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Systems Analysis and Architecture

Effective software solutions are based on well-conceived data and process design, one that is based in a deep, detailed understanding of the underlying activity and information needs that it must support. Acquiring this knowledge is what we refer to as “Discovery.” As developers, “we don’t know what we don’t know.” We have found that this type of work often leads to discovery by the stakeholders themselves of critical aspects of the project that are not contemplated at the outset.

Lanex, based on our extensive experience utilizing both Open Source and “custom” platforms, is able to utilize our experience to recommend, design, and implement a software solution that is appropriate for its customers’ needs and associated budgets.

Depending on the type of project we are tasked with, Discovery and Design topics may be structured differently. For example, selection of a Content Management System for a customer’s website, would naturally involve different topics than building a Product Configurator.

The Discovery phase will be accomplished principally through a series of meetings with “subject matter experts” and decision-makers identified at the outset, with documentation of the results performed off-line. Lanex will typically structure the design process to be accomplished both interactively and as off-line activity, with the design being approved by the stakeholders. This understanding needs to be captured in the form of documentation; the nature and extent of the documentation required becomes clearer as the project’s scope and requirements are more thoroughly understood. The types and extent of documentation will be selected based on the minimum needed for the project to be successful, as well as the project budget.

Notwithstanding the above, Lanex believes that any or all of the following forms of documentation and/or activities may be employed during a Systems Analysis and Architecture project or phase:

  1. A Site Map;
  2. A high-level Production Schedule;
  3. Wireframe models/mockups of the layout of key pages or functions. This may include examples of certain pages on a particular platform (i.e., mobile vs. desktop);
  4. A graphic design specification describing the “look and feel” aspects of the website; this will be in written form and will provide the basis for development of Design Comps;
  5. Setup of a Development Environment;
  6. A data model or ERD for the database;
  7. Use Cases, detailing how a user will step through a process and the types of prompts and feedback they might receive;
  8. Definitions of terminology, helping to ensure a common understanding both within an organization and with Lanex developers.

Samples of these artifacts can be provided on request.

Developing solid documentation prior to the start of the project will help ensure the success of the overall application, much in the way a prospective homeowner would rather purchase a house built from a blueprint than one constructed on-the-fly. Having a blueprint, and a plan, allows resources to be used in a cohesive, targeted fashion, and minimizes the potential for costly changes during development.

Contact Lanex today to discuss your Systems Analysis and Architecture needs.

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