Learning outcomes addressed
Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Critically discuss factors relating to the information requirements of organisations
2. Critically appraise the overall rationale, key stages, deliverables and personnel roles involved in traditional and other systems development lifecycles
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Specify the requirements for an information system using object oriented analysis and design techniques, based on an accepted leading approach
4. Apply analysis and design techniques to typical business scenarios, using advanced object modelling concepts and techniques
Personal Values Attributes (Global/Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity):
5. Critically appraise the concepts and techniques of object-oriented development, demonstrating an understanding of professional codes of practice applicable to systems analysis and design projects.
For the first assignment (worth 40% of the marks) you will critically appraise the information requirements of organizations and the system development lifecycles and will consider professional codes of practice issues. This assignment assesses MLOs 1, 2 and 5.
Academic Integrity Statement: You must adhere to the university regulations on academic conduct. Formal inquiry proceedings will be instigated if there is any suspicion of plagiarism or any other form of misconduct in your work. Refer to the University’s Assessment Regulations for Northumbria Awards if you are unclear as to the meaning of these terms. The latest copy is available on the University website.
As is the norm for academic work, sources should be appropriately referenced and a reference list of sources used included. You should follow the standard Harvard referencing system, and provide a full reference list and brief references in the text of your answer. Direct quotations should be indicated by quotation marks and referenced. Please refer to http://www.citethemrightonline.com/ for further guidance. Please do not include references to lecture notes.
Students must NOT collude with other students or plagiarize their work.
Where coursework is submitted without approval, after the published hand-in deadline, the standard penalties will apply.
Hand-written and scanned answers are not acceptable and will score 0 (zero) marks.
Please help us to handle and mark your work efficiently. Clearly label your assignment with module code, module title, ‘Assignment 1’, your name, your programmes and your student ID (not your computer ID). You are advised to keep a copy of your work until you have received your formal results for the year.
Tasks relate to the scenario which accompanies this brief. Answer all tasks.
The module team will not provide feedback upon draft versions of your assignment either in person or sent via email. The model team will however by happy to attempt to answer you other questions related to the assignment. To ensure fair access to this support can you please ask your questions related to the assignment either at the lecture or seminar.
Task 1: Properties of information 20 marks
Task 2: Usability 30 marks
Task 3. Development Methodologies 30 marks
Task 4: Professionalism 20 marks
In this module, you have studied the general characteristics of good information. Discuss three general characteristics of good information that would be important to Holipets Pet Care information system and show why they are important to this business. (Guide length: about 600 words)
Discuss how the principles and techniques of object oriented development can contribute to the usability of software systems. Your answer should be justified and making reference to Holipets Pet Care information system. (Guide length: about 800 words)
In recent years, iterative development has been an increasingly important strategy for system developers, and has become the basis of many of today’s development methods, including USDP/RUP and ‘agile’ methods such as DSDM, Scrum and eXtreme Your answer should be justified and making reference to Holipets Pet Care information system. Programming. question. (Guide length about 800 words)
A. Explain what is meant by ‘iterative development,’ illustrating your answer by showing how it is applied in a development method of your choice.
B. Assess the usefulness and importance of iterative development, making reference to your chosen development method, and to others if you wish. It is acceptable to focus your discussion on the use of iterative development in the chosen method, or to provide a more general treatment of the question.
Systems developers should act in a professional manner. Discuss what constitutes appropriate professional behaviour when investigating and analysing systems requirements and how the techniques learned in this module can contribute. Your suggestions should be justified and making reference to Holipets Pet Care information system and to an appropriate professional code. (Guide length about 600 words)
Note: You may use the Code of Conduct of the British Computer Society (available at http://www.bcs.org) or an equivalent code from your home country. If you choose a code from your home country, we do need to be able to read it, so please provide a reference with a web link to a version in English. A selection of these is available at:
Scenario: Holipets Pet Care
Holipets is a small business that offers, “The complete holiday service for your cat or dog.” Customers who need to arrange care for their pets have two options: boarding or home visits. Holipets runs a boarding kennel and cattery which can currently accommodate up to 40 cats and 30 dogs. They are proud of the comfort that this accommodation offers to visiting animals. If required, they will collect and deliver your cat or dog for an extra charge. Alternatively, members of the Holipets team can visit pets in their homes while the owner is away. Typically, such visits are
made on a daily basis, but in some cases visits are twice daily or, exceptionally, more often – for example, if an animal requires frequent injections. As part of the visits, food and water can be provided, dogs taken for walks, and medications given. The visitor can also play with the animal. The exact services to be carried out are agreed with the owner in advance.
There are currently ten staff in addition to the couple that own the business; most of these work part-time, and duties are flexible, though only some of the staff – those whose reliability is most trusted, who have cars, and who are willing to do this work – make home visits and collect and deliver pets. Management tasks are generally carried out by the owners but there is a couple of senior staff who are trusted to deputise for them in all management tasks. Several of the staff can answer the phone and deal with bookings and enquiries.
At present, Holipets’ record-keeping is almost entirely manual, though a word- processing package is used to produce standard letters. However, the business is
growing and expansion of the cattery is planned in the near future. The owners now feel that a computerised system would give better support to their operations. It is expected that staff will use the new system to support and record the tasks that they carry out – receiving arrivals, taking bookings, home visits, etc.
Bookings are taken by telephone and recorded, currently in a large diary. It is important to keep track of the number of bookings for cats and dogs that have been made on each day, as a booking can only be taken if there is a free ‘room’ in the right accommodation for the duration of the required stay. Cats are never booked into dog accommodation, and dogs are never booked into cat accommodation.
When a customer requests a kennel or cattery booking, if the booking can be taken, the member of staff records it in the diary, being sure to note the start and end dates and whether collection and delivery are required. Some customers have more than one pet. If the customer is a new one, their name and contact details are taken and recorded on an index card along with details of the pet(s): name, dog or cat, breed, age, type of food, any medical treatment, and any other notes. For repeat bookings, any of these details can be updated as necessary, including adding a new animal for
an existing customer. There may be a discussion of cost: the staff know the residential rates for dogs and cats, and can advise the customer of the cost of the stay. The person taking the booking will either print out a confirmation letter as soon as the phone call is ended, or make a brief note of the booking on the whiteboard so that the letter can be sent out later. The letter gives the customers the details of the booking, and requests a 20% deposit.
Deposits which are received by cheque, and usually in the post must be recorded and banked. The balance of the payment is made when the animal arrives or is collected and this must also be recorded. It is important that records are kept of all animals arriving and leaving. Following up unpaid deposits is done on an ad hoc basis by the owners: it would be helpful if the new system could flag these up in some way. Bookings are eventually cancelled if no deposit is received.
When home care is booked, similar details are taken, using the customer card index and another diary. There is as yet no limit on the number of visits in a day, as this side of the business is so far quite small. Also, rather than sending out a confirmation letter immediately, an appointment is made for one of the staff to visit the owner and pets at home, in order to discuss practical details such as where food is kept and what care is to be given. At present, the staff member will be given
handwritten notes of the name and address, dates, cost of visits and the required deposit. Another reason for this meeting is to confirm that it appears safe for staff to make the visits. The deposit must be paid at this appointment, and a confirmation letter detailing what is to be done on each visit (feeding, medication, walks etc.) and the outstanding balance to be paid will be sent out afterwards. The balance must be paid before the first home visit or left for staff to collect on the first visit. All payments must be recorded.
The scheduling of home visits and the collection and delivery of pets is currently rather haphazard, and last-minute rearrangements are not uncommon. The owners have requested that the new system should allow all these activities to be assigned to specific staff, using a diary that can be viewed and updated at any time, and that it will print a daily list for each person who will be carrying out any of these activities. The owners would also like the system to print a list of all arrivals, departures and pets in residence for a given day. To help them manage the business they would also like summary reports about the number of rooms booked and home visits made, each over a monthly or yearly period. It will also be necessary for the owners or someone acting for them to maintain details of staff, the capacity of the accommodation, and the rates charged for each service.