Need Analysis Acquisition & Training Reflective Report
I am a student of Graduate Diploma here at Auckland University of Technology. I chose Needs Analysis, Acquisition & Training as one of my papers in IT Service Science- significant. This paper offers me a team-based assignment. The primary purpose of our group task is to give our client Fashion-Café-Wine Bar and provide them including their vendors and suppliers a detailed list of goals and requirements of the business needs. Also, to provide them with how to fulfill them and how the IT Systems of the business will run.
The study also focuses on the JAD framework, how to work in a group, how to write business strategic plans and reports etc. So, to start with my JAD work their practices and research we made our team which includes Aree Martyn, Connor Sage. Pachok Abba and myself as ‘Group 01 South’.
2. Project Evaluation
2.1 Achievements (What went well)
Right from the beginning, each team meeting including kick-off meeting went well. I have analyzed different study aspects of reviewing JAD framework and its components like Value-chain model, Work-systems model, etc. I have spent most of my study hours researching how to write useful Needs Analysis reports and other reports like RFP, SRS Software evaluation, etc. In the kick-off meeting, we have allocated our roles and divided our tasks and research work. Furthermore, every single task has been reviewed, discussed and then accomplished. It is our team’s greatest strength that we have accomplished our tasks by due date.
2.2 What went not so well
All throughout the semester, we had only three client meetings, and that was not enough for a proper introduction and to analyze their business needs. I found that a couple of client meetings in the earlier part of this semester did not go well reason was the lack of introduction and since each group and their entire group members have their commitments. Even our group was not sure at first, about the tasks and procedures that needed to be carried out to do the analysis study. But as we progressed through our coursework, I learned a lot more which I will discuss in lessons learned.
We are lucky to choose JAD framework because there was not a single pitfall. Throughout the semester all tasks we carried out were on time. To review the JAD work and other business reports we mostly did our team meeting at R&D Lab and our client meetings in Study rooms in AUT South campus as per there convenience. All meeting sessions have been recorded successfully. Every team member including team leader consider the group as a family and contribute their 100%, and it did go well. All report like Needs Analysis, RFP, SRS, and COTS plan we finished and after finishing them we have had enough time to review it which we did to secure good marks. So, I especially enjoyed our Project work and group studies.
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3.2 My contribution to the group work
My contribution to the group was productive, and I put 100% to support the team in each phase of group task and research. I have done detailed research and accomplished Work-system based on the Value-chain and recommended IT solutions in the Needs Analysis report. Furthermore, in RFP and SRS reports, I have worked thoroughly to complete a detailed work to recommended them new solution requirements including Platform requirements and data conversion, etc. even when they have no existing IT department. That was the biggest challenge I faced in the project.
Therefore, throughout this group-based assignment, I was the technical support person. My team also assigned me to do all referencing, and I stayed focused on the quality assurance aspect of the work. I made it my top priority to follow the APA 6th style referencing. For providing IT solution and Platform requirements and data conversion, I kept in mind that all should be according to Industry standards and focus on data security aspects.
3.3 Lessons Learned. What would you do differently next time?
At the end of this group-based workshop, I learned a lot of things. First thing I have learned is effective communication within the group. I also learned how to set priorities to accomplish a task before the deadline. The vital objective I have learned especially from this practical project is how to correlate the technical aspect and how to do useful collaborative work within a team. Also, while conducting client meeting sessions, due to interaction with the device’s users and behavioral experiences I learned a lot of functional and non-functional skills.
Likewise, I researched the new technology, how to handle the difficult situation, how to stay calm under pressure, how to generate reports and how to assign tasks professionally. I have also identified the processes to complete the tasks, use new technologies and improve work processes to carry out errands, etc. If next time I would have the same opportunity I would do in a better way, especially the client meetings.
No suggestion since the course is perfectly structured and designed for a student and all the assessments are very legitimate and helped a student to learn the core values of the subject.
5. Personal Development
This paper helps me to enhance my skills, and I got success to explore the new perspectives especially, this group workshop helps me to enhance my understanding of the practical business market. I have also developed a new perspective of critical thinking also learned new techniques on how to collaborate a non-techno person to the new technology. I have developed new skills on how to conduct a risk assessment, how to do effective time and resources management, how to write business reports on how to finalize business meetings etc.
6. Summary and Conclusion
In summary at the end of this assignment, I developed new perspectives, and with these new perspectives I have broadened my view of what Needs Analysis, Acquisition, and Training might be, as a discipline; perhaps more significantly. It has also broadened my perspectives on how it should be practiced. Influences from domains such as business Analysis studies and IT analysis and by reviewing those practices I have understands the importance of questioning fundamental assumptions about the nature of the interaction between business and technology and how the report and review of these interfaces impacts in overall communication.
Need Analysis Acquisition & Training
A Critical review of the JAD methodologies
Joint Applications Development (JAD) is a group-based technique which provides a perfect component and all its components further build an entire good framework. To achieve a good structure, throughout the whole workshop all group members including team leader needs to stay focused. It does provide the same environment in actual. Also, it supports a situation where all users and high-end user/client participant involvement in choosing IT solutions. Whereas in other methodologies this scenario is infrequent, which makes it preferable among others. In this methodology, each participant among the group needs to perform on a daily basis, and hence it does show a success status of day to day work environment (Auckland University of Technology-Blackboard, 2018). The advantages of this methodology are as below: –
- This methodology motivates it’s all users or participants and provides them with an environment to keep the focus on systems problems and solutions without any external interruption.
- Since in this research process, all group members including high-end user actively interact throughout the process so as a result, it helps all operations to accomplish faster and speeds up by avoiding lengthy procedures.
- It brings together different types of stakeholders in the system they all actively participate in the collaborative decision making, and hence they keep in touch and keep communicating each other at their own and in this way entirely anew synchronization came into existence which bypasses all the formal communications channels.
- All the participants actively participate in accomplishing each process which empowers them in the decision-making process and in this way they all are more committed towards their final solution (Auckland University of Technology-Blackboard, 2018).
As compare to JAD, initially we have had also researched two other methodologies and think to consider them as a backup technique, but we didn’t try those to gather client system requirements. We list and evaluate in detail the advantages and disadvantages of the other two methods further below (Auckland University of Technology-Blackboard, 2018).
1. One-to-one interviews/meetings
In this process mostly, groups conduct interviews and meetings one to one with stakeholder or client’s different management staff to gather system requirements. It does need some planning and preparation beforehand the discussion and a lot of documentation after the meeting finished. So, it could be a time-consuming process, like first is needing to choose & design the different types of questions, e.g., open-ended, follow-on, or probing and after that to conduct these interviews to determine stakeholder system requirements. Still, it is quite helpful in some business like in case of software evolution (Axia Consulting, 2018).
Advantages: One of the significant advantages is, with the help of this methodology, one can easily get good quality information while conducting one to one interview session with stakeholders. But this benefit withholds its real strength where any stakeholder has lack of knowledge or if they are not sure what they need. This situation mostly happens in practical businesses; the reason behind is, mostly they are more likely to speak in one-to-one meetings, than in large open forums (Axis Consulting, 2018).
Disadvantages: One of the significant drawbacks, as we discussed earlier this section is a time-consuming process, and it can be slow to obtain requirements, both individual interviewer and for stakeholders and clients too (Axia Consulting, 2018).
2. Group interviews/meetings
In this process, the interviewer needs to divide all different stakeholders into similar level groups and then need to design the interview forum questions as per the process. Throughout this process, the same sort of interview pattern is required. This technique could be productive if only interviewees are at a similar level or from the same section within a department of an organization (Axia Consulting, 2018).
Advantages: The only one edge is with the help of this technique all information could be obtained more faster than individual one to one interview. It could save time in comparison to one to one meeting (Axia Consulting, 2018).
Disadvantages: As this process involves more than one stakeholder at one time, so obviously it does need more preparation beforehand interview. Sometimes it is more challenging to keep focus in the whole group meeting (Axia Consulting, 2018).
A critical review of JAD methodology
But overall as compared to the above two requirements gathering technologies. I have personally found that JAD methodology is the most effective methodology and therefore it could not be easily replaceable with any of other technology. There are some bits and pieces which are easily pickable from Interview and Group interview methodology. So, further in detailed overall JAD is the best methodology approach I would assume especially in the needs analysis and acquisition framework it fits perfectly and a student or individual group performer can learn a lot from this practice (Axia Consulting, 2018).
On the one hand, Joint Application Development process brings together clients/business people and IT professionals in a highly focused workshop. It basically correlates the entire framework and synchronize the needs of a business client and easily find an optimal solution to run their business effectively within the latest technology. This whole process also shortened the overall project completion time. During the entire process of JAD, all group or team members easily stay focussed on what client needs/requirements, so it also improves the quality of the final product. As a result, by stay focusing on that what does the client want to? It reduced a significant number of errors in the development lifecycle which generally expensive to correct at a later stage (Auckland University of Technology-Blackboard, 2018).
The JAD process also overcomes all the internal delay factors and other cause of errors in different traditional methodologies. The main goal of this particular methodology is to set up a system which caters the needs of the client more effectively. So, I would say overall this JAD methodology, and its framework acts as a backbone of the entire process.
In this JAD procedure, every single participant interacts with each other, play its important part to take a decision, stay focused throughout the entire strategy. As a result, it will provide an ethical framework and a solid base to methodology, whereas in tradition business procedures where a team leader conducts several meetings on the one hand with team members on another side with every single stakeholder and client separately to bring all the key people involvement together. The team ended up with a lot of time-consuming processes, like extended team meeting durations, after that lots of documentation like minutes of meetings, etc. Sometimes meetings with clients ended up with a lot of confusion because they were not present at each meeting session (Axis Consulting, 2018).
On the contrary, in JAD meetings based on structured workshop session, because of every single participant involvement and based on their ideas, everyone gets together in a room opens at the time of talk, everyone hers what other rests of the group said. So, its all about communication, communication, and transparent communication without any tradition communication channels like telephone, mobiles, emails, memos or any external mode of communication influence. So, overall JAD methodology always worked better than others, and we choose the same one to accomplish our group-based assignment tasks. Even with the continued involvement of client and their essential feedback JAD method achieve the overall task way better and in a more effective way than any other methodology (Axis Consulting, 2018).
Definition of COTS Acquisition Model & What alternative Cloud-based Solution has used as an
Alternative Acquisition Plan in our Group Project
In the practical business now, a day’s use of Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) is gaining popularity, particularly where the companies need those to run their production operations, then they must do huge research to evaluate their system requirements and preferences. Nowadays there is a dynamic market exists, that delivers various Cloud-based COTS services that replace the huge cost of buying software development environments, operating systems, database management systems, and other applications (Albert & Brownsword, 2002).
Many companies/Organizations find that COTS-based systems are difficult and costly to build. A major cause of this difficulty is that a COTS product might be able to satisfy several requirements of an organization but rarely all. Then there is a big possibility in the development system that they could fall back. It could be possible one may end up spending a huge amount of time and resources over a meaningless proposal. As per below figure 1 one can easily understand the pitfall of COTS as compared in traditional approach and actual what approach is required to evaluate the desired system requirements and preferences (Albert & Brownsword, 2002).
Figure 1, Required Approach for COTS-based Systems (Albert & Brownsword, 2002)
COTS product is basically could be computer hardware or software product designed especially for its users to cater their specific needs and requirements. Ultimately, all those products are readily available and user-friendly. A typical example of a COTS product is a Microsoft office or an Antivirus software. A COTS product is generally any product available off-the-shelf and not requiring custom development before installation (Techopedia Inc ltd., 2018).
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As compared to COTS, a custom designed product is typically more expensive reason behind because an organization could be ended up consuming a huge amount of money and lot of time to execute the release of this specific product. On the other hand, cloud-based COTS product which is designed, created and modified by a third-party vendor to meet customer requirements has already been modified and updated (Techopedia Inc ltd., 2018).
These cloud-based COTS products are easy to manage and maintain. Most corporate big organizations prefer cloud-based Softwares rather than spending a substantial amount of time and money in developing on-site applications software and hardware. In addition to, companies prefer these cloud-based products over traditional ones because of relatively risk-free investment, for their better functionality and more productive work (Techopedia Inc ltd., 2018).
COTS Acquisition Project Plan has used
So, as an aspect of above all benefits we had advised our client in our project work to go with a cloud-based COTS software, and after thorough research, we found that ‘Gantter’ (A SaaS product) is perfect for our client’s needs and it caters all the requirements of the project work.
Figure 2, COTS Acquisition Project plan used, already submitted in our SRS report with the help of Gantter (A SaaS product)
Advantages to move to Gantter (A SaaS product)
Choosing a best project management tool can be a de-motivating task sometimes. In our case, we were lucky, and after thorough research, we found the Gantter which perfectly fits into our client requirements, and it helps us a lot to save both ours and our client time and provides us all sorts of cost-cutting tools.
Now a day’s worldwide corporate companies are now adopting cloud SaaS as the main computing platform. Many of them even completely abandoned their traditional on-site solutions. In this way, they are saving a lot of capital income by eliminating on-site servers, storage devices, and in-house business applications. In other words, those companies that haven’t consider cloud computing as an alternative are missing a huge opportunity to deliver greater value to their business (Joshi, 2017).
Using Gantter (A SaaS product) as a project management tool, our client can easily run their business by subscribing cloud-based services which are pre-designed and built according to their consumer needs. In other words, they can save a huge principal amount regarding not to buy on-site servers and to maintain their IT infrastructure. SaaS has given many companies an easy alternative. Using cloud SaaS, customers can plug in and subscribes to services built on shared infrastructure using the Internet (Joshi, 2017).
Figure 3, Advantages to move to SaaS from COTS Legacy (Joshi, 2017).
Advantages to move to Cloud-based SaaS product over traditional ones in details:
Affordability: As cloud-based does not require a high initial set up or any upfront cost. A company does not need to purchase and set up hardware, platforms or Operating Systems/ Database software. Working on cloud SaaS applications is relatively faster than on-premise systems. Once the consumer agreed with the SaaS vendor, it provides pay-as-you-go pricing packages (Joshi, 2017).
Integration and Interoperability: To provide an optimal solution to the consumer an application must be function optimally, which requires integration and interoperability. Data integrity, information sharing, and on-demand reporting are high concerns amongst any project management tool. Cloud SaaS addresses these challenges. They also include standards-based and best APIs for integration (Joshi, 2017).
Compatibility: Traditional COTS products incurred a huge amount of time and money at the time of installation. Sometimes, even when they upgraded their onsite COTS products due to different versions, it can lead to compatibility issues and end up with the more time wastage. With the help of utilizing cloud SaaS models, organizations do not face this kind of difficulty, and the reason behind is they need to log on to already upgraded services (Joshi, 2017).
CAPABILITY MATURITY MODEL (CMM)
AND WHAT CMM LEVEL MY GROUP ACHIEVED
Capability Maturity Model (CMM)
This methodology is a set of a defined technical and cross-discipline framework used to simplify software development processes regarding system development. This CMM methodology framework was developed to assess the performance capabilities (Tutorials Point, 2018).
It is a routine approach, which mainly applies to the different fields of Information Technology, Commerce and Government to further simplify business processes, such as software engineering, risk management, project management and system engineering (Techopedia Inc ltd., 2018).
Figure 4, Levels of capability maturity Model (Tutorials Point, 2018).
- Initial: This is the first stage of methodology, and under this phase, it provided an unstable environment. It is a progressive phase, and there are a lot of changes occurs during this phase.
- Repeatable: This is a stage where lots of process analyzed through several iterations and during those repetitive processes groups starts getting consistent results. This phase plays a very important role in the overall success of the project work.
- Defined: In this phase, all documentation happens, and this phase determines the standards which most probably changes over time and further supports performance consistency.
- Managed: This stage uses process metrics and effectively controls the overall process. In this business process, mostly a Management starts controlling and managing the project processes.
- Optimizing: This is the final stage where a group focuses on continuous process performance improvement through innovative ideas and more focussed on overall technological improvements (Techopedia Inc ltd., 2018).
In my project work, as per we discussed and defined the above levels of CMM methodology. I believe that my group did work well. At CMM scale my group went to all the phases of the above levels. Despite all group members new to this environment, we lag in the second phase, because of lack of time, we were not able to do auditing of our project work and didn’t have had enough time to do things in repetitions to get more results. We did all documentation well and generated all reports like SRS, RFP and Needs analysis reports well on time. The bottleneck was very few client meetings, and in practice without knowing your client very well, one can’t provide the best results.
In the future, now I have learned a lot, and now my skills are capable of handling a similar project in a very efficient way. I am very thankful to my tutor who was also our mentor, on his timely feedback our group was successful in delivering excellent results.
- Albert, C., & Brownsword, L. (2002, July). Evolutionary Process for Integrating COTS-based System -An overview. Retrieved October 21, 2018, from https://resources.sei.cmu.edu/: https://resources.sei.cmu.edu/asset_files/TechnicalReport/2002_005_001_14033.pdf
- Auckland University of Technology-Blackboard. (2018). Needs Analysis & Acquisition [course Notes]. Retrieved October 21, 2018, from AUT online: https://blackboard.aut.ac.nz/bbcswebdav/pid-4526732-dt-content-rid-7395134_2/courses/INFS603_2017_01/Course%20Resource%20Book%20406928-407210%20Part%201.pdf
- Axia Consulting. (2018). Requirements Gathering Techniques. Retrieved October 20, 2018, from www.axia-consulting.co.uk: https://www.axia-consulting.co.uk/html/requirements_gathering.htm
- Axis Consulting. (2018). 7 Critical Success Factors. Retrieved October 20, 2018, from https://www.axia-consulting.co.uk/html/critical_success_factors.html
- Gantter.com. (2018, March 9). Searching for a Project Management Tool. Retrieved October 23, 2018, from https://www.gantter.com: https://www.gantter.com/searching-for-a-project-management-tool/
- Joshi, N. (2017, February 01). Three reasons to move to SaaS and leave behind legacy COTS. Allerin. Retrieved October 22, 2018, from https://www.allerin.com/blog/3-reasons-to-move-to-saas-and-leave-behind-legacy-cots
- Techopedia Inc Ltd. (2018). Capability Maturity Model. Techopedia. Retrieved October 23, 2018, from https://www.techopedia.com/definition/6523/capability-maturity-model-cmm
- Techopedia Inc Ltd. (2018). Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS). Techopedia, https://www.techopedia.com/definition/1444/commercial-off-the-shelf-cots. Retrieved October 22, 2018
- Tutorials Point. (2018). Capability Maturity Model. Retrieved October 23, 2018, from http://www.tutorialspoint.com: http://www.tutorialspoint.com/software_testing_dictionary/capability_maturity_model.htm
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