Structured Systems Analysis And Design Method

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What Does Structured Systems Analysis And Design Method Mean?

Structured systems analysis and design methodology (SSADM) is a set of standards for systems analysis and application design. It uses a formal methodical approach to the analysis and design of information systems. It was developed by Learmonth Burchett Management Systems (LBMS) and the Central Computer Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in 1980-1981 as a standard for developing British database projects.


The SSADM is an open methodology based on the waterfall model. It has been used by many commercial businesses, consultants, educational establishments and CASE tool developers.

Techopedia Explains Structured Systems Analysis And Design Method

SSADM follows the waterfall life cycle model starting from the feasibility study to the physical design stage of development. One of the main features of SSADM is the intensive user involvement in the requirements analysis stage. The users are made to sign off each stage as they are completed assuring that requirements are met. The users are provided with clear, easily understandable documentation consisting of various diagrammatic representations of the system. SSADM breaks up a development project into stages, modules, steps and tasks. The first and foremost model developed in SSADM is the data model. It is a part of requirements gathering and consists of well defined stages, steps and products. The techniques used in SSADM are logical data modeling, data flow modeling and entity behavior modeling.

  • Logical Data Modeling: This involves the process of identifying, modeling and documenting data as a part of system requirements gathering. The data are classified further into entities and relationships.

  • Data Flow Modeling: This involves tracking the data flow in an information system. It clearly analyzes the processes, data stores, external entities and data movement.

  • Entity Behavior Modeling: This involves identifying and documenting the events influencing each entity and the sequence in which these events happen.

Some of the important characteristics of SSADM are:

  • Dividing a project into small modules with well defined objectives
  • Useful during requirements specification and system design stage
  • Diagrammatic representation and other useful modeling techniques
  • Simple and easily understood by clients and developers
  • Performing activities in a sequence

The stages of SSADM include:

  • Determining feasibility
  • Investigating the current environment
  • Determining business systems options
  • Defining requirements
  • Determining technical system options
  • Creating the logical design
  • Creating the physical design

Each of these stages applies certain techniques and a sequence of analysis. They include conventions and procedures for recording and interpreting the information with the help of diagrams and text.


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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.