Introduction to Systems Analysis and Design

I.     Course Prefix/Number: CIS 204

       Course Name: Introduction to Systems Analysis and Design

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 1 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces the systems development life cycle of a computer system. Content includes the investigation, analysis, design, implementation and evaluation phases of a business system, tools (e.g. CASE) and techniques used by the systems analyst. Recommended: CIS101 or CIS103 and one programming language course or concurrent enrollment in one programming language course.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will be capable of applying the fundamental skills that are needed by the systems analyst for business data processing.

The student will be able to explain the role of information systems in the business environment and will be able to demonstrate competence in performing the steps involved in the development of a simple system:

  1. Preliminary investigation
  2. Detailed investigation and analysis of specific systems requirements
  3. General design of the system
  4. Detailed systems design
  5. System implementation
  6. Evaluation

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Information Systems in Organizations
    1. Systems Theory
      1. Systems, procedures and tasks
      2. Business applications vs. management information systems
      3. Systems approach to problem solving
      4. Formal vs. informal system
      5. Characteristics of an unsuccessful system
    2. Systems and Management
      1. Management functions
      2. Informational requirements of management
      3. Location of the systems staff in the organization
        1. Centralized vs. decentralized
        2. Reporting relationship of data processing in the organization
      4. Role of the analyst
      5. Impact of microcomputers
      6. Use of organization charts
    3. Systems Life Cycle
      1. Preliminary investigation
      2. Detailed investigation and analysis
      3. General design
      4. Detailed design
      5. Implementation
      6. Evaluation
  2. Preliminary Investigation
    1. Origination of systems projects
    2. Evaluation of systems projects/determining priorities
    3. Objectives of preliminary investigation
    4. Determining problems from symptoms
    5. Conducting a preliminary investigation
      1. Use of a letter of authority
      2. Data gathering tools and techniques
        1. Organization charts
        2. Interviews
          1. The communication process/listening skills
          2. Steps in planning, conducting and follow up
          3. Role of the interviewer and interviewee
          4. Types of questions
    6. Resistance to change
    7. Presentation of findings
      1. Oral presentation
        1. Preparation
          1. Defining audience
          2. Use of auxiliary materials
          3. Organization
        2. Presentation
          1. Selling reliability of speaker
          2. Good speaking techniques
          3. Control of a presentation
      2. Written reports
        1. What to include
        2. Technical writing techniques
  3. Detailed Investigation and Analysis
    1. Objectives of detailed investigation and analysis
    2. Data gathering tools and techniques
      1. Review organization chart
      2. Interviews
      3. Questionnaires
        1. Purpose
        2. Advantages
        3. Disadvantages
        4. Guidelines for construction
      4. Review documentation
      5. Observation
      6. Visiting other installations
      7. Presentations by vendors
    3. Use of consultants
    4. User participation
    5. Analysis tools and charting techniques
    6. Feasibility analysis
      1. Technical (is technology available)
      2. Operational (can it be done at our installation)
      3. Legal (do we comply with government requirements)
      4. Economic (cost/benefit analysis)
      5. Financial (can we afford it)
      6. Schedule
    7. Presentation of findings and alternative solutions
  4. General Design
    1. Set a blue print for the design phase
    2. Selection of hardware and software
    3. System requirements
    4. Presentation to obtain approval
  5. Detailed Design
    1. Step in detailed design
      1. Design output
      2. Design input
      3. Design files
      4. Design processing and procedures
      5. Presentation to obtain approval
    2. Design of output
      1. Define output requirements
      2. Review types of output available
      3. Design reports and screen layouts
        1. Internal vs. external reports
        2. Reporting by exception
        3. Content of reports
        4. Format of reports
        5. Use of printer spacing charts
      4. Disposition and handling of output
      5. Obtaining user approval
      6. Use of turnaround documents
      7. Forms design
    3. Design of Input
      1. Determine the input data needed to produce the required output
      2. Review types of input available
      3. Source of input
        1. Transaction files
        2. Master files and databases
        3. Source documents
        4. On-line input
        5. Calculations by a computer program
        6. Constant data using control records
        7. Tables
      4. Design of input records and source documents
        1. Relationship between source documents and input records
        2. Record length
        3. Field size and type
        4. Use of codes
      5. Verification and control
      6. Centralized vs. distributed data entry
    4. Design of Files
      1. Function of files
        1. Master files
        2. Transaction files
        3. Temporary files
        4. Back-up files
      2. Internal representation of data
      3. File storage methods
        1. Magnetic tape
          1. Characteristics
          2. Advantages and disadvantages
          3. Blocking of data
          4. Protection of data on tape
        2. Magnetic disk
          1. Characteristics
          2. Advantages and disadvantages
          3. Cylinder concept
          4. Protection of data
        3. Other methods
      4. File organization
        1. Sequential
        2. Random
          1. Direct
          2. Indexed sequential
      5. Database Files
        1. Function of database
        2. Accessing data
        3. Query language
      6. Security of data and back-up of files
    5. Design of processing and procedures
      1. Computer program functions
        1. Editing
        2. Sorting
        3. Updating
        4. Reporting
      2. Use of utility programs
      3. Use of prewritten software
      4. Program specifications
      5. Development of standards
      6. System back-up and restart
      7. Security of data and controls in procedures
    6. Presentation of obtain approval
  6. Implementation
    1. Programming
    2. Testing
      1. Program testing
      2. Alpha testing
      3. Beta testing
    3. Preparation and review of documentation
      1. User documentation
      2. Operations documentation
      3. System documentation
    4. Hiring and training personnel
    5. Installing hardware, software, obtaining supplies
    6. Conversion to new system
      1. Direct
      2. Parallel
      3. Phased
      4. Pilot
    7. Project Scheduling
  7. Maintenance
    1. Formal
    2. Outgoing

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods of instruction include lecture, discussion group and individual projects.  In addition, cases will be developed to enable the student to apply the techniques used by the analyst in all phases of systems analysis and design.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Reading:  Students will be expected to read the text and the case study descriptions
Writing:  Students will be expected to complete at least one major case study project
Computers:  The case study project will be prepared using Word processing and CASE tools.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Exams, assignments and cases, term project and contribution to class discussion.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.