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ISTN211 2015 Tutorial 2 - Suggested Solution

Investigating System Requirements


Having read and understood Chapter 2 of Satzinger et al. (2012), answer the following

A reminder once again that one-word answers are not sufficient. Thinking and
engagement are essential in constructing your responses and providing supporting

1. List and describe the aim of the three (3) fact finding themes.

1. What are the business operations and processes?

The purpose of the first theme is to identify the various business processes that
must be supported in the new system. The standard question to users is, “What
do you do?” or “What are your job responsibilities?”

2. How should those operations be performed?

The purpose of the second theme is to understand the details of the business
process in the context of a new system. The focus is not necessarily on how the
operation is done now, but how should it be done. It can also bear in mind how
the operation *could* be done.

3. What information is needed to perform those operations?

The purpose of the third theme is directly tied to the development of the new
system, and what information it must maintain and provide. It asks about
exceptions or unusual situations to find out about non-routine requirements. It
also looks at what forms are used and what reports are generated.
(See pg. 48).

2. Describe the open-items list and explain why it is important.

The open-items list is a list of issues that have not been resolved. It is needed to
ensure that requirements are complete and that undefined specifications are not
forgotten. If unresolved issues remain unaddressed, it will be difficult to
implement the system or implement a rule about that issue. (See pg 51).

3. What would you do if you got conflicting answers for the same procedure from
two different people you interviewed? What would you do if one was a clerical
person and the other was the department manager?

If two people say that things work differently, one should ask for clarification or
ask a third person. When the clerk and manager answer differently, the first
thought would be to take the opinion of the department manager as the correct
answer. However, it is not uncommon for the department manager to be behind
on some of the latest details of business procedures. (The manager might also
not know exactly what happens on the ground, only what *should* happen on the
ground). The best solution in this case is to place the item on the open-items list
and then get the two people together and let them discuss the differences until
they both agree on the correct procedure. The systems analyst should not make
the decision as to which answer is correct, nor should he or she try to resolve the

difference. It is the users’ responsibility to do so. Comment: sometimes people
aren’t aware that different processes are being followed – until something like a
requirements gathering exercise is undertaken.

4. You are analysing and developing an information system for the library at UKZN
– the Premier University of African Scholarship.
(i) In the acronym FURPS, what does each of the letters URPS stand for?
(ii) Using the FURPS acronym, give examples of three (3) functional
requirements (F) and one (1) non-functional requirement for each URPS
item for the UKZN Library Information System.

(i) FURPS is an acronym for different types of system requirements:

(F - Functional requirements)
U - Usability requirements
R - Reliability requirements
P - Performance requirements
S - Security requirements
Note: the “URPS” requirements are non-functional requirements- i.e. they
describe characteristics of the system, rather than what the system must

(ii) Examples are:

Functional requirements:
Allow users to take out books
Remind users of a book’s due date
Charge fines on overdue books
Renew books
Look up information about books
Return books

Non-functional requirements:
Usability – User interface in English and Zulu (and other official languages)
Need to be able to access the system for viewing book info and renewing
books when the library is closed.
Reliability – Available 24/7 except for 2 hours on Sunday evening for
Performance – System supplies information about books etc. within 5 seconds of
the user pressing Enter (subject to Internet connection speed of 54 kbps or
The system can host 200 sessions with users simultaneously with the same
response time.
Security – Library users (UKZN staff and students) may not see who has taken
out a particular book.
Library users may not view what books that another user has taken out.

5. Develop an activity diagram based on the following narrative. Note any

ambiguities or questions that you have as you develop the model. If you need to
make assumptions, also note them.

The purchasing department handles purchase requests from other departments

in the company. People in the company who initiate the original purchase
request are the known as the “in-house customers” of the purchasing

department. A case worker within the purchasing department receives that
request and monitors it until it is ordered and received.

If the products to be purchased will cost less than R1 500, the case workers can
immediately process the request. They do this by writing a purchase order, and
then sending it to the vendor. If the purchase request comes to R1 500 or more,
the case worker must first send it out for tender from vendors that supply the
product. Each vendor makes up a tender and submits it to the case worker.
When the tenders return, the case worker selects the best tender. S/he then
writes a purchase order and sends it to the vendor.

Place a purchase order

In-house Customer Purchasing Vendor


Send purchase

Total <

Request Make up
tender tender


Choose best
Submit tender

Write purchase

Send to

purchase order

Assumptions made: for all activities except the last, assumption is that if
something was sent, it was also received, so don’t need to write receiving as an
activity. Receiving added as last activity to show where the activities for this
business process ends.

6. Develop an activity diagram based on the following narrative. Note any
ambiguities or questions that you have as you develop the model. If you need to
make assumptions, also note them.

The goods receiving department receives all shipments on outstanding purchase

orders. When the clerk in the goods receiving department receives a shipment,
s/he finds the outstanding purchase order for those items. The clerk then sends
multiple copies of the shipment packing slip. One copy goes to purchasing, and
the department updates its records to indicate that the purchase order has been
fulfilled. Another copy goes to accounting so that a payment can be made. A
third copy goes to the in-house customer who requested the products so that
s/he can receive the shipment.
After payment is made, the accounting department sends a notification to
purchasing. After the in-house customer receives and accepts the goods, s/he
sends a notification to purchasing. When purchasing receives these other
notifications, it closes the purchase order as fulfilled and paid.

Assumptions made: for all activities, assumption is that if something was sent,
it was also received, so don’t need to write receiving as an activity.


The following questions from the textbook will not be covered in the tutorial session, but
deal with important concepts that lecturers will assume you are familiar with and are
EXAMINABLE in tests/examinations:

Chapter 2 (page 59-60): Review questions Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, Q6, Q8, Q9, Q10.
Problems and exercises: Q1, Q2, Q4.

In addition, the module will regularly refer to a case study that runs throughout the
textbook. The case’s organisation is introduced on page 6-7 (Chapter 1) and the case is
described on pages 35-38 (Chapter 2). Lecturers will assume that you have read these

pages and are familiar with the case. If there are terms that you are unfamiliar with, then
now is the time to start finding out. Hint: use the Web (Google and Wikipedia are good
starting points).