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Information Processes and Technology Study Notes Project Management ? Project Management is a planned and ongoing process that guides all the development tasks and resources throughout a projects development ? A Project Plan organises the project by specifying who will do the task, what has to be done, how the task is done, what resources are required, and what is to be expected ? PROJECT MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES ? Active Listening: Listening to people is the main source of critical information required for a project to run smoothly.

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Listening is not the same as hearing; to listen requires attention and involvement ? Mirroring: Involves repeating back some of the speakers key words – indicating that you are interested and would like to know and understand more ? Paraphrasing: Listener uses their own words to explain what they think the speaker just said. The listener reflects feelings as well as meaning in their response ? Summarising: Listener confirms their understanding in the speakers mind, and hence helps to bring the conversation to an end ?

Clarifying: Listener asks questions or makes statements that encourage the speaker to provide more detailed explanations ? Motivational: Encourage the speaker and reinforce in their mind that you are indeed listening and are interested in what they have to say ? Conflict Resolution: Need to manage conflict so that issues are resolved appropriately for all concerned, and in the best interests of the project ? Negotiation Skills: Negotiation should be a friendly exchange where differences are argued logically and in a reasoned manner.

This can even prevent situations leading towards conflicts ? TEAM BUILDING SKILLS ? “Tuckman” Stages of Team Development: ? 1. Forming – Team members are only just getting to know each other ? 2. Storming – People are beginning to feel comfortable with each other ? 3. Norming – Team members now recognise their differences ? 4. Performing – The team is now operating as an effective, productive unit ? Team Building – building a team of two or more people with complimentary skills, behaviours and personalities who are committed to achieving a common goal ?

Advantages – The people within the team are much more productive, and the systems they develop are of higher quality ? Disadvantages – Financial loss, employment loss and missed opportunities – unable to meet deadlines, produce quality work and operate within financial constraints ? PROJECT PLAN INCLUDES: ? Gantt Chart: Indicates when tasks need to be completed by ? Journal and Diary Entries: The diary is a record of appointments, events and meetings. The journal is a detailed record of what happened at each meeting, how tasks have been allocated, and when tasks are to be completed ?

Funding Management Plan: Record of the scheduling and costing of tasks, and other expenses ? Communication Management Plan: Record of when meetings are to be held throughout the development of the information system ? SOCIAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES ? The work environment, including health and safety issues such as ergonomic design of furniture, appropriate lightning, and appropriate noise levels ? Security of data and information during development ? Copyright issues including who will retrain the copyrights for the new system ?

Respect for the rights of needs and individual team members – such as privacy ? 1) UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM ? Systems Analyst: A person who analyses systems, determines requirements and designs new information systems ? Requirements: Features, properties or behaviours that a system must have to achieve its purpose ? Key Question 1: What are the problems with the existing system? ? Key Question 2: How does the existing system work? An understanding of the operations of the existing system must be understood ?

Key Question 3: How do you identify the problems with the existing system? ? Answer to Question 3: Interview and Survey PARTICIPANTS in the existing system – They are able to identify problems and often they also have ideas in regard to solving these problems ? Answer to Question 3: Interview and Survey USERS in the existing system – Most information systems are primarily concerned with fulfilling the needs of its users, so their views and opinions on the systems are vital ?

Prototype: Needs to be developed, and is produced to clarify how the system works, as well as clarify the nature of the problem, and represent how the new system may work ? After all the information has been gathered, a REQUIREMENTS REPORT is produced – A statement about the purpose/requirements of the new information system ? A requirements report includes aims and objectives of the system, and how it will HELP the organisation ? 2) MAKING DECISIONS/PLANNING ? Economic: to determine whether the system is affordable.

This involves cost/benefit analysis to determine both initial costs to implement the system, and then recurring costs to maintain the system ? Operational: to determine whether a system will be usable by the target customers. The users must be able to effectively use, or to operate, the system ? Technical: to determine what hardware and software (Information Technology) is currently being used, and then to determine whether the hardware and software to build the system exists ? Scheduling: to determine the time frame in which a system must be developed.

To determine whether it will be able to be completed within the specified time frame, it is useful to use project planning tools, such as Gantt Charts ? Traditional (Structured): AS the name suggests, involves very structured, step-by-step stages, which each must be completed before proceeding to the next step. – 1. Understanding the problem, 2. Planning, 3. Designing, 4. Implementing, 5. Testing, Evaluating and Maintaining ? Outsourcing: Involves using another company to develop parts of the system, or even the complete system ?

Prototyping: A CIRCULAR approach to systems development, and new prototypes of the system are constantly being made in a loop before implementation: Designing > Testing/Evaluating > Understanding the Problem > Designing…. The prototypes eventually evolve to a point where they become the final solution, and are essentially ready to move out of the loop, and for the next stage – implementation ? Customisation: An existing system is customised to suit the needs and requirements of the new system. In reality – most business systems are customised versions of existing systems ?

Participant: Means that the same people who will use and operate the final system develop the system ? Agile: An approach that places emphasis on the team developing the system rather than following a predefined structured development process ? 3) DESIGNING SOLUTIONS/DESIGNING ? Design Tools: ? System Flowcharts are a diagrammatic way or representing both the flow of data and logic through an information system [pic] ? Data Flow Diagrams describe the path data takes through a system. No logic, and no attempt is made to indicate the timing of events [pic] Context Diagrams are used to represent entire information systems [pic] ? A Data Dictionary contains a comprehensive description of each field in one of the databases associated with the information system. It commonly includes (4): field name, data type, field size, and a description of the purpose [pic] ? Storyboards give a general overview of the information system. They are used to document the screens used in a system, and the flow between them. ? Storyboards emphasise the user interface of a system rather than the functions performed by the system ?

Linear Storyboard: modules are arranged in a sequence [pic] ? Hierarchical Storyboard: modules are arranged in descending levels [pic] ? Decision Tables represent all possible conditions and actions that will result |CONDITIONS |RULES |- |- |- | |Mark >= 80 |Y |N |N |N | |Mark >= 60 and =45 and

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