Systems Analysis and Design

Organizations in today's dynamic environment are continually striving to improve their operational efficiency, many of which are dependent on technological improvements. Furthermore, new business models using technology are also being proposed routinely. Successful systems and enterprise project requires managers to understand systems development process and successful delivery of complex systems from a business process perspective. Students will learn to analyze, model and design business system and process requirements using common tools and methodologies. Students will apply concepts from class to a real-life systems development project of their choice.

Students are introduced to the principles and techniques of systems analysis and design methods with particular emphasis on information systems. The conceptual architecture of an information system, information systems framework and conceptual building blocks are introduced. The systems modeling, design and implementation, two major elements of information systems analysis, are discussed in the context of life-cycle phases. The concept and techniques of information systems models, such as data model and process model are discussed in depth. An appreciation of multi-disciplinary approach needed for systems analysis and management will be gained through an understanding of information systems project management techniques, tools, and skills required for a successful completion of an information system analysis and design project. (See Syllabus)

Course Reflections

This class is very well thought out and presented. It bridges the gap between business and IS personnel. With more IS operations being outsourced, it will become an essential tool for successful business and IS managers to understand the end developers' needs. I have found in my practice that very few business managers understand the development life cycle. Those that do are far more successful at defining what they want and need which results in far more effective solution deliveries.

Scott Clark, Harley Davidson

As the Controller of our multi-location diesel engine distributorship, I spend a fair amount of my time acting as a liaison between our IT team and the end users during the new application and software modification processes. As a result of completing your course, I have gained a much more in-depth understanding of the design, development and implementation steps of these processes. While completing your course, I was assisting with a fairly complex new application request. I believe I was more effective at translating and communicating the end user needs and requests to the IT team than with any previous project. In addition, we have significantly reduced the time spent on the early stages of the development process. Lastly, in the words of our CFO, we will have a better system as a result of me taking this course and the resulting influence on the project.

Mike Grinwald, Controller, Inland Diesel, Inc.

When I initially signed up for the class, coming from an IT background, I thought that I was going to breeze through the semester. I was, however, pleasantly surprised by how much I learnt from this class. It was difficult at times yet motivating, and was practical and very challenging. After being an MBA Student for 2 years I can say that this was one of the most difficult classes I have taken. It was demanding and made me work hard to apply the concepts. However, many of the concepts I learnt in this class will be with me for many years to come. Furthermore, I am sure that most of what I learnt in this class will help me in overcoming future obstacles also. Therefore, I would readily recommend this class to anyone in a heartbeat.

Panduka Wirasinha, MBA Class of 2008
Senior IT Analyst, Consumer IT IP Systems Solutions, AT&T Services Inc.

I've been in the IT industry since graduating from Marquette with my Bachelors degree in 1999. My background has covered very technical programming to business analysis to project management, so I assumed that the class would be remedial review with a small sampling of some new topics I hadn't covered. However, nothing could be further from the truth. We had to come to class prepared to we were challenged during class discussion, with or without an IT background. the teaching methods made the material easy for everyone to understand, but Professor Ow also kept it interesting for those with a background in the topics he was covering. I had yet to have a professor that could pull off that rare combination.

The most rewarding part of the class was the team project we worked on. Our team worked on a web-based timesheet application that is currently being used by all consultants at Octane, LLC. This application was developed over the entire semester, starting as a wild idea and ending as a working application that has saved my company thousands of dollars in manual labor to date. Professor Ow led us through the entire process, but allowed us to experience the joy and pain of requirements gathering and application design.

Brian Waldhart, MBA Class of 2008
Senior Business Analyst Octane, LLC.

This course has allowed me to accomplish a project that at first seemed overwhelming. By using various diagrams and processes, I learned how to map and break down the project into manageable and organized portions. My experience with database development has greatly strengthened as well. Through this project, I've gained the motivation to create a database at my own work, to replace manual spreadsheets that we had been using. Overall, the project has been a great learning experience.

Samantha Marshall
Business and Application Analyst, Student Health Services, Marquette University

Overall, I learned a tremendous amount from this project at how to take a project from idea to reality. Even though I had an undergrad in MIS, I never took a project this far from execution. It was really refreshing to see our group learn so much from this project and help Direct Supply at the same time. Overall, the Systems Analysis and Design class helped in my understanding of being a more effective manager and utilizing IT. I'm very happy with our end result!

Joel Strassburg
Vice President of Operations, Direct Supply