IS480 Team wiki: 2011T1 The Cobras

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The Cobras

Team Members

Roles & Responsibilities

Name Roles
Raghav Nandan Poddar

User Requirement Manager

Web Developer

Systems Integration

Database Designer

Iteration Leader - Phase 2, 6

Varun Saraf Excel Application Development Lead


Iteration Leader - Phase 4

Test Case Manager

Tauhid Bin Abddul Jalil Web Application Development Lead

Sponsor Liaison

Schedule Metric In Charge

Deployment Director

Iteration Leader - Phase 1, 5

Muhammad Bin Alamgir UI and Design In Charge

Web Developer

Documentation & Planning

Risk Metrics in Charge

Iteration Leader - Phase 3, 7

Stake Holders


Client & Sponsor


Client Company : Lodestone Management Consultants Pte Ltd

Website: http://www.lodestonemc.com

Director - Mr. Philip Kwa

Project Description & Motivation

Project Description:


Being a business organisation that specialises in business solutions consultancy, Lodestone Management Consultants are looking to build a system which will provide wider and more convenient access to its surveys for both its customers and consultants. Our project aims to build a Web Application and Excel Application for this surveying system, so that both clients and consultants will have easy access and processing time with the data. These 2 applications will be linked to a single database, enabling for real-time updates to both applications on any modifications made to the data.. The X-Factor of our project would be to provide the Admin user a simplified tool in order to modify the structure, questions and objectives of the surveys without having to delve into programming codes. The major challenge for the team is to take up the task and add more value to the current process.


The main motivation for this project is the experience of developing a system that is critical in delivering a large amount of commercial value to the customer. We do realize that the technology used for this project may not be of the latest in the market today. However, the requirements to research and propose a new indicator to measure clients’ abilities, proposing new ideas to tackle the issues of scalability and user-friendly interfaces and utilizing common and cost effective software to deliver a high quality system are the challenges that we find most interesting and benefitting for our careers ahead. The relevance and application of this solution for the firm is exciting as this solution might be a pilot for a global deployment.

Purpose of the Tool

  • The primary purpose of the tool we have been asked to build is to assess capabilities of clients across different domains (SCM,CRM,HRM)
  • The method for this assessment is by asking the clients to answer a set of questions pertaining to the various domains

Benefits of the Tool:


Project Timeline

  • Please click here to download the earlier version of the timeline document: Media:1.doc

Overall Phases
Phase 1
Phase 2
Phase 3
Phase 4
Phase 5
Phase 6
Phase 7

  • Phase 1 (Week -4 to -5)( 26th June – 9th July)
    • Project Conceptualisation
    • Diagrams & Project Management setup
  • Phase 2 (Week -3 to -1)(10th July - 30th July)
    • Development Part 1
    • Register, Login, Display Questionnaire, Display Results
    • For both Web & Excel App
    • First Draft of CSS Design
  • Phase 3 (Week 1 to 2)(31st July - 27th August)
    • Development Part 2
    • Admin functionalities, UMM, Generate PPT, Benchmark Analysis & Analyses Output
    • Finalised prototype cover all requirements
    • 1st UAT
  • Phase 4 (Week 3 to 4)(28th August - 10th September)
    • Systems Integration
      • Further development based on 1st UAT
    • 2nd UAT
      • Further development based on 2nd UAT
    • Load Testing (usage analytics)
    • Meeting with Lodestone
  • Phase 5 (Week 5 to 7)(13th September - 1st October)
    • Trial Deployment to Web Server
    • Buffer
    • Additional requirements development
    • Systems Integration
    • Midterm Presentation @SMU
  • Phase 6 (Week 8 to 11)(2nd October - 29th October)
    • Buffer and Trial Deployment
    • Meeting with Lodestone
    • Systems Integration
    • Buffer
    • Meeting with Lodestone
    • Buffer
    • Go Live!
  • Phase 7 (Week 12 to 15)(30th October - 21st November)
    • Buffer
    • Project Poster Submission
    • Meeting with Lodestone
    • GO LIVE!
    • Documentation clean-up
    • FYP Final Presentation

Project Schedule

Project Requirements & Solutions

Problem(s) at Hand

1. Lack of a web-based application for clients to access Lodestone’s questionnaires

2. Lack of an excel app that consolidates all of the questionnaires available

3. Lack of scalability in system to store growing number of questionnaires

4. Lack of any synchronization tool to link both Web App and Excel App

5. Current method of analysis (user answers) not very helpful

Requirements and Solutions

1. Create a web application & Excel application which allows clients to answer pre-determined survey questions found in different categories (eg.SCM,CRM,etc)


  • Web application created in HTML, JSP, CSS, & PHP.
  • Excel application (logic coded in VBA Macros)
  • Data will be stored in mySQL database.
  • User data, Questionnaires, User answers, Benchmarks will be stored in database (ALL)
  • Provides scalability for modules and questionnaires
    • Additional data in the future will be streamlined into database (No Hardcoding)
  • Provides consistency in data
    • No need for syncing of data from separate data sources
    • Both applications tap into 1 data source
    • Data displayed will always be the latest
    • Will have to incorporate automatic refresh functionality in both applications

2. Based on the answers to the questionnaire the system should generate reports and compare against pre calculated benchmarks allowing the company to make a decision whether to work with the client or not based on the comparison to different benchmarks.


  • Results of users are all stored in database
  • Can be generated anywhere (ie. HTML, PPT, EXCEL,etc)
  • Need to only focus on type of display (type of graph, designs,etc)
  • Will need to have a look at the questionnaires and fully understand the questions at hand in order to make appropriate research

3. The consultants should be able to execute Admin Functionalities such as -add ,edit or delete questions and add new users (ie.new consultants who join the firm,etc )


  • Register functionality will be made available for the web application
  • Login functionality made available for only Web application
    • Separate login for external users and consultants (admin)
    • Excel application need not require a login functionality since only the consultants will be accessing it
    • The admin functionality can be utilised from both the Web and the Excel applications
    • Admin Functionality will be employed via a separate application Database (UI) application which will allow the consultants to make any modifications to the data present in the whole system.
    • A Database UI application

4. Security for Internal Users (Consultants) & External Users(potential clients)


  • The “lite “version will be available to potential clients as soon as they log into the Web application with their credentials.
    • Only able to see 10 questionnaires from any 1 module
    • Able to see their scores against their benchmarks for those 10 questions
    • Able to see a preliminary average score (of the 10 questions) against the industry’s standard (another benchmark)
  • The full version will be made available to consultants on both Excel and Web applications
    • Able to see all 30 questions from any 1 module
    • Able to generate all required reports for any client that the consultant is working on

Project Scope


Sequence Diagrams

1. Click here to see the Sequence Diagram for the Excel Application Media:SSD-Excel.pdf‎

2. Click here to see the Sequence Diagram for the Web Application - Client Functionality Media:Sequence_Diagram_Client_WebApp.pdf

3. Click here to see the Sequence Diagram for the Web Application - Consultant Functionality Media:SSD-Consultant.pdf

Use Case Diagrams

1. Click here to see the Use Case Diagram for the Web App functionalities: Media:Excel_Use_Case.pdf

2. Click here to see the Use Case Diagram for the Excel App functionalities: Media:Web_App_UseCase.pdf

Business Process Diagrams

1. Business Process Diagram for Admin Funtionalities:

AdminStory Lodestone.jpg

2. Business Process Diagram for Web Application:


3. Business Process Diagram for Excel Application:

Excel Storyboard.JPG

EER Diagram

1. EER diagram for the solution:

ER Lodestone.jpg

Deployment Diagram

1. Deployment Diagram for our system:


Key Deliverables

1. Questionnaire Web Application

  • 3 different roles : Admin, Consultants, Clients
  • Data extracted and stored in MySql Database
    • Relying on Open-Source softwares to minimise cost
    • JSP, Java, CSS, HTML, PHP, Apache Tomcat, MySql Community Server
    • Microsoft Office would be installed on most company systems
    • Netbeans IDE
  • Analysis for Clients:
    • Attempt specific performance feedback charts
    • Trends analysis of past results
    • Comparisons analysis against peers in the same industry (for that specific attempt)
  • Analysis for Consultants:
    • Trends analysis for past results of assigned clients
    • Trends analysis comparisons between clients within the same industry
    • Client-specific performance chart for a specific attempt
    • Trends analysis of benchmark for specific industry
  • All analysis charts are generated via Flash (Fusion Charts)
    • Better display visuals for all users
    • Easily customisable
  • User Management Module
    • Profiles : Clients, Company, Consultant, Admin
    • Clients:
      • Able to view past results, generate trends analysis
      • Generate industry comparisons analysis\
      • Display clients’ info
      • Able to view assigned consultants’ profile
    • Consultants:
      • Display consultant info
      • Resource Allocation Tool (client assignment)
    • Company Profile
      • Displays company info through Company Search Tool
      • Links all clients to this company profile
  • Resource Allocation Tool
    • To reach out to new clients
    • Every new register will be emailed to Admin
      • New client details
    • Admin will allocate client to consultant via the User Management Module
    • Consultant has the choice to accept, enquire or reject
  • Company Search Tool
    • Creates & Updates the Company Profile Page in User Management Module
      • Pulls out company’s financial figures (ie. net income, turnover,etc)
    • Categorises companies into industries
      • Recognises company name input by client
      • To allow for Benchmarking Algorithm executions
  • Admin Functionality
    • To provide scalability & flexibility to system
    • Able to add/edit questions, modules, categories & headings
    • Able to add/remove/modify user profile details
    • Client allocations to consultants
    • Add Analysis representations
      • Admin is able to add new analyses for different users if the need arises
    • Able to override Benchmarking Algorithm
      • Due to insufficient data pool
  • Generate Reports to Powerpoint Presentations
    • Project requirement
    • Using PHP COM API to take data stored in database and export them into Powerpoint presentations.
    • PHP presentation will come preset with designs

  • Benchmarking Algorithm (X-FACTOR)
    • Measures client’s performance
      • Currently uses an average against all existing clients
      • Might not be sensitive to industry specific requirements / practices
    • We tap on Lodestone’s established industry expertise
      • Developed expertise in 5 major industries
      • Financial Services, Life Sciences, Consumer Goods, Industrial Equipment, Automotive
      • Our system will measure client’s answers against existing clients of the same industry.

2. Excel Application

  • All of Web application’s features for Consultants only
    • Coded in Macro for better simulation capabilities
    • No User functionalities (Lite Version)
    • No Admin functionalities
  • Data is “synchronised” by extracting from the same Database as the web application
    • Better reliability, less versioning issues
    • Excel application will refresh its data as soon as its application is started with an Internet connection

Early Deployment (X-FACTOR)

  • Aim to finish development by 26th August (End of phase 3)
  • 27th Aug – 1st October will be UAT phases with client
  • Allow for scope additions in Phase 4 & Phase 5
  • Go Live! Release product to real clients from 16th October onwards

Software Requirements

Web Application

  • Netbeans 6.9 IDE
  • Apache Tomcat 6.0
  • Microsoft Powerpoint 2007


  • MySql Server 5.1

Excel Application

  • Microsoft Excel 2007

UAT Plans and Goals

Test Plan Media:UAT_TestPlan.docx

  • Provide User Guide
  • Provide Marking Sheet:
    • Flaws are segregated into Design , Functionality, Performance
    • Severity of flaws are allocated into 3 levels:
      • Poor
      • Very Poor
      • Severe

Compiled UAT Document Media:Compiled_UAT.pdf‎

  • Compiled UAT Document which contains a detailed UAT Test Plan for each UAT


1st UAT:

  • To ensure that all functionalities from the main project requirements are working flawlessly
  • To ensure that CSS designs are clear and conforms to Lodestone’s corporate standards (ie. logo placements, font sizes, table sizes,etc)

2nd UAT:

  • To ensure that flaws in 1st UAT have been improved upon
  • To ensure that all functionalities from the main project requirements are working flawlessly in the new server environment (Web Host)
  • To ensure that CSS designs are improved upon to reflect Lodestone’s professionalism

Final UAT:

  • To ensure that flaws in 2nd UAT have been corrected
  • To ensure that UI designs exceed client’s expectations
  • To ensure that system’s performance is optimum
  • To ensure that all system bugs have been eradicated.



  • Bug Metric
    • Counts the number of bugs during development
    • Bugs – Assigned to a category (red / amber / yellow) each category carrying a certain weight age
    • Bug weight age at the end of each phase determines quality of development during this cycle.
    • Ascertains quality and consistency of development
    • Media:Bug Metrics.xlsx


  • Risk Metric
    • To develop risk mitigation strategies by defining risks continually
    • impact of risk * probability
    • Types of Risk – High / Medium / Low

Project Risks

Risk Impact Assessment

For each risk identified, assess the risk event in terms of likelihood of occurrence (Risk Probability) and its effect on project objectives if the risk event occurs (Risk Severity = Impact Score). This information will be used to prioritize the risk using established threshold criteria

Risk Impact Assessment.jpg

Risk Score

Risk Scores.jpg

Risk Prioritization

Risk Prioritization.jpg

Highest Priority Risks (red)

Risk Response Planning – For each risk in the Risk Response Plan :

1. Determine the options and actions to reduce the likelihood or consequences of impact to the project’s objectives (Mitigation Strategy)

2. Determine the response based on a cost/benefit analysis (cost vs. expected effectiveness)

3. Describe the Signs and Symptoms that may be indicators of Risk Event occurrence

4. Describe the actions to be taken when the risk event occurs (contingency plan)

5. Assign responsibilities for each agreed-upon response

6. Assign a “due date” where risk responses are time-sensitive

Our team has identified certain risks that are present within the scope of this project :

Users (clients) not comfortable with project UI UAT shows negative comments on UI.

Team members not satisfied with UI.

Constant communication with client.

UAT feedback incorporated.

Design expectations clarified in Phase 1.

Keep buffer time at the end of each iteration and at the end of UATs.

Muhammad Bin Alamgir
Overestimate Person Hours (resource limitations) Efficiency Matrix score drops for phase.

Functionalities overshoot allocated time.

Efficient resource allocation in project schedule.

Keep buffer time at end.

Team members’ strengths identified early.

Constant communication to balance workload between team members.

Monitor efficiency of each team member.

Varun Saraf
External server deployment issues Deployment takes more than planned allocated time. Deploy early to third party server to give team members more time to deal with possible issues.

All team members should upgrade knowledge about project deployment issues.

Tauhid Bin Abddul Jalil
Revisions in project scope, additional functionalities introduced Client introduces a major new functionality after Phase 2 (design and planning stage). A minimum of 5 major Phases with buffer and integration time after each phase.

A minimum of 5 UAT cycles to incorporate user feedback.

Constant interaction with client and supervisor to preempt any changes.

Raghav Nandan Poddar
Technological knowledge gap slows project development Efficiency Matrix score drops for phase.

Functionalities overshoot allocated time.

Consult supervisors about skills the team should acquire to complete the project on time.

Team should identify technologies to be used and upgrade skills as necessary.

Raghav Nandnan Poddar

Team Goals & Objective


Create a web application which allows clients to answer pre determined questions for different domains
Based on the answers, reports are generated to judge a client against industry benchmarks


  1. Be nominated for Best Project award
  2. Develop a value added application for our client

Project Manager Reports

Phase 3





Phase 4


Phase 5


Phase 6


Phase 7


Learning Outcomes

Individual Learning Outcomes

  • Please click on the images to view the individual learning points:

MnT.jpg RnV.jpg

Overall Project Learning Outcomes


LearningOutcomes Cobra.jpg

Deployment Manuals

User Manual

Developers' Manual

Presentation Slides