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Rapid application development involves iterative development and the construction of prototypes. It is a merger of various structured techniques, especially the data driven Information Engineering with prototyping techniques to accelerate software systems development
Advantages of the RAD methodology:
Flexible and adaptable to changes.
Prototyping applications gives users a tangible description from which to judge whether critical system requirements are being met by the system. Report output can be compared with existing reports. Data entry forms can be reviewed for completeness of all fields, navigation, data access (drop down lists, checkboxes, radio buttons, etc.).
RAD generally incorporates short development cycles - users see the RAD product quickly.
RAD involves user participation thereby increasing chances of early user community acceptance.
RAD realizes an overall reduction in project risk.
Pareto's 80 - 20 Rule usually results in reducing the costs to create a custom system.
Disadvantages of RAD methodology:
Unknown cost of product. As mentioned above, this problem can be alleviated by the customer agreeing to a limited amount of rework in the RAD process.
It may be difficult for many important users to commit the time required for success of the RAD process.
Object Oriented Analysis Design.
Object oriented programming design methodology application are easier to maintain. This is used to manage the complexity of software systems the main example is the complexity of the structured programming in legacy systems. Object Oriented Analysis Design Methodology have several advantage and disadvantages which are given below. Component of OOP are more reusable and scalable.
In OOP methodology the codes are more maintainable. Errors source are identify easily because the objects are self contained and can be handle easily. The principles of good OOP design contribute to an application's maintainability.
As we know that Objects contain data and functions that act on data. These Objects can be in the self-contained "boxes". To reuse code in the new system this feature makes it easy and Messages provide a predefined interface to an object's data and its functionality. We can make use on an object in any context . Object oriented programming languages, such as C# and VB.Net, are make it easy to expand on the functionality of these "boxes", although you do not know more about their implementation
OOP applications are more scalable then their structured programming roots. Object's interface provides a roadmap for reusing the object in new software, it also provides you all the information you need to replace the object without affecting other code. This makes it easy to replace old code with faster algorithms and in the newer technology.
OOP changeless exists mainly in the conversion of legacy systems that can built in structured programming languages. The technical challenge is handle easily as big as the actual design challenge. The goal when converting is to minimize the effects of the structural systems on the OOP nature of the new design, and this can sometimes be difficult.
Structured System Analysis Design
Structured Systems Analysis and Design Method (SSADM) is the method which is used at projecting and analysis of information systems. This method was developed for government of Great Britain in the beginning of 80th of the past century. It was accepted as the national standard of Great Britain for information systems development in 1993. Thus SSADM usage is expedient for those who work with governmental organizations as this method is a standard for these organizations. SSADM has many advantages and disadvantages and in my opinion more of the latter.
Well documented. Thorough roadmap/guidelines i.e. it's hard to go off-track. High quality system is delivered at the end of the project. Suits hierarchical organisations like government bodies. Developers have more freedom to 'get on with it' than when they have to involve users as in Agile methods.
Long development times as each stage must be completed thoroughly before moving on to the next. This costs time and money so organisations have to have large resources for SSADM projects.
Lack of user involvement means the system rarely meets user needs and is less likely to be accepted.
Water Fall Model
Waterfall as the name implies does software development from start to finish in an organized path. If the design specs are accurate, and there are not many changes to the project from start to finish then a process can be described, scaled and measured with consistency. Testing at the unit and functional level may or may not be available at each step which often leads "waterfall" to the "big bang" implementation.
there is not a lot of back and forth communication. You meet with the client (or person who wants the software) first and get all the details, then move on to the development.
it takes a very long time to completely develop something. and by the time it is completed the chances are it is time to redo the software and make the next version.
Soft Systems Methodology
This methodology is the response to difficulty in applying the approach approaches the hard systems thinking to business problems.
Measurable and objective criteria
The isolation and control over variables
Top down decomposition of system into sub system
Assumptions taken from our team concerning the Aluxtel project :
The call center operating hours are from 8am to 8 pm.
This is a necessary restriction we had to take into consideration for the following reasons:
1. During the night hours [certainly off-peak] the call center will have minimum calls from customers
2. According to British labour laws, staff that are working during those hours would have to be paid extra
3. We would also have to taken into account the travelling costs for those staff working late hours
Incoming calls after 8pm are automatically redirected to a voice mail system.
When the call centre is not manned, the voice mail system will record the queries or requests
The recorded queries/requests will be automatically distributed to the call centre staff, which will give priority to these customers, responding to their calls, either during the off-peak hours when the traffic is substantially lower.
For all technical queries customer will be advised to check the company's online website, via set up box or they can call and check the details of any system update or fault through an automated operator/IVR using their telephones.
Payment methods available for the customers are Credit and Debit cards.
There are no considerable differences between Call Centre Staff and Sales Staff.
We are considering the call centre and sales staff to belong to the same department, i.e. the sales department.
The old system and the new system will be operative after migration for purposes of reviewing consistency of data.
There is enough financial support for this project.
The company will be employing an intranet system.
A system to push sales by means of profiling customers and offering interactive services through their set-top box in order to increase sales and profits.
We have decided to analyze Aluxtel and their new CRM, from the point of view of the marketing staff.
We believe that they are the one's primarily involved in developing new ways and strategies to target customers (existing or potential) and new market segments.
The marketing department is the one that through those strategies will spear-head the future and fast development of Aluxtel's operations, but this will only be achieved if they are provided with detailed and structured customer data, in order to profile customers and create market segment, in order to focus on specific customers.
Company (i.e. Aluxtel)
Fragmented consumer data â†’ Coherent customer data (which will provide value through exploitation, i.e. profiling, segmentationâ€¦)
Customer profiling and segmentation are necessary to increase sales, support the marketing department plan and to improve customer satisfaction.
Marketing director, CEO
Primary Actor: Marketing Staff
Secondary Actor: Customer
Description of the USE Case Diagram:
The Marketing Staff use the CRM system to create "demographics" of their customer base.
USE Case Processes:
Create Group Profiles: The marketing staff will create group profiles, with the use of the Categorize customers process, i.e. males under 30 that watch a lot of football [and drink a lot of beer!!!], females over 20 that watch fashion channelsâ€¦etcâ€¦
Categorize customers: This process will create some kind of a search query that will churn out categorizations of customers by their personal characteristics i.e. age, male, address, or region of UK
Analyze Customer Feedback: This process will be an extension of the categorization, the CRM will use the feedback they are getting from the customers, to increase the details of their offers customization, i.e. logs of usage from the set-top box, or questionnaire feedback from their set-top box/e-mail/snail-mail.
Create New Offer: This process outlines the way in which the staff will create new offers on the system.
Publish offers to other departments: The CRM will automatically publish the special offers into the intranet system, so that it will be available to the other departments, for them to view.
Set services and rules to customers: This process is basically a restriction rule for each different customer. Once a new offer has been created, certain rules will be applied to those packages so they will not be available to everyone, i.e. if it is a new customer, then they will be granted some free months of broadband without charge.
Description of Classes ----------------------à
Cut over plan
Aluxtel's operations are basically based on 2 departments: the sales and the marketing department.
Those 2 are the one's that support the core capabilities of the company.
The conflict and troubled communication between the marketing department and the other departments, needs to be resolved as smoothly as possible, and also keep into consideration the fact that the marketing director, keeps complaining that his staff can't be distracted from the meetings scheduled from the sales director.
To improve on these matters, the new CRM system, must be integrated and interconnected with an internal company network, an intranet that will support all kinds of interactive communications between the departments (apart from the classic e-mails).
It can be pictured, as a collaborative site of sorts or an enterprise information portal, such as Microsoft Sharepoint Server.
Such a suite, could have special pages, access areas, that will act as notice boards, or forums of sorts for certain staff. There could be different access areas for the directors and different access areas for the staff.
This suite can also work as a shared knowledge database, between the different departments. Previous year's sales data or specialized knowledge the manager's have concerning sales and their customers.
There has to be some cohesion in the groups operating inside the company, so we believe that occasional meetings have to be endorsed by the company's CEO, that will bring all the department head's together, or at least the marketing director and the sales director.
Another important point that has to be mentioned, is that before the new CRM system comes online, there has to be some kind of mix interdepartmental training arranged, in order for the staff to be prepared to cross over when the new system becomes operational.
Suggestions to improve Aluxtel's business processes:
Provide existing and new customers with an e-billing option, billing view via their mobile phones and set top box. Also provide them with the option of paying their bills through mobile phone, set top box (by inserting their credit card in a specially designed slot in the set top box) and online using credit card and debit card.
Propose a monthly company briefing calling all department managers to attend to once in a month and brief about all the new policies, business plans etc. This can resolve a lot of issues relating to disruptions in company culture.
An assessment or a survey done twice a year to analyse what the employees working for Aluxtel think about the company, how they feel and what changes they want suggest for the company to undertake internally.
Push the call centre staff to create new ideas for the company, by encouraging them to submit new innovative ideas they think of which can help the company improve.
Provide customers more flexibility in interacting with the company by providing them with services like upgrading their channel/broadband packages, add new interactive services via online and mobile phone.
A survey could be conducted every year by the sales department to identify the customers who quit their service with Aluxtel, in the last year, in order to find out the reasons behind their actions.
This will help the company analyse where they are going wrong with existing customers and hence improve their services to customers.
Company can save a lot of resources by using the above few steps plus generate a net revenue of 1-2 million per month on adding 1 pound per paper bill, when requested by customers.