Essential Systems Analysis

Essential Systems Analysis

By McMenamin & Palmer

Essential Systems Analysis — Stephen McMenamin and John Palmer

From Richard Cohen:

A milestone in system analysis

This book changed the way I thought of system analysis when I first read it in 1984. Those ideas are still relevant today. Its key ideas include the notion of technology independent requirements and a rule of thumb (perfect technology) for recognizing them. It was the first book (that I read) to recommend the use of both Data Flow Diagrams and Entity Relationship Diagrams to provide a balanced depiction of business requirements. It distinguished between the essence (core requirements) of a system and its incarnation, this was an important refinement on the notions of logical and physical models which to this day are seldom well defined. It identified the “old physical tar pit” as a major risk area in structured analysis and suggested ways to avoid getting stuck. Finally it proposed the notion of blitzing requirements as a technique for dealing with real-world time constraints. This book was essentially a sequel to Structure Analysis and System Specification, the ground breaking book on structured analysis by Tom DeMarco. (The authors of this book were close business associates of DeMarco.)

Sadly this book is out of print, and can only be found from second-hand booksellers,

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