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infs 5093

INFS 5093 | Business Systems Analysis Textbooks | Information Systems

INFS 5093 | Business Systems Analysis Textbooks | Information Systems

INFS 5093 | Business Systems Analysis Textbooks | Information Systems 1


This document extends the instructions on the course website. Read the instructions on the course website in addition to this document.
This assessment consists of
  • A case study that requires you to apply your learning from the systems planning module.
  • An ethical analysis which requires you to apply one of the readings provided on the course website.
  • A conceptual development section that requires you to consider how systems planning tasks impact on a systems development project.
  • A peer review/learning reflection section; students who are working in teams are to answer the peer review questions; students working independently are to answer the learning reflection questions.
The feedback sheet lists the assessment criteria. Look for it on the assessment’s webpage. Take note of which sections carry the most marks.
Note that this document’s word count is 2881 without any answers, so
  • Don’t worry if the final word count seems high.
  • Also, there are some diagrams in this assessment so don’t worry if the final word count seems low.
Draw the diagrams by hand, photograph, and insert the photographs in this file. If you prefer, you can use Word’s drawing tools (or some other drawing or modelling software) but you may find working with pen and paper is faster, easier to amend, less cumbersome, and more reliable with respect to layout.
When referring to the exemplars on the course website, read the old assessment specifications carefully because the assessments differ every study period.


In the previous study period, teams spent an average of 26 hours on this assessment.
  • Pace your team accordingly.
  • For best results
    • Do not attempt to complete the whole assessment in one session.
    • Work slowly and carefully.
In addition to the instructions on the course website
  • Do not overlook the ‘Why?’ questions.
  • Read the case study carefully.
  • Keep track of the hours you spend.
Make assumptions where necessary. Scope for assumptions has been deliberately included in this assessment because it is often necessary to make assumptions openly when dealing with a client who is under-informed with respect to information systems. Label assumptions clearly. Here’s an example from a previous study period,
Assumption: As the passengers of Titanic II may be from any nation, we have assumed a currency converter is required for the ticket-purchasing function.

Case study: Nexus Distribution

Nexus Distribution is a small film distribution agency that focuses on limited release art-house films. It has been in business for a decade and has an existing information system for administering its business processes. Joy Moody started Nexus with her long-time professional contact Deane Jackson. Joy has a leadership and marketing role and Deane manages operations. Louise Taylor and Elizabeth Page are spotters who attend film festivals (eg Sundance, Cannes, Sydney, Toronto, London, etc), identifying films that align with the Nexus Distribution focus, bidding for, and often signing, those films. This team of four work closely to sign 15-20 films each year, optimising the distribution of each film so that returns for Nexus and for their clients (the film-makers and the theatres) are maximised.
The existing information system consists of three databases.
  • Catalogue
  • DistributionNetwork
  • Travel
Louise and Elizabeth do most of their work while travelling and they communicate with Deane via email, text messaging and phone calls. Louise and Elizabeth attend only the largest film festivals together; usually they work independently of each other. When they are at a film festival, they work highly irregular hours and, in addition to the tasks outlined above, their work includes socialising with, and occasionally entertaining, potential and existing clients. Clients are entertained when the film they have made is of such high quality that more than one distribution agency is competing for its distribution rights. In these cases, Elizabeth and Louise take the clients out for dinner or to a bar in order to build robust working relationships and to create an opportunity for uninterrupted discussion of why and how the client’s interests are best served by Nexus. Louise and Elizabeth are consummate networkers; they are confident, good-humoured and charming in all social circumstances, building relationships with and between people working at all levels of the international art-house film industry.
However, the communication practices between Nexus staff are not up to date and this has led to inefficiencies and wastage of Louise and Elizabeth’s talents and efforts. As their time at film festivals is expensive (flights, accommodation, registration fees, entertainment costs, etc) it is desirable that their time is not wasted. For example, a new film may be shown at several film festivals simultaneously; if Elizabeth has already seen it at Toronto and passed on it (or bid for it and signed it), when Louise is at the Venice film festival, she does not need to waste her time viewing that film and can focus on other films. There are many other instances in which their communication practices fail to optimise the (mostly asynchronous) day-to-day collaborations between Louise, Elizabeth and Deane.
While Louise and Elizabeth work on building Nexus’s catalogue, Deane builds its distribution network (in addition to hissignificant administrative role). This entails signing various distribution service providers (both independent and chain) to the Nexus distribution network. A distribution service provider might be a VOD (Video on Demand) provider, a chain of theatres, an independent theatre, etc. Deane spends about half of his recruitment effort approaching providers that do not already screen art-house films. The other half is spent on providers which already adopt an art-house focus. While it is a key facet of the Nexus business model, building the distribution network does not consume anywhere near as much effort, money and time as spotting films. Deane estimates that for every dollar spent on building the distribution network, a hundred are spent on spotting films.
Deane is directly responsible for accounting, travel arrangements and reporting. Also, he is indirectly responsible for contracts, which he outsources to a legal firm specialising in contracts for this type of work.
Joy’s role is largely centred on vision and leadership. However, prior to starting Nexus she built a reputation in film marketing and her practical skills in this area are an essential ingredient in Nexus’s success. Every time a new film is signed to Nexus, Joy, Deane, Louise, Elizabeth and the film-makers have a four hour meeting. Occasionally, these meetings are in person, but more often they are held online. These meetings can be hard to schedule because participants are very busy and in different time zones.
During these meetings, in order to design the film’s marketing strategy, they leverage Louise or Elizabeth’s observations of the film, Deane’s knowledge of the Nexus distribution network, Joy’s marketing expertise and the client’s vision. A marketing strategy includes artistic vision, media, release windows and release schedule.
Artistic vision is primarily driven by the client and Joy with input from Louise or Elizabeth. It is actioned by Deane, who reviews the artists who have worked with Nexus in the past, considers the artistic vision, and prioritises the artists according to how well their unique talent, reliability and experience match up with the marketing strategy’s artistic vision. After the meeting, Deane approaches the artists one by one to discuss their availability and to eventually establish a contract.
Media (film, video, television, DVD, VOD, etc) is negotiated between Joy, whose mission is to optimise returns, and the film-maker, whose mission is exposure. With input from Louise and Elizabeth, who have viewed more films than anyone else in the meeting and who therefore have the most comprehensive view of the international market, a binding consensus is reached and documented.
Joy and Deane, who aim to maximise the size of the audience, are largely responsible for determining release windows and schedule, however the client’s needs are taken into consideration. This is achieved by application of market intelligence and expertise. In most cases, a film is screened in theatres on a schedule that will maximise the audience (eg avoidance of major cultural events, avoidance of similar films, knowledge of forthcoming films, etc). Also, films are screened in theatres (primary distribution service providers) prior to being released via secondary distribution service providers (eg VOD service providers, DVD runs, etc). The duration for which the film is screened in theatres depends upon various factors (audience, the film’s performance in other markets, the agreement between Nexus and the film-makers, the agreement between Nexus and the theatres, etc). For most films, the theatrical release date is preceded by four weeks of postering and trailers, wherever possible working with the film-makers in order to leverage the social profiles of those who worked on the film (eg the actors and crew). For highly anticipated films, these four weeks may extend to six or eight and may require Deane to schedule interviews for the film-makers or actors with local media.
Although the existing IS meets Nexus’s administrative needs, the ongoing daily communication problems and the difficulties of scheduling and running online meetings need to be addressed. Deane thinks Nexus needs its own app so that database updates can be done by anyone at any time and he has contacted your workplace, IT Foundry, to enquire further. You have been allocated the task of systems planning for the development of an app for Nexus.
Also, although they are very talented, experienced and respected in their fields, the entire Nexus team are inexperienced in systems analysis and design. They are confident you will come up with relevant ideas, they anticipate your suggestions and they expect you to catalyse and drive all technical aspects of the project. These clients are very much open to suggestion.
As you have never worked in this field before, you begin by reading about film distribution on Wikipedia. Then, you move forward with systems planning.
Recall: you can make assumptions in this assignment (as noted in the instructions above). Also, you can use the course forum if you have any questions.
  1. Develop a business profile for Nexus Distribution. The profile must include mission, functions, how the app will be organised, products, services and customers.
Put your answer here.
  1. List four of Nexus’s business processes. Aim to identify business processes that are related to the proposed Nexus app.
Put your answer here.
  1. Draw models for two of the business processes listed above, including events, processes and results. Examples are available on p10 and p11 of Tilley & Rosenblatt (2017).
Put your answer here.
Next, you define the project’s scope and constraints.
  1. Write must do, should do, could do and won’t do lists for the Nexus project.
Put your answer here.
  1. Write a scope statement for the Nexus project.
Put your answer here.
  1. Prepare a constraints map for the Nexus project. There is an example of a constraints map on p60 of Tilley & Rosenblatt (2017).
Put your answer here.
You prepare for fact-finding.
  1. What approaches to fact-finding will you adopt for the Nexus project? Why?
Put your answer here.
The next step is to evaluate the project’s feasibility.
  1. List four questions that will enable you to investigate the feasibility of the Nexus project.
Put your answer here.
  1. List two tangible and two intangible benefits of the planned Nexus app.
Put your answer here.
Next, you make time and cost estimates for requirements modelling tasks.
  1. Section 4.2.1 of Tilley & Rosenblatt (2017) lists various systems analysis tasks. Which of these tasks are likely to be applicable to the Nexus project? Why?
Put your answer here.
  1. In your previous answer, you stated which requirements modelling tasks are applicable to the Nexus project. Estimate the time required to complete each task and estimate the time required to create system models.
Put your answer here.
  1. IT Foundry costs your services at $80 per hour. Derive a cost estimate from your time estimates in the previous question.
Put your answer here.
Finally, you present your findings to your manager and to Nexus. Your manager and clients have requested a 15-minute meeting.
  1. Preparefor this meeting. Identify and list the four most important discussion topics.
Put your answer here.

Ethical analysis

Through your work analysing Nexus’s data requirements, you become aware of some unusual entertainment expenses on Elizabeth’s account. While she may have incurred these expenses legitimately, there are no similar transactions in Louise’s account. You are fully aware that Elizabeth and Louise regularly entertain potential clients and you are aware that this is an important method of developing clientele and industry knowledge. You are also aware that Elizabeth and Louise drive the Nexus business processes, creating business opportunities and building good-will for Nexus. However, these transactions are unusual and, according to your personal moral points of reference, sensitive. You are undecided as to whether you should inform anyone, and if so, who.
Analyse this scenario by responding the following questions. These questions encourage you to apply the stages of the ethical decision-making process described in O’Boyle (2002). This reading can be located on the course web site. Do not overlook the ‘Why?’ questions as these support the development of your certitude.
  1. Stage 1, perception. Identify all ethical issues suggested by the scenario above.
Put your answer here.
  1. Stage 2, discernment. Which of the ethical issues is the most significant? Why?
Put your answer here.
  1. Stage 3, resolution. Articulate your resolve with respect to the most significant ethical issue.
Put your answer here.
  1. Stage 4, assessment. Are you qualified to act in accordance with your resolve or do you need to seek the advice of an independent expert? Why?
Put your answer here.
  1. Stage 5, decision. What are your professional duties in this situation? Why?
Put your answer here.
  1. Stage 6, action. Have stages 1-5 enabled you to form a commitment to action? Why?
Put your answer here.

Conceptual development and risk identification

Consider the Nexus case study and the systems planning you have completed. You may have completed the planning tasks with a lot of care. If so, your planning is more likely to be effective in supporting future project activities.
Consider a situation in which planning was conducted in a careless manner.
  1. With respect to the systems planning tasks your team completed above, identify problems that may arise for the following stakeholders. The answer should have six unique problems (two per stakeholder).
Hint: what problems arise if the constraints map is incomplete?
  1. Nexus
Put your answer here.
  1. Nexus’s customers or the wider community
Put your answer here.
  1. Your own future work tasks (systems analysis tasks)
Put your answer here.
Select two of the problems from question 23.
  1. With reference to these two problems, what are your conclusions about the importance of attention to detail with respect to system planning?
Note: future assessments will ask you to reflect on the answer you give.
Put your answer here.

Peer Review – for students who completed this assessment in a team

Your peers are the people in your team (and you are their peer). When you review your peers, you are performing a peer review. When your peers review you, you are receiving a peer review.
  1. How do peer reviews support the development of professional skills?
Put your answer here.
  1. Are learning outcomes meaningful if peer reviews are untruthful?
Put your answer here.
Everyone in your team must visit SparkPLUS and review their peers.
  1. When reviewing peers, tell them three things they did well and three things they can improve.
NOTE: the systems design assessment will ask students to consider the reviews provided here and in the systems analysis assessment.
Warning: If one person skips the peer review, the whole team will receive a lower grade.

Learning reflection – for students who completed this assessment as an individual

Think about the tasks you completed in this assignmentand reflect upon any knowledge you have gained from completing these tasks. Consider the UniSA Graduate Qualities.
  1. Name two learning outcomes.
Note: although the Course Objectives on the Course Outline can be informative, please consider your personal learning experience. As you have a unique history, you will have unique learning outcomes; that is, someone who knew a lot about defining a project’s scope before starting this course cannot identify it as a learning outcome from this assignment; they will identify some other learning outcome.
Put your answer here.
  1. Foreach of your learning outcomes, name one relevant UniSA Graduate Quality.
Example: “As noted above, my first learning outcome is _____________. This learning outcome correlates to _____________. My second learning outcome is _____________. This learning outcomes correlates to _____________.”
Put your answer here.
  1. In your previous answer, you correlated two learning outcomes to two Graduate Qualities. Focusing on these two Graduate Qualities, and addressing each one separately, explain how this assignment’s tasks enabled you to further develop these qualities.

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