Outcomes addressed in this activity:
Unit 6: Final Project Final Project: It’s Not Over, Until It’s Over
Part 1: You have been leading a systems analysis team through a project to develop an information system for advertising personnel. The project is in the Quality Assurance and Implementation phase. Due to the economic downturn, there is a scheduled layoff of many information service personnel in the coming months. You are sad about losing some of your team but want to ensure that software, systems, and formal and informal procedures are well-documented so that systems can be maintained and improved. Since your teams budget will also be reduced, consistent, well-updated documentation will shorten the number of hours required for new people to learn the system before performing maintenance. You decide to call an informal meeting, including the advertising personnel, in order to determine if there has been any undocumented or under documented records, manuals or procedures, and if required, how to approach these problems.
As the meeting goes forward, you quickly realize that there is no consistency in the documentation among the different groups in the meeting. What was a friendly meeting quickly turns to a discussion to determine what method should be used to streamline all the inconsistent papers, notes, and technique ideas of the group.
Al Gorithm, a new programmer who will be working with your systems analysis team suggests pseudocode, “It’s so easy to understand. I say if everybody uses pseudocode, we don’t have any problems, you know, with things not being standardized.”
Mark E. Ting, an advertising account executive and one of the members of the MIS task force, looks up in surprise, “What is this method called again?”
“Psuedocode,” Al responds in disbelief.
Mark looks unimpressed and says, “that doesn’t say anything to me.”
Ontha Weyout, one of the other systems analysts who is scheduled for the layoff, begins to explain, “It probably won’t matter one way or the other what we use, if-“
Flo Chart, another systems analyst, breaks in saying, “I hate pseudocode!” She looks at the programmers. “We applied the SDLC in this project, what about the documentation technique(s) accomplished using CASE tools in the analysis phase?”
David Downlode, an older advertising executive, seems slightly upset, stating, “I learned about flowcharting from the first systems analysts we had years ago. Don’t you people do that anymore? I think they work best.”
As the Project Manager and Systems Analyst, you have worked on many different projects with many different kinds of people. You know the solution must be a straightforward, standardized approach that provides user support on the Web. You realize it is your responsibility to make some reasonable suggestions.
Based on what you know about the various documentation techniques: (60 points)
A. What technique(s) would you propose to the members of the groups? (20 points)
B. How will the technique(s) you proposed overcome some of the concerns they have voiced? (20 points)
C. What process will you use to decide on appropriate techniques? (20 points)
With the documentation impasse and the layoff transition behind you, you decide it is a good time to take a breath and organize your desk. As you blow the dust off your computer tower, the door to your office flies open and startles you.
“We’re strapped for time. Just look at this projection,” says Ouvera Chiever, the newest member of your systems analysis team, showing you the PERT diagram that the team has been using to project when the new system would be up and running. “We can’t possibly make the July target date for testing with live data. We’re running three weeks behind because of the layoff transition.”
Remaining calm, having seen deadlines come and go, you suggest to Ouvera the possibility of delaying testing.
“If we try to push the testing off until the first weeks of December, there are two key people from advertising who are going to be out on vacation.” Ouvera is obviously upset at the possibility of missing the deadline.
Stan Dards, another junior member of your systems analysis team, enters your office, “You two look terrible. Things are going okay, aren’t they? I’m not getting laid off or reassigned to program a payroll application, am I?”
You show him the PERT chart for inspection and ask him for his ideas. While Stan is thinking of something to say, Ouvera says bluntly, “Maybe we can skip that portion of the testing. The advertising team has been really cooperative. I don’t think they’d object if we just ‘do it for real’ and test as we actually go into production.”
“I think that’s a good idea, Ouvera,” Stan agrees, trying to be a team player. “That way we could stay on schedule with everything else. I vote for not testing the advertising portion, but just sort of winging it when it starts up.”
The Systems Test (60 points)
A. As the project manager and most senior systems analyst, what can you do to convince Ouvera and Stan about the importance of testing the advertising module with live data? (15 points)
B. What can systems analysts do in planning their time to allow adequate time for testing with test and live data? (15 points)
C. What are some of the possible problems team members may encounter if they did not test the system completely with live data before putting the system into production? (15 points)
D. Realistically, are there steps in the systems analysis and design process that can be collapsed to bring a delayed project in on time? (15 points)
With your input, the team successfully resolved the testing dilemma, and the project has continued. Now you are discussing the training that you have begun to undertake for managers and other systems users. Still juggling some scheduling difficulties, you have decided to cut down on the number of different training sessions offered. This has resulted in users at a variety of levels of management and computer expertise being in the same training sessions in some instances.
Wynnie Babe, one of the operators who is being trained, has been in the same training with Givmia Braque, one of the managers with whom you have been working. Both Wynnie and Givmia have come to you privately with different concerns.
Givmia told you, “I’m mad that I have to type in my own data in the sessions. The Mississippi will freeze over solid before I ever do that on my own job. I’ve got to know when to expect output and how to interpret it when it comes. I’m not spending time in training sessions if I can’t get that.”
Wynnie, who shares training session with Givmia, also complained to you. “We should be getting more hands-on training. All we hear is a bunch of lectures. It’s like school. Not only that, but the managers in the group keep spinning these “advertising” stories about what happened to them in the old system. It’s boring. I’m not learning what you said I would, and besides, with all those bosses in there, I do not feel comfortable speaking out.”
Training Users (60 points)
A. What problems are occurring with the training session? (20 points)
B. How can they be addressed, given the scheduling constraints mentioned? (20 points)
C. What basic advice on setting up training sessions did your team ignore? (20 points)
Length: 3 pages (825 Words)
The documentation techniques I would suggest are flowcharts and organizational charts. Flow charts enable one to understand project details at a glance. Particularly, they incorporate the graphical representation of a project by means of symbols and signs. In addition, flowcharts help a company be organized, as it standardizes the enterprises procedures. Training materials are frequently made using flowcharts in light of the fact that they are outwardly invigorating and straightforward (McConnell 15). A pleasantly laid out flowchart will pick up and hold the reader's consideration when text will regularly fail. Furthermore, organizational charts are also good documentation techniques, since they are comprehensive representations of hierarchies and structures. They are normally used to give both workers and people outside the association with a preview of its reporting connections, divisions of work, and levels of administration.
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