Project Report, 2010, 40 Pages
i. Declaration by group members
2 Overview of the conduct of the report
2.1.1 Systems Development Methodologies
2.1.2 Detailed Systems Development Methodologies
2.1.3 The Waterfall Methodology
2.2 Key steps undertaken in the design project
2.3 Team members and their role in the project
2.4 Project and team dynamics
2.5 Conduct conclusion
3 The Information System
3.1 Interactive Advertisement System- theoretical basis
3.2 Business Problem Analysis
3.3 The basic design idea of the system
3.4 The conceptual design of the system
3.4.1 Technical Requirements Analysis
3.4.2 Architecture of the Information System
3.4.3 Information about use cases, supported processes and data structure
3.4.4 Relevant interfaces to other system where required
3.4.5 A user interface
3.4.6 Relevant interfaces to other system where required
3.5 The user guide to working with the system
3.6 Information System Conclusion
Appendix – I – Meeting minutes
Appendix – II - Advertisement Management Model
Throughout this assignment the ‘Real Team’ agrees to a number of terms in order to maintain group cohesion and produce the best possible result. The terms refer to abiding by the QUT Academic Honesty System, developing and maintaining a strong team culture and to complete all distributed tasks to each member’s full potential.
As a team we fully support and recognise the importance of academic honesty and agree to ensure that our work is our own. All quotes and sources will be formally referenced and acknowledged where due. Each team member has agreed to comply with in house team rules. This means maintaining regular communication, completing all given work and creating a friendly and professional team environment
By signing this declaration we agree to the aforementioned terms.
Abdalziz Alredainy __
Jack Beierer __
Mathew Christoffels __
Mathias Riechert __
Thomas Falconer __
i. Executive Summary
This report has been created to successfully analyse a business problem and create the idea for an information system solution to that problem. The business problem chosen is that advertising for businesses is currently ineffective and could be improved thoroughly. Interactive advertising can successfully improve business advertising and therefore the design of ContAD was created. The idea of ContAD was created for users to connect with the content of business advertisements.
ContAD is an interactive advertisement system consisting of a variety of interactive advertising nodes, demonstrated by Figure 5. The advertising nodes are a user-friendly and interactive way of allowing customers to view and search through store deals and advertisements. The interactive advertising nodes consist of a touch screen that provides advertisements of the nearby shop deals. If a user likes a deal the advertising node can provide the user with a direct map to the store, and similar stores on that route. The system is needed because it will successfully improve the business problem that is ineffective advertising.
Throughout this report a number of areas will be covered consisting of: the different types of methodologies but more specifically the chosen waterfall methdology. The design of the project, the team member roles and the project and team dynamics. The information system, the theory regarding the need for the system, the basic idea of the system, the conceptual design of the system and finally a user guide for the system.
There are a variety of findings from the analysis of the business problem and the creation of the interactive advertising system ContAD. These findings consist of:
- Advertising in its current form is ineffective and therefore could be improved
- Interactive advertising is the way of the future and will take over current advertising
- ContAD will successfully use interactive advertising to improve the business problem discussed
Information systems are the, “arrangement of people, data, processes, information presentation and information technology to support and improve day-to-day operations in a business” (Chan, 2010). In terms of the purpose of this report, the information system is technology based and the aim of the report is to successfully create an information system to solve an important business problem. Furthermore, the significance of the report is to understand problems that businesses face and to develop, create and market a valid information system to meet the needs of the business.
The main assumption made while building this report are that nodes are a current form of interaction in public places such as airports, as depicted by Figure 5; however, the proposed information system has used node technology to allow users to interact with advertising.
The report layout will consist of an overview of the conduct of the report including the systems development methodologies. Following this is the information system consisting of the theoretical basis, business problem analysis, basic idea of the system, conceptual design of the system and a user guide of the system. The conclusion will consist of a summary of the main findings of the report. Finally, a list of the assumptions made for the assignment will be discussed.
Today, Software Development can mean the success or failure of a business. At a planning and design level, it is critical to have a clear and quality development methodology in place. ‘A methodology represents a package of practical ideas and proven practices for a given area of activity, such as the planning, design development or management of IT-based systems.’ (INTOSAI, 2008)
More accurately, Software Development Methodology allows the user to define a set of instructions or guidelines when designing and developing their system. This framework is based on a wide range of methodologies available. More common methods in use today are The Waterfall Model, Star Method, Rapid Application Development (RAD) and the Joint Application Method (JAD).
Each method is unique and has its own strengths and weaknesses. More importantly it is how these strengths and weaknesses are put into place that will determine the integrity and success of the user’s system. The Star method uses an individual approach by evaluating the system at every level. ‘Evaluation is central to designing interactive systems. Everything gets evaluated at every step of the process’ (Chan, 2010). The other interesting aspect to point out is that the Star Method can start at any point and the activities can occur in any order. The Waterfall method uses a systematic approach where each phase is completed before the next. RAD Methodology works by speeding up the software development process using a system of informal communication, reusing current systems and testing early prototypes. In all, it is a ‘concept where products can be developed faster and of higher quality’ (Search Software Quality 2008). Lastly the JAD method ‘is a methodology that involves the client or end user in the design and development of an application, through a succession of collaborative workshops called JAD sessions as stated by Search Software Quality (2007).
Because the scope of work for the project is not large, the best idea is to keep the process simple. The Star method is not suitable for this small scale approach because its framework can become complex due to various possible start points. The RAD methodology asks for a rushed and less detailed method. As the team are inexperienced and new to the learning’s of Systems and Software Development, it is best to take a more cautious and timely approach to the project. As discussed earlier, the JAD methodology requires interaction with clients and end users. This project is conceptually based; as a result there are no real clients or end users. This approach could have been possible using fellow students and the public as fake clients, but the team feels the opinions and knowledge of these people would be invalid or not at a meaningful and detailed level required.
After evaluating all the aforementioned methodologies by looking deep into their respective approaches and processes, it was decided that the best methodology to develop the interactive advertisement system is the ‘Waterfall Methodology’.
The Waterfall’s clear, simple and systematic approach to systems development was the deciding factor in choosing this methodology. This framework will allow ‘The Real’ team to create a set of manageable tasks at each sequential stage of development. This is important to the team because it provides a clear goal and means we cannot move onto the next phase until we have agreed upon a successful completion of the current phase. Another aspect of the Waterfall Methodology that appealed to the team is its ability to remain clear and structured. This suits our team, as we are inexperienced system developers who will rely on a set of guidelines throughout the project. The only issue with this method is its inflexibility. The framework is designed to be sequential; therefore we cannot skip ahead to other aspects of the project, depicted by Figure 8.
The Waterfall Methodology ‘is considered the classic approach to the systems development life cycle. The waterfall model describes a development method that is linear and sequential’ (Search Software Quality, 2008). The Waterfall framework is designed to keep each stage of development manageable by breaking down ‘an orderly sequence of development steps to help ensure the adequacy of documentation and design reviews to ensure the quality, reliability, and maintainability of the developed software’ (Principle based Project Management, 2007).
The stages of development in their simplest form are as follows:
Requirements – understanding the task/problem at hand and developing a list of requirements needed to begin
Design – developing a conceptual then physical design of the system
Implementation – putting the physical design of the system into practice
Verification – does the system work as it should (testing) and does it solve the problem as detailed in the requirements stage
Maintenance – continual testing, maintenance and updates of the system
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Figure 1: Basic Process of Waterfall Methodology
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Figure 2 Work Breakdown Structure
Figure 2 depicts the work breakdown structure for the project. This particular structure emphasises time given to create a correct and complete business case for the project. This is an important focus as a clearly defined business case can lead to a successful project and keeping the project development focused on achieving the business goal (Moore, 2009).
Below are the key roles available within the project. These are conducted by one or more team members. The descriptions of each role show the direct responsibilities that are accounted for in the project.
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Table 1 Team member roles
The project flow starts with the Designer. Their goal is to identify the design requirements of the targeted users of the project. Once these requirements are specified, they are passed onto the Developer and Editor. The Designer will also help build other areas of the project, passing them onto the Developer and Editor as well. In order to keep the Designer’s objectives accurate, work may be reviewed by the team leader.
In the Developer role team members actively participate in generating models and information relevant to achieving the project’s goals. Requirements (and other identified processes) sent from the Designer are built into models reflecting the project’s needs. Work conducted here is passed to the Editor role for review. The performance of the developer role is reviewed by the team leader which ensures the progress of the project is on track and that conflicts or errors are investigated.
An Editor’s primary objective is to review all possible documentation before it is submitted into the main project document. They check for accuracy in the work as well as ensuring a high level of cohesion between aspects of the project.
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Figure 3 Team Roles
Under the Team Manager role, team members investigate the process of the project and its relevance to the project goal. Other team roles rely on the Team Manager to provide direction in the project and mid-progress reviews of tasks, before they go to the editors. This role utilizes communication in both directions – to and from other team member roles.
In summary, the flow of information between the roles allows for high accuracy of work. Errors and inconsistencies can be caught by the editors while the team leader is able to effectively manage the project’s progress.
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