University of Phoenix rEsource Syllabus



Course Title

BSA/375 – Fundamentals of Business Systems Development


Course Schedule

12/8, 12/15, 1/5, 1/12, 1/19. Note, there is no class on 12/22 or 12/29.


Course Materials

All materials can be found on rEsource, which can be accessed through the University of Phoenix eCampus Web site.


Required Software

This course requires business diagramming software such as Microsoft Visio Professional. Additionally, project planning software is recommended, but not required (e.g., Microsoft Project.) The instructor will accept assignments prepared with alternative software to the extent that assignment quality does not suffer and work is easily integrated into learning team deliverables. The instructor suggests freely available, open-source tools such as KVIO and Project, both available in Linux distributions. Contact the instructor for additional information.


Course Website

The instructor’s website,, may contain additional information for this course. In the unlikely event of a conflict between this syllabus and the instructor’s website, the instructor’s website will govern.


Instructor’s Name

Kurt Madsen


Primary eMail Address


Alternate eMail Address


Telephone Number(s)

(813) 991-0177


Availability via eMail or Telephone

Please call Mon thru Fri,  7:00 p.m. thru 9:00 p.m.; weekends, 12:00 a.m. thru 10:00 p.m.


Instructor’s Biography

Kurt Madsen has eighteen years of information technology (IT) experience in the following domains: e-commerce, telecommunications, financial services, aviation, and healthcare. As a software engineer, manager, and consultant, his work has spanned strategic planning, product development, vendor assessment, business continuity, and operations.


2002 - Present.  Mr. Madsen founded MetaTech, Inc., a consulting firm that helps companies become more agile with respect to continually changing IT requirements.


1998 - 2001.  At Perot Systems, Mr. Madsen was a management consultant specializing in business and technology alignment through process and architecture re-engineering. Projects: B2B digital marketplace start-up, Business-To-Employee (B2E) portals, and wireless banking.


1993 - 1998.  At Salomon Brothers, a wholesale investment bank, he designed a Business-To-Business (B2B) integration product used by banks in New York, London, and Hong Kong for electronic trade confirmation and securities clearance.


1986 - 1993.  Mr. Madsen began his career at Nynex Science and Technology, a preeminent R&D laboratory in the telecommunications industry. There, he developed strong software engineering skills, specializing in object-oriented technologies and distributed computing.


Mr. Madsen has a Master of Science in Computer Science from Polytechnic University in New York and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Rutgers University in New Jersey.


University Policies

Please review University Policies regarding topics such as student conduct, attendance, and plagiarism in your Program Handbook, which can be accessed through the University of Phoenix eCampus Web site.


Original vs. Copied Work

Mr. Madsen prefers to see original work wherever possible. When writing papers or other assignments, it is OK to include limited 3rd- party quotes as long as the source is properly referenced in the back of your paper. Excessive copying of blocks or pages of text from 3rd- party sources (e.g., Internet) directly into your paper will reduce your grade even when properly referenced. For this course, at least 80% of the text of an assignment must be original content.


Grading of Written Work

All documents are to be typed, spell-checked and grammar checked, submitted double-spaced, and prepared in the proper APA format required for the program.  The instructor will use The Little, Brown Compact Handbook (3rd ed.) for format reference. Assignments will be evaluated on the following criteria:



In summary, follow these steps when writing papers:


1.                   Research and read 3rd-party content to learn the topic and get ideas.

2.                   Then, Develop a document outline and, optionally, a logic map.

3.                   Next, write your own material to fill in the outline.

4.                   Finally, add references to the bibliography section of your paper.


Do these steps and your understanding will shine through on your papers.


Late Policy

All assignments must be turned in by 6:00 p.m. on the night in which they are due. No emailed revisions will be accepted past the due date (without assessing a late penalty).


A 5% late penalty will be assessed for all late or incomplete work. All missed assignments must be made up by the next session. Assignments not submitted during next session immediately following the due date will receive a zero. No assignments will be accepted past the last night of the course.


Under rare and extenuating circumstances, an “I” grade may be issued if requested and approved by the instructor, before course completion.  The “I” must be made up within three weeks and the highest grade possible for those assignments is a “B”.


Attendance and Participation

Students are strongly encouraged to attend all workshop and learning team sessions. Per university policy, students are allowed one workshop absence and one absence for learning team meetings during the course. AN INSTRUCTOR CANNOT ISSUE A GRADE OTHER THAN “W” OR “WF” TO A STUDENT WITH MORE THAN ONE WORKSHOP ABSENCE OR LEARNING TEAM MEETING. There is no approval for second absences.


Mr. Madsen is sympathetic and flexible with regard to the occasional need for students to miss one workshop due to reasons such as a business trip, being sick, a military assignment, etc. Unfortunately, any absence for any reason will adversely affect the final course grade because this course is only a few weeks in duration. Missing one workshop will result in the loss of  attendance and participation points for that workshop and possibly a late penalty if an assignment is late. A late penalty can be avoided by planning ahead and turning in assignments early.


Academic Honesty

Academic honesty is highly valued at the University of Phoenix.  Students must always submit work that represents their original words or ideas.  If any words or ideas used in a class posting or assignment submission do not represent the student’s original words or ideas, all relevant sources must be cited along with the extent to which such sources were used.  Words or ideas that require citation include, but are not limited to, all hard copy or electronic publications, whether copyrighted or not, and all verbal or visual communication when the content of such communication clearly originates from an identifiable source.  Please see the University of Phoenix Catalog for more information about academic honesty, including consequences of academic dishonesty.


Privacy and Confidentiality in the University of Phoenix Classroom

One of the highlights of the University of Phoenix academic experience is that students can draw on the wealth of examples from their organizations in class discussions and in their written work.  However, it is imperative that students not share information that is confidential, privileged, or proprietary in nature.  Students must be mindful of any contracts they have agreed to with their companies.







Individual Assignments (70%)


Week Two


Week Three


Week Four


Participation (all weeks)


Learning Team Assignments (30%)


Meeting Five






























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Week One

·         Complete assignments posted on the rEsource course page.


·         Discussion Question(s):

The discussion questions for week one are related to the articles for week one.

§         Do heuristics and biases play a major role in the success/failure of an IT project?  Why or why not?  What specific kinds are the most influential/impact factors – in general and for your specific organization? 

§         How does organization culture play a role in the successful reliance on the JAD process to identify/gather business requirements?  Would JAD\ work in your company?  Why or why not?


Week Two

·         Discussion Question(s): 

The discussion questions for week two are related to the articles for week two.

§         What is “enterprise-wide analytics technology” and how can it play a part in understand business processes?  What are the challenges in rolling out a Business Intelligence tool?

§         What are some of the challenges associated with “requirement elicitation”?  How does this iterative approach help that process?


·         Prepare a 4-6-page paper (350 words per page) that analyzes a work-related project that used systems analysis for a selected business system at the department or division level.  Include information-gathering techniques and design methods used in the project.  Analyze and evaluate what made the project a success or a failure utilizing concepts from Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) as introduced in Unit 1, Workflow Management Pt 1 (NETg). This project situation will be used as the basis for the individual assignments for Weeks Two, Three and Four. Cite and discuss 3-4 references in addition to the required readings and relevant to the assignment. Be sure to include citations and references using the University of Phoenix approved style guide format.


Week Three

·         Discussion Question(s):

The discussion questions for week three are related to the articles for week three.

§         What are the differences between the “human centered” and “user centered” approaches?  Do you agree that that human centered approach is more effective?  Why or why not?

§         What are the advantages and disadvantage of a phased development approach?  Do you agree with the author’s assessment that this was a “blessing in disguise”?  Why?


§         “Carriers need to review the methodologies and architectures used to create or update systems with an eye toward strategic goals. It is essential to adopt overall system design principles and architectures that do not exacerbate the problems that arise in system development.”  What are some of the design principles that you think the author was referring to?


·         Prepare a 4-6-page paper (350 words per page) that analyzes a work-related project specified in Week Two describing a workplace application architecture and process design.  Apply the tools of systems analysis to describe a work-related information system’s architecture in terms of data, processes, interfaces and network.  Draw the physical data flow diagram(s) and be prepared to present and explain the diagram to the class.  You may need to talk to your systems department for some help. Use Visio to prepare examples of flow charts and data flow diagrams. Consider this assignment as an addition to the assignment in workshop two. This assignment incorporates transition from analysis to design for the selected business system. Cite and discuss 3-4 references in addition to the required readings and relevant to the assignment. Be sure to include citations and references using the University of Phoenix approved style guide format.


Week Four

·         Discussion Question(s): 

The discussion questions for week four are related to the articles for week four.

§         How do the issues faced by the managers at the catalog companies in the article relate to the situation in your company, or in companies in general?

§         Is testing a distinct phase of the project or does it come into play during other phases?  Please explain.  How can tools help the quality and effectiveness of testing?


·         Prepare a 4-6-page paper (350 words per page), which describes the individual project situation specified for Week One and Two for the implementation stage.  Include discussion of the six major activities for the implementation stage as described within the text: (1) coding, (2) testing, (3) installation, (4) documentation, (5) training, and (6) support. The discussion of these six activities should describe specifically how each activity would be planned for the individual project situation.  Also, include discussion of benefits of using defined and repeatable processes for accomplishing these activities for the implementation stage. Discussion should identify which Workflow Application Categories are most appropriate and why, as introduced in Unit 3 -Workflow Management Pt 1 (NETg).  Use the same project addressed in the individual assignment for Week Two.  Consider this as a follow-on assignment, which incorporates the transition from design to implementation for selected business system at the department or division level. Cite and discuss 3-4 references in addition to the required readings and relevant to the assignment. Be sure to include citations and references using the University of Phoenix approved style guide format.


Week Five

·         Discussion Question(s): 

The discussion questions for week five are related to the articles for week five.

§         When does it make sense to outsource – specifically the maintenance and support of an application system?

§         How would you rank the six strategies in order of importance?  Explain your thinking.

§         Do you think this type of application system provides a competitive edge in the car rental industry?


·         Complete a Learning Team Evaluation.







Each Learning Team will prepare a course project that applies the SDLC methodology and tools presented in the course. The core project should identify a real world issue at the departmental/divisional level. The primary goal for the project is to apply workflow and process management concepts in addressing the specific needs of a selected functional area. 


The project will consist of a presentation and a paper, due in Week Five. Each Learning Team will submit a 12-16-page paper (350 words per page) and a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation of the project for grading.  Both the paper and the presentation should reflect professional preparation.  Assume that both works are to be presented to an executive management committee. At a minimum, the paper should include the following:

·         Business objectives with supporting measures of success for the project.

·         Description of current business process/system with identification of scope/boundaries of the project.

·         Project constraints: financial, time, resources, organizational policies/culture.

·         Business functional requirements.

·         Description of new business process/system--utilize the process objectives/model and the system objectives/model.

·         Design requirements: input/output design, interface design, data model, network model.

·         Cost/benefit analysis.



Apply systems development analysis.


Paper and Presentation

During the last week of the course, each Learning Team will submit a 12-16-page paper (350 words per page) and a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation of the project for grading. 



In addition to the guidelines presented in this syllabus, refer to “Standards for Written Work” and “Standards for Presentations” in your Program Handbook, which can be accessed through the University of Phoenix eCampus Web site.


Learning Team Project

The Learning Team project for this course is in the form of a Service Request from Riordan Manufacturing.  It will be necessary for the learning team to access Riordan Manufacturing from the Virtual Organizations Portal of the course rEsource page.


Service Request

Service Request ID:



Organization Name:

Riordan Manufacturing



All Plant Locations



Hugh McCauley, Chief Operating Officer

Mark Neitzel, VP Operations


Description of Request:

An evaluation for the development of an MRP system to track and manage raw materials and a finished product inventory across all plants.


Background of Request:

We would like to reduce our raw materials and finished goods inventory costs.


Expected Results/Impact when completed:

Create a business requirements definition for the development or acquisition of an MRP system to support the objective of this request.


Meeting One

·         Create a Learning Team Charter.


·         Review the Service Request RM002 for Riordan Manufacturing.


·         Define the scope and stakeholders associated with the project.  Identify the preliminary assignments and tasks for each group member. Create a detailed outline for each section of the paper.


·         Draft the first 4-6 page paper (350 words per page) to include the following (not submitted for grading – this is an interim section of the paper):

§         Statement of Scope and Goals

Specify what functions will be included in the project.  Identify the goals (accomplishments, not solution).

§         Supporting Measures for Success

Specify tangible measures for determining the relative degree of success of the completed project.  The measures must correlate with the goals specified in the first section of this deliverable.

§         Summary of Project Feasibility

Include specific operational, technical and economic feasibility analysis.  Operational and technical issues should specify how each issue will be addressed.  The economic analysis must include quantified specific benefit and cost areas.

§         Current Business Process Summary

Provide a flowchart and a separate high-level logical data flow diagram of the current process.

§         Proposed System Requirement List

List specific individual requirement needs in measurable and objective terms.


Meeting Two

·         Continue the draft development of the paper to include the following (not submitted for grading – this is an interim section of the paper):

§         Determination of Requirements

Identify specific analysis methods, which will be used to determine user needs.

§         List of Confirmed Requirements

Categorize each system requirement identified for the Week Two deliverable as “mandatory” or “optional”.

§         Proposed System Process View

Provide a flowchart of the proposed process.

§         Functional Allocation Modeling

Specify how each proposed system function would be allocated in terms of the required hardware, software and HCI human-computer interface).

§         Logical Model of the System

Provide a high-level logical data flow diagram of the proposed system.


Meeting Three

·         Continue to draft the next 4-6 pages (350 words per page) on the following (not submitted for grading – this is an interim section of the paper):

§         Preliminary Design Model

Provide a diagram, which illustrates the overall logical information architecture.

§         Design Trade-off Approach

Specify the tradeoffs among cost, schedule and performance.  For example, a fast, inexpensive solution may not address performance requirements adequately.

§         Detailed Design Process and Design Specifications

Specify separate recommended decisions for software design, hardware and network(s).  Include resolution of human-computer interface considerations.

§         Physical Model of the System

Illustrate the recommended decisions in information architecture diagrams.


Meeting Four

·         Complete the final section to include 4-6 pages (360 words per page) on the following:

§         Testing Process Summary

Define a test plan/script, which identifies major software functionality and hardware to be tested along with the required outcomes.

§         Installation Process and Training Plan Summary

Provide a time line, which identifies the specific steps (including training) and related resources required to implement the recommended system.  Include a narrative explanation, which includes a discussion of the impacts of project constraints, such as time, conversion method, etc. and a description of the recommended training plan.

§         Documentation Plan Summary

Specify and explain each type of documentation, which will be required for ongoing support (technical and user) of the proposed system.

§         Support & Maintenance Plan Summary

Provide a plan, which outlines responsibilities and related resources necessary to support and maintain proposed system (software, hardware and networks).


·         Complete the final draft of the paper based on the weekly meeting assignments.  Check for cohesiveness in the paper from individual contributions.  Ensure the paper meets the requirements of the project.  Make corrections and improvements to the paper.  Finalize the project presentation.