Information system engineering

Information Systems Engineering

1. Acknowledgement

When I make this coursework, I would like to offer my deep appreciation and gratitude to all of my teachers. They all suggested and helped me from the initial study stage to the implementation stage and documentation of Information Systems Engineering course work.

Firstly, I would like to express my truly and heartfelt thanks to my teacher Mr.Murphy because he all gave valuable suggestion and the guidance as well as my effort.

Moreover I would like to express my special thanks to my friends who had generously shared the knowledge with me during the course work.

Finally I have most important and especially thanks to my parents who gave me support in every way to attend BIT Program of UOG Education.

2. Introduction

This Information System Engineering coursework is intended to understand the role of a methodology and critically evaluate a range of approaches to aid the analyst to carry out requirements analysis. The main purpose of this coursework is to examine the student ability to model a problem and critically analyze the tools we have used.

In this coursework, we have to provide the two sections. Section A is soft system analysis using Rich Pictures and section B is requirements analysis using Use Case Modeling technique.

To complete section A, we have to draw a rich picture for the complete AgeCare environment and then as the result of developing rich picture we have to identify the key actor, issue and areas of conflict affecting AgeCare environment. After that, we have to provide the discussion about the main focus of the system that the organization requires and also discussion in the region of 1000 words relating about how drawing a rich picture is helped to understand the complex environment within AgeCare.

The next section B is to annotate Use Case diagram for the GreenDrive system and then identify two key uses of the system within supporting primary and secondary scenarios. Furthermore, we have to provide the discussion in the region of 1000 words explaining the process we followed in developing the Use Case and how it assisted in understanding requirements.

Operation Staff/ Volunteer

These people are mainly responsible for running the operational work of the project. The AgeCare's main purpose to provide care and service to elderly people, this work cannot be done only with top management level. So operational staff and volunteer is necessary.

Funder

Funder is one of the key actors because AgeCare is a charity base non business organization and most of the project running is depend on the availability of fund. Funders are also monitor and keep an eye on their funding project's situation regularly.

Information Quality Officer

Information Quality Officer is the responsible for collecting the data from each project and figure out which project are running properly and effectively and which are not. Moreover, he has to undertake the sending of information to trustees about the projects status.

Finance Director

The managing of finance is definitely the central to all AgeCare work. It can be surely say that nothing can be happened without finance.

Centre Manager

Each centre has the Center Manger. They are responsible for the running of the centers and any other projects that take place near in their area.

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer is the person who makes a decision making and creates a feasible strategy for the AgeCare. He is the very active person to develop the management information system.

A2.2 The key issues and areas of conflict affecting the AgeCare environment

To develop MIS system

Funders like to get the report, how they did the money. They are pressured to demonstrate.

Money comes from government and trust

The following are the Key issues of the AgeCare environment

The main issue of the AgeCare is to give support and provide service to the elderly people.

To obtain the fund regularly form funder and trustee because project could not be run without availability of adequate fund.

AgeCare have to re-provide regular report to funder and trustee about how they used money effectively. Actually AgeCare are pressured to demonstrate the report.

AgeCare Executive Committee likes to implement the Management Information System (MIS) to help manage the charity more effectively. Consequently, GreenDrive project is chosen as the pilot for developing MIS.

Area of conflict

AgeCare Head Office and some other branch

Between AgeCare head office centre and some other branch centre have little conflict view upon the developing of MIS. As a matter of fact, Head office support MIS is really needed for charity to manage more effectively because there is increasingly causing problems in current situation due to the inconsistency of information.

But the some of the Centre manger think they have their own system and already working properly. So they just want to copy their created system. They are feel resistant to change because they don't want to accept changing. They don't like to spend more time and don't like to learn new technology. Also they don't want to do extra work.

But AgeCare Executive Committee has decided to introduce a Management Information System to help manage the charity more effectively.

  1. Finance Director and Information Quality Officer
  2. Finance Director and Centre Manager about finance system
  3. Finance Director is like to manage the finance system by centralized

But most of Centre Manager is expecting to manage the finance their self and likely to have their own finance system. They suppose that sending all information to finance office is real nuisance and they normally get things wrong.

Funder/trustees and AgeCare

Funder and trustees are expected to receive the regular report that show how all money provided has been spent on the project accurately. But sometime AgeCare just provide the imitation fixed up report to funder for their satisfaction

To develop the GreenDrive Project as pilot for developing MIS system

The AgeCare Executive Committee is believe that GreenDrive is the most appropriate and suitable project to use as pilot for developing a management information system. Because is AgeCare charity is started by providing transport service to elderly people.

But Director of AgeCare central Administrative Support, do not agree that the GreenDrive project is the best one to pilot. And also do not accept the whole AgeCare organization to be followed by the way of GreenDrive working system.

Furthermore, Finance Director are do not actively interest in the developing of Management Information System. He just likes to sort out their finance system firstly because the finance system they have is not working effectively as they expected.

The main objective of the AgeCare organization is to run project regularly and support elderly people. As the analyst, we believe the main focus of the system that the organization requires is to manage the information centrally by making the all of the centers to use the standard ways of collecting information about each projects and service that are being offered.

That because, AgeCare has many centre and number of project. But each centers are manage their projects in self-governing way, for example data are collected by the number of different formats and various standard. So consequently, the whole organization is running ad hoc, problem are causing increasingly and very difficult to manage due to the inconsistency of information.

Furthermore, the system must be able to produce reports for Trustees and Managers, as well as funding bodies to help them make strategic decision. Because they are suspecting that some projects are not using resource effectively and like to trace what they are.

The most of the AgeCare project is dependent on the availability of fund by funder and trustees. So AgeCare have to provide regular reports to funders and trustees for showing how all money provided has been used on the project appropriately.

A3 Discuss how drawing a rich picture helped to understand the complex environment within AgeCare.

What is Rich Picture?

How Drawing a Rich Picture help to understand the complex environment within AgeCare

The environment of the AgeCare is high complex situation. But at the result of drawing the Rich Picture, it can help to understand and appreciate the complex environment within the AgeCare totally and clearly. Because Rich Picture is the very flexible graphical technique and it can used to represent the situation, concept and problem.

In Rich Picture arrows are included to show the relationships. Furthermore, any symbols can be used which are appropriate to the specific situation. We use crossed swards to indicate conflict and the "think" bubbles indicated the worries of the major characters.

We can understand the structure of AgeCare (it has hard office centre and +15 other similar branch centers). We can aware the issue of each person in environment and we can also see about the AgeCare Projects and its funder by drawing the relationship arrows.

When construct the rich picture, we can generally obtain the issues, actors, processes, relationships, problems and conflicts of the complex AgeCare Environment by interviewing people.

The drawing of Rich Picture can help to understand the complex environment within AgeCare because by sketching the Rich Picture we can figure out the systems boundaries, situation of current organization.

After developing the rich picture for the AgeCare environment, we totally understand about the AgeCare. Because when drawing the rich picture, we have to consider and place the actor, issues, process, relationship, problem and conflict of whole situation.

Developing the rich picture can make know all sorts of issue and inspection about the problem situation. Furthermore, the most three important component of a rich picture are structure, process and concerns. So we can easily know the structure, process and concerns of AgeCare by checking rich picture.

Rich Picture is the study of the situation that can observe to be a problem. The meaning of drawing rich picture is tried to express the unstructured problem situation to expected problem situation.

Rich picture be used as the universal communication tools due to the very flexible itself. The main advantages of drawing Rich Picture that not likes the most other graphical technique, such as data Sflow diagrams (DFDs) are it has no constraints and rules. Rich Picture can contain any kind of graphical representation. Furthermore, rich picture can also use the text and any other special symbol.

As the result of representation the simple figures of actor with concern and speech bubbles linked to then can indicate and present the particular problematic area in the current AgeCare's complex environment.

What have learnt about Rich Picture?

Rich Picture can use affectively at the Systems Analysis and Design(SAD) phase of projects, specially communication between analyst and client)

By drawing the rich pictures, it can use as tools to learn about the obvious facts of a environment situation, and also about abstract or emotional things like the social atmosphere among the actors.

Drawing the rich picture is very useful to understand the complex environment within AgeCare because rich picture is a cartoon-like representation that can identifies all stakeholders, their concern and some of the structure and work flow.

We can also know about conflict situation. Conflict mean there is some things or destination with different idea.

The relationship between structure and process represents the 'climate' of the situation.

The idea of drawing Rich Picture and using picture or symbol to reflect about issues is to help out for more problem solving or for more creative thinking because communication with picture and symbol is more perceptive cognizance way than in words. For this reason, Rich Picture can be used as important and effective communication tool.

Rich picture is the flexible graphical technique and make use of drawings or pictures to gather information about a complex situation.

The rich picture can depict the primary stakeholders, their interrelationship, and their concerns. It is intended to be a broad, high-grained view of the problem situation.

The rich picture can help the owners of the problem sort out the fundamentals of the situation but there are not suggesting that using a rich picture will solve all of the problems.

Drawing of rich picture is one of many small but effective ideas that may be applied to any design process.

One of the purposes of drawing a rich picture diagram is to avoid making design before analyses

By drawing the rich picture, we get a good idea of whom and what is central to the AgeCare. Furthermore, we can identify what are the important key actors in the environment and the key issues and areas of conflict affecting the AgeCare environment.

Moreover, we can also learn that there is no such thing as correct rich picture.

Critique of Rich Picture

Rich picture is the middle approach, that avoids the too narrow, disciplinary view and too abroad as system views. The art of drawing rich picture is useful itself because It can be used to show up the worries of individuals, potential conflicts and potential issues and also helps people to visualize and discuss their own role in the organization.

Advantages of Rich Picture

The drawing of a rich picture is assist to understand the complex environment within AgeCare because drawing of rich picture has many of advantages as follows:

  • It is graphical in nature. By drawing picture is more easy to understand and absorbable than a text description.
  • Only little artistry is needed to draw up.
  • It has no constraints and rules
  • It is flexible. Amendment or any additions can make easily to any part of the picture
  • It provides a basis flow for communication and negotiation
  • It can display politics, emotions, conflict and the likes
  • It is the language independent (except for text content). This may be helpful to developer and client.
  • No additional expertise is needed to interpret it

Administrative Staff

A person who admits a driver into the GreenDrive, recerive fund from funder provider and record vehical list that rent from social service.

Part Time Staff

People who arrange the trip, record vehicle in/out time and record fuel purchase in detail.

Project Leader

A Person who leads the GreenDrive project and forward the appropriate information to finance Office and AgeCare central administration as necessary.

The two key use of the system are as follows

  1. Arrange Trip
  2. Record Fuel Purchase

Explanation of why above mentioned use cases are key to the system

These two use cases are key to the proposed GreenDrive Management Information System and also for to measure the Key Performance Indicator (KPIs)

Arrange Trip is the one of the key of the system because

The vehicles that using in GreenDrive project are belong to the social service and on loan to AgeCare.

Social Services are desire to see the evident that the vehicles are being used within the project properly and running regularly.

The fund for the minibus fuel, the upkeep and administration cost are provided by supermarket. So supermarket are desire to perceive the evidence that they are reception their reasonable share of visits.

Record Fuel Purchase use case is also one key of the system because system necessarily needs to record the amount of fuel purchase in detail with number of mile driven.

This use case is necessarily for GreenDrive system to indicate KPIs

The fund for the minibus fuel is provided by supermarket. So supermarket are desire to perceive the evidence that GreenDrive project are using the fund correctly.

Use Case: Arrange Trip

Flow of events

Primary Scenarios

  1. The use case starts when the staff make arrangement of trip to supermarket
  2. Staff check the current timetable schedule
  3. The system show the current timetable schedule
  4. Staff check the vehicle condition and status
  5. Staff arrange the vehicle for trip
  6. Staff check the schedule of driver
  7. Staff select and arrange the driver for trip
  8. Then the Staff arrange the timetable and route for trip
  9. The use case end

Secondary Scenarios

Full Time Table

  1. The use case starts when the staff make arrangement of trip to supermarket
  2. The Staff check the current timetable schedule
  3. The system show the current timetable schedule
  4. The current timetable is totally full with already arranged schedule
  5. The staff check the arranged schedule need to remove or modify
  6. The staff selects to modify the existing schedule.
  7. Staff check the vehicle condition and status
  8. Staff arrange the vehicle for trip
  9. Staff check the schedule of driver
  10. Staff select and arrange the driver for trip
  11. Then the Staff arrange the timetable and route for trip

Vehicle not available

  1. The use case starts when the staff make arrangement of trip to supermarket
  2. Staff check the current timetable schedule
  3. The system show the current timetable schedule
  4. Staff check the vehicle condition and status
  5. The system show that the vehicle are not available for request timetable
  6. The staff ask the system for the vehicle unoccupied schedule
  7. The system display the free schedule
  8. Staff arrange the vehicle for trip
  9. Staff check the schedule of driver
  10. Staff select and arrange the driver for trip
  11. Then the Staff arrange the timetable and route for trip

Driver not available

  1. The use case starts when the staff make arrangement of trip to supermarket
  2. Staff check the current timetable schedule
  3. The system show the current timetable schedule
  4. Staff check the vehicle condition and status
  5. Staff arrange the vehicle for trip
  6. Staff check the schedule of driver
  7. The system show there is no rota of driver for this schedule
  8. Staff try to re-arrange the rota of driver
  9. If cannot re-arrange the rota of driver the staff try to find the new volunteer drive
  10. If new volunteer driver are not available, the staff find the re-arrange the another schedule
  11. The Staff select and arrange the driver for trip
  12. Then the Staff arrange the timetable and route for trip

Use Case: Record Fuel Purchase

Flow of events

Primary Scenario

  1. The use case starts when the Staff receive the fuel purchase receipt from driver
  2. Staff check the taken advance money for fuel
  3. Staff record amount of fuel purchased
  4. The staff receive the return money from driver
  5. The staff record the quantity of fuel filled up
  6. The staff check the number of mile driven by vehicle
  7. The staff record the number of mile driven by vehicle and the Use case end

Secondary Scenario

  1. The use case starts when the Staff receive the fuel purchase receipt from driver
  2. Staff check the taken advance money for fuel
  3. Staff record amount of fuel purchased
  4. The staff receive the return money from driver
  5. The staff record the quantity of fuel filled up
  6. The staff check the number of mile driven by vehicle
  7. The number of mile driven is not available
  8. The system will assign pending status for recording fuel purchase
  9. The recording fuel purchase process is not satisfied and the Use case end

The discussion of process followed in developing of Use Case

Before developing the Use Case diagram, firstly we are trying to understand a brief recap of the GreenDrive system's main concept and then learn about User Case Diagram that what Use Case is and what is actor, how to draw and how to consider.

Use Cases are the inside of the system and the Actor are the outside of the system boundary. Actor is a kind of user of the system. An actor may be a human being or another system or external device or software components.

After learning that we written down the note with the stakeholders for GreenDrive and their interest for system to identify the perfect use case for GreenDrive system, After then we review, select, abstract and build the perfect Use Cases that would be actually requirement of all stakeholders. We abstract and draw only the MIS related use case.

When trying to identify the correct functionalities Use Cases, we are followed and make sure that the Use Cases are developed by capturing the requirements from the user's point of view. So Use cases can identify the functionality that the system will offer from the user's perspective. Furthermore, before define the Use Case, we are take in account that one use case should contain one large process from start to finish and should have a number of different scenarios associated with it.

Use cases are concerned with the behavior of the system externally. So we identified the use case form the user's point of view. In this GreenDrive system, we support that typical use case would include Arrange Trip, Record amount of Fuel fill, and Record mile driven.

After setting the requirement (identify the participants in the new requirements) for GreenDrive system, we identify the use case actors (sets of users or devices) who interact with the system for specific types of functionality and their objective. We are taking in account to include all of the functionality in the system, including special/contingency conditions.

After totally that, we link each use case with their functionally related actor and then consider their basic flow and alternate flows. Finally produce a Use Case diagram.

How Use Case assisted to understanding the requirement

Requirement analysis is very difficult and complex but it is vital for the development of robust, quality system. The requirement analysis using Use Case diagram is very effective and popular because Use Case diagram is a graphical technique and easy to understand. Furthermore, Use Case diagram helps to translate the daily basic operation into data objects that may be implemented as part of an information system.

When trying to understand the functional requirements of GreenDrive system, that mean what the AgeCare Executive Committee want the propose GreenDrive Management Information system to do. We fundamentally have to identify the following three models. They are firstly identifying the interaction between the user and the system for each function under review. And then secondary is identify the step by step view of each function and finally is to define the scope of the system. We can aware that the above describing three models can be undertaken and expressed by developing the Use Case diagram.

The developing of Use Case is significantly assisted in understanding of GreenDrive system requirement because developing the Use Case diagram can provide a structured way of approaching the problem. Moreover, Use Case diagrams can provide the clear view of the functionality required by the system and how they associate to the requirement of the system.

By making the requirement analysis for GreenDrive System using use Case modeling technique, we can ascertain an in-depth look at both the business and system needs based upon real-world concepts. Furthermore, Use Case modeling can assist the requirements definition, planning/prioritizing of development and the validation aspect of system.

Drawing the Use Case can assist to find out the functional requirements of the proposed GreenDrive system because use cases are allowed to capture the user's requirement by focusing on a task that the user necessary to carry out. So developing the Use Case can provide a sound foundation for the design of the system's functionality.

Developing the requirement with Use Case can present the multiple methods to emphasis the stakeholders on the functionality they need and shows a number of ways to firmly allocate what is in scope and what is excluding. Furthermore, developing the requirement with Use Case show how to identify what is necessarily to make the correct solution.

During requirement elicitation, Use Case scenarios can help user to explain what they do to carry out particular tasks, what information they need and what the output will be. Use Case scenarios are an effective way of eliciting requirements. Walking through scenarios with users helps to identify the use cases that define the overall behavior of the system.

Use Cases are high level processes and Use Case diagram can show the interactions between the actors and the use cases.

Use Case modeling can enable to identify the actors associated with the proposed GreenDrive system.

Defining actors are helping to identify the boundaries of the system.

What Learnt about Use Case and scenarios?

Use cases and scenarios are popular with both user and developers because they are easy to understand for people unless they are computer expert.

Use case should also be described as clearly as possible in terms that user will understand.

A very brief description of the purpose of the use case in jargon-free English should be provided for each one identified. For example;

There are no rules about the size or level of detail of a use case, so it is often difficult to know how many use case to identify.

7. Conclusion

After making of the coursework, we thorough understanding the Rich Picture and Use Case and the effectiveness in identifying of problem situation and requirement analysis.

Moreover, we can comprehend the role of methods in a modern software development environment and the importance of requirements analysis in the development life cycle.

9. Bibliography

Book Reference

Avison & Fitzgerald (2002) Information Systems Development Third Edition. Publisher: McGraw-Hill ISBN: 0077096266

Carol Britton & Jill Doake (2000) Objective-Oriented System Development, a gentle introduction Publisher: McGraw-Hill ISBN:0-07-709544-8

Pooley and Stevens (1999). Using UML. Software with objects and components ISBN: 0201360675

EBook and Web articles Reference

DSDM Public Version 4.2, 2002-2008 DSDM Consortium Available online at: http://www.dsdm.org/version4/2/public/

DSDM Consortium Frequently Asked Questions. Web 2004, http://www.dsdm.com/en/resources/faqs.asp

DSDM Consortium Official Presentation. Web 2004 http://www.dsdm.com/kss/download.asp?fileid=444

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