The purpose of problem analysis is to find and define the resources required by the problem domain.
These resources will become the information that the finished system will store, manipulate, and protect.
People, supplies, facilities, and transactions are types of resources used to conduct business. Programs and technology are simply tools that facilitate the use of these resources. Although these tools change rapidly and continuously, the resources remain the foundation of the business.
The sole task of the problem analysis phase is to discover the resources required by the problem domain. For each resource you discover, you then define its purpose and the interface it supports, that is, the services that it provides.
This very limited scope can be illustrated using a business exampleImagine that a flower shop is your problem domain. What information resources would the shop have to manage in order to conduct business successfully?
If you were to look around the flower shop office, you would probably find files representing customers, products, employees, equipment, suppliers, and facilities. Without these resources, the flower shop could not operate successfully; these resources are therefore required by the problem domain.
Outside the scope of problem analysis
Still using the flower shop as our example, would you expect to find files with references to programming languages, databases, user interfaces, or programs? Probably not. However important these items may be to an automated solution,
they are not essential to the running of the business, and as such are outside the scope of the problem analysis phase.