3. Evaluate the following scenarios using the PIECES framework. Do

Homework Answers
Evaluate the following scenarios using the PIECES framework. Do not be concerned that you
are unfamiliar with the application. That situation isn't unusual for a systems analyst. Use
the PIECES framework to brainstorm potential problems or opportunities you would ask the
user about.
The staff benefits and payroll counselor is having some problems. Her job is
to counsel employees on their benefit options. The company has just negotiated a
new medical insurance package that requires employees to choose from among
several health maintenance options (HMOs). The HMOs vary according to employee
classifications, contributions, deductibles, beneficiaries, services covered, and
service providers permitted. The intent was to provide the most flexible benefits
possible for employees, to minimize costs to the company, and to control costs to the
insurance agency (which would affect subsequent premiums charged back to the
The counselor will be called on to help employees select the best plan for
themselves. She currently responds manually to such requests. But the current
options are more straightforward than those under the new plan. She can explain the
options, what they do and do not cover, what they cost and may cost, and the pros
and cons. However, current employee distrust of the new plan suggests that she will
need to provide more specific suggestions and responses to employees.
She may have to work up scenarios -- possibly worst-case scenarios -- for many
employees. The scenarios will have to be personalized for each employee's income,
marital and family status, current health risks, and so on. In working up a few sample
scenarios, she discovered first that it takes one full day to get salary and personnel
data from the Information Systems Department. Second, employee data is stored in
many files that are not always properly updated. When conflicting data becomes
apparent, she can't continue her projections until that conflict has been resolved.
Third, the computations are complex. It often takes one full day or more to create
investment and/or retirement scenarios for a single employee. Fourth, there are
some concerns that projections are being provided to unauthorized individuals, such
as former spouses or non-immediate relatives. Finally, the complexity of the
variations in the calculations (there are a lot of ``If this, do that'' calculations)
results in frequent errors, many of which probably go undetected.
Homework Answers
2nd Problem
The manager of a tool and die shop needs help with job processing and control. Jobs are currently
processed by hand. First, a job number is established. Next, the job supervisor estimates time and
materials for the job. This is a time-consuming process, and delays are common. Then, the job is
scheduled for a specific day and estimated time.
On the day the job is to be worked on, materials orders have to be issued to Stores. If materials
Time cards are completed in the shop when workers fulfill the work order. These time cards are used
to charge back time to the customer. Time cards are processed by hand, and the final calculations are
entered on the work order. The work orders are checked for accuracy and sent to CIS, where
accounting records are updated and the customer is billed.The problem is that the customer
frequently calls to inquire on costs already incurred on a work order; but it's not possible to respond
because CIS sends a report of all work orders only once a month. Also, management has no idea of how
good initial estimates are or how much work is being done on any tool or machine, or by any worker.