Before requirements can be set and understood, the existing and proposed process should be structured. Flow diagrams of the process must be prepared for documentation and as a means of communications among all of the participants and stake holders in the system.

3.1 Stake Holders

Stakeholders are all individuals that are or could be affected by the system. As a whole, they represent the concerned group who input could be critical for the system. While it is desirable to consult with as many of the stakeholders as possible while developing a system, usually only the critical stakeholders are directly involved.

3.1.1 Users

Users are the group of stakeholders who will either use the system directly or utilize the information from the system. They include the operators as well as the professionals who are operationally responsible for the system. In setting requirements, all users should be consulted. In particular, the individual who will be direct users should be brought into the development process.

3.1.2 Managers

Managers consist of individuals who have administrative responsibility over the system and the process of its development. In large organizations, these individuals may not be users in that their responsibility is only administrative and not operational. Ultimately, however, they will be involved in major problems, shortcomings and cost overruns involved in the systems development.

3.1.3 Systems People

Systems people consist of system designers, programmers, and management of the systems development process. In large organizations separate information systems organizations exist who have a stake in the all computer systems. These organizations may take responsibility for maintenance, development, or general over-sight. In any case, these individuals are part of the users' systems environment.

3.1.4 Others

Stakeholders can include other people indirectly involved in the systems. These include indirect users such as the client customers and other personnel. Auditors

Auditors are a special group of stakeholders in that they have specific responsibility in maintaining the systems integrity. Independent (external) auditors will be involved in the system if deemed "audit critical" to the evaluation of the financial well being of the firm. Internal auditors will have a more general interest in assuring the control procedures are being followed even in cases where the system is not audit critical but may impact on the welfare of the firm. Customers & Clients

Customers and clients generally fall into one of the above categories. However, in case they do not, primary customers are special stakeholders. They have take an active position regarding the development of the system and should be included to whatever extent they wish.

3.2 The Process & Environment

In order to design a system, the environment under which the system will function must be understood. Typically, the operation must first be analyzed in terms of what functions, tasks, and activities are presently being undertaken. The information system then links into the existing process unless a change of practice will be required.

Therefore, start any process definition by defining the external process.

3.2.1Objective & Scope

The first element of analysis is to identify the process in terms of what it does. This usually involves identifying the organization and scope of the process. This activity is usually simple. However, skipping it can lead to miss understandings and a poorly specified system.

3.2.2 Mapping

There are typically two stages in describing a process: (1) mapping, which identifies the key elements or functions that makes up the process and (2) the flow diagrams which shows the connections, transfers, and timing of the process. Functions/ Sub-functions

A process usually consists of sub-units or functions. The characteristics of functions are a specific output which as value to the organization. In a manufacturing operation, a function could be each of the major steps in the production. In sales, we can consider the cash-register operation to be a function. Authority over functions is usually well defined. In general a manager, supervisor, or someone acting as one has specific authority over the function.

If the function, itself, is large it may be divided into sub-functions. Each of these sub-functions should also have specific output. Tasks

Functions and sub-functions are divided into tasks. Each task is isolated in time and space. Usually it is contiguous in time. Functions usually consist of several tasks each may be done by different people over different ranges in time. Activities/ Micro- activities

Tasks are broken down into activities or actions. These are the specific steps that are undertaken. The activities can be broken ever finer to cover the actual movements and micro-processes involved. The detail that is documented should depend on the need of analysis. Usually the environmental system is analyzed only to the extent needed to design the information system.

3.2.3 Flow Diagrams

The process is more than the sum of its parts. The mapping activity identifies the elements of the process. These elements are combined in a flow of materials, ideas, products, and services to produce the operating system. The flow diagrams capture the various dynamic issues describing the process. Paths

Most operating processes do several things. Work passes through the process in several ways. We refer to each of these ways as a path. Generally, only a few paths are of interest and of those, one usually is of particular interest. This is referred to the major or principle path, channel, or process. If more than one path is critical they can be combined as a set options or decision or as separate diagrams. Starting-Points

Each path has a starting point, which should be identified. End-Points

Each path has a number of possible end-points. While only one starting is usually allowed for a path, several end-points can exist. All processes in this regard are consisted linear, they start and they end. Activities

Between the beginning and end is a list of activities. As previously noted, they are organized into functions and tasks. Transfers & Flows

Flows consist of transfers of something. Usually items are identified and tracked through the flow diagram. These items are materials, energy, value, and money. The structure of the flows of these items usually are congruent. Where materials go so goes value and money. However, the flows may go in opposite directions. Usually physical and monetary flows are used to construct the flow structure and diagrams. Time

Tasks may be conducted in parallel or sequential. Flow diagrams that only show flows usually hid the real time dynamics of the process. Time flow diagrams (Gantt Charts) also show the temporal nature of the process. Logic

The decision nature of the process can also be described as a flow diagram. These are referred to as logic flow diagrams. They focus on the decision process.

3.2.4 System Design Diagrams

Maps and flow diagrams are created to describe and analyze process and systems. They are constructed a various stages of systems development and cover varying degrees of detail. During the problem definition, analysis and design phases, the diagram focuses on the totality of the systems. Later during and after the development of computer code, maps and diagrams are created to describe the details of the computer programming. At this point, we focus only on the design and analysis use of these diagrams. Process Map

As in the case of the operational process, the functions, tasks and activities first need to be mapped. This mapping acts as a basis for the construction of flows. The maps consist of ordered listings of the functions, sub- functions, tasks and sub-tasks that need to be accomplished as part of the function. Process Flow

Once the operational process is describe as a map type diagram, the flow of activities can be constructed in the form of a Process Flow Diagram. This diagram shows how the tasks flow together. Natural Orientation

The Process Flow Diagram should focus on the way the user looks at the process. Usually this tracks the physical process such as customer transactions, or materials and parts as they flow through manufacturing. The objective the Process Flow Diagram is to provide overview of what we expect the system to do. System Logic Flow

The overall Logic Flow diagram captures the general nature of the information that is required for the environment. Generally, this diagram shows key data entry and reporting elements. Information Orientation

The System Logic Flow Diagram focuses on the needs and manipulation of data and information. While the Process Flow Diagram is oriented to the general problem, the System Logic Flow is oriented to the creation of a system that will accomplish the tasks. These two diagrams may be very different in appearance. Information System Functions

Along with the operational functions that are part of the environment that the system must perform in are specific functions that are required of the information system itself. These include control, security, auditability, and maintenance. Decision Points

Key decision points need to be identified. The Logic Flow Diagrams are usually constructed in layers showing increasing amounts of detail into the operations that need to be performed. Options

The Logic Flow Diagram is completed by including all options that come out of the decision points. Note that each decision point can produce any number of possible outcomes. Information Map

As in the case of the operational process, the sources of information, files construction, and report generation first need to be mapped. This mapping acts as a basis for the construction of data flows. Data Flow

The Data Flow Diagram tracks the flow of information including file formation. The data flow is the key tool for designing the system. It will show what files are needed, they sources of data, and their uses. Because of the complexity of data exchanges, several Data Flow Diagrams can be given. Usually the data flow diagram center around the files while the logic flow focuses around the connections with the external environment. Usually, the data flow diagram is constructed from the System Logic Flow Diagram. Hooks

A key element in the Data Flow Diagrams is the location and character of hooks or connections to other systems. In this regard, the data flow diagram is analogous to an electrical diagram. It shows where data can be obtained.

The purpose of diagrams is to describe the process. Several flow diagrams are general prepared indicating various aspects of the process, details, and focuses. Standard flow chart symbols should be used when possible. Unique symbols should be defined on the chart or referenced to an addendum.

The final diagrams should be organized around a specific focus. For example, the data flow diagrams are generally focused on the files that need to be maintained. The logic flow diagram are constructed to show the process sequence and is used to construct other process control changes such as GANTT, PERT and Critical Path charts.