ended and closed-end questionnaires. Open-ended once are more productive as compare to the other one. They give an opportunity to the participant to provide a comprehensive view on the situation. The expressed filling and addressed the problems he is facing. Despite all these benefits, this process is lengthy and costly.  Questionnaires are more efficient and cheaper when dealing with more clients as compared to interviews.

JAB Sessions

This method enhances engagement among the project managers, project developers, and users. Scope creeps are minimized in the process, and prevents the putting forward vague requirements as well as not being too specific, thus giving room for change and Some of the advantages. Teamwork is the key consideration when implementing this process. Information is collected from the affected departments after a consultation all participated agree on the requirements. In a teamwork spirit, users share their opinion on the current system as well as giving their advice on where change is necessary.

The decisions are arrived at during a workshop that involves, executive sponsor, members of IT team, Business users, scribe, and a facilitator (Kendall, K. a. 2008). The Executive Sponsor is a part of the management whose work is to solve any disputes which might arise during the process. The IT members are the analysts and programmers of the event. Users are the party that is directly affected by the project. The scribe keeps track of all the events in the session including all the issues discussed. At the end of the exercise, he or she reports the occurrences. Finally, we have the facilitator who ensures that a discussion is carried out smoothly to a universal agreement.

In preparation for the workshop, the IT team is required to put the following into consideration. They should know the objectives of the seminar and prepare a list of the participants, assign tasks to various participants of the event, make sure all beneficiaries of the programs are involved, and note down all the agendas of the session as well as allocating them time, place and the facilitator.

Some of the advantaged of JAD is: All the stakeholders are brought together, and they discuss their issues on level grounds. Junior workers feel confidence since there is no superiority complex during the event (Kendall, K. a. 2008). The implementation methods are well defined in the workshop thus saving time and resources. It is costly compared to the traditional methods. On the other had inadequate preparation for the workshop might bring about time wastage during the main event. Secondly where the facilitator is incompetent the all operation will fail.

Whatever the technique you employ in determining the resources of a project, time and cost are the key factors to consider. Traditional methods are more expensive as compared to JAD. JAD, on the other hand, require experts for it to be successful. Both ways are applicable at different times since integrating them will complicate the situation.



Hooks, I. (2016). Three Mistakes a Business Analyst. REquirement Expert (TRAining and Services for Project Success), 4. Retrieved from

Kendall, K. a. (2008). System Analysis and Design KEndall and KEndal fifth Edition. canada: 2008 pearson prentice hall.

Kendall, K., & Kendall, J. (2014). Systems analysis and design. Boston: Pearson.

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