requirements analysis

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Software is vital to produce management data, invoices and for tax authorities. We assist with requirements analysis for the most appropriate configuration.

From 1992 to 2004 we were involved in IT information systems projects in large companies, with significant budgets.

Since then, we have taken on the challenge of small business. We have learnt the lessons of capital start-up requirements and the need for an integrated management system.

Strong foundation

It is best to have a strong base on which to build, rather than modifying foundations when construction has started.

Multi-layer database systems (forms and queries built on tables and relations) function best with well-designed data structures. But be sure to understand the requirement and the business case before embarking on design.

Using integrated systems

Some companies have separate systems for estimates and invoices interfacing with a different accounting system. They may have another for order planning and a fourth for research and development. But now, transactional management, CRM, Order Planning, Manufacturing, Inventory Management and Accounting can all be in one ERP system.

Companies must now supply a digital transaction file to tax authorities and electronic invoices to customers. Accounting software is therefore obligatory.

Management software is a vital tool in the management of a business. It is the source of the numbers which help a company improve, such as costs, turnover and margin.

Requirements analysis of business software

We offer to accompany your choice of software and the design of the optimum configuration to get your job done.

Our approach is to understand and map your business configuration, then work through your requirements with you. Using an iterative process, we look at the tools that are most appropriate for your management.

We work with UML diagrams to document and design information systems analyses using Odoo, Access and Evernote to demonstrate the advantage of integrated systems, but our aim is to focus thinking on the most appropriate tools for you.

Requirements Analysis

To start the requirements analysis process, I suggest that people record their findings using Evernote as a business library and then group and analyse them.

Record in Evernote business activity, remarks, thoughts, observations based on events, meetings, thinking, experience, exchange with colleagues and partners. Store drafts, sketches, mindmaps, documents. Combine with Google Docs for shareable spreadsheets and documents.

The objective is for managers to get a holistic vision of events and observations to help them stand back, determine strategy, get insights, make decisions and set action plans.

Not forgetting that the operational and transactional systems should provide a wealth of information. Managers can learn about their operations and the system under their control, what has happened in the field, a lorry has delivered, a product produced, turnover increased.

Evernote can be useful though to take a screen print from such systems and make observations, with accurate data, in the privacy of your desktop.

requirements analysis
UML context diagram of a service site

Our approach is to capture the environment, the operating and business process experience to assist businesses map out their future.

The objective is to understand and document the business function as an input to planning. See Agile for minimal necessary documentation.

The key to development

Systems analysis is the key to development and design before laying a single brick or piece of code. It is much cheaper to rethink or redo a design than rebuild a system or a house.

Agile takes a slightly different approach. In essence, it says talk around it with the customer first. It documents what is necessary, gets 80% built and see if it flies, talk some more, annotate the doc and improve in the next cycle. Evernote fits well with this process.

We analyse both our own management system and model case studies of real-world systems.

We develop Microsoft Access databases in financial business environments; our projects include analysis for the Year 2000, Finance, Supply Chain and Purchasing.

relational database model for a microsoft access database for a transport system

Although we have developed operational systems, Microsoft Access is also very useful for building prototypes.

Modelling software

We use Sparx Systems enterprise architect to model current and future systems.

By marklewis

Mark Lewis is an Access developer, business analyst turned technical translator, fluent in French and English

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