A Systems Analysis, Design, and Development Case Study: Williams Bros. Appliances Inventory & Point-of-Sale System

Article excerpt

TEACHING NOTES CASE PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES

The purpose of this case study is to provide an opportunity for students to apply systems analysis and design theory and modeling techniques in a semi-realistic environment. Furthermore, it offers students in a system development course an opportunity to experience a situation very similar to what they might see in a consulting engagement. The interview notes and supporting documents provided in the case offer an added sense of reality.

METHODOLOGY

This case is based on the author's own consulting experiences. The system was developed for an appliance store very similar to the one discussed, the names and identifying information having been changed. This particular consulting engagement offers students a small but realistic opportunity to analyze, design, and develop an inventory and point of sale system for an organization that should be somewhat familiar to them. This case study has been used by the author in a systems analysis and design course with great success.

TEACHING SUGGESTIONS

This case is designed to be a major project for the semester. In my systems development courses a group of 4-5 students would work on a project of this size for most of the semester, with the requirement that it had to be completed in order to receive credit for the class. This type of course is typically the capstone for graduating seniors, and as such they would have taken systems analysis and design, programming, and database courses. For a systems analysis and design course, the project could be introduced around mid-semester, after process and data modeling have been discussed, and assigned to a small group of students to complete. Once the topic of interface design has been presented, the students could proceed to incorporate these concepts into the project. This case is most appropriate at the undergraduate level, but could certainly be applied in a graduate-level systems analysis and design course.

For both the systems analysis and design course and the systems development course, an additional requirement could be to develop an initial project plan, schedule, and budget to incorporate project management techniques. …