Knowledge work system

A2.1 Identify the key actors in the environment

The actors in the environment are Chief Executive, Center Manager, Assistant Center Manager, Administrative Staffs, Project Leader, Funders, Finance Director, Education Coordinator, Director of Central Administrative Department and Information Quality Officer from Administrative Services.

Among them, I choose the key actors that are

  • Project Leader (Green Drive Project)
  • Information Qualify Officer (Administrative Services Department) and
  • Finances Director (Finance Department).

The reasons for choosing Project Leader are:

  • Project leader checks the data. It is right or not.
  • She manages day to day transaction processing.
  • She sends appropriate information to the Director of Central Administrative Support , the Director of Finance ,the Information Quality Officer.
  • Her reports are important to measure the project performance.
  • If she supports right information, funders and trustees will get satisfactions.
  • To be an efficient project, depend on her management.

The second one is Finance Director. The reasons are

  • Finance is the main backbone of charity.
  • She reacts with each center manager.
  • She manages any kind of finances.
  • She is one of the main key actors in MIS.
  • If finance department can do right data, the funders will increase.

The last one is Information Quality Officer. The reasons are

  • Information Quality Officer collects information from each project.
  • He finds which projects are running efficiently or not.
  • He gives reports to trustees about the project progress.
  • He relates both organizational persons and External sources.
A2.2 Identify Key issues and areas of conflict affecting this environment

I identify key issues . The first one is "What do we hope to achieve by installing a Management Information System? This is one of the main keys to achieve goal of organization. The seond key is " Can we manage centrally with standardized format?" . This is important key issue to get MIS and to mesure projet performance.The third one is "Can we reduce administrative loading upon staffs?" because staff should not be overloaded by using MIS than manual . Then it should be prevented data redunancy to reduce work loading for staffs.

Between Center Managers and Finance Director, Information Quality Officer and Education Coordinator and Project Leader and Information Quality Officer are areas of conflict that affecting this environment.

The reasons for the first conflict are:

At the side of Finance Director, Finance Team wants to control all finance information. It shouldn't be controlled by each center.

Center Managers control their own finance without sending all information to finance department. Center Managers verify and validate information then only send information as necessary to Finance Department.

The reasons for the second one are:

At the side of Education Coordinator, She doesn't know information for cost effective.

Information Quality Officer wants to know information of running project that are efficient or not. Therefore He collects data from Education Coordinator. He has difficulties to know that this project is running efficient or not because he didn't get any data from him.

The reasons for the third one are:

At the side of Project Leaders, they send data for each project to Information Quality Officer with different format.

The responsibilities of Information Quality Officer gather data for each project find project progress and send to trustees and funders. He has difficulties to measure the project performance because of different format documents.

A2.3 Discussion of the main focus of the system that the organization requires

The Age Care is a charity based in the south east of England that cares for elder people through a number of funded projects. This charity desire to introduce Management Information System. Management Information System (MIS) is a computerized information system to get standardized reports in summarized structured form. MIS doesn't need to create database. It only uses database from day to day Transaction Processing System (TPS) or Control System (CS), Office Automation System (OAS) or Knowledge Work System (KWS) to produce periodic, exception and demand reports.

By developing MIS, this system will help to manage the charity more effectively. MIS will measure project performance and provides reports for Senior Executive Committee (SEC), trustees and funding bodies. When analyzing the organization, it has difficulties to measure project performance and to get right data because Project leaders send information to SEC with different format directly. So we need to gather data accurately from each center with standard format.

As my opinion, each center manager should try to control all information without sending directly by Project Leaders. Center managers should verify and validate information from reports of Project Leaders. According to the requirements of organization, we should develop Control Systems to manage day to day transaction in local area network such as Green Drive System for Green Drive Project, Finance System for Finance Department and Education System for Education Coordinator .In Green Drive System, the system needs to show where projects are wasting money and record all operation. The system also should arrange plan and raw efficient route for drivers to avoid wasting time and money. In Finance System, the system needs to manage all finance information. In Education System, the system needs to record from receiving fund time to operation of project running such as expense for project. All of the systems that will process with standardized formats. By using relevant systems, it can reduce human errors, time, administration, data redundancy, different format problems and so on. All of control system converts to a meaningful aggregation form as MIS.

We also need to build MIS to control centrally and to get standardized information. MIS is a data-orientation in which data are considered an organization resource from the CS or TPS which they are captured. In the picture, Middle Management Level, SEC can get summarized reports and predictable data to aggregate using MIS. MIS can demonstrate not only information but also graphical symbols for project status as necessary. In MIS, we should make high level security and level of access for the right people according to different levels of organization. Then we should use Web Application for MIS because it should able both managing information and sharing information between centers and project and to advertise about the charity .It also should include other functionalities such as importing of existing data, exporting data to different format and easily implementation for future. We will develop to be user friendly and give training to use easily.

A.3 Discussion how drawing Rich Picture helped to understand Age Care

To understand wider issues and the context in which the problem situation exists in the real world is used by developing Rich Picture. It is essential to include people in the organization, their relationships, people who may have different and conflicting objectives, perceptions and attitudes. Rich Picture is that a true understanding of complex problem situations is more simplistic structured or data-orientated method which is the formal or hard systems such as SSADM, OOAD.

Identifying primary task is the one that I start to develop rich picture. By analyzing case study, primary task is to introduce Management Information System. This is one of the important factors in rich picture because this can get supporting to achieve goals of information system. Identifying issues is the second way to develop. In case study, I found that there were difficulties to get standardized documentation, to control centrally and not get right data. By choosing issue in case study, it gives idea for me how to resolve these issues.

The third step is that I am looking for organizational structure using structure of age care case study. We found that head office has three main departments. There are Administrative Service, Finance and Administrative Support. It has 15 similar centers under the head office. Each Center has a Center Manager, Assistant Manager, and numbers of administrative Staffs .Then each center has one or more projects that are responsible for each project leaders. In rich picture, I can represent organizational structure, roles of personnel, and aspects of organization which are intended to be covered by the information system. Therefore I get good idea of whom and what are central to the organization and what are the important relationships.

After looking for organizational structure, I analyzed for a number of roles that they may be included in organization and their relationships. For example, Chief Executive Officer in head office is responsible for identifying which projects are running efficiently or not. Finance Director in finance department is responsible for controlling finance information. Director of Central Administrative Support is responsible for manage information from running projects centrally. Information Quality Officer is responsible for collect information from each project leader to show cost and uses of resources to Trustees. Each Center Manager is responsible for running their association area and send finance information to finance department. Assistant Center Manager is also responsible for running of the centers and any other projects in their area. Administrative Staffs provide assistance to any projects controlled by the Center. Project leader for Green Drive Project is responsible for running efficiently and sends information to Finance Director and Director of Central Administrative Support. Education Coordinator is responsible for control education project. In the rich picture, I can easily know physical layout, reporting structure and formal and informal communication patterns from identifying responsibilities and relationship of people in the organization. This process carries out in the problem situation and conflict area to identify. It helps people to visualize and discuss their own role in the organization. It convey tremendous amount of information.

By the next step, I choose key actors in the environment such as Information Quality Officer, Project leader, Director of Finance. Then I drawn into the problem situation that people are worrying about, thinking for situation, expecting in these roles. The rich picture can help the owners of the problem that sort out fundamentals of the case, both to clarify their own thinking and decision making and also to explain these fundamentals to all the interested parties. The rich picture becomes a summary of all processes that is important in organization. So I can clearly understand with moving from 'thinking about the problem situation' to thinking about what can be done about the situation'.

Moreover, I found that there were some conflicts in organization. There are between Center Managers and Finance Director for finance data. Center Managers want to control their own finances without sending details information to Finance Department. But Director of Finance thinks that all finance information should be controlled by their finance team. Therefore I represent the crossed sword in the rich picture between Center Managers and Finance Director. Another conflict is that between Education Coordinator and Information Quality Officer. Education Coordinator can't give information how much effective in education project to Information Quality Officer. Information Quality Officer needs information about Education Project to send reports to trustees. The last conflict is that Project Leader and Information Quality Officer. Project Leaders give information for each project with different format. So Information Quality Officer difficult to measure project performance. Inaccurate or misleading representations and communicate the problem situation clearly or not that is issues, value judgments, 'feel' for the situation, potential conflicts and concerns is represented by Rich Picture.

Rich pictures are Ad hoc drawings and do not have a formal syntax. I can use of symbols and diagrammatic conventions to represent a particular situation in a manner that is explicit and understandable by users. For example problems and concerns of the major characters indicate 'think' bubbles , conflict indicate crossed swords, relationships indicate arrows, key actors indicate by bracket , an eye to show external scrutiny , stick figures are used to show people. The building shape represents 15 centers under the head office. After that, I can specify system boundaries, subsystems, and user of the subsystems in rich picture such as Green Drive System for Project Leader, Finance System for Finance Department, Education System for Education Coordinator and MIS for Head Office. Therefore rich picture supports to know about "what subsystems need in Information System?", "who use this subsystem?'.

By drawing rich picture, it can act as an aid to discussion between problem owner and problem solver or between analysts and users or both. From a rich picture, I can get possible extract problems themes which provide future understanding of the problem situation .I can know how to relate each other (internal or external). Rich Picture is proved that a very useful communication tool in this environment. Rich Picture is not same the formal as another because it can demonstrate organizational structure , communication social office and social heeds , problem situation through debate on the main purpose of the organization concerned, conflicts , who are supervised in system . Rich Picture is self explanatory and easy to understand. Therefore rich Picture helped to understand clearly complex environment with Age Care.

B2. Two key uses of the system

I select Arrange Plan and Record for fuel amount and miles are key uses of the system.

B2.1 Reasons for selected key uses

Arrange Plan is one of the key uses of the system. The reasons are

  • It is day to day transactions.
  • It supports to satisfy for supermarkets with fair share of visits.
  • It helps not to waste the time and fuels by drawing efficient route.
  • It can show evidence of vehicles for social services.
  • It can record the list of passengers, place, expecting time to pick up.
  • It can easily search the history of plan within seconds.
  • It would have affected on all if it had occurred some mistakes.

Another key uses of the system is Record for fuel amount and miles. The reasons are

  • It helps to send standardized monthly report to project Leader.
  • It supports for Finance Office and Central Administration.
  • It can show evidences for supermarkets.
  • It can know easily history of fuel purchased and miles within seconds.
  • It can know which drivers filled fuel.
  • Management Information System also requires standardized documents about finances and project progress.

B2.2 Primary and Secondary Scenario for selected uses

Primary Scenario for Arrange Plan

Use Case: Arrange Plan

Precondition: A valid user has logged into the system. User has to set up vehicles information and driver information firstly.

Flow of events:

Primary Scenario
  1. The use case starts when Doris selects Arrange Plan Screen.
  2. She selects time and date.
  3. She selects the vehicles that assigned to this time table from vehicles list.
  4. She selects the drivers that assigned to these vehicles from drivers list.
  5. She selects the supermarkets that assigned to this time table from supermarket list.
  6. When selecting supermarkets, the system will automatically show the numbers of supermarkets that you have been planed time table within these months.
  7. She enters passenger information such as name, address, phone, expecting time to pick up them.
  8. She enters routes.
  9. The system will automatically display the efficient route according to your route.
  10. The system will also assign plan code for time table.
  11. She will select Summit Plan.
  12. The system will verify the information, save timetable, assign vehicles, assign drivers, assign passenger, choose the efficient routes, use case ends.

Post condition: The plan details are accepted and printed these plans to know drivers.

Secondary Scenario for Arrange Plan use case:

  • If one of the drivers took leave or resigned immediately.
  • If one of the vehicles had any problem on the road.
  • If social Services and supermarkets reduced funds.

Primary Scenario for Record for fuel amount and miles

Use Case: Record for fuel amount and miles

Precondition: A valid use has logged into the system and collect information from drivers.

Flow of events:

Primary Scenario
  1. The use case starts when Doris selects Record Information Screen.
  2. She selects vehicle that filled fuel from vehicles List.
  3. She selects driver name from drivers List.
  4. She enters voucher number from receipt.
  5. She records given money to the drivers.
  6. She enters amount of fuel purchased.
  7. She enters refund money from divers.
  8. She scans and attaches document that driver returns receipt.
  9. She enters number of miles driven.
  10. This system will show automatically code number for this recorded amount.
  11. She will select Save Record.
  12. The system will verify the information, save vehicle, assigned drivers, given money for fuel purchase, amount of fuel purchased, refund money and attach receipt, numbers of mile driven use case ends.

Post Conditions: Recording fuels and mile details are accepted and send this recorded information to Claire every month.

Secondary Scenario
  • If the Amount of fuel purchased typing was wrong.
  • If the number of miles was wrong.
  • If the driver took a leave on Friday.
B3 Discussion in developing Use Case and how it assisted you in understanding requirements

Use case is concerned with the behavior of the system and to establish what the system does from the user's point of view. Use case is a set of relation between user and the system to achieve a particular goal. Use case diagram in a system has various levels of details. Use Case diagram shows the associations or interactions (as line) between actors (stick figures) in the system and the use cases (ellipses). The diagram also shows the boundary of the system as a rectangle within the use cases. User can readily understand because it is a graphical technique.

If I develop use case diagram for Green Drive Project, firstly I will find all events by identifying actions, actors and receivers in case study. The user who drives the use case and whose goal is achieved by an actor. The person who inputs and receives information from the system and associated with at least one action is an actor. Actor may be anything such as person, organization or another system or external device. In Green Drive Project, I have been chosen Doris, Drivers, Claire Graham, Finance Department, and Central Administration as actors. Moreover I have been drawn up the list of all events in Green Drive Project such as draw time table, maintenance for vehicles, arrange suitable route, a list of drivers and passenger by Doris, take key, sign for the vehicles, go out according to Doris's route, pick up passengers, taking notes for absent people, emergency call when drivers faced with any problems on the way, return back to the center , return keys , record time that the bus arrived to the center , fill fuel every Friday , give money to purchase fuel ,record fuel amount and number of miles they have been driven and send these record to Claire, Finance Department and Central Administration received information from Claire and so on. Then I have been identified relationship betweens actors and events. Identifying actors in a system is a good starting point for use cases. By identifying these actions, actors, receivers, I can know clearly functionalities what the actor achieves interacting with the system to achieve a particular goal and what are the responsibilities related to the user.

After that I have been sorted the list. For example, Give money to purchase fuel should be first before fill fuel in lists. I can see step by step view of each function, scope of the system easily by sequencing. At the next step, I grouped the list by event nature and give appropriate process names. Let us go back to my example above of the Green Drive Project Use Case.

By grouping these lists, I can specify functionality that the system will offer from the user's perspective and easily to draw finalize use case diagram. The last step is drawing finalize that connect with actors / receivers and processes according to the result of above steps. After drawing use case and giving title, I can see the behavior of the system as a whole.

If I think error condition, I will confuse in use case. When I am handling complex use case, writing scenario helps to solve easily. The relationship between use cases and scenario is that of the generic to the specific. One instance of a use case can be represented by a scenario to describe a particular sequence of events and goals of use case. This is normal scenario or primary scenario. For Green Drive Project in writing primary scenario, I indicated Doris begins scenario and she arrange plan. I wrote the start of use case as pre-condition and the end of use case as post-condition. Then I determine a series of statements step by step as flow of event. After writing normal scenario, add alternative consideration where the goal of the use case is not achieved and error condition. This is called secondary scenario. For Example if one of the vehicles occur any problem on the road, arrange plan process change currently.

By developing use case diagram, I can consider user requirements in relation to the system, support us to work out the system boundary, know easily primary actor or secondary actor. It can also be view one large process from start to finish. Use case is user oriented because of user requirements in relation to the system. The use case and scenario are valuable to share understanding of requirements between users and developer.

At the side of technical view, use cases and scenarios bring many benefits to the developer. Identifying functional requirements for the system, suggesting design features are the source of use case. Scenarios are very effective communication that persuade to users. A scenario can show what happens in problem domain and visualizing how user would like them to happen in the new system. Scenarios can supports users to know what I am doing to carry out the goal, what information need, what the output will be. Scenarios can also useful in testing state how users can compare the result of final system with expressed in scenarios. Developing use case and scenarios are one of the most effective and efficient ways to understand complex environment.

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