Williams Specialty Company is a small printing and engraving organization. When Pat Williams, the owner, brought computers into the business office eight years ago, the business was very small and very simple. Pat was able to utilize an inexpensive PC-based accounting system to handle the basic information processing needs of the firm. As time has gone on, however, the business has grown and the work being performed has become significantly more complex. The simple accounting software still in use is no longer adequate to keep track of many of the company's sophisticated deals and arrangements with its customers.
Pat has a staff of four people in the business office who are familiar with the intricacies of the company's record-keeping requirements. Pat recently met with her staff to discuss her plan to hire an IS consulting firm to evaluate their information system needs and recommend a strategy for upgrading their computer system. The staff are excited about the prospect of a new system, since the current system causes them much aggravation. No one on the staff has ever done anything like this before, however, and they are a little wary of the consultants who will be conducting the project.
Assume that you are a systems analyst on the consulting team assigned to the Williams Specialty Co. engagement. At your first meeting with the Williams staff, you want to be sure that they understand the work that your team will be performing and how they will participate in that work.
a. Explain, in clear, nontechnical terms, the goals of the analysis phase of the project.
b. Explain, in clear, nontechnical terms, how use cases will be used by the project team. Explain what these models are, what they represent in the system, and how they will be used by the team.