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Task for SCR Web Site Analysis

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    Investigate SCR’s Internet site and learn about the company’s history, purpose, and values. Send Jesse a brief memo with suggestions to expand or improve these sections. 2. On the SCR intranet, visit the data, forms, and resources libraries and review a sample of the information in each library. 3. Using the SCR functions and organization listed in the data library, create an organization chart using Microsoft Word, Visio, or a drawing program. 4. Jesse says the SCR has plenty of competition in the IT consulting field.

    Get on the Internet and find three other IT consulting firms. She wants a brief description of each firm and the services it offers. Date: 11/05/2012 To: [email protected] com From: [email protected] com, [email protected] com, [email protected] com Subject: Welcome Memo Hi Jordan, This message is to our newly hired employees. Welcome to SCR, the consulting firm that knows IT! We are very pleased that you decided to join our team. As an industry leader, SCR is committed to empowering its people and offering unlimited opportunity for advancement.

    Our philosophy is simple: we set high standards, hire the best people, and give them the tools and guidance they need to produce quality results. To learn more about SCR’s mission, we suggest that you review the material on SCR’s Web site. We look forward to the extraordinary challenges and opportunities that the future holds. Together, we can achieve our strategic goals and provide value for our stakeholders. Again, welcome aboard! We’re glad you’re here. Gary Smith Thomas Campbell Harry Richards Hi Jordan, I want you to learn as much as possible about SCR.

    The SCR Internet site is a good starting place to find out about the company’s history, purpose, and values. Let me know if you think we could expand or improve upon these sections. Also, please log on to the SCR intranet and visit the data, forms, and resource libraries. You’ll be working with these, and you need to become familiar with the content. By the way, in the data library, you’ll find a list of all SCR functions and organization. Using this information, put together an organization chart and show it to me.

    Remember when I told you that SCR has a great deal of competition in the IT consulting field? Well, I want you to see for yourself. Do research on the Internet, and identify three other IT consulting firms. Send me a brief description of each firm and the services it offers. Jesse Baker Hi Jordan, I hope you are finding your way around on your second day on the job. Next week, I plan to hold a brief staff meeting to introduce new employees and discuss our role in the new training information system project. Meanwhile, I need you to lend a hand this weekend.

    The business solutions group is preparing a major corporate presentation on Monday, and Lynn Chou asked me if two of our people could come in to help assemble the slides and documentation. This is a good opportunity for you to see another side of SCR operations. Please report to Marvin’s office at 8:00 a. m. on Saturday, and he’ll put you to work. Good luck, and I’ll check with you on Monday. Jesse Baker Session 2 1. We need a corporate goal for SCR that refers to our new training activity. Prepare a draft to show Jesse. 2. Jesse wants my opinion on whether or not SCR needs a systems review committee.

    Need to prepare a recommendation and reasons. 3. Draft a project scope statement for the TIMS system and describe the constraints. She said be specific. 4. Need to identify the people I want to interview to learn more about the new training activity, and prepare a list of questions I will ask. Hi Jordan, To all SCR employees: This will give you advance notice of a story that will be reported in tomorrow’s newspapers. At a press conference today, SCR’s board of directors announced that the company soon would launch a major new business venture. SCR plans to open its own IT training center six months from now.

    The new SCR center will offer a wide variety of computer hardware and software courses to the public, as well as to our traditional corporate clients. Jill Martin will head the SCR training group. Jill has a solid track record as an IT trainer and training consultant. She will assemble a top-notch training team staffed by experienced IT professionals, including current SCR employees. All SCR training will be consolidated in the new training group. During our recent strategic planning meetings, we examined fast-growing areas of information technology that might represent opportunities for SCR.

    As a result, we decided to expand our e-commerce consulting practice and start our own technology training business. As SCR employees, you know that our company always has looked ahead to the challenges and opportunities of the future. Our long-term mission is to understand and apply state-of-the-art information technology. Now, we can share our expertise with others. As an IT consulting firm, SCR has long provided training for corporate clients in connection with projects and new systems development. We want to be a leader in the technical training market, which is expanding rapidly.

    Initially, we will offer courses in Windows Office XP applications, SQL, Visual Basic, Visual C++, Java, and the Microsoft . NET application development environment. We also plan to offer courses necessary to prepare students for industry certification, including A+, MCSE, MCSD, MOUS, NetWare, and GroupWise. Thank you for your hard work and dedication. We hope that all SCR employees are proud to be part of a company that truly believes in our slogan: “We Know IT! ” Gary Smith Thomas Campbell Harry Richards Hi Jordan, I’m sure you’ve seen the announcement about SCR’s new training center. This s exciting news and a real opportunity for the IT team to help design an information system to support the SCR training group. The new system will be called TIMS, which stands for Training Information Management System. As you know, our Web site has an SCR Services link where we list our four corporate units and their goals: the Systems Support Group, the Network/Web Group, the Business Solutions Group, and the Project Management Group. Now, we would like to add a fifth unit to highlight the new training group. Take a look at the other four areas, then draft a brief statement that will describe the Training Group’s goals.

    Try to use a style that will be consistent with the existing material. I’d like to see your draft as soon as possible so we can get it approved and added to the site. Also, on another subject entirely, I’d like your view on whether or not SCR needs a systems review committee. We seem to have gotten along fairly well without one up until now, but some people think it would be wise to have a review committee approach as SCR grows and becomes more diverse. Tell me what you think and why. Thanks. Jesse Baker Date: 11/05/2012 To: [email protected] com

    From: [email protected] com Subject: Project scope statement for TIMS Hi Jordan, As I mentioned to you, the TIMS system must track courses, instructors, students, and grades. The new system must be ready in six months, and TIMS must be able to interface with the accounting system. At some point, we will want to offer online registration for courses. TIMS should be able to track credits earned toward IT industry certification requirements, too. Now go back and review everything you know about TIMS so far, and put together a project scope statement for the system.

    Be sure to include any constraints you can identify. The project statement will help define the TIMS project and keep us on track. I’m sure you know how important this project is to SCR. Please keep me posted. Good luck! Jesse Baker Hi Jordan, As you know, we did not conduct a formal preliminary investigation for the TIMS project – we simply carried out a directive from the Executive Committee. However, we should plan a series of interviews to obtain user input and a better understanding of the new training activity and the IT support that will be needed.

    Please let me know who you will interview to learn more about the new training activity, and send me a list of the questions you will ask. Jesse Baker Session 3 1. Jesse wants me to investigate Open Workbench software to determine whether it would be suitable for SCR. She asked me to prepare a summary of pros and cons, and a sample of screen shots and information. 2. Jesse likes the idea of using task completion estimates with best-case, probable-case, and worst-case estimates. She said that I should use typical formulas and weight values to create a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that would make it easier to calculate expected task durations. . To practice my skills, Jesse asked me to create an imaginary project with 10 tasks, which include dependent, multiple predecessor, and multiple successor tasks. She wants me to create a list showing the tasks and dependencies, and then lay it out on paper to show the logical flow, and the duration, start, and finish for each task. 4. I’m excited to be part of the project team, and Jesse wants me to prepare a brief handout for the other team members with some do’s and don’ts regarding project management. She said to make it look like a checklist of keys to project success.

    Hi Jordan, When you investigate the Open Workbench software to see whether it would be suitable for SCR, also be sure to include an explanation of how the program can use MS Project files. A good place to look for that information might be in the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). Please keep me posted. Good luck! Jesse Baker Hi Jordan, When you work on the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to calculate the task completion estimates, you can use the textbook formula we discussed – you’ll find it on page 102 of your systems analysis book. I’m sure you’re very amiliar with spreadsheet design, but here are a couple of suggestions: When you create the formula, don’t “hard-code” the values you want to plug in. In other words, the values for B, P, and W should be in separate cells that are referenced by the formula. Here’s an example: If you have any questions, please let me know. Jesse Baker Hi Jordan, I know there’s a lot to learn about project management. If you would like some additional sources of information about using Microsoft Project, I think you can find some free tutorials on the Web.

    Also, Microsoft itself offers lots of resources on its Web site. For example, you can easily find help, training, demos, templates, and trial versions of products. Let me know if this helps. Jesse Baker Session 4 1. Group managers said it was OK for their people to attend a three-day JAD session next week. Send a message to the JAD team members, with a brief explanation of JAD methods and a proposed agenda. 2. Design a questionnaire for former and potential students in SCR’s training classes. Also, reply to Jesse’s message about sampling. Give her a recommendation and reasons. . Read the JAD session summary in the Data Library and put together a list of system requirements, including outputs, inputs, processes, performance, and controls. 4. Draw a Class Diagram and Event Table of the main functions for TIMS and send it to Jesse. Hi Jordan, Good news. You’ve gotten off to great start here at SCR, and I want you to lead the systems development team for TIMS. I want you to use a structured approach with plenty of modeling and documentation. Your first step is to hold a JAD session next week. You should plan for a three-day session.

    Send a message to the JAD team members, and include a brief explanation of JAD methods and a proposed agenda for the session. Be sure to send me a copy. The JAD team will consist of Jill Martin, the new training group manager; Sandy Wise, records assistant; Amy Hawkins, client service representative; Mark Martin, Web designer; Dave Spencer, programmer; and the two corporate trainers, Meg Harris and Roy Brown. Meg and Roy will move to the new training group, effective immediately. By the way, to get some background on our current training activities, take a look at the training records for August and September.

    You’ll find the records in the data library. August was a relatively quiet month, but September was fairly typical. As we get further into this project, I’m sure we’ll have to make some cost-benefit estimates and forecasts of training activity. You should be able to find everything you need. Please keep me posted. Good luck! Jesse Baker Hi Jordan, I’d like you to do a survey of former and prospective students to get some input on the new training function and help us decide what courses to offer. In addition, we should ask former SCR students what they liked and what areas could be improved.

    I know you’ll be meeting with the JAD group next week. I’ve already discussed the questionnaire with Jill, and she was very enthusiastic about the idea. Try to make the questionnaire easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to tabulate. If you have any questions, please let me know. Jesse Baker Hi Jordan, One more thought about the questionnaire — we can’t send it to everyone, so we need a representative sample that will provide the best results. What kind of sampling technique would you suggest? I want to get a valid cross-section of opinions.

    Please send me a recommendation together with an explanation of your reasoning. Thanks. Jesse Baker Hi Jordan, Before we go any further, we need to study the fact-finding results and translate them into a set of system requirements for TIMS. You can start by reviewing the JAD session summary in the Data Library and putting together a list of system requirements, including outputs, inputs, processes, performance, and controls. Also, please draw a class diagram and event table that shows the main functions for TIMS. Thanks. Jesse Baker Session 6 1.

    I need to review Jesse’s e-mail message regarding object modeling and the JAD session summary. Then she wants me to identify possible use cases and actors, and create a use case diagram for the TIMS system. 2. She also wants me to select one of the use cases and create a class diagram. 3. I will need a sequence diagram for the selected use case. 4. Jesse asked for a state transition diagram that describes typical student states and how they change based on certain actions and events. Jordan, Now we’re ready to build an object model for the TIMS system.

    Based on the JAD summary, we can use the same entities that we already identified, so the list should include instructors, students, corporate clients, course listings, and the training administrator. Also, remember that TIMS will interface with the SCR accounting system, so be sure to include it as an entity. After you review the JAD summary, think some more about how the entities relate to each other, and to the overall system. If an external entity, such as a student, interacts with the system, then you should identify that entity as an actor – and sketch out a use case that shows the interaction.

    Identify at least three of these, and send them to me. For each use case, remember to create a use case description, which looks like a table with sections for use case name, actor, description, successful completion, alternatives, preconditions, postconditions, and assumptions. If you can, also draw a use case diagram that shows the actors and their actions. Remember to put a system boundary around the diagram so you’ll know what is internal and what is external to the system. I know this sounds like a lot to do, but it is the foundation for the object model – so it really is important.

    Let me know if you have any questions. Jesse Baker Jordan, I also want to see a class diagram. That’s the diagram that takes a single use case, shows the classes that participate in the use case, and documents the relationships among the classes. Before you start, you’ll need to review your notes on cardinality. When you create the diagram, be sure to use the proper UML notation symbols. For example, 0.. * means zero or many, 0.. 1 means zero or one, 1 means one and only one, and 1.. * means one or many. Good luck! Jesse Baker Jordan, We also need a sequence diagram for the TIMS object model.

    A sequence diagram is a real-time model that shows interaction among classes during a particular time period. In your diagram, include the classes (with the class name in a rectangle), lifelines (a dashed vertical line that drops down from the class), messages (a horizontal lines that shows the actions), and focuses (narrow vertical shapes that cover the lifelines and indicate when a message is sent or received). Let me know if you have any questions. Jesse Baker Jordan, I almost forgot the last diagram – we also need a state transition diagram.

    These are not hard to do. Remember, they show how an object changes from one state to another, depending events that affect that object. For example, when a student registers, he or she becomes active. After the course is completed, the status might change to former. Use simple terms that make sense, and you should not have a problem. Let me know if you have any questions. Jesse Baker Session 7 1. Determine whether vertical software packages exist for training operations management. Search the Internet and draft a message describing the results. 2.

    Investigate the possibility of outsourcing the TIMS system. List the options, together with advantages and disadvantages of each. 3. Follow Jesse’s e-mail instructions about calculating payback, ROI, and NPV for the TIMS system. 4. Jesse wants my thoughts on how we can use prototyping for TIMS. She also wants me to prepare a system requirements document and a management presentation. Hi Jordan, I showed your ERD and DFDs to the Executive Committee last week, and I thought you might like to hear some good news. The committee members really are enthusiastic about the new system.

    Apparently, the diagrams helped them visualize the new system and reinforced their understanding. Now it’s time to think about systems development alternatives and the transition to the systems design phase. I’ll get back to you tomorrow with some suggestions. Jesse Baker Hi Jordan, Now that we have approval for the logical model, we need to take a look at development strategies for the TIMS system. This will give you a chance to put your cost-benefit analysis skills to work. First, we need to find out whether we can implement TIMS as a commercial software package.

    Get on the Internet and look for a vertical package designed to support a training operation. I’m not sure if any exist, but we should check. Let me know what you find. We also need to investigate the possibility of outsourcing the TIMS system. Try to locate one or more Internet-based outsourcing option, and let me know what the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing would be. Next, go back and review the cost-benefit data, which contains TIMS cost and benefit projections that were put together at the time of the JAD sessions. We want to see all costs and benefits identified as developmental vs. perational, direct vs. indirect, and so on. See if you can think of any intangible benefits, too. You’ll also need to review the questionnaire results, because we use this data to project student enrollment and training center revenue. Also, remember our discussion about prototyping? Well, a decision has been made. The consensus is that we should construct a TIMS prototype using Microsoft Access 2002. After the physical design is complete, we can migrate the system to the corporate server or keep it on a separate training department server. We’ll talk about that issue later on.

    We’ll need to prepare a system requirements document and deliver a full-scale presentation toward the end of next week. It’ll be tight, but I think we can pull it off. I’ll get back to you in the morning with some guidelines for the presentation. Let me know if you have any questions. Jesse Baker Hi Jordan, You should have the system requirements document ready at least two days before the presentation, which is scheduled for Friday in the main conference room at 10 a. m. The audience will include the Executive Committee, a mixed group of users, and some of the IT staff.

    When you prepare the system requirements document, remember to use separate sections for each major topic and include any charts, graphs, or other helpful visual information. Be sure to spell check and carefully proofread everything! Your main objective, both in the document and the presentation, is to provide an overview of the TIMS system, including costs and benefits, with an explanation of the various cost-and-benefit types and categories. Be sure to include the following topics: •An economic feasibility analysis, using payback analysis, ROI, and net present value (you should assume a discount rate of 10 percent) •An initial ERD A data and process model, including a context diagram and diagram 0 •You can include an object model, including use case diagrams for major business functions, but this is optional •A brief explanation of the various alternatives that should be investigated if development continues, including in-house development and any other possible strategies Your oral presentation should be clear, easy to follow, and interesting. Here are some tips: •Use suitable visual aids. Also consider using presentation software, such as PowerPoint.

    Try to come up with a clean, professional design without gimmicks or fancy techniques. Your audience at SCR won’t be impressed by all that – just stick to solid, basic design. •Distribute handouts before, during, or after the presentation, whatever you think will help. Bullet outlines are fine, but don’t distribute handouts that will distract your audience. •Keep your presentation to 30 minutes, including 5 minutes for questions. I know there’s a lot to do, but I have confidence in you and the rest of the team. Let me know if you have questions or need additional resources. Good luck! Jesse Baker

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