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Structured Systems Analysis and Design Methodology

SSADM V4.2 Documentation Standards

This SSADM Version 4.2 Documentation Standards, which is one of the four volumes of SSADM V4.2 Practitioner Manuals, defines standards for products required in both Feasibility Study (FS) and Systems Analysis & Design (SA&D) reports, as well as any interim products as defined in the SSADM Version 4.2 Structural Standards.

The Documentation Standards describe in detail each SSADM product's usage, contents and layout.

The document defines the 'output' when applying SSADM.

For ease of reference, parts of the contents are extracted from the document and summarized as below.

Feasibility Study Report

The FS report would be produced after the FS phase and before proceeding to the SA&D phase.

It is mainly composed of the following SSADM products:

  • Current Environment Description
  • Purpose : To document the findings of the investigation of the current system.
    Contents : Suggested contents include :-
    • Current System Description provides an overview of the existing system, the hardware in used, existing data volumes and frequencies of processes.
    • Current Physical Data Flow Model describes the functional aspect of the current environment.
    • Current Logical Data Model provides a logical representation of the relationships between the key entities in the current environment.

  • Business Activity Model
  • Purpose : To model the essential activities that need to be undertaken within the business. It also supports the understanding of the business events to which the business needs to respond.
    Contents : Business Activity Model consists of Business Perspectives (Why the business exists), Business Activity (What the business does), Business Event (When the activities are performed) and Business Rules (How the activities are performed).

  • User Catalogue
  • Purpose : It lists the required system users and their associated activities.
    Contents : A list containing job title and job activity description.

  • User Requirements
  • Purpose : To document the user requirements of the new system.
    Contents : Suggested contents include :-
    • Requirements Catalogue is a complete list of user requirements for the new system.
    • Audit/Control/Security Requirements document the audit, system control and security requirements of the required system.
    • Constraints List defines the limitations imposed on the design and implementation of the new system and their impact on the user organization.

  • Data Specification
  • Purpose : To document the data entities required by the new system.
    Contents : Using Logical Data Model, the data entities are identified, and the relationships among data entities are also presented in diagrammatic form. A short description of the data items of each data entity is also provided.

  • Function Specification
  • Purpose : To describe the functions provided by the new system.
    Contents : Suggested contents include :-
    • Required System Data Flow Model gives a functional view of the required system.
    • Functions List lists out the major functions to be provided by the required system.
    • Event/Enquiry List documents the events, which initiate the data flows or processes shown in the lowest level processes on the Required System Data Flow Diagrams, as well as enquiries which only retrieve information.

  • Selected Technical System Option
  • Purpose : To describe the implementation approach for the new system.
    Contents : Suggested contents include :-
    • Sizing Model documents the information of data storage, network load and system throughput of the required system.
    • Technical System Architecture gives an overview of the computer equipment and system facilities required in the system.

System Analysis and Design Report

The SA&D report would be produced after system analysis and design, and before the implementation phase.

It is mainly composed of the following SSADM products:
  • Current Environment Description
  • Purpose : To document the findings of the investigation of the current system.
    Contents : Suggested contents include :-

    • Current System Description provides an overview of the existing system, the hardware in used, existing data volumes and frequencies of processes
    • Current Physical Data Flow Model describes the functional aspect of the current environment
    • Current Logical Data Model provides a logical representation of the relationships between the key entities in the current environment

  • Business Activity Model
  • Purpose : To model the essential activities that need to be undertaken within the business. It also supports the understanding of the business events to which the business needs to respond.
    Contents : Business Activity Model consists of Business Perspectives (Why the business exists), Business Activity (What the business does), Business Event (When the activities are performed) and Business Rules (How the activities are performed).

  • User Requirements
  • Purpose : To document the various aspects of user requirements.
    Contents : Suggested contents include :-
    • Requirements Catalogue is a complete list of user requirements for the new system.
    • Audit/Control/Security Requirements document the audit, system control and security requirements of the required system
    • Constraints List defines the limitations imposed on the design and implementation of the new system and their impact on the user organization.

  • Required System Description
  • Purpose : To describe the required system textually, especially for those areas not addressed by other deliverables.
    Contents : The contents may be varied from project to project.

  • Data Specification
  • Purpose : To document the data entities required by the new system.
    Contents : Using Logical Data Model, the data entities are identified, and the relationships among data entities are also presented in diagrammatic form. Detailed description of the data items of each data entity is provided, and the Primary/Alternate/Foreign keys are also identified and documented.

  • Function Specification
  • Purpose : To describe the functions provided by the required system.
    Contents : Suggested contents include :
    • Required System Data Flow Model gives a functional view of the required system.
    • Function Definition specifies the functions provided by the required system.
    • Event and Enquiry Catalogue documents the events which initiate the data flows or processes shown in the lowest level processes on the Required System Data Flow Diagrams, as well as enquiries which only retrieve information.
    • Entity Access Matrix documents the effects of each event on the data entities in Logical Data Model.
    • Work Practice Model documents the mapping of the Business Activity Model onto an organization. It specifies who (i.e. which user role) carries out each business activity and where (the physical location) the activities are carried out.


  • Logical Processing Specifications
  • Purpose : To describe how to implement the functions described in the Function Specification in a logical (i.e. independent to the implementation platform) manner.
    Contents : Suggested contents include :-
    • Menu Control Structure describes the navigation path of the required system
    • Dialogue Design defines all the on-line interactions with users, in terms of data being passed between the system and users, based on the system functions
    • Process Module defines the modules required to perform the required system functions.

  • Selected Technical System Option
  • Purpose : To describe the implementation approach for the new system.
    Contents : Suggested contents include Sizing Model, Technical System Architecture, Data Retention & Archive, Impact Analysis, Project Development Plan, Conversion Plan, Cost/Benefit Analysis, Reasons for Selection, and Design Objectives.

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