Rethinking Systems Analysis and Design
Last updated on 2014-10-08
About the Book
Systems analysis and design have solved many problems, but they have also created many problems. This unique book tackles crucial analysis and design issues that are glossed over in conventional texts. It recognizes that while many problems are solved with systems analysis and design, many problems are also created.
Using a short, highly readable essay format, Rethinking Systems Analysis & Design presents readers with both the logical and the more intuitive aspects of the analysis/design process. The book is intended as an alternative for those who must deal with the less structured processes of analysis and design.
A witty and illustrative fable concludes each of this engaging book's seven parts. Among the informative topics are
- mastering complexity
- general systems thinking
- observing and interviewing
- trading off quality versus cost
- understanding the designer's mind
- design philosophy.
Computerworld said, "This isn't just another systems analysis and design book, but one about the problems and possible solutions encountered when implementing a structured approach."
Managing End-User Computing said: "Almost everything in this book translates directly into your own environment. . . . [You'll] find more wonderful stories, anecdotes, and fables in this book than you're likely to find even in a book on a more interesting subject than systems analysis!"
The International Journal of General Systems wrote: "For many years, Gerald Weinberg has been enlivening the often solemn scene of design methodology with his distillations of experience into expertise. His collections of essays, anecdotes, and consolidated wisdom are always inspiring and entertaining: his new work in this tradition will be good reading not only for designers but for anyone wanting to understand design, particularly the users and managers of information systems. . . . Until we do have the Grand Unified Theory of Design (if this is even possible), life lessons such as those in this book will continue to be the most useful guide there is, both for introducing prospective practitioners and for reminding the old hands of what they may occasionally forget."
- Rethinking Systems Analysis and Design
Part I. The New World of Systems Analysis and Design
- The Cost of Not Producing
- Mastering Complexity with General Systems Thinking
Problems, Solutions, and Systems Analyst/Designers
- Some Mistaken Names
- The Problem-Solution Myth
- The Job of the Synthesist
The Education of a Systems Analyst/Designer
- What the Synthesist Needs to Know
- The General Systems Approach as Learning Amplifier
- Observer Training
- Learning to Work with Models
- Becoming a Designer
- Where General Systems Training Fits into a Curriculum
Beyond Structured Programming
- Looking ahead by looking back
- The Three Ostriches: A Fable
- Mastering Complexity
Part II General Systems Thinking
What Is General Systems Thinking?
- The Scientific-Disciplinary-Inductive Approach
- The Mathematical-Interdisciplinary-Deductive Approach
- The General Systems Approach
- What Is the System—and Why Does the Question Count?
- Interdisciplinary Learning
- The Two Philosophers: A Fable
- What Is General Systems Thinking?
Part III Observation
The Black Box Method
- Learning with the Black Box
- Applications to Real Life
- Can Observation be Learned in the Classroom?
- The Natural History of White Bread
- The Railroad Paradox
- The Dog Who Read Fables: A Fable
- The Black Box Method
Part IV Interviewing
- A Surefire Question
- Self-Validating Questions
- “The Question Is …”
- Avoiding the “Plop Problem”
- Avoiding Communication Problems through Generalization
- The Fairy and the Pig: A Fable
Part V Design Philosophy
- A Simple View of Design
- Thing versus Process—The Grand Dichotomy
- The Three Bs
- Design for Understanding
- On the Origins of Designer Intuition
- The Goat and the Hippo: A Fable
Part VI Tradeoffs
- Optimitis and the Tradeoff Concept
- Tradeoffs—Quality versus Cost
- Trading Analysis for Design
- A Tradeoff View of Error Correction
- A Cribbage Lesson
- The Water Moccasin and the Waterproof Moccasin: A Fable
Part VII The Designer’s Mind
- Design as a Human Activity
- Design—The Reality and the Romance
- How to Find Miracles
- A Postscript on Miracles
- The Confusion Technique
- WIGGLE Charts—A Sketching Tool for Designers
- Featuring Failure
- A Rose and a Rose: A Fable
- Part VIII Epilogue
- Appendix A: The Diagram of Effects
Appendix B: The Software Engineering Cultural Patterns
- Pattern 0. Oblivious Process
- Pattern 1: Variable Process
- Pattern 2: Routine Process
- Pattern 3: Steering Process
- Pattern 4: Anticipating Process
- Pattern 5: Congruent Process
Appendix C. The Satir Interaction Model
Appendix D. Control Models
- D.1. The Aggregate Control Model
D.2. Cybernetic Control Models
- D.2.1 The system to be controlled (the focus of Patterns 0 and 1)
- D.2.2 The controller (the focus of Pattern 2)
- D.2.3 Feedback control (the focus of Pattern 3)
- Appendix E. The Three Observer Positions
Appendix F: Description of the Black Box System
- General Systems Theory Special Assignment: Studying the Black Box
- Subsystem 1
- Subsystem 2
- Subsystem 3
- Subsystem 4
- Subsystem 5
- Subsystem 6
- Subsystem 7
- Subsystem 8
- Appendix A
- Appendix B
- Appendix C
- Appendix D
- Appendix E
- Books for Consultants (and others)
- The Quality Software Series
- The Systems Thinking Series
- Novels: technology lessons framed in fiction.
- Book Bundles
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