What I learnt

The previous lecture was pretty packed (with information) – plenty to take in.

I learnt that deciding the scope of the system is very important, this should be done early by nailing down the right requirements. If this stage is not followed thoroughly at the start of the project then things could keep cropping up – an added feature here, an added feature there, a missing feature that some people thought would be included. This could lead to over-runs as the project gets more complex, or the development of a system that is not fit for purpose. A lot of the background to this was covered in 1st and 2nd year lectures, such as Software Engineering lifecycles.

Chris went through the various processes involved in deciding the scope of the system and deciding on all of the requirements, this included – Rich pictures, Scenarios / use-cases, Storyboards, user evaluation, DFDs and identifying risk.

One of the processes, Rich Pictures, sounds like a great way to visualize how people would interact with the product and can help you decide whether the product / service is a viable one. This is done by placing the product in the middle of a blank canvas, then add the various people, groups or organizations that may have some involvement in it. For example an app that advertises local businesses would have stakeholders such as:

  • Businesses – they want to advertise their business within the app, to get more customers.
  • Welsh Assembly / Govt – they may want to promote new / small / Welsh businesses. More tourists or spending in the region.
  • Customers – they want to find businesses that interest them, in a convenient way.
  • European Union – they may want to splash some Regional Development Fund (ERDF) money at the project, just begging to be spent.

If we did all of this small stages in the group project, documenting as we go along, we’ll end up with a section of documentation regarding the scope of the system.

Other than that, the lecture had a quick few minutes at the end regarding next year’s project – this is recommended to be web based, the core processes at the beginning will be the same as in this group project, however as it needs to be built there will probably need to be more analysis.

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