ISY81001: Designing Information Systems
“If these guys could produce fruit like this at sufficient scale to go with their vegetables…” You look at the apple, with fresh brittle texture gleaming in the light filtering through the trees and into the car.
“This is going to be a great project” you say out loud. “The people are great, I know that I can help them, and I’m even getting prize winning produce thrown in as well”.
You are already imagining various possibilities, but first, there is a need to address the basic task at hand. There is a need for an information system to help customers to place an order and to then receive it. And there is also the issue of certification for “organically grown”.
1. Use the background information to create a short summary (one short paragraph) about the “Natural-Lee”.
2. Create an organisation chart for the business.
3. Use the information above to describe the area of the organisation under study (i.e. the business functions that will be handled by the new information system).
4. Add the background information, organisation chart, and business functions to your Report document in Part A: Initial Investigation.There are examples of each of the things listed above in the text. However, make sure you do some other research. Use internet searches to find other examples and to look for examples that could use to help you construct the things you need.
At your first meeting, you and Wendy discussed some initial steps in planning an information system for the property. The next morning, you worked together on a business profile, and talked together about various types of information systems that could provide the best support for handling their customers’ needs, and mindful that there was a need to also track certification documentation to demonstrate the fully ‘organically produced’ nature of the farm produce. You also discussed the longer term plan to expand the operations of the farm to include farms that supplied fruit, which would also have to be demonstrated to be fully ‘organically produced’.You start by creating a System Vision Document for “Natural-Lee”, so that Wendy can use this to define a vision for the new system and present this to Phil.
1. Either by yourself or with another class member, brainstorm all the functions that the “Natural-Lee” Information System might fulfil. Keep it at a very high level.
2. Prepare a draft System Vision Document for the Farm Information System. This System Vision Document will be revised when you find out more about the requirements for the system.
3. Add your System Vision Document to your Report document in Part A: Initial Investigation.
You have been given a little information about what is required but there are a lot of gaps. You are expected to fill these gaps to work out details and additional information that is needed. This also gives you some latitude to explore farming and their operations as they apply to your background and experience. Make sure you explore other vision documents and know how they are worded and what needs to be expressed in them so that an organisation knows where it is headed and what it is trying to achieve.
Phil has agreed that Wendy’s argument for an information system has merit. Your System Vision Document helped to demonstrate some of the potential benefits. Wendy wants you to get ready for the next set of systems development tasks, which will be requirements modelling for the new system. Yesterday Wendy called you into her office out at the farm to discuss the specific tasks she wants you to perform. After meeting with Wendy, you sit down and review your notes. She wants you to treat the set of tasks as a project, and to use project management skills to plan the tasks.
Wendy is fully supportive of your involvement and excited that you carry so much practical knowledge in computer systems and that you are quickly learning about farming issues. Wendy is also excited that she too can become involved with her previous knowledge and skills in technology. Wendy has authorised you to have full access to people and documents as required, and enabled you to use your time as you determine. Wendy has suggested for you as a work breakdown structure, including the duration she estimated for each task:
First, you need to meet with the staff that support all aspects of the business including an agronomist who is a likely the first hired to oversee the production of fruit You can then conduct a series of staff interviews When the interviews are complete, you can review farm records of produce, season, customer purchases, costs and profits, while observing business operationsYou have been tasked with also interviewing some of the customers, if possible
When you have reviewed the records and observed business operations, you can
o analyse the accounting processes currently used (2 days),
o study a sample of orders and payment transactions (2 days), and
o undertake some field work regarding the intended home delivery service
After completing your study, you will prepare a report for Wendy and Phil.
1. Create a table, listing all tasks separately, with their duration;
2. Identify all dependencies, and indicate what predecessor tasks are required;
3. Construct a Gantt chart in Microsoft Project or other project management software;
4. Identify the PERT/CPM chart in the software, and identify the critical path;
5. Determine the overall duration of the project;
6. Take clear screenshots of the Gantt chart and PERT/CPM chart and paste into your
Report document in Part A: Initial Investigation under Project Management.
7. Include the overall duration and critical path in your report.
You will have to offer ideas here and make sure that you cover the tasks needed. As well, you need to make sure that the tasks are at an appropriate level of detail to enable you to make an informed and professional decision about how long the project will take. Obviously there will be tasks that you will have to list at this early stage that you might not have to do or that depend on what direction the project will take. For example, the tasks needed if you implement an off-the-shelf package are different to the tasks needed if the system is developed in-house. Perhaps you need more than one project plan.