As a team we learnt the following:
Project management skills – We learnt how to plan and adjust our schedules to meet with the change in business requirements, we learnt to mitigate risks and the use of metrics to improve the quality of our work and 3 UATs to constantly make the system more user-friendly.
We also learnt how work with constraints, putting our skills and knowledge into use to overcome and improve unforeseen situations such as change in requirements during the project development phase.
Communication skills - We learnt how to manage client’s expectations, communicate well within the team, and demonstrate our learning process, challenges and how we overcame them to our supervisor.
IT Architecture, design and development skills - We learnt the skills needed to develop a new project by learning how to design the architecture of our databases and user interface to meet the current needs of our sponsor and also allowing for future expansion and scalability.
The journey I have walked thus far for IS480 has been a rewarding and enriching experience despite drowning in cups of coffee and many sleepless nights.
From this project, I have learnt a new skill set – mobile application development using PhoneGap and this have steer my interest towards this area greatly. The development would not be as smooth if the fundamental was not covered in our early years. Both the business and IT modules in SMU (like Architectural Analysis, Software Engineering, Managerial Decision Making and etc) I took previously came handy and I was able to put theory into practice.
Apart from the hard skills, the soft skills were also important. In my opinion, “Communication” was probably the most important soft skills I have honed. Proper communication helps to facilitate the project and reduce friction and misinterpretation between stakeholders.
Chuen Full's Reflection
As the Technical Lead, I have improved on my technical skills and also learnt to pass the knowledge to my team members. Also, usability is very important when it comes to a real product, which is what I have gathered from all the UATs.
Everything has a start has an end. Our journey in FYP has reluctantly come to an end. Through these 36 weeks or so, I have learnt so much from my fellow team mates and had truly enjoyed myself working as a team. Although it was not smooth sailing as we thought it would be, we learnt from our mistakes and grew even stronger at the end of it. Performing miracles had become part and parcel of project but these miracles have also proven that nothing is impossible. FYP has been a memorable module for me and definitely a rewarding one. The friendship forged and saccharine memories will be forever.
FYP has indeed been a tough but rewarding journey; it has equipped me with a better skill set and also enabled me to forge deeper friendships among my team mates.
I have learnt about the importance of communication, in our team and with our sponsor/client. Good communication is essential in ensuring that we are able to deliver according to the requirements gathered from the sponsor and to be reassured that we are on the right track. Constant update to the sponsor/supervisor to let them know our current progress is vital.
In addition, time management is crucial and we must strictly adhere to the schedule and disciplined project management is very important. Many of us are juggling between the workload from other modules as well, however, we must ensure that we still deliver on time and meet the required milestones and deadlines.
To sum up, IS480 really grilled us and the challenges that we faced really made us rise beyond our limit, in addition to mirroring the real life in the working world.
As FYP is coming to an end, it has been a fruitful journey and wonderful learning experience for me. I realized that Peer-to-Peer learning and having really helpful team mates in letting me learn both soft and hard skills from them.
Through this project, I have learnt to work within the given timelines, effective communication and task prioritization. Through FYP, it has given me more time and chance to strengthen the bond and friendships made with my team mates, and I am thankful for the experience. IS480 project has truly been a useful and unforgettable experience to put the technical expertise that I have learnt in SMU into practice.
Our FYP journey is coming to an end and I’m really grateful to be able to come this far. It is a fruitful experience to work with my team mates, our supervisor and our clients. Throughout this journey in IS480, this project enables me to work with the real client to find out their requirements and needs, thereafter start working on it and also pick up new project development and management skills which could be valuable and essential for my future projects. As a quality assurance manager, I learnt the importance of testing newly coded functions and keeping track of bugs for each development phase, especially when there are many functions involved. Last but not least, my main takeaways of this project are the valuable experiences working with our client and my team mates.
Fulfilling. This is the one word that I would use to describe my journey in IS480.
Although it was 36 weeks, it was an enriching experience to share the same goals and mission with my teammates, supervisor and sponsor.
One of the biggest takeaways from this project was the willingness to be open and transparent. Having a group who is open and transparent to one another will contributes to a more efficient project meeting as doubts and confusion can be clearly communicated to mitigate and avoid unnecessary risks.
Moreover, being able to observe human behavior during our user acceptance test has allowed me to understand how differently a person can react to a same issue. Hence, it is always important to consult and conduct UAT test to identify unwanted “bugs” which we will never find.
Additionally, I have also learnt the importance of analyzing issues as a whole instead of making decision out intuition to prevent displeasing decision that group will regret in the future.
Nevertheless, prioritization and teamwork still remains as the crucial factors of the any successful project. As without properly the prioritization of and team, an unattested end product will be provided, as teams do not have a common goal and vision.
In conclusion, IS480 is a fulfilling and enjoyable journey which had allowed me to develop my interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.
“Technology-enabled learning trails with mobile devices such as iPads are innovative and fun because they supplement blended learning approaches and help students to create meaningful, contextual learning outcomes in relation to pedagogical objectives. They enable students to engage in meaningful, collaborative learning and to tackle existing competency gaps either individually or in a team with the help of their peers. They motivate students to search for knowledge in order to tackle project assignments and support assurance of learning as they appeal to Gen Y’s technological know how and learning culture. I would like to put on record my appreciation for Team redSpot which excelled in developing a novel teaching and learning application with considerable scalability. It was a truly value-added experience to work with this fine group of highly motivated and competent students in close collaboration with Gabriel Yee. I intend to further pilot-test the application in Term 3A (MGMT303) during the exploration of the offshore marine cluster in Singapore (rig business) and in AY12-13 when I will teach MGMT304 again which triggered my interest in this learning trail apps project.” - Prof Thomas Menkhoff
"I think that it adds a significant dimension to help students appreciate, relate and form linkages with the lessons in class and reality. For example, hearing about the issues affecting family businesses in Chinatown is incomparable to the experience of going down to Chinatown, understanding the dynamics of the environment, and interacting with the business owners.
In the same way, the other topics explored by students in the class, like Chinese-ness after death in Bukit Brown or the geomancy behind Chinese architecture, could be made a lot more interesting, engaging and meaningful. Though these trails were not covered by the FYP group, I do believe that their project will definitely add a lot of value for future classes.
In the starting phases of the project, there were frequent meetings to ensure that the scope and feature set of their project was well defined and agreed to by Prof Menkhoff, myself and the team. This definitely met my expectations.
What exceeded my expectations was the quality of the final product. I approached this project with the expectation of it being a proof-of-concept prototype that had a reasonable level of functionality and user experience. However, I’m pleasantly surprised by their quality (in terms of UX and features for both the portal and the app) and with their progress on having it put up onto the Google Play Market and ready to be commercialized. This is what an IS480 project should be like, have clearly defined goals and objectives, and then actively work to exceed them. They’ve put in a lot of work and this is a job very well done." - TA Gabriel Yee