IS480 Team wiki: 2012T1 Team Gratitude Project Overview Project Description

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En Community Services Society (ECSS) is a non-profit organisation that serves as a platform to engage, broadcast and inform the public on community projects and activities for families and youths. Founded on 11th March 2003, its vision is to enable and transform individuals to care for the community. It organises activities and social assistance schemes annually, by partnering with the resident committees, schools and various organisations, to help the less fortunate. Currently, it has up to 200 registered volunteers with its organisation.

In recent years, ECSS has seen a tremendous increase in the number of volunteers and organised events. Therefore, in order to manage all the information efficiently for its management to make strategic decisions, ECSS proposed a web-based information management system project to a group of final year students, Team Gratitude, at the Singapore Management University (SMU). This project was chosen as a final year project (FYP) because its scope matches the minimum requirements of a FYP and its skill sets required were available in the group.

Project Description

A family-based community service social platform for youth, volunteers and parents to actively engage with one another, broadcasting local and overseas community service projects and initiatives, and creating public awareness in various aspects such as community and social work, and parenting.

It is a management information system which allows various stakeholders such as the management with data analytics tools for organizing, evaluating and efficiently running their departments. Management can gain a comprehensive visibility of available resources in the organization, making strategic and right decisions in areas such as planning and resource allocation. It also helps to analyze operational activities in the organization, streamline and automate various manual processes such as volunteer recruitment and evaluation, and stakeholder relationship management, enhancing work efficiency.

Project Objectives

The objective of this project is to develop a web-based information management system that is able to help the management manage its resources more efficiently. The system will include a volunteer management subsystem, schedule management subsystem, testimonial and article management subsystem, online donation subsystem, online forum, media sharing platform and data analytic tool for report generation. Some parts of the information management system will be accessible to the public while others will only be accessible to the administrative staff.

Through the implementation of ECSS web-based information management system, ECSS will be able to improve resource utilization by 50% by providing real-time information on available resources to the management to enable them to make strategic decisions within an hour, decrease the time taken for volunteer registration from 30 minutes to 10 minutes and strengthen the volunteer ties by establishing an online forum where like-minded individuals are able to share their opinions freely at their convenience. This system is to be completed by 7th December 2012.

Main Project Success Criteria

  • The system must meet all written specifications, functional and non-functional requirements, be thoroughly tested and completed on time.
  • The system must be user-friendly so that the users will be able to learn and adapt quickly.
  • The most critical constraint of this project is time and must be completed by 7th December 2012. At the same time, none of the other quadruples constraints: Scope and Quality can be sacrificed.
  • ECSS Honorary Executive Director will formally approve the project with advice from other key stakeholders.


  • Develop a work breakdown structure to detail the work required to complete the system design and development.
  • Hold weekly progress review meetings with the project sponsor and/or user(s) every Friday by phone or physical meet up.
  • Develop a Risk Management Plan to manage all stakeholders’ risks.
  • Review current organizational policies that affect the administrative processes of the department.
  • Determine which requirements are mandatory and required of the system to perform through careful scoping.
  • Contact project sponsor by phone or email whenever requirements, assumptions or the organization’s business processes are unclear.
  • Obtain user acceptance on system user interface design before developing the system.
  • Integrate and test every module to system after completion
  • Perform system testing with a set of dummy data to protect privacy of client’s data.
  • Update and review on system functionalities and project progress to project sponsor after each iteration and milestone
  • Ensure comprehensiveness of end-user training.
  • Perform at least two user testing before the handover of system.

Root Cause Issues and Problems

1) Difficult to consolidate employees' schedule

Problem description: One of the key issues is that it is difficult to consolidate each employee's schedule into a consolidated schedule. Currently, this is done manually whereby one of the employees sends out an email to all employees, asking them for their individual schedule. After which, each individual will send his or her schedule in different formats such as outlook calendar, google calendar, microsoft word document, or excel. Subsequently, the individual has to open up each individual's schedule and compile into the consolidated document. Out of a sudden, some of the employees realized that either they have sent the old schedule or there are changes to the schedule and resends an email with their updated schedule. The poor individual that is compiling every employee's schedule has to return to make changes.

Solution: Our proposed solution will be to develop a platform for this employee to enter their individual schedule into the system. The system will be real-time and information will be consistently updated and all employees are able to view the consolidated calendar. This serves to aid the big boss, executive director, Carol, to efficiently plan and make better business decisions.

Business Impact: Reduce the manual consolidating of each employee's schedule and reduce probability of error propagation

2) Project volunteer recruitment and evaluation process is manual and paper-based

Problem description: Currently, if volunteers are interested to join a community service project, they only hear it through word of mouth or emails from the organization/friends. After choosing on a particular community service project, the volunteer is only able to sign up via email or by going down to ECSS to register for the project. Moreover, the employee responsible for the particular project has to sort out different volunteers’ information. The volunteers’ information is either paper-based or stored in different document formats and the employee finds it difficult to manage, liaise, and search for volunteers’ details.

Solution: Automate the project volunteer recruitment and evaluation process. This helps in the long-term in enhancing operational efficiency by reducing time and effort spent in filtering, selecting, and managing volunteers and their information.

Business Impact: Reduce the manual searching of volunteers' details, reduce probability of error propagation, and allow volunteers to register community service projects online in an accessible and convenient manner.

3) Only crossed cheque donations

Problem description: Currently, the organization only accepts crossed cheque donations to their address which is cumbersome and inconvenient.

Solution: Value-add by developing an online payment system for donors to make donations easily. This allows accessibility for donors and is a much convenient form of making donations via the Internet.

Business Impact: Allows convenience and easy accessibility for individuals to make donations.

4) No platform to manage and share resources

Problem description: ECSS employees face difficulties in sharing photos and videos with the public. Although there are many pictures and videos taken from different events and community service projects, there is no common platform to manage and share these pictures and videos with the public. Moreover, it is difficult for ECSS employees to search for the pictures and videos as the pictures and videos are stored in different photo albums and located in different avenues such as different people's laptops, thumbdrives, or hard disks. Sometimes, there are several files such as the organization's financial report that ECSS would like to share with the public. This allows better visibility of their finances.

Solution: Create a platform for ECSS employees to manage, share, and archive their resources such as videos, pictures and files.

Business Impact: Allows employees to manage, share, search and archive their resources more effectively. Increased efficiency and enhanced information sharing.

5) Lack of communication among people such as volunteers, parents and staff

Problem description: There is no common medium for people of similar interests to communicate and share opinions with one another. People with enquiries can only use the contact form to leave their enquiries. Individuals that participate in similar community service projects would like to learn new ideas and refine the past ideas from one another so that they could learn from the past projects. Moreover, people would like to make new friends and network with one another. This could also help ECSS to maintain relationship with volunteers.

Solution: Create an online forum platform for like-minded people to communicate with one another

Business Impact: Increased awareness and knowledge among people of different groups. Online forum aids members of existing groups such as youth and parenting. These individuals become more intone with those interests, find similar minded people and better interact with those around them. For example, parents can come together and share parenting information with one another.

Key Project Milestones (Planned)

Date Milestones
21st May 2012 Confirmation of system requirements
26th June 2012 Completion of system design
22nd July 2012 Completion of Iteration 1
  1. Account Registration and Login module, and
  2. Newsfeed Dashboard module
19th August 2012 Completion of Iteration 2
  1. Event and Project Posting module
  2. Volunteer and Participant Recruitment and Evaluation module, and
  3. Article, Testimonial and Information Posting module
30th August 2012 Completion of Iteration 3
  1. Schedule Management module, and
  2. Online Donation module
15th September 2012 Conduct user testing
9th October 2012 Completion of Iteration 4
  1. Online Forum module, and
  2. Search module
21st October 2012 Completion of Iteration 5
  1. Data Analytics module, and
  2. Resource Sharing and Management module
1st November 2012 Conduct final user testing
7th December 2012 Handover of system


Schedule/Calendar Management - Users are able to view their personal calendar. ECSS employees are able to enter, edit, or delete their individual schedule to a common calendar for easy consolidation of work schedule to facilitate better decision making for the executive director. They are also able to edit their individual schedule using the drag-and-drop feature.

Data Analytics - One of the features is that there is a Google maps which shows the availability of location-based service. Administrator is able to specific the radius distance and view the closer community services projects of a certain location.