The Stages of SSADM

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The Stages of SSADM
Many organisations have used the SSADM model owing to their success in generating information systems. (two businessmen with computer outside image by Alexey Klementiev from Fotolia.com)

The Structured Systems Analysis and Design Method, or SSADM, is a systematic approach to the analysis and design of information systems that uses a combination of text and diagrams throughout the life cycle of a system design beginning from the initial design idea to the actual physical design of the application. SSADM is composed of seven stages within a project's life cycle, and at the end of each stage the analyst and users can decide whether to move on to the next level, abandon the project, or revise one or more stages.

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Stage 0: Feasibility

The Feasibility stage is a short assessment of a proposed information system to determine if the system can meet the business requirements of an organisation, assuming the business case exists for developing the system. The analyst considers possible problems faced by the organisation and produces various options to resolve these issues. Either the organisation or you must decide if the cost of resolving the problems are worth the likely benefit to the project.

Stage 1: Investigation of the Current Environment

Detailed requirements are collected and business models are built in the Investigation of the Current Environment stage. This stage is where you develop a business-activity model, investigate and define requirements, investigate current processing in the data flow model, investigate current data and derive the logical view of current services.

Stage 2: Business System Options

The Business Systems Options, or BSO, stage allows the analyst and you to choose between a number of business-system options that each describe the scope and functionality provided by a particular development and implementation approach. After you present these to management, the management then decides which BSO is the better option.

Stage 3: Definition of Requirements

This stage specifies the details in the processing and data requirements of the selected BSO option. In this stage you define the required system processing, develop the required data model, determine the systems for existing or new functions, develop the user job specifications, enhance the required data model, develop specific prototypes and confirm the system objectives.

Stage 4: Technical Systems Options

This stage allows you and the analyst to consider the technical options. Details such as the terms of cost, performance and impact on the organisation is determined. You identify, define and select the possible technical system option in this stage.

Stage 5: Logical Design

This stage involves you specifying the new system through designing the menu structure and dialogues of the required system. The steps in this stage include defining the user dialogue, defining update processes and defining the inquiry processes.

Stage 6: Physical Design

This is the implementation phase of SSADM. The Physical Design stage is used to specify the physical data and process design, use the language and features of the chosen environment and incorporate installation standards. This stage concentrates on the environment in which the new system will be running.

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