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Exercise Solutions (Restricted)

Chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 12

Chapter 8

Question 8.1
Consider the menu you would almost certainly encounter on one of your analyst’s visits to a restaurant. Is the menu part of the underlying subject matter? Is the menu part of an existing system?

The menu is an element of the existing, systematic, largely-clerical solution to the running of a restaurant; and the idea of a menu is part of the culture, the subject matter, of restaurants. So how do we treat it? We invoke the “is a menu still going to be there?” question. And we probably decide that it is. The concept of a menu is inextricably a part of the culture of eating out, at least for our first target marketplace. In fact, in some parts of our target marketplace, it is a legal requirement to display a menu at the point of entrance.

So we would treat the menu as subject matter, focusing on the ideas and concepts rather than the way it is currently printed.

 

[Question 8.3a / Question 8.4a.
My recollection was that those last two questions were as follows (why they emerged in the first edition in a different form, is lost to the mists of redrafting time):

8.3. It is many years ago and you are doing the analysis for some accounting software that will run on a standalone PC. In an investigation of purchase accounting, you encounter such things as supplier invoices, rubber stamps that are applied to supplier invoices such that an authorizing signature can be obtained from the person who placed the order, a purchase day book where details of purchase progress are recorded, and a purchase ledger where the debts to suppliers are monitored. Would you be likely to be carrying out a systems analysis; and would you be expecting a reasonable degree of success? Record any assumptions you make.

8.4. The time is today and your world famous accounting package, whose humble beginnings were outlined in question 3, are being updated for the paperless offices of electronic data interchange. Would you be likely to be carrying out a systems analysis; and would you be expecting a reasonable degree of success? Record any assumptions you make.

The idea, of course, was to expect a fair degree of success in carying out a systems analysis for question 3; but that by the time question 4's epoch had been reached, the days of systems analysis, of computerization, and of systems amenable to study (clerks, rather than code that began many years ago on some PC somewhere) would be long-gone, and a subject matter analysis (ordering, authorization, purchasing, supplying, debt, payment, communication, etc.) would be required. Lecturers might like to set such questions. JD]