Recently one of the local businessmen has donated $50,000 to the college. The college administration has decided to use all or portion of that money to computerize the alumni center record keeping. The justification was that if the alumni newsletter is published on time and the labels are generated quickly and mailed on time then there is a possibility of generating more money.
Mark Monard who is the director of the alumni center has been given the responsibility of pursuing and monitoring the task. Mark has contacted Information and Instructional Technology (IIT) department to explore the possibility of developing this project. The IIT director after some evaluation has decided to assign Julia Hansen and Kelly Woo to do a system analysis and design and present an overall plan for the project including an estimate of the duration and the cost.
Julia and Kelly immediately contacted Mark the director of the alumni center as well as the registrar and arranged for information gathering through the interview process. Julia and Kelly decided to prepare a set of twenty questions each. At the day of the interview Julia had all her questions typed and ready to take part in the interview. Kelly had all her questions typed and saved in her disk had plan to print them at the interview day. Just half an hour before the interview Kelly tried to print her file. Unfortunately the system could not open the file. Her file must have been corrupted. Because there was no time to create a new set of questions, they had left with two options. Their first option was to postpone the interview to some other time and their second option was to go ahead with interview without Kelly's questions. Since postponing interview may leave a bad impression they decided to go ahead to the interview meeting without Kelly's questions.
After conducting the interview, Julia and Kelly went ahead with systems analysis and design phase and prepared a recommendation for a new alumni system with on-line update and query features. They discussed their ideas with their boss and several other colleagues and they all felt that their ideas were excellent. Julia and Kelly then prepared their system requirements specification nicely and sent one copy to the registrar and another copy to Mark Monard the director of alumni center for their review.
Mark had discussed the project with the registrar and had asked his opinion about the details of systems. Mark and the registrar have agreed to invite the president, all the administrative vice presidents, and the deans of all schools to the presentation. Mark wanted to be sure that he would have the support of the administration and funding for the new on-line alumni system. All the clerks who were involved with the alumni system and record keeping were also invited to the presentation.
Unfortunately Julia's car ran out of gas the morning of the presentation on her way to college. Consequently she arrived half an hour late for the presentation and noticed that some of the audiences have already left. She immediately apologized and began to set up their presentation with Kelly. They had all the transparency masters ready turn on the overhead projector. The started the presentation by putting their slide on the overhead and describing their system to the audience.
Unfortunately the overhead projector's bulb went out during the presentation and Kelly rushed out to the secretary's office to seek for another bulb. When she finally returned with a new bulb she noticed that half of the audiences have already left. They did finish their presentation but with little of their original enthusiasm.
Case BackgroundThis course involves the development of a computerized alumni system for a college. This is in response to the fact that creating mailing labels manually and mailing the alumni newsletter to the members is done with a delay and thus it is not as effective as the administration of the college would want to be. The main focus of the system is on teamwork to analyze the systems requirement. Julia and Kelly the two employees of the college' IIT department are in charge of the project and must prepare their system requirements to gain administrative support.
Case OverviewMetropolitan College is a small liberal arts school that is located in the rural areas of state of Nevada. The college administration including the registrar, alumni center director decided to propose the creation of the a computerized alumni center's operation. Two of the staff of the IIT department Julia Hansen and Kelly Woo have been assigned to perform this task. In addition to software engineering knowledge and problem solving ability they should also apply their knowledge of the teamwork and organizational planning. They have made significant effort to prepare their system requirements but they lack on good teamwork to present their presentations to their audience.
Case ObjectivesThis case is appropriate for use in introductory computer science courses. Frequently, computer science students fail to learn the importance of teamwork in their undergraduate studies. However, effective team functioning is a skill that most employers value. Therefore, after analyzing this case, students will be able to:
- Identify the impact of individual actions on the outcome of team projects.
- Identify attributes of teams that function effectively.
- Recognize the importance of effective coordination and communication among team members
- Identify all the resources that are needed for effective presentation and make sure that they are all working
- Recognize that presentation a project to audience is actually selling yourself and your credibility
- Recognize the importance of having an alternative plan for your project presentation
- Recognize the importance of having a practice of your project presentation in advance.
DebriefingThis case is designed to encourage students to consider (1) the importance of teamwork in system development (2) the importance of team planning in system development (3) what the issues are when a team of systems analyst plan for presentation of their project (4) realize the rule and importance of software and hardware equipment that are needed during presentation.
Relevant DataThe actual data for this project are registrar, director of the alumni center, IIT department, Julia and Kelly, systems analysis, alumni center, the alumni center computerized system.
- Identify the problems in this case
- Discuss the problems from the perspective of Julia, Kelly, Mark and the registrar
- What Julia and Kelly should have done to avoid the problems that have occurred in this scenario?
- Has Julia acted responsibly? Explain your answer
- Has Kelly acted responsibly? Explain your answer
- What do you think Julia and Kelly should do now to try to salvage the alumni project?
- Do you think they should be given the alumni project?
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- Systems Analysis and Design of Business Information Systems, Second Edition, James Martin, Prentice Hall, 1995
- Modern Systems Analysis and Design, Second Edition, Hoffer, George, and Valacich, Addison Wesley, 1999