INFS 622 Syllabus – v1.2: Initial Syllabus (DRAFT)





Office Hours:

C. Randall Howard, Ph.D.

Volgeneau Engineering Building Room 5323

(703) 899-3608

by appointment

Graduate Assistant:




Office Hours:

Katherine Irvin


by appointment


Course #:        INFS 622

Section:          002

CRN:              73199                                  

Course Title: Systems Analysis and Design


Term:             Fall 2012

August 29, 2012 – December 11, 2012

Time:             Wednesdays, 19:20-22:00

Room:             Planetary Hall 206 (formerly S&T I)


Prerequisites: INSF 501, 515 and 590 or equivalent, or by permission.




IMPORTANT NOTE: The material posted for reading and reference is NOT to be distributed, posted or used outside of the INFS622 session.  The material is copyrighted and is Intellectual Property of various parties.


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.


Learning Objectives:

INFS622 is a core-course for the CS and Applied-IT programs. Dr. Howard leverages his 29+ years of system engineering, architecture and consulting 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 communitiesthe

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

·       Explain rationale and recommendations to stakeholders



Ground Rules

This syllabus serves as our “contract” for the course and the semester.  Such items as the textbook, topics, learning objectives, grading, etc. are conveyed in this syllabus. 


Students are expected to prepare BEFORE class on material scheduled for each session.  At a minimum, the lecture slides need to be reviewed.  This is vital to encourage participation, which is a vital element of Professor’s Discretion.


While the workload is designed to be as balanced throughout the semester:

ü  The front part of the semester is heavier by nature

ü  There are points at which the workload is heavy though

ü  It is up to the students to prepare accordingly


Other ground rules are listed in the first lecture.  These are listed to help facilitate a smoother running of the semester.


Release Notes


Since this is the first time we have used this book, there will be some “shaking out” some kinks as adjust the rhythm of the material coverage.


The structure of the course is also being streamlined to make the learning experience as efficient and effective for both student and teacher.  The changes are heavily influenced by valued feedback from previous semester. Throughout the semester, we will have checkpoints where we will solicit such feedback in order to re-calibrate certain elements as needed.


Part of this streamlining is moving to online testing this semester.  A “Mock Trial Test” is setup to run it through the paces before a real assessment is due. 


Changes, especially the schedule, will occur during the semester to adapt the structure to the personality and progress of the class.  These changes will be announced and discussed as needed.


All efforts will be made to announce changes in the course material; however, it is each student’s responsibility to verify that they have the latest version.  This is done by checking the date of the material on Blackboard.


Group work

We will break the class into no more than 5 Teams.  While we prefer 4-6 people in a team, we cannot effectively run the session with more teams due to high level of interaction w/ teams.  While requests for groups will be honored, the professor reserves the right to equitably distribute students to optimize class performance across the groups.


Evaluating Performance:

Grading is being broken into smaller chunks throughout the semester to provide earlier feedback to the students, and to facilitate streamlined evaluation of the students and groups.


Evaluations will comprise of two methods:

ü  Formal

ü  Peer Review, as opportunity is available, that will feed into Formal grading reviewed and concurred by the Professor


Note: Grading Events are being streamlined to address issues experienced in previous semesters.  Changes in approach will be announced! However, the %’s below will not change. 


Table 1. Grading Distribution



Individual Assignments


Project Work




Professor's Discretion



Table 2.  Grading Scale

Letter Grade

Numerical Range




















Individual Assignments:

The assignments are individual unless otherwise specified. Assignments will be graded on correctness as well as style and presentation.


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 or leader who will help coordinate the overall progress of the team. Each team member's individual contribution to the final documents must be clearly identified. Each group will be called on to present material throughout the semester.


Available Case Studies for Fall 2012

·       P&G Automated Data Capture

·       Zara POE

·       Shinsei CRM

·       Hilton CRM

·       CVS DUR Expiration Date Check

·       Beth Israel Patient Access

·       Codelco Emergency Alert System

·       Your own?? (w/ Professor’s Approval)


Group Project Checkpoints:

Project checkpoints are an opportunity to receive feedback on their progress.  The content itself is not graded per se; however, they:

·       Are evaluated as to the completeness and intent of the effort to be complete.  In other words,

·       Serve as the Authority to Proceed (ATP) to the next phase.



At the discretion of the professor, a mid-term exam may be given.  There will be a final exam covering lectures, readings and topics covered over the entire semester. Exams must be taken at the scheduled time and place unless prior arrangements are made.  Missed exams cannot be made up without these prior arrangements.


Professor’s Discretion:

Participation is a portion of both the group project and individual grades.  This has been a particular challenge that we will be addressing throughout the semester in various, ad-hoc manners – depending on how proactive the class is in averting “ad-hoc manners”.  


Warning: “ad-hoc” manners are not necessarily the preferable option either.


Other exceptional conditions, either positive or negative, comprise Professor’s Discretion as well.


All Sumissions

All work must be submitted at the scheduled time and place unless prior arrangements are made.  Missed reports cannot be made up without these prior arrangements.


All 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.



1.     All submissions’ file names need to indicate student or group names.

a.     For individual submissions, use this format:

Last Name_First Name_AssignmentName

b.     For group submissions, questions, etc. for the Professor,

                                                    i.     CLEARLY mark the subject of the item as  w/ ATTN TO PROFESSOR: subject

                                                  ii.     (I do not monitor group discussion areas

                                                iii.     Send a follow-up email to the Professor that the item has been posted

                                                 iv.     For Submissions, use this format:

Group#, ArtifactName, State (eg.,Initial, Draft, Final), Version (e.g. #)

                                                   v.     Submit on group’s File Exchange area on blackboardons


2.      ALL submissions should be in MS Word, unless otherwise specified. In other words, DO NOT submit .PDF’s – I cannot provide feedback easily w/ .PDF’s.

3.      At the professor’s discretion, a 10% penalty may be assessed for not following these instructions!




Academic Integrity.  It is your responsibility to know and to follow Mason’s policy on academic integrity (


SafeAssign.  The professor utilizes the tool provided as part of Blackboard to check assignments against published resources AND other students’ work. 


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


To stay safe:

·       Provide citations for your work – group and individual – even if it is “adapted from”. 

·       Do not work in groups to complete individual work.  The approach to individual work is allowed, but the work itself must reflect the individual student’s efforts – unless otherwise specified.

·       Do not copy and paste material from the text unless short, pithy definitions that cannot necessarily be re-worded easily.


ODS Statement.  If you have a disability and wish academic accommodations, please see the Professor and contact the Office of Disability Services (703) 993-2474, (


INFS62 Integrated Lecture & Project Class Schedule

V1.0: Session 1


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:


Changed / Changing Items


Project Artifacts


Items are due

Pale Blue:

Milestones or Events

Project Work Time Allowed in Class



Session #


Lecture Session Focus

Due Dates & Deadlines

Session 1

August 29

o   Introductions

o   Course & Text Overview

ü  Class Resource Guide Overview

ü  Analysis & Design Proposal Artifact Relations

o   Professor Supplement: Overview & Scoping a Project

ü  Analysis & Design Life-Cycle

ü  Professor’s position vs. Text

·        Context before formal requirements

·        Use Case Diagram before formal use cases (scenarios)

ü  Walk-thru a “typical” project

ü  Simple Exemplar Case Study

o   Project Teaming & Topic Time

o   VW Case Study Assigned  (Read & Prepare to Discuss at a later session) (

o   DFD Context & Use Case Readings


August 31


·        [D] Students: Member Profiles & Request

·        [D] Groups: Initial Project Topic Requests Due


Sept 3


·        [D] Professor: Group & Topic Confirmations


Sept 4

Last Day to Add/Drop (w/ no tuition liability)

Session 2

Sept 5

o   Carryover from Session 1 (as needed)

o   Review Project Teams’ Core Artifacts


o   Chapter 1 The Systems Analyst And Information Systems Development

o   Visio & PowerPoint Tips

o   Preview Homework

o   Project Work Time

o   [D]Mock Trial Test


Session 3

Sept 12

o   Chapter 2 Project Selection And Management

ü  Multi-Criteria Decision / Analysis Table

ü  Analysis of Alternatives

ü  Breakeven Analysis

ü  Risks & Risk Mitigation Table

ü  Project Plan

ü  Project Schedule

ü  Cost/Benefit Analysis

ü  PERT Diagrams

o   Preview Final Exam?

o   Project Work Time

o   [D]Homework #1 Due

·        [D]Discuss VW Case Study

Session 4

Sept 19


o   Chapter 3 Requirements Determination

o   Chapter 4 Use Case Analysis

o   Review Level-0 DFD Diagrams

o   Project Work Time



Sept 22

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

Session 5

Sept 26

o   Chapter 5 Process Modeling

ü  DFD

ü  Decision Trees

ü  Decision Tables

o   In-class Exercise

o   Pulling the Analysis Proposal Together

o   Project Work Time


Session 6

Oct 3

o   Presentation Tips

o   Chapter 6 Data Modeling

ü  Data Model

ü  Class Diagram

o   In-class Exercise

o   Project Reviews

ü  Exec Summary Review

ü  Presentation Review

ü  “Final Touches”

o   Analysis Project Time

o   [D]Homework #2 Due


Session 7

Oct 10


o   Chapter 7 Moving Into Design

o   Chapter 8 Architecture Design

o   Project Work Time


Session 8

Oct 17

o   Chapter 9 User Interface Design

ü  Usability Slides

o   Chapter 10 Program Design

o   In-class Exercises

o   Chapter 11 Data Storage Design


Session 9

Oct 24


o   Chapter 12 Moving Into Implementation

o   Chapter 13 Transition To The New System

·        [D] Groups: Analysis Proposal Product Due

Session 10

Oct 31

o   Analysis Proposal Feedback

o   Chapter 14 The Movement To Objects

ü  Use Case Diagrams

ü  Activity Diagrams

ü  Sequence Diagrams

o   In-class Exercise

o   Project Work Time

o   [D]Homework #3 Due

Session 11

Nov 7

o   Open Session



Nov 10


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

Session 12

Nov 14

o   Project Work Time

ü  Exec Summary Review

ü  Presentation Review

ü  “Final Touches”



Nov 21

Thanksgiving Break

Session 13

Nov 28

o   Current Events Discussions

o   Wrapup

o   Course Evals


Session 14

Dec 5

o   Analysis & Design Proposal Presentations

[D] Analysis & Design Proposal Products & Presentations Due

Session 15

Dec 12

o   Final Exam

[D]: Students: Final Exam Due