System investigation methods
|Revision Points: (Full course)
- Candidates are expected to:
- identify a range of systems investigation methods such as questionnaires,
data capture forms, interviews, observations, suggesting situations when each
might be appropriate;
- discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different systems
The analysis of an existing can be carried out in a number of ways, each with particular advantages and disadvantages:
Interviews - a face-to-face meeting
between the users of the existing system and the person analysing the present
- Advantages: much more flexible than a questionnaire as the
responses to questions can lead to new questions as the interview takes
place and it is much easier to clarify any difficult points.
- Disadvantages: the interview can take time to set up and may
involve travelling (although a telephone or video-conferencing could be
used). The person carrying out the interview will need to record
the answers through the interview unless it is recorded.
Questionnaires - a series of questions
which are answered by the users of the existing system. They can be paper
based or electronic.
- Advantages: quick to distribute to a number of users, either by
post or email. A range of closed and open questions can easily be
- Disadvantages: some questions and/or answers my not be clear,
particularly if the person who created the questionnaire is totally
unfamiliar with the existing system.
Observation and inspection - the existing
system is observed during it's normal operation and the recording system looked
- Advantages: the existing system can be observed throughout the
whole input, processing and output cycle. The recording system will
show clearly what data is collected and what the information output is.
- Disadvantages: can be very time consuming. The observer may not
full understand what they are observing without asking further questions.
It can be difficult to record the observations in a useful way.