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Preliminary Investigation

Fig 2.1 shows different stages in the system's life cycle. It initiates with a project request. First stage is the preliminary analysis. The main aim of preliminary analysis is to identify the problem. First, need for the new or the enhanced system is established. Only after the recognition of need, for the proposed system is done then further analysis is possible.

Suppose in an office all leave-applications are processed manually. Now this company is recruiting many new people every year. So the number of employee in the company has increased. So manual processing of leave application is becoming very difficult. So the management is considering the option of automating the leave processing system. If this is the case, then the system analyst would need to investigate the existing system, find the limitations present, and finally evaluate whether automating the system would help the organization.

Once the initial investigation is done and the need for new or improved system is established, all possible alternate solutions are chalked out. All these systems are known as "candidate systems". All the candidate systems are then weighed and the best alternative of all these is selected as the solution system, which is termed as the "proposed system". The proposed system is evaluated for its feasibility. Feasibility for a system means whether it is practical and beneficial to build that system.

Feasibility is evaluated from developer and customer's point of view. Developer sees whether they have the required technology or manpower to build the new system. Is building the new system really going to benefit the customer. Does the customer have the required money to build that type of a system? All these issues are covered in the feasibility study of the system. The feasibility of the system is evaluated on the three main issues: technical, economical, and operational. Another issue in this regard is the legal feasibility of the project.

various stages in system development

  1. Technical feasibility: Can the development of the proposed system be done with current equipment, existing software technology, and available personnel? Does it require new technology?

  2. Economic feasibility: Are there sufficient benefits in creating the system to make the costs acceptable? An important outcome of the economic feasibility study is the cost benefit analysis.

  3. Legal feasibility: It checks if there are any legal hassle in developing the system.

  4. Operational feasibility: Will the system be used if it is developed and implemented? Will there be resistance from users that will undermine the possible application benefits?

The result of the feasibility study is a formal document, a report detailing the nature and scope of the proposed solution. It consists of the following:

  • Statement of the problem
  • Details of findings
  • Findings and recommendations in concise form

Once the feasibility study is done then the project is approved or disapproved according to the results of the study. If the project seems feasible and desirable then the project is finally approved otherwise no further work is done on it.

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