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Section A: DSDM as an appropriate development method for Age Care
The Information System Consultant, Eloise Pascle has decide that the most effective way of developing a MIS for Age Care would be Rapid Application Development (RAD) approach using DSDM method. However the CEO Keith Brooks is not convinced about the effectiveness of this approach. Dynamic systems development method (DSDM) is an agile project delivery framework that is normally used as software development method. Originally DSDM was based on Rapid application development (RAD). RAD is a software development methodology that uses minimal planning in favor of rapid prototyping (Stapleton2004). Those who implement this method argues that elimination of the planning phase facilitate faster software writing and makes it easier to change requirements of the system depending with the requirements of the organization.
Implementers of this methodology argue point out that it is much faster since it eliminates the planning phases that makes system development process to take long time. Therefore DSDM is an iterative and incremental approach that embraces principles of Agile development which include continuous user involvement, cost fixing, providing for quality and time at the outset of system development and use of MoSCoW prioritization of scope into musts, should, coulds and won’t haves to adjust project deliverable to meet the given time constraint. It is worth noting that DSDM is not only used in software development but also in providing non IT solutions in organizations (Stapleton2004).
One factor that makes DSDM appropriate for Age Care is the fact that it involves customers/users and therefore improving acceptability of the developed system among the users. According to the information obtained from the case study of Age Care, it is evident that the head office has little control over its centers. However it is necessary to integrate activities of different centers in order to facilitate management of information systems and ensure that donors and other trustees are able to access the organization’s databases whenever they find it necessary. There is likelihood that if the head office of Age Care was to develop the MIS by itself, some of its centers might fail to accept the new system. Therefore DSDM proves to be a suitable method for developing Age Care MIS since it will ensure that stakeholders from all centers are involved it its development and this will make its acceptable in the entire organization. DSDM is also based on MoSCoW prioritization of scopes and this will enable faster implementation of events in the organization in order to avoid delay that could prevent Age Care from attending to the elderly people. It is evident that Age Care has a lot of activities and projects and they cannot all be included in the proposed MIS at the same time (Siau 2007. The fact that DSDM is based on MoSCow will ensure that only very important factors are included in the proposed IS and this will ensure that only important factors are incorporated in the new systems hence lessening the time of system development.
It is worth noting that DSDM is based on eight principles that will direct the team involved in development of Age Care MIS to work in a manners that they will provide the organization with an excellent MIS. First of all, DSDM focuses on the business need. MIS cannot be acceptable if it does not address the need of the business in question. DSDM will therefore promote understanding of the true business priorities of Age Care in order to establish a sound business case that enables developers to address all the needs of Age Care in the proposed MIS. DSDM also will ensure that the new system is delivered in time to avoid delay in the organization’s projects. Additionally, DSDM also promotes collaboration of all the main stakeholders in order to build a one team culture to ensure that opinions and views from the administration from different Age Care centers are reflected in the new MIS (Siau 2007).
DSDM methodology of system development never compromises quality and this is a very important factor that makes it most appropriate considering that Age Care handle a very sensitive group in the society and donations hence it is necessary to have a very accurate MIS. DSDM will enable the developers of Age Care MIS to prioritize quality through constant review; testing and continuous assessment of the proposed system to ensure that it empowers the organization to meet its charity obligations in helping the elderly people. DSDM encourages building of new systems that incorporate the existing system. This will enable Age Care to carry over its existing databases to the proposed MIS thereby preventing it from losing data in its existing system (Stapleton2004). More so, DSDM methodology focuses on frequent delivery of products and this will ensure that the proposed MIS will have early benefits to Age Care.
It is also worth noting that DSDM encourages use of rich communication techniques such as modeling and prototyping and this will ensure that the proposed system is tested and verified before being incorporated in the management of Age Care. Lastly, DSDM method enables developers to have control over the process of system development and this will enable Age Care system developers to avoid misleading leaders from some of the Age Care centers from affecting the process of coming up with a new MIS for Age Care. The DSDM frame work of system development consists of three sequential phase namely the pre-project, project life cycle and post project phases (Siau 2007).
Section B. High level requirements analysis and MoSCoW prioritization
The administration of Age Care together with the representatives from all its stakeholders prepared a workshop in which they came up with a list of requirements that were to be used in the in the process of system development. However according to the list, not all requirements generated in the meeting are high level requirements. Requirement analysis in system development involves all the tasks that help in determining the needs or conditions that are necessary to ensure that the new system is not conflicting with the needs of various stakeholders of the organization. They are not intended to be specified at a level that they could be implemented by the developer. High level requirements are merely developed to take care of the major issues in the process of project development (Siau 2007).
In the case of requirements by Age Care, building into the system a standard set of performance indicators so that projects could be measured in all Age Care centers is not a high level requirement. This is not a requirement in preparation of other major issues in system developed but the expectation of the final system and therefore not appropriate at this stage. Producing management reports where necessary is also not a high level requirement but a final requirement of the system when it is fully developed. Similarly, showing the cost and uses of resources for each project and centre is not a high level requirement. This is one of the excepted products of the proposed system when it is complete. Another requirement that is not a high level requirement is that of holding standard data for all resources for each project and center. This is a specific requirement and cannot be achieved at this level (Stapleton2004). Creating a diary system for projects to use in planning event is a specific requirement too and it therefore do not qualify to be a high level requirement. The requirement to build a system that is expandable in future is also a specific requirement and therefore does not qualify to be a high level requirement.
B 1.2 New list of High level requirements
The following are the high level requirements of Age care charity organization that will help in the development of an efficient MIS:
Collection of accurate and timely data from all Age Care centers within 6 months of starting the project.
Build into the system a standard indicator that will facilitate monitoring of the process system development.
Ensure security and accessibility of data by the right people at different levels of the organization.
Create a clear budget that shows all the resources necessary to fund the process of system development. This will enable the process of system development to take place up to completion.
Ensure that there is standardization of all the data from all the Age Care centers for easier incorporating data bases from all centers into the new MIS
Develop a common interface for all systems used by Age Care
Allow for easy importing of existing data
Create a common web interface template for all Centers and projects to use
Ensure that the system facilitate sharing of information among all the authorized stakeholders of Age Care.
Ensure that the administration of Age Care can access information about all the projects carried out in different centers through the new system. This will eliminate the feeling by Age Care head office that centers are not acting in accordance to their directives
Develop an interface in the system that allows different stakeholders of Age Care to access information on different projects undertaken at different centers.
Ensure that the system provides for new expansions in future. This will ensure that the new IS of the organization is capable of being expanded for more dada in future.
Ensure communication between all the centers of Age care and the head office. This will ensure that all important information is reflected in the proposed MIS
Reflect the hierarchy of leadership within the organization in order to develop a chain of command. This will ensure that the new system is in harmony with the existing leadership of Age Care.
B2. 1 Prioritized high level requirements using MoSCoW rules
Collection of accurate data and on time from all Age Care centers within 6 months of starting the project- Should Have
Build into the system a standard indicator that will facilitate monitoring of the process system development- Must Have.
Ensure security and accessibility of data by the right people at different centers of the organization- Must have
Create a clear budget that shows all the resources necessary to fund the process of system development. This will enable the process of system development to take place up to completion Must Have.
Ensure that there is standardization of all the data from all the Age Care centers for easier incorporating data bases from all centers into the new MI- Should Have
Develop a common interface for all systems used by Age Care- Could Have
Allow for easy importing of existing data- Should Have.
Create a common web interface template for all Centers and projects to use- Could Have.
Ensure that the system facilitate sharing of information among all the authorized stakeholders of Age Care Should Have.
Ensure that the administration of Age Care can access information about all the projects carried out in different centers through the new system. This will eliminate the feeling by Age Care head office that centers are not acting in accordance to their directives- Should Have
Develop an interface in the system that allows different stakeholders of Age Care to access information about different projects undertaken by different centers- Won’t Have This Time Around.
Ensure that the system provides for new expansions in future. This will ensure that the new system caters for expansions of the organization-Won’t Have This Time Around.
Ensure communication between all the centers of Age care and the head office. This will ensure that all important information is reflected in the propose MIS- Must Have.
Reflect the hierarchy of leadership within the organization in order to develop a chain of command. This will ensure that the new system is in harmony with the existing leadership- Should Have.
B 2.2 MoSCoW prioritization
According to the MoSCow Rules of prioritization, requirements can be grouped into Must Have, Should Have, Could Have and Won’t Have This Time Around priorities. Must have requirements constitute if things that are absolutely essential and fundamental to the system. In the case of Age Care ‘Must Have’ requirements include that of good communication between centers and the Age Care head office, that of creating a clear budget that show s all the necessary resources and how they are funded, to build a system indicator that will facilitate monitoring the process of system development and ensuring security and accessibility of information by all the authorized members of Age Care
‘Should Have’ requirements are important for the process developing a new system but they are not compulsory requirements. In this case ‘Should Have’ requirements include reflection of the organizations leadership in the proposed MIS, Accessibility of the organization’s data base on all the projects by the administration at the head office using the new MIS, ensure sharing of information among all the authorized stakeholders of Age Care, standardization of all databases from all Age Care centers and collection of data from all the centers from all. This requirement is necessary in the process of developing a new MIS for the organization but they are not necessary for the commencement of the project.
Other priorities provide by MoSCoW are ‘Could Have’ and ‘Won’t Have This Time Around’. Could Have requirements are things that could contribute positively to the development of the new system. In this case they include the need to develop a common interface for all systems used by Age Care and creation of a common web interface for all centers and projects of Age Care. ‘Won’t have at This Time Around’ requirements are refers to things that are not necessary for the development of the project and they can be attended on a later date. In this case they include developing an interface in the system that allows different stakeholders of Age Care and that provides for future expansions. These are not necessary requirements for the process of development and they can be attended on a later date when the new system is already in place.
Section C – Legal, Social, Ethical and Professional issues
C1 obligations of Data Controller within Age Care
The Data Controller refers to a person in an organization who, either alone or with other experts, determines the purposes and how organizational data is are or are to be processed. Age Care organization has grown into a large charity organization since its establishment. Introduction of a common Management Information System (MIS) will make its Information System (IS) a complex system that will require an expert to control manner in which data will be processed. The core role of a data controller at Age Care is to ensure that all the systems are running properly so that all the centers are run concurrently from the head office. The data controller will ensure that all the centers of Age Care are able to access all the information they require from the head office and other centers without complications.
Information contained in the new MIS need to be protected from fraudsters and other unauthorized users. The fact that Age Care is not a profit oriented organization does not mean that it is not exposed to competition or attacks from those who do not like what it is doing to the elderly people (Doom, 2010). These groups may use weaknesses on Age Care MIS to get information that they can use to destroy the organization. They can also interfere with the information contained in the Age Care MIS so that it reflects a bad name of the organization and this can lead to loss of donors. Not all information entered by users from different centers is relevant and there is need to ensure that only information that is relevant to the organization is store and processed
MIS will be faced with challenges just like any other system that is based on information technology. These challenges could lead to loss of information, clashing of the system, failure to access some information and inability to give commands and instructions to the system by the users (Doom, 2010). It is therefore necessary for Age Care to have a data controller who will be correcting system problems as they appear. Data controller at the head office will be responsible for ensuring that all sectors of the MIS are working well and all users are contented by its performance. He or She will carry out minor system repairs whenever they occur to avoid lose of valuable information. He will also be updating the system when necessary and alerting users whenever there is a failure in the system to avoid the organization MIS users from being stuck.
Data processing by the Age Care MIS needs to be regulated to ensure that only information that requires processing is processed and that require storing is stored. This will facilitate consistence in the system and there will be no congestion of information and a lot of errors in the system. Data controller will therefore serve as connection between the users and the data information system. Considering that the staff of Age care is not well versed with IT, there is need for the data controller so that he can organize and direct the staff of Age Care on how to use the new Information system (Doom, 2010). This will prevent confusion among the staff of Age Care especially during the first days after the introduction of the new IS. Lastly, it should be noted that no all employees of Age Care will be entering data in the form that it is required by the system. The data controller will also have the responsibility of ensuring that all the data in the new Age Care information system is in the right form and secure from fraudsters
Generally, Age Care may need to address data protection issues that are reflected by the eight DPA principles namely fair, specific, Adequate, Accurate, Retention, rights and Security, Transfer. For instance there is need to ensure that that there is fair accessibility of data by all Age Care centers. All user of the Age Care MIS should be able to access specific data on the IS without having to go through all the records from all the data available (Doom, 2010). This information need to be accurate, adequate and secure from unauthorized persons so that it is not exposed to fraudsters. Age Care should also be able to retain rights to some information and hinder users of its information technology from accessing it.
C2: The purpose of the BCS Code of Conduct
The DSDM team from TechIX Plc is a member of the British Computer Society (BCS) and they abide by their professional code of conduct. This means that TechIX Plc delivers it services to clients under the regulation of the profession code of conduct that is provided by BCS (Bynum & Rogerson 2004). One of the major codes of conduct of BCS is the duty to the public interest. TechIX Plc is required to safeguard public health and safety and have regard to protection of environment. Therefore TechIX Plc shall have due regard to the legitimate rights of third parties while developing system for Age Care. This way, Age Care MIS will have no negative impact to the lives of the general public. TechIX Plc has a duty to it employers or clients according to BCS and in this case it is the Age Care organization. Therefore it will carry out all the duties in accordance to the expectations of Age care. More so, the organization will ensure that no personal information of Age care is leaked to the public.
The TechIX Plc also has a duty to the profession and therefore shall seek to improve their professional standards through participation in their development, use and enforcement and shall avoid any action which may affect the good standard of the Profession. The fact that TechIX is responsible for profession upkeep is evident that they will do all their best to ensure that Age Care MIS development is a success. Lastly, all members of BCS are required to show excellent Professional Competence and Integrity (Bynum & Rogerson 2004). This profession code shows that TechIX are competent experts that have been doing well in system development for the past years it aims at developing an excellent system for Age Care so that it can maintain its reputation. Generally, TechIX Plc is governed by BCS rules to ensure that all the needs of their clients are met. Therefore Age Care administration should not worry much on the role of TechIX in developing their system for it is in the hands of proven experts.