14 Nov Performing a Needs Analysis
Performing a Needs Analysis
A needs analysis is a formal process of determining what specific system requirements exist for a business. It can be necessary due to changes in the business (has the business outgrown the current system) or due to changes in technology (software is now available to automate some of what was done manually).
In addition to what is required functionally, documentation of the current system’s strengths and weaknesses will be helpful when evaluating various alternatives. The plans and expectations of management should also be investigated to ensure that the system will be scalable in the future based on anticipated growth, change in the business, etc. Transactional volume (including size of customer list, vendor list, products sold, etc.) and an implementation schedule should be discussed.
The basic steps are:
- – Basic discussion of approach to evaluation process
- – Gather system requirements
- – Compare (and test if needed) various software alternatives
- – Discuss pros and cons of each viable alternative
- – Determine costs and implementation schedule