IS480 Team wiki: 2010T1 Veritaz
- 1 Team Veritaz
- 2 Company Background and Formation
- 3 Project Overview
- 4 Screenshots of The Freight Management Portal
- 5 Storyboard
- 6 Project Management
- 7 Schedule Metric
- 8 Group and Individual Learning Outcome
- 9 Meeting Minutes
- 10 Project Presentation Archive
- 11 The Shipping Solutions FYP Proposal
- 12 Resources and References
- 13 Assumptions
Members (Roles and Responsibilities)
|Primary Role||Secondary Role||Name|
|Project Manager||Secretary||Ernest Cai Kunrongfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|System Developer||Project Manager||Cheong Wei Hsienemail@example.com|
|Secretary||Tester||Elizabeth Chin Yun Wenfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Tester||Design Analyst||Reena CHIN Hwei Yingemail@example.com|
|System Analyst||System Developer||Jolene CHIA Shi Mingfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Design Analyst||System Analyst||Loh Wei Yiemail@example.com|
|ZHENG Baihua||Assistant Professor||Singapore Management Universityfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Barry Lim||Managing Director||The Shipping Solutions Pte Ltdemail@example.com|
|Jason Goh||Sales Director||The Shipping Solutions Pte Ltdfirstname.lastname@example.org|
The process of brainstorming on how the web portal should look like before proposing to our sponsor.
Company Background and Formation
Overview of Sponsor
- The Shipping Solutions is a new Electronic-Solutions and Media organization with an extensive background in logistics.
- The core of our business is to aid the Singapore shipping industry to excel in terms of improved efficiency, and productivity, through the provision and advertisement of vital information of the services that these companies provide, to the public.
- The Shipping Solutions understands the demanding process faced by Shipping Lines (Carriers) when they handle their service lanes enquiries from their logistics partners (Co-Loaders, Forwarders, Direct Shippers). In the current globally competitive logistics market, there is a constant need to make necessary changes and strategically plan for vessels' sailing schedules in order to cater to the ever changing, fast-paced, and dynamic market's needs. Hence, the operations or sales department have dedicated a lot of time to the answering and clarification of their clients' enquiries.
- www.TheShippingSolutions.com was designed and developed especially for the sole purpose of compiling and streamlining your service lanes and sailing schedules. These data will be distributed and shared with the relevant members of the portal, to provide a one stop solution centre to cater to all your clients' needs, as well as to answer all their queries as to the details of the services you provide.
Joint Initiative of Project Sponsor
The Shipping Solutions is a new Electonic-Solution and Media organization with an extensive background in logistics.The core of our business is to aid the Singapore Shipping industry to excel in terms of improved efficiency and productivity,through the provision and advertisement of vital information of the services that these companies provide,to the public.
The Shipping Solutions understands the demanding process faced by Shipping Lines(Carriers) when they handle their service lanes enquiries from their logistics partners(Co-loader,Forwarders, Direct Shippers).In the current globally competitive logistics market,there is a constant need to make necessary changes and stratgically plan for vessels' sailing schedules in order to cater to the ever changing fast-paced and dynamic market's needs.Hence,the operations or sales department have dedicated a lot of time in answering and clarification of their clients' enquirers
We are proposing to develop a one-stop logistics platform,a Freight Management Portal .In order to understand the reasons and motivations behind our choice of project,we would provide you a brief introduction of the background of the shipping industry in Singapore
There are 3 main groups in the shipping industry and they are the Carriers,Direct Shippers and Forwarders.Below is a brief and simplified description of each group.
Operation Flow - Direct Shipper,Forwarder and Carrier
Root Cause Issues and Problems
1) Lack of Auto-Mated process & Real Life Information
Problem Description: Currently,a lot of manual labours are required when placing a request.Firstly,the direct shipper will make his logistical request via the forwarder.The forwarder will then match the direct shipper's logistical request with the sailing schedule of the carrier.If the carrier is unable to accede to his request,he will then have to check with several carriers until he finds a match and then place a booking.
Solution: The Shipping Solutions is our client and they have proposed a idea on resolving this huge inefficiency by developing a portal that provides a Fast and efficient means of searching for the most appropriate schedule and we have chosen the development of this portal to be our project.This will provide Real time Information update.'We are going to set a avenue for the clients to Advertise.
Business Impact: Reduce the tedious manual process time, Reduce probability of human error propagation which will in turn increase the efficient level.
As mentioned earlier,our main purpose is to deliver the Freight Management Portal which is deployed on a web server to the sponsor. Besides the main functionalities that the client has proposed, we have also proposed several additional functionalities which we strongly believe will strengthen the usability and attractiveness of the portal.
- Overview: Develop a Freight Management Portal to replace manual based operation in the Freight Forwarding industry
- Ease of Use: Usable by people of minimal IT Skill Knowledge
- Time:Working Function to be completed by every iteration
- Accuracy: User Acceptance Tests (UAT) to be completed before passing to clients
Our Scope comprises of a development of a one-stop logistics portal.It constitutes the following functionalities:
|Roll Back Function||
|Member Administrative Control Panel||
|Advertisement Management Function||
|Statistical Report Function||
Updated ER Diagram V2
Updated ER Diagram V2(Media:ER.ppt)
Sequence Diagram (Media:SequenceDiagram.docx)
Screenshots of The Freight Management Portal
Member Administrative Control Panel
Search Engine Function
- Appear at different tabs for different purposes. Several search capabilities for different user tiers - Carriers, Forwarders and Lane Management.'
- Different categories of search, returns different fields.
- This search allows one to search from Port of Loading and Port of Discharge and returns a Carrier/Forwarder which have such a service lane.
- Individual Carrier/Forwarder which holds an account in this portal, to perform a search of current lanes they have for administration purposes.
There are 3 different searches:
- Forwarder search - a simplified search with just the POL and POD returning the Forwarder that provides this service lane. This action can be performed without logging in.
- Carrier search - a search with just the POL and POD with keyword search and day search returning the Carrier that provides this service lane. This action cannot be performed without logging in. Within the Carrier Search, they are broken down to FCL, LCL, Breakbulk, RoRo and OOGUC. Reason for the breakdown of database table is that information required for categories might be different and a company belong to more than 1 category.
- Lane administration - this search allows registered users be it Carrier/Forwarder to search for their sailing schedule entries.
- This functions allows us to allow suggestions of traveling from various ports. For instance, if there isn’t any existing lanes from Singapore - Dubai. The search results will show our various alternatives how can the shipment goes from Singapore - Dubai. Results may be in the form of such possibility: Singapore - Thailand - Dubai or Singapore - Indonesia - Philippines - Dubai.
Member Administrative Control Panel
- Members will be allowed to update the various fields within the profile such as company address, telephone number and fax number. They can also add, delete or update the contact person details. These information will be then put up on the company profile page.
- A tool necessary for members to change their password for confidentiality purposes.
- Members will be allowed to update existing lanes schedule if there is a change. Delete existing lane schedule if there is a mistake or even add new lane schedules.
- Add new members that carry the company’s information and the different profile types and member types.
- Administrator will be allowed to deleted any members if they post up any false information.
- Once a member is created, then can users for that particular company be created.
- Administrator will then be able to assign new user accounts. He can also be able to deleted or update the password if one has forgotten the password.
Member/Profile Type (CRUD):
- Creation of new profile/member type with ability to assign specific access rights.
- Ability to make changes to any lanes if client is unable to log into the system
- Ability to create/approve news broadcast on the portal.
File Upload Function:
- Allow the members to upload different excel formats of schedule to be input into the system without keying each and everyone in.
Roll Back Function
User Tracking Function:
- It is an important function to track users movement. If someone intentionally deleted all the information pertaining to the company’s schedule, we would be able to track them out without any hassel. All the actions will be recorded and overwritten. 7 days of actions will be tracked and in it is more than enough reaction.
- In any case of failure to backup the information in the system, in any event that crashes.
Advertisement Management Function
- It is an aspect for company to generate revenue for the company.It can let customer post advertisement on portal. They will also provide another outlet for customer to promote their brand especially for newly setup.
- This module allows the administrator to change the main page/lane search advertisements
- Carrier/Forwarder will then be able to view the progress of the different users.
Statistical Report Function
- Statistical reports on the frequency of searches from various ports of loading to port of discharge in the various search categories. This information will let companies have a easier time for planning their following sailing routes.
- The function also includes the ability to delete older data based on date selected by Administrator
1 .Identify training requirements for all team members and ensure everyone possesses the know- how to use all software and programs involved in the portal development.
2. Confidential information must not be disclosed to anyone and must be kept within our team. The information includes all non-public information concerning our client, its clients and/or its shippers, that might be of use to competitors or harmful to its business partners.
3. Meeting must be held at least once a week. Minutes to be done and uploaded within 24 hours after every meeting to keep everyone updated.
4. To keep our client updated on our progress, we will need to submit a report on the modules that we have completed every fortnightly.
5. Team would have to follow closely and track the timeline as per scheduled so as to deliver our work promptly.
6. .It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that he/she is committed to complete tasks assigned on time.
7. Punctuality should be observed for supervisor, client, and group meetings at all times.
1. Develop a portal which fits the requirements of the company and implement solutions to improve the portal based on feedback received.
2. Facilitating easy access and locating resources on the portal for our client, ensuring that it is sustainable in the long run.
3. Working with an external client would gear us with better knowledge and determination to not only complete our tasks, but to produce quality deliverables.
4. Fostering strong bonds among our team would allow us to learn from one another, and be receptive to opinions and advises as a team.
5. We should not only apply what we have learnt in our course work. It is essential for each of us to learn something new in the midst of developing the portal as a takeaway in order to enhance our skill set.
6. Learning to establish healthy working relationship within our team and most importantly with our client.
For the development of the project, we employed a total of 8 iterations.
Phases in each iteration
Within each phase, we will go through a consistent form of:
- Reviewing of planned tasks
- Development of functionalities
- Integration of functionalities
- Debugging of system on local server
- Release to sponsor for testing and evaluation
For the progress of our project, we review our schedule at the end of iteration to see if we are on schedule.
|Iteration||Task to be completed|
|Iteration 1: 18 May - 14 June||
|Iteration 2: 15 June - 12 July||
|Iteration 3:13 July - 9 August||
|Iteration 4: 10 August - 2 September||
|Iteration 5: 3 September - 23 September||
|Iteration 6: 24 September - 14 October||
|Iteration 7: 15 October - 4 November||
|Iteration 8: 5 November - 22 November||
- Goal: To ensure prompt delivery of project.
- Question: How many days are we ahead or behind schedule?
- Metric:Planned Day - Actual Day.
- Use:: Help us to manage our time better to meet deadlines
|Iteration||Start date(DD-MM-YYYY)||Planned End(DD-MM-YYYY)||Delay(+)/Ahead(-)(by days)|
|Iteration 1:||18 May||14 June||0|
|Iteration 2:||15 June||12 July||-1|
|Iteration 3:||13 July||9 August||0|
|Iteration 4:||10 August||2 September||-3|
|Iteration 5:||3 September||23 September||+3|
|Iteration 6:||24 September||14 October||0|
|Iteration 7:||15 October||4 November||0|
|Iteration 8:||5 November||22 November||0|
Overall, we have released 2 live betas on www.TheShippingSolutions.com.
- Beta 1: 1 September 2010
- Beta 2: 22 October 2010
- Goal: To ensure our clients to be able to carry out their intended tasks on our portal efficiently, effectively and satisfactorily.
- Question: How easy is it for users to use our portal?
- Metric: Number of points given to each category[Performance,Comfort,Navigation] by different users.
- Use: Help us manage our usability of our portal.
Usability Feedback Form
The usability feedback form is filled up by 2 groups of users - the prospective users of the web portal and the current users. When our sponsor gives presentations to other Carriers and Freight Forwarding companies. They will fill up the usability feedback form for us to evaluate from which perspective we need to improve the portal as we are still in the midst of finalizing the web portal. The current users fills up this form and give us their feedback too. As they are the end users of the web portal, they recommendations will definitely be valuable to us.
Usability Feedback Form (Media:Usability Feedback form.docx)
Usability Metric: Performance
Usability Metric: Comfort
Usability Metric: Action Plan
|All >= 4 points||
|One < 4 points||
|Two < 4 points||
|All < 4 Points||
User Acceptance Tests (UAT)
We have conducted a total of 7 UATs with our client, The Shipping Solutions Private Limited. With the test scripts prepared, we follow through the test scripts to ensure that the system is correct. The test cases that failed, we will logged them in as bugs and perform the necessary troubleshooting before moving on to the next iteration.
We conducted our Risk Assessment at the end of every iteration. We perform an incremental risk analysis to gauge the potential risk we might face. We will re-evaluate the points given to the risk the iteration before to see whether will there be an increase or decrease in risk factor.
FYP Risk Assessments (Media:FYPRisk.xlsx)
Group and Individual Learning Outcome
Team Learning Outcomes
1) Client Management: Ability to understand functional requirements from clients
2) Business-IT Value Linkage Skills: Ability to analyze the operations and business process of the logistics industry and use IT to drive it
3) Ability to provide documentation understandable by users (Requirements specification,risks management plan,assumptions,constraints,architecture choices,design choices etc.)
4) Ability to implement the change of requirements from our supervisor and project sponsor and to sustain the change over time
5) Ability to analyze the operations and business process of the logistics industry and use IT to drive it
6) Ability to identify,prioritize, mitigate and document the necessary project risk
7) Establish a proper work breakdown structure, time and effort estimates,resource allocation and precise scheduling
8) Use Proper tools to manage the teams' development and management progress
Overall, our team had 4 major takeaways. They are in terms of project management skills, communication skills, application of integration of business & technology in a sector context and the IT architecture, design and development skills.
Project Management Skills
i. Scope Management Skills
Learnt how to identify and manage trade-offs between the scope of our portal and time and cost needed to develop it. We also learnt how to take a balance between a manageable scope for us and one that satisfies client. More importantly, we learnt how to handle clients to keep to our scope and when to be firm with our team's decision.
ii. Project Integration and Time Management Skills
To ensure that we keep to our tight schedule, we document our minutes well, made use of relevant metrics to keep track our schedule.
iii. Quality Management Skills
We learnt how to maintain highest quality deliverables by keeping tightly to our bug metrics, User Acceptance Test (UAT) and Usability Metrics to make sure we deliver the best project.
i. Presentation Skills
Through the three main presentations we had during this project, we have individually and dynamically developed effective and efficient presentation skills from relying on scripts to delivering a smooth independent presentation.
ii. Client Management
As the client was hard to manage, we had also learnt how we can and should communicate with the client. We meet up with the client fortnightly and forge a close communication channel through the use of emails.
Integration of business & technology in a sector context
i. Business and IT Linkage Skills
As the client is our business drivers and we are the technology drivers, we learn how to develop (business) and IT solution linkage to deliver a good freight management portal.
We also learnt how to create business values for the client based on our IT solutions.
IT architecture, design and development skills
i. System Requirements and Specification Skills
We learnt how to transform and incorporate clients’ functional (search engine, statistical function etc) and non-functional (easy to use, fast and efficient etc) requirements into our web portal.
ii. Implementation and Technology Application Skills
We adopted the iterative approach for coding and applied job rotation our programming to maximize individual learning. The learning of a new programming language – AJAX is incorporated into our portal. Modularizing our codes was a good practice adopted at midway and act as a preventive measure to combat any major change of requirements that might overhaul the entire progress of the team. As the scope of the project is relatively large, we decided to use SQL as our database and TOMCAT as our web server as all of us had been exposed to the language before.
Individual Learning Outcomes
I have learnt to integrate the business and technology in the sector context. In this case, it is really important to understand the business process of the logistics industry. After having a better understanding of the business aspect, technology plays a very important part of the business initiatives. It is the use of both the business and technology aspect that drives the business operations of www.ShippingSolutions.com.
Besides learning how to cooperate with one another, I felt that understanding the importance of having a well-customized IT solution to cater to the needs of client is very crucial. Along the way, the client has made several requests to change the structure of our databases. And this took us a number of days to complete because the tables had to split up and the methods that involve the affected tables had to change. As our project is considered huge, the number of pages that we had to change was comparable and tedious. Bugs were popping up every now and the search engine was down in the midst of the change. Nevertheless, we managed to complete and suit our client’s needs in the portal and they were quite satisfied with the current portal. This clearly indicates that IT and business are inevitably, intertwined in driving the operations and business process successfully.
Through this journey of Final Year Project, my team Veritaz has gone through ups and downs; struggling to meet milestones, living up to expectations and working together as a team. For me, the learning was immense. Not only do I gain valuable knowledge from the Professors, I have also learnt from my teammates and from this project. The most valuable lessons for me would be client management and the experience I receive from working on this project, with different people. Managing the client was not an easy task as there were a lot of changes in requirements every here and then. Thus, being assertive, firm and at the same time patient is vital to keep the relationship between Veritaz and the client going.
Wei Hsien's Reflections
Although the technology used is not an unfamiliar one, there were many difficulties faced as well as the scope of the project is not small. There are many new algorithms such as the depth first search to pick up as well. It is a challenging project to me.
I learned how to better manage and communicate with the clients. Working together as a group is not easy due to different commitment levels and strengths of individuals. But overall we had an enjoyable experience working with everyone.
One of the most challenging factors of this project was to handle a live server up and running. We have to bear full responsibilities of any mistakes found in the portal that was feedback by our sponsor’s clients. As students, I would say it is not easy as it a business that TSS is running. The biggest takeaway for me was to be able to create business values for our client and develop better project management skills.
Minutes - 01 June 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes004.doc)
Minutes - 04 June 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes005.doc)
Minutes - 06 June 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes006.doc)
Minutes - 12 June 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes007.doc)
Minutes - 14 June 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes008.doc)
Minutes - 26 June 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes009.doc)
Minutes - 30 June 2010 (Media:Veritaz_SupervisorMeetingMinutes001.doc)
Minutes - 01 Aug 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes013.doc)
Minutes - 03 Aug 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes014.doc)
Minutes - 05 Aug 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes015.doc)
Minutes - 06 Aug 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes016.doc)
Minutes - 08 Aug 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes017.doc)
Minutes - 11 Aug 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes018.doc)
Minutes - 17 Aug 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes019.doc)
Minutes - 26 Aug 2010 (Media:Veritaz_SupervisorMeetingMinutes002.doc)
Minutes - 01 Sept 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes021.doc)
Minutes - 02 Sept 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes_CLIENT.doc)
Minutes - 06 Sept 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes022.doc)
Minutes - 13 Sept 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes023.doc)
Minutes - 20 Sept 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes024.doc)
Minutes - 23 Sept 2010 (Media:Veritaz_SupervisorMeetingMinutes003.doc)
Minutes - 13 Nov 2010 (Media:Veritaz_MeetingMinutes027.doc)
Project Presentation Archive
We have included the project acceptance, mid-term as well as the final presentation slides.
The Shipping Solutions FYP Proposal
The Shipping Solutions FYP Proposal(Media:The Shipping Solutions FYP Proposal.pdf)
Resources and References
2. Asian Shippers Magazines
|If the RTC Server is down,We would be unable to view our work schedule,would lose track of our deadlines||
Our Backup plan allows us to still track our work schedule using excel sheets with the stipulated time and deadlines.
|If the RTC Server is down, not able to monitor our task assigned easily||This would be mitigated with the help of our minutes in accordance to our meetings.|
|If the RTC Server is down, we will not have any access to source code||Backup of codes on an external hard-disk after every iteration.|
|We will be using the server provided by the client that uses PLESK - the server control panel, we assume that PLESK has the appropriate Tomcat and MySQL software that we intend to use for the portal.||If PLESK does not have the required software,we would have to upgrade to the latest PLESK or we will decide to bypass the panel(worst case scenario)|
|None of us have prior knowledge in using AJAX and we assume it will be easy to learn through resources available on the Internet and reference materials from the library.||If AJAX proves to be difficult to learn via online resources alone,we will be contacting friends who have prior experience with AJAX and they are willing to spend some effort to guide us in using AJAX|
|We assume the learning curve for RTC(Rational Team Concert)is not steep.||If the learning curve for RTC is too steep,we might drop the idea of using it to aid the development process and use a simpler tool such as Microsoft Live Small Business|
|We assume that all change of requirements by our supervisor and project sponsor will not hamper our project schedule||If the change of requirements is too huge,we will re-evaluate our current situation.If we are unable to accommodate to the change in schedule,we may reject it completely.However,if the change is critical to the client then we may drop an existing functionality in the place of the new change.|