Future analysis techniques given by the paper are fairly applicable. This paper discusses three techniques which might be used to help identify future requirements. One technique is Future Analysis; this involves identifying changes in technology, legal requirements, economic and environmental factors, attitudes and expectations and changes within the organization which may impact the system. A multidisciplinary team may identify these changes using simulation, statistical forecasting and economic modeling based on whether they affect system logic, system traffic and whether the changes are short-term or long-term in nature. Once the changes have been identified, the development team can assess the under-development IS to determine which changes can occur, what impact they will have on the IS and what is their probability of occurrence. As a result of this, target life span of the IS is identified along with an updated list of design objectives, parts of IS requiring extra flexibility built into them and a number of future scenarios that the design will have to cope with.
The second technique presented by the paper is Risk Analysis. Where the paper defines the approach is considerable detail, it does not provide the meaning or definition of ‘risk’ in the context of IS. Unless it is known what to be considered as a ‘risk’, it will not be very meaningful to either identify risks or what to do to mitigate them in case they do occur.
The third technique presented in the paper is using lateral thinking. This technique includes: generation of alternatives, challenging assumptions, fractionation and brainstorming. De Bono (1970) identified the “natural” search for alternatives as something that we think we all do. But our natural search for alternatives is somewhat limited. The “lateral” search goes further and is aimed at producing as many alternatives as possible. As de Bono argues, “The most basic principle of lateral thinking is that any particular way of looking at things is only one from among many other possible ways. In the lateral search one is looking for as many different alternatives as possible and these alternatives do not have to be reasonable. Having said that, the paper would have benefited its readers a great deal by presenting an example demonstrating how lateral thinking can be used to identify alternatives for an IS.
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