Chapter 8 – Evaluating Alternatives for Requirements, Environment, and Implementation
1 Solutions to End-of-Chapter Material
2 Review Questions
1. What is meant by the application deployment environment? Why is it important in the consideration of a development approach?
The application deployment environment consists of the computer hardware (platforms) and operating systems that will support the application program. The new application system may have to meet special design requirements to conform to the restrictions of the operating system and the equipment.
2. List and briefly describe the characteristics that an analyst examines when choosing or defining the ...view middle of the document...
This normally includes control of all of the hardware, programs, and personnel.
5. What is the difference between scope and level of automation?
Scope is determined by the list of functions that are included in a system. Level of automation is the amount of computer sophistication and support provided for each function.
6. What is meant by the make-versus-buy decision?
The make-versus-buy decision involves determining whether to build a system from the ground up or to buy a packaged solution.
7. Define a packaged solution. Explain what is entailed in the packaged solution approach.
A packaged solution is an application program that has been built by a company that specializes in providing computer software for a particular area such as a point-of-sale system. In a strict packaged solution approach, an organization will buy, install, and use the package as is. In a modified approach, the organization may have to modify the package to get it to fulfill the requirements.
8. What is meant by ERP? How does an ERP approach affect acquiring a new solution?
ERP stands for enterprise resource planning. ERP takes a strategic, enterprise-wide view of the organization in the planning of new systems. ERP systems have components that support all major functions of a company in a given industry. A complete ERP solution provides new systems that support all company functions as opposed to the functions of individual departments.
9. What does outsourcing mean? How does it impact a project?
Outsourcing involves hiring an outside company to provide specific services or products that are usually performed by in-house personnel.
The range of outsourcing alternatives for any given project varies. Alternatives to outsourcing include: contract programmers, project management services, facilities management, systems analyst contractors, purchase of package system, and so forth.
10. Define benchmark. Why is it useful in selecting a new system?
A benchmark involves defining standard performance criteria and then evaluating a system against that benchmark. A benchmark is especially useful in the purchase of a new system from an outside vendor. The new system can be benchmarked against the existing system, against the industry average, or against some other identified criteria.
11. What is an RFP? Why is it developed at the end of the analysis phase instead of at the beginning?
An RFP is a request for proposal. It is a document that details the information needs and requirements for a new system. An RFP is developed at the end of the analysis phase so that the requirements can be described in detail. These details help the vendor respond to and price a proposal, and they help the requestor to define specific criteria to see if the proposal meets the requirements. Without this detailed information, a proposal and evaluation would be too vague and prone to errors.