Evaluation

The sixth stage of the classical six stage systems analysis model.

tr.v. e·val·u·at·ed, e·val·u·at·ing, e·val·u·ates

  1. To ascertain or fix the value or worth of.
  2. To examine and judge carefully; appraise. See Synonyms at estimate.
  3. Mathematics. To calculate the numerical value of; express numerically.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=EVALUATION

Having created and implemented the new system this stage, (often paradoxically called the last and first stage), of the systems life cycle is entered.

The purpose of this stage is to evaluate that which has been implemented.  This is an observational study of the success of the implementation and the success of the system at meeting the need.  As the picture of this success (or lack of it) emerges it will soon be clear whether the perceived or actual needs of the user were being addressed and just how well the early stages were handled.

Often this stage is the springboard for further implementation of system improvements.  If this was just one branch of a larger organisation then the result of the evaluation report could result in the engagement of said systems analysts in the building of a country wide system.

Evaluation can last for a number of years and in many senses never truly ends.  Eventually external or internal pressures will require upgrades and improvements at the very least.  It is then that the evaluation reports of the system become one of most important documents in assessing the shortcomings of the old system and the necessitation of improvements.

Questions to be asked of the system are:

  • How well does it meet the original system specifications?
  • How well do users relate to the system?
  • Is the system demonstrably secure?
  • Do the users enter the data in the correct manor and if not how does the system cope?
  • How could the system be improved to increase worker and system efficiency?
  • Can the system be improved to increase customer satisfaction?

Techniques that can be used to gather this information are:

  • Questionnaires – these are limited in use and should be target only to those who use the system OR those who commissioned it.  In each case the information required will be different.
  • Faults Log – An invaluable aid to fault finding and tracking
  • Systems observations
  • Support workers and help desk logs
  • Systems auto-logs – reports generated by the system and stored therein to assist with faultfinding.

 


Classical Model of Systems analysis.  AKA the System Life Cycle

  1. Project Selection
  2. Feasibility Study
  3. Definition
  4. Design
  5. implementation
  6. Evaluation

E*val`u*a"tion (?), n. [Cf. F. 'evaluation, LL. evaluatio.]

Valuation; appraisement.

J. S. Mill.

 

© Webster 1913.

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