Re: Task-based vs. System-Based Procedures

Subject: Re: Task-based vs. System-Based Procedures
From: "Anthony Markatos" <tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: yvonne -at- silcom -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2000 13:39:15 PST

"Anthony Markatos" <tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com> wrote

Properly utilizing Structured Systems Analysis and Design (SSAD) - the most prevalent of the formal analysis/design techniques - requires that the developer "approach" the application the same way that the end-user does.

Yevonne DeGraw responded:

This is perhaps true in idealized cases for the subset of software design that creates data processing applications for use only by endusers where there is a defined workflow. However, there are other types of software that don't follow such design models.

Tony Markatos responds:

1.) SSAD methodologies not only include task modeling (Systems Analysts refer to such as "function" modeling - same thing) techniques, they also include techniques for capturing end-user data relationships - entity relationship diagrams (ERDs). Even the most ad-hoc decision support system needs data modeling.

And even if only data models are being created, the analyst has to have the exact same "approach" to the system as do the end-users - otherwise he will miss essential data relationships in his design.

2.) You basicaly state (and this is a very commonly held viewpoint) that for some systems, an end-user task analysis is not required because there are no predefined tasks. Let's look at an extreme example of such a system: a pure ad-hoc decision support system. Question: How can we create an (ad-hoc) decision support system if we do not know what decisions are being supported? Logically, the need for an end-user task analysis still exists - although it may be a lot harder to accomplish such. (However, it has been my experience that doing such is a lot LESS difficult than we are typically lead to believe.)

Yevonne DeGraw said:

This [SSAD] is a totally different world than object-oriented design.

Tony Markatos responds:

I agree with what Ed Yourdon (guru in SSAD and OOAD) said - that the first steps in a OOD project are the creation of ERD's [and to the degree necessary DFD's]. OO lacks any tools that actually guide one through the analysis phase - that makes "holes" in the anlysis glaringly obvious.

Tony Markatos

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