Int. Journal of Business Science and Applied Management, Volume 5, Issue 2, 2010
Book Review: Essentials of Systems Analysis and Design: An
international version
Herbert Kotzab
Dept. of Operations Management, Copenhagen Business School
Solbjerg Plads 3, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Tel: + +45 38152450
Book Information
Book Title: Essentials of Systems Analysis and Design: An international version
Author: Joseph V. Valacich, Joey F. George and Jeffrey A. Hoffer
Publisher: Pearson Education International
Edition: 4th edition
Year: 2009
Pages: 464 pages
ISBN: 978-0-13-506984-4; 0-13-506984-X
Price: £50.99
Keywords: systems analysis, systems design, object-oriented analysis and design
Int. Journal of Business Science and Applied Management /
The fourth edition of Essentials of Systems Analysis and Design based on more than 50 years’
experience in teaching systems analysis and design, emphasizing on hands-on and experimental
learning of the concepts, skills and techniques that are required for an effective analysis and design of
systems. The book addresses the three key factors any student need to be aware of in today’s
information and technology driven business: The knowledge on how to organize and access
information strategically, the ability to work in a team and to use the Internet. It also combines depth of
coverage with brevity by offering 10 chapters in five parts which cover the essentials of system design
and analysis content without overwhelming the reader with unnecessary detail.
The organization is as follows:
Part I: Foundations for System Developmentgives an overview of systems
development and previews the remainder of the book. The three chapters discuss the
environment of systems development including a modern approach to systems and
systems development as well as go through the sources of software. Furthermore, the
reader gets a compact overview to the management of an information systems project.
Part II: Systems Planning and Selectioncovers how to assess project feasibility and
build the baseline project plan. This section gives an insight into how to plan and to asses
a development project.
Part III: Systems Analysiscovers determining system requirements, process modelling,
and conceptual modelling. After the system requirements are determined, the reader gets
introduced to the modelling of processes and the conceptual data modelling. All these
phases are discussed theoretically and afterwards applied on the Case company.
Part IV: Systems Designcovers how to design the human interface and databases. This
includes the design of forms, reports, determination of deliverables and outcomes as well
as the design of the data base that is going to be used.
Part V: Systems Implementation and Operationcovers system implementation,
operation, closedown, and system maintenance. Here, there reader is going through the
whole process of testing the software application, installation, documentation for users,
training and support of users as well as conducting the maintenance of the system.
The book also includes two very supportive Appendices. Appendix A introduces the reader to
object-oriented analysis and design by showing the tools that can be used for this purpose. This
includes object as well as dynamic modelling. Appendix B discusses agile methodologies, which are
development methodologies with short iterative cycles, extensive testing and active involvement of
All chapters are organized around the “systems development life cycle” (SDLC) providing a
strong and systematic framework. There are also three fictional cases included which show the reader
how systems analysis and design is applied in different business situations. The cases are accompanied
with Internet coverage and features allowing the reader to follow the cases and recognizing how the
Internet can affect the development of systems. Each chapter closes with an extensive selection of
material that accommodates various learning and teaching styles. This includes key review points, a
checkpoint of the key terms, review questions, problems and exercises, discussion questions as well as
case problems.
As compared to previous editions, several revisions have been completed. This edition emphasizes
on the current changes in systems analysis in greater depth and also discusses in more detail the issue
on make versus buy in systems integration. Updates refer to project management, illustration of
technology and the end-of-chapter running case. The references at the end of the book are grouped for
each chapter and invite the interested reader for further investigations in the subject matter.
Although being technical, the book calls attention to a managerial approach for analyzing and
designing system where the methods and principles of systems development are in the focus rather than
specific tools of the field.
In teaching, the book can be combined with a comprehensive and flexible technology supported
supplement package. Students are able to perform net searchers, a glossary of terms as well a glossary
of acronyms. Useful web links in form of destinations are also included to help students explore
systems analysis and design. The book is also designed for offering the course online as files are
offered ready for upload.
All three authors are esteemed professors in the field and they offer with Essentials of System
Analysis and Design the appropriate book for any educator offering a course in systems analysis and
Herbert Kotzab
design. The authors state that the writing of the book has involved thousand of hours” (p. 25). One can
say that this investment was worth it.