INFS 622 Syllabus – v1.0: Initial Syllabus





Office Hours:

C. Randall Howard, Ph.D.

Volgeneau Engineering Building Room 5323

(703) 899-3608

by appointment

Graduate Assistant:




Office Hours:

Megan Iverson

by appointment


Course #:        INFS 622

Course Title: Systems Analysis and Design

Term:                         Fall 2011


Section:           002

Time:             Wednesdays, 19:20-22:00

Room:             West 1001


Prerequisites: INSF 501, 515 and 590 or equivalent.




Catalog Description:

Integration of computing technologies, system analysis, system design practices, and management criteria in the design of large-scale information management and decision support systems.


Professor’s Description:

INFS622 is a core-course for the CS and Applied-IT programs. Dr. Howard leverages his 28 years of system engineering experience to run heavily mentored group interactions along with industry-relevant lecture material.   Students learn the material, and also know how to apply and connect the artifacts together by semester’s end.  The result is a valuable skill that enables the students to “sell” a cohesive story that greatly increases the chance of acceptance and approval of any proposal or recommendation.  In doing so, students learn to:

·         Refine & apply new “translation and “language” skills to mediate between business & technical communities

·         Tools to determine best fit to address the problems and shape solutions

·         Explain rationale and recommendations to stakeholders





Table 1. Grading Distribution



Individual Assignments


Project Work




Professor's Discretion



Table 2.  Grading Scale

Letter Grade

Numerical Range




















Individual Assignments:

Assignments are announced during class. The assignments are individual unless otherwise specified. Assignments will be graded on correctness as well as style and presentation. Each assignment is due on the announced date before 12 midnight. There will be a strictly enforced 10% penalty per day for late submissions unless otherwise specified. 


Group Project:

There will be a group research project. Each team is responsible for developing an integrated requirements specification and design document. Each group will select a team coordinator who will help coordinate the overall progress of the team. Each team member's individual contribution to the final documents and models must be clearly identified. At the end of the semester each group will have a presentation session.



There will be a midterm exam and a final exam covering lectures and readings. The final exam (comprehensive) includes topics covered in the entire semester. Exams must be taken at the scheduled time and place unless prior arrangements are made. Missed exams cannot be made up.


NOTE: All submissions’ file names need to indicate student or group names.  All submissions should be in MS Word, unless otherwise specified. 


Honor Code Statement:

As with all GMU courses, INFS 622 is governed by the GMU Honor Code. In this course, all assignments, exams, and project submissions carry with them an implicit statement that it is the sole work of the author, unless joint work is explicitly authorized. Help may be obtained from the instructor or other students to understand the description of the problem and any technology, but the solution, particularly the design portion, must be the student's own work. If joint work is authorized, all contributing students must be listed on the submission. Any deviation from this is considered an Honor Code violation. (© Jeff Offutt) .  For more information, see


INFS622 Class Schedule

V1.0: Initial Schedule


Schedule Notes:

·         Order is (re-)arranged to facilitate more time to apply the discussion to the project artifacts

·         Project Artifacts w/in Lectures are highlighted in yellow.

·         Schedule WILL change as needed to facilitate learning according to personality & makeup of the class

·         Items marked w/ a “[D] party:” indicate a deliverable from the party: listed (e.g., Students, Groups, Professor)

·         Color Legend:


Changes are due


Project Artifacts


Items are due

Pale Blue:

Milestones or Events

Project Work Time Allowed in Class




Session #


Lecture Focus

Project Focus


Session 1

August 31

·         Introductions

·         Course & Text  Overview

·         Project, Groups and Case Studies Overview

ü  Project Instructions

ü  Project Templates

ü  Project Charters

ü  Project Matrixes

ü  Project Artifact Relationship Diagram

ü  Project Rolling Deliverable Tenets

·         Project Teaming & Topic Time

VW Case Study Assigned

 (Read & Prepare to Discuss at a later session)


September 2


·         [D} Students: Member Profiles

·         [D] Groups: Initial Project Topic Requests Due



September 4


·         [D] Professor: Group Assignments Confirmed



September 6

Last Day to Add/Drop

Session 2

September 7

·         Chapter 1

ü  The Systems Development Environment

ü  Architectural Approaches, Supplemental Text

·         Chapter 3: Managing the Information Systems Project

ü  Project Plan

ü  Project Schedule

ü  Cost/Benefit Analysis

ü  Risks

·         Groups Present “Project Charter”

·         Presentation Tips

·         Visio & PowerPoint Tips

·         Project Work Time

·         Preview Homework

·         Preview Final Exam



September 9


[D] Groups: Project Charter "Strawman"  or Analysis Section 2.0 Submitted



September 11


[D] Professor: Group Subject & Charter Confirmed


Session 3

September 14

·         Chapter 7: Structuring System Process Requirements

ü  DFD

ü  Decision Tables

·         Review Project “Charters”

·         Project Work Time


Session 4

September 21

·         Chapter 3: Managing the Information Systems Project

ü  Risks

·         Chapter 4: Identifying & Selecting Systems Development Projects

ü  Multi-Criteria Analysis Table

·         Chapter 5: Initiating and Planning Systems Development Projects

ü  Breakeven Analysis

ü  Risk Mitigation Table

·         Review Level-0 DFD Diagrams

·         Project Work Time



September 24


Out of Class Work Sessions for Product #1 (If Needed)


Session 5

September 28

·         Chapter 4: Identifying & Selecting Systems Development Projects

ü  Multi-Criteria Analysis Table

ü  Analysis of Alternatives

·         Chapter 5: Initiating and Planning Systems Development Projects

ü  Risk Mitigation

·         Pulling the Analysis Proposal Together

·         Project Work Time

·         [D] Class: Discuss VW Case Study

Session 6

October 5

·         Chapter 2: The Origins of Software

·         Chapter 6: Determining System Requirements

·         Analysis Project Time

·         Exec Summary Review

·         Presentation Review

·         “Final Touches”


Session 7

October 12


·         Project Work Time?


Session 8

October 19

·         Analysis Proposal Presentations

[D] Groups: Analysis Proposal Product & Presentation Due




Midway Point



Session 9

October 26

·         Chapter 7a, b & c: Structuring System Process Requirements

ü  7a:Use Cases

ü  7b:Activity Diagrams

ü  7c: Sequence Diagrams

·         Chapter 8: Structuring System Logic Requirements

ü  Data Model

ü  Class Diagram

·         Analysis Proposal Reviews Feedback

·         Set Path for Design Phase



Session 10

November 2

·         Chapter 10: Designing Forms & Reports

·         Chapter 11: Designing Interfaces & Dialogues

·         Usability Slides

·         Final Exam Preview

·         Pert Diagrams

·         Chapter 9:

·         Designing Databases

·         Project Work Time?

[D} Students: Homework Assignment Due

Session 11

November 9

·         Chapter 12: Designing Distributed & Internet Systems

·         Exec Summary Review

·         Presentation Review

·         “Final Touches”



November 12


Out of Class Work Sessions for Product #1 (If Needed)


Session 12

November 16

·         Chapter 13: System Implementation

·         Chapter 14: Maintaining Information Systems

·         Project Work Time?



November 23

Thanksgiving Break – No Classs



Session 13

November 30

·         Design Proposal Presentations

[D] Design Proposal Product & Presentation Due


Session 14

December 7

·         Current Events Discussions

·         Wrapup

·         Course Evals

·         Design Proposal Reviews Feedback


Session 15

December 14

Final Exam


[D]: Students: Final Exam Due