Part A –Theory
An information systems project is assessed using a number of feasibility factors before the project is commenced. List and explain the purpose of each of these feasibility factors.
Feasibility assessment is the study of how viable an investment idea is. It is the examination of the overall soundness of a project at the planning stage in order to determine whether to go on with it or not. The following are some of the feasibility factors;
- Financial aspect of the project- this evaluates the capital needs of the project and if the amount falls within the set framework. A project that is viable should require initial capital is available and efficient. The wages and the cost of the inputs are also be considered, this is because the labour should not be too expensive for the project nor should it be too little to oppress the workers. It should be just enough to get them motivated.
- Economic factors- this involves the evaluation of the number of buyers and sellers that the market has. This includes the number of competitors and the close substitutes that exist for the project. The more the competitors the less the expected sales and vice versa.
- Technological and technical factors- this includes the types of equipment that are to be used and who is to operate them. The equipments should be easily available and the labour should be on standby as well.
- Operational factor- this is an intrinsic factor of the project that involves the project team members. There should be clear division of labour and the roles of each one should be clearly outlined so as to create responsibility and accountability. The roles should not contradict each other.
- Political factors- this is an extrinsic factor in a project, it involves the role of the government either in taxes charged, subsidies given and incentives offered. When the inputs required for the project are subsidized by the government, the entire cost of the project reduces substantially. Projects that are restricted by political issues like sanctions are too expensive and risky to invest in.
- Legal and contractual factors- the contract should be legal, it should be signed in the presence of lawyers and stamped to authenticate the project. This is to ensure that the project and all its activities have been approved by all the relevant authorities and the country at large.
- Define what a project is.
A project is a scheme or part of a scheme for investing resources which can be reasonably analyzed and evaluated as an independent unit. Resources in this case refer to money, labor and capital. Independent implies that which is done regardless of other factors. A project has two floors, the cost floor which should be kept at the utmost minimum and the benefit floor which should be at the highest.
- Discuss what role a project manager plays in an information systems project.
A manager plays ultimate the role of ensuring that the project meets all its set goals and objectives. He oversees the implementation of the project and ensures smooth running of all the processes. He ensures that all the workers are duly paid on time, purchase of inputs is done as early as possible and monitors the execution of all the activities. No activity should hinder the other as he comes up with a well organized plan.
A good manager is always hand on and if found on the ground, he is here so that incase there is a mistake he can easily correct it as early as possible before it makes the entire project to stall.
- Give two (2) internal responsibilities of a project manager.
- Determine the project role of each member of the team. This determination should not only be based on technical qualifications but also on experience and mastery of the role
- Ensure that there is proper coordination of these roles with minimal of negligible conflicts taking place. This saves time and resources that would have otherwise gone to waste during these conflicts.
- Give two (2) external responsibilities of a project manager.
- He should ensure that the external effects of the project are not harmful to the people surrounding the area. For instance there should proper disposal of all waste materials from the project and the process of implementation should not cause any physical or emotional harm to the people as well.
- He should have good communication with all the stakeholders and report to them the progress of the project and what it has been able to achieve at every stage. This gives room for corrections to be made and at the same time creates transparency in the project.
PART B, APPLIED THEORY
Develop an activity diagram with reference to the observations provided above. Be sure to include the transfer of any documents in your diagram. Note any ambiguities or questions that you have as you develop the model. If you need to make assumptions, also note thes
- Checking is done by clerk, on the outstanding orders against those indicated
- Several copies of these orders are made
- Distribution of the orders to the different departments
- Send to the department of purchasing
- Sent to the accounting department
- Sent to the requesting of the house customers
- Discuss the various stakeholders who may have an interest in the new system. Be sure to include all three groups of users in your discussion. Your discussion should be at least three (3) paragraphs in length.
Having found a new and improved way to track down the purchase that are made in our firm, we have decided to try it out and see if it is better than the current system. This will be a transition from paper based record to online transaction of the purchases.
An interview session agenda is the objective that is to be achieved by the end of interviewing not only an individual but also a programme. The interview session should last long enough to have given both sides time to evaluate each other and to make the necessary conclusions.
The questions asked should be based on the project at hand. These questions involve those of efficiency and mastery of the content. There should be a clearly outlined criteria for choosing the best and should not be tampered with in the event that those interviewed did not meet the criteria.
Interviews should be structured in a way that the questions are slowly leading to each other. The questions that require a follow up question should be properly prepared. In case of the use of questionnaires there should be clear outlined questions that can be closed or open depending on the type of interview.
- Compare and contrast the modified waterfall predictive approach to the adaptive approach.
- Include in your discussion the various approaches to organizing the iterations in the adaptive approach.
- Discuss the types of projects for which each is best suited and the relevant risks and management difficulties of each approach to Reliable’s proposed system.
Predictive approach requires proper planning and precise goals with reliable estimates that will aid in predicting the outcome of the project. Predictive approach works under a defined schedule and time frame and an exact budget leaving very little room for uncertainty. The outcome is always anticipated and the resources can be easily manipulated to ensure that the end is achieved as expected. The major advantage is that it is precise and thus very efficient in achieving set goals and objectives.
The adaptive approach adapts to changes in the level of technology. The project grows and matures with time and gets accustomed to the changing methods and environment. Planning is distributed throughout the entire life of the project and plans are subject to changes with changes in the prevailing conditions.
The major characteristics that make the adaptive method practical is that there is proper interaction between the individuals and the tools to be used. The softwares used are worked comprehensively to ensure that there all information is known. Customer collaboration is also considered to be key in the approach. The major cons is that it is very hard to have a well developed budgets as plans are always changing. The scope of the project is also not well defined and it makes it hard to monitor and control the activities properly.
Predictive approach is used for a project whose goals and objectives are known and set, on the other hand adaptive approach is used for projects whose ultimate ends are not yet defined.
Reliable’s management team has requested that you write a detailed memo which includes the following information.
- An application architecture plan for Reliable’s proposed system.
- If Reliable were to choose an iterative subsystem approach, write a recommendation on which subsystem they should develop first. Your recommendation should be based on your included architecture plan and be one to two paragraphs long.
- If Reliable were to choose the incremental development approach, provide a recommendation on which parts of the system should be developed in the first iteration. Your recommendation should be based on your included architecture plan and be one to two paragraphs long.
Iterative approach is used when the traditional approaches to project planning and evaluation are failing. This is due to the dynamism of today where issues are ever changing yet there is need to have a precise and accurate plan for a project. Iterative approach is suitable for projects that have a clearly defined and set goal but the solution and method of implementation are not that clear
Iteration approach offers a large number of design alternatives while avoiding uncertainty and early focus on any one method. It has more pros than any other approach mainly because it is relatively adaptive. It reduces the level of complexity in the project and analyses the project step by step. It encourages the step by step breakdown of the project and the achievement of the specific objectives.
Satzinger W. John, System Analysis and Design, (2010) Oxford University Press, New York