IS480 Team wiki: 2012T2 box.us Final

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Final Presentation Slides: coming soon

Deployed Site: Empact ACT

Demonstration Site: Empact ACT(Staging)

Initial Proposal: Proposal

What Is This Project About?


Check out our 1 min ++ video pitch to find out what this project is about at Youtube

Project Highlights:

Managing the Great Amount of Issues being Highlighted during Deployment

  • Ranked the Issues based on their Priority
    • Low Priority: Minor UI suggestions and issues
    • Medium Priority: UI suggestions that changes the understanding of the system
    • High Priority: Usability Catastrophe or Software Bugs
  • Discussed with client what were the focuses

Volunteers did not find language in the system friendly

  • Re-worded the language to make it more volunteer friendly, together with the client
  • Re-worked the design of the dashboard and menu bar
    • Adjusting language to make it more suitable for volunteers
    • Added a background
  • Changes were only limited to volunteer view as Empact preferred the more operational terms

Addition of 2 functionalities

  • 2 functionalities were: Exporting of Task and Volunteer information & Question Notification Turn On/Off Option
  • Exporting of Task and Volunteer Information: Iteration 11
  • Notification Turn On/Off: Iteration 12

Project Challenges:

Gathering Requirements from Empact

  • No defined business processes: New company that did not have a formal set of business process
  • No IT expert: Did not have an IT expert to help them identify the needs in the system

How we Managed

  • Paper prototyping: Initial paper prototyping
  • Showing the developed functionalities at every client meeting
  • Gathering volunteer feedback through User Testings
  • Deployment Testing

Dealing with Changes
The risk of gathering feedback after the system has been developed is running the risk of it being entirely misaligned with Empact's business model. Cost of changing at the later part becomes higher also. However, it was necessary for the team to be able to accommodate to changes to build a system that Empact would really find value in.
How we Managed

  • Decision Factors: Change Management Plan
  • Issue Tracking List helped us to track smaller issues and changes that were raised along the way
  • Prioritizing the Issues raised
  • Discussion based on how much value and how important would it be for Empact

Project Scope:

Boxus FinalsScope.png

Change Change Description


  • Notification Turn On/Off

Project Schedule (Plan Vs Actual):

Boxus PlanVsActual.png

Project Metrics:


Boxus BugMetricsFinals.png

Iteration Bug Score Any Actions Taken
11 31

Increase in Bug Score due to bugs that were recorded from User Testing 2

  • 2 days allocated to fix bugs from User Testing 2
12 16

New features of the system(Statistics, Dashboard and Notifications) were being released

  • Allow Empact to have a full picture of the entire system for testing
  • Resulted in an overall increase in bugs being reported
  • Scheduled additional time during bug fixing to fix up bugs within the system
  • All bugs were fixed by the end of the iteration
13 58

More thorough testing was being performed for the UAT

  • Resulted in an overall increase in bugs being reported
  • Scheduled additional time during bug fixing to fix up bugs within the system
  • All bugs were fixed by the end of the iteration


Boxus Schedulemetricsfinals.png

Handing Over

Take a look at our Handing Over Plan: Handing Over Plan on Google Docs
We followed a methodical process to get the handing over completed. Our handing over plan spelt out the key information for the team and Empact to foresee and plan what would be happening in the final few iterations as we covered the remaining parts of the project. The entire phase consists of:

  • Deployment Testing
  • User Acceptance Testing
  • Technical Understudy

Deployment Testing

We release 4 versions of the system on the live environment before going entering the User Acceptance Test. Our purpose for deployment testing was to determine what are the issues that would arise from using the application in the actual conditions in varied browsers and system settings. Additionally, we also collected suggestions from the users in order to make further improvements to the application. In deploying the application, we followed the following process:

Deployment Plan

Date Description Features Released


Release 0.1

  • Task Management
  • User Management
  • Questions
  • Feedback Form
  • Dashboard(NPO)


Release 0.2

  • Task Management
  • User Management(partial)
  • Questions
  • Dashboard
  • Statistics
  • Improvements from Release 0.1


Release 0.3

  • Task Management
  • User Management(partial)
  • Questions
  • Notifications
  • Improvements from Release 0.2


Release 0.4

  • All features released
  • Improvements from Release 0.3


Release 0.5

  • Final version for Final Verification
  • Improvements from Release 0.4

User Acceptance Test

We conducted our User Acceptance Test on 05/04/2013 at the Empact office. A final verification was made concerning all the issues and defects that were being raised during the UAT. The final verification of all the functionalities were done on the following week at 12/04/2013.

  • Instructions Scripts:We conducted the UAT by going through the business processes that the system would address and followed by the remaining functionalities. This also helps Empact to better visualize how the system has met their business requirements.
  • Test Cases: We simulated 3 stakeholders in doing up the test cases.
  • Test Cases (5 April 2013):
  1. Test Cases - NPO
  2. Test Cases - Volunteer
  3. Test Cases - Empact
  • Test Cases (12 April 2013):
  1. Test Cases for UAT final verificiation
  • Scenario-based Instructions and Exceptional cases
  1. Registration
  2. Task
  3. Question
  4. Exceptional Cases
Version 2

Managing Defects

UAT Defect Lifecycle
  • Note: BA refers to the facilitators in the UAT test
  • All defects are highlighted onto a separate issue list.
  • The list is collated and sent to Empact to prioritise based on issues.
  • Bugs are fixed immediately

Recording Issues
Issues are recorded in a separate issue list on Google Docs

Technical Understudy

  • We conducted a technical understudy with Empact's technical understudy (Sophie) and our client (Peter Yang)
  • Lesson Plan: Lesson Plan on Google Docs
Session 1 Session 2
29 Mar 2013, 1600hrs-1800hrs 12 Apr 2013, 1930hrs-2145hrs
Session Contents:
  • Application Structure
  • Database Structure
  • Flow of Login/Logout Process
Session Contents:
  • Code walkthrough of Specific Scenarios that Empact requested
  • Question and Answer
  • Clarification on Session 1

Handing Over Day

Handover Day

Project Deliverables:

Stage Specification Modules
Project Management Minutes Meeting Minutes
Metrics Bug metrics, Schedule
Iteration Reports Iteration Reports
Milestones Milestones List
Issue Tracking Issues List
Requirements Paper Prototypes Paper Prototypes
Analysis Use case Use Case Diagram
Business Process Diagram Process Diagrams
Screen Shots All Screenshots
Design ERD Diagrams V1,V2,V3,V4,V5
System Architecture System Architecture Diagram
Usability Testing User Testing 1 Test Plans Test Plans used
User Testing 2 Test Plans Test Plans used
Heuristic Evaluation User Scenarios User Scenarios used
Software Testing Integration Testing Integration Testings
Deployment Testing Deployment Testing
Handover User Manuals
Design and Technical Specifications
Deployment Diagram instructions

User Testing 2

User Test 1

We conducted our 2nd user testing to try out our newly added features and at to see how users would respond to them.

Interesting Findings

  1. Users thought changing email and password is inside profile

Actions Taken

  1. Success Messages to be more descriptive
  2. Clearer images used for buttons
  3. Login button to be near the sign up button

Check out our User Testing 2 wiki

Deployment Testing:

Release 0.1
Key Changes

Feedback Collected

Release 0.2
Key Changes

Feedback Collected

Release 0.3
Key Changes

Feedback Collected

Release 0.4
Key Changes

Feedback Collected

Release 0.5
Key Changes

Feedback Collected


User Testing Integration Testing Deployment Testing
Objective: To collect feedback concerning usability of our application Objective: To test the quality of our application Objective: To collect feedback when application is being used in live environments
When: User Testing 1, User Testing 2 When: At the end of every iteration When: Before the start of every deployment
How: Volunteers, NPOs and Empact staff would follow a given User Test cases How: Following the integration test plan. Perform regression testing of all the functionalities How: Following the integration test plan.

Team Reflection:

  • Managing client expectations
  • Learning to collaborate more effectively in a team
  • Leveraging one another's strength and weaknesses
  • Being a good team player within the team
  • Learning to have fun as a team!
  • Our IS modules have helped to prepare us for the demands of an IT project

Individual Reflection:

As I review through my initial learning outcomes that I set out to learn, I felt that I have managed to meet these outcomes in the following way:

  • Motivating IT Project teams: Bringing together people from different walks of life together to work on an IT project has sharpened my skills in handling with people and being more cognisant of people management issues and how to deal with group cultures and team norms
  • Evaluating IT project ideas: FYP has taught me how to be aware of what are the current issues facing IT projects. It has taught me how to evaluate these and adopt a T-model by being able to think about what are the broad issues that are going to affect IT decisions and what are the deep issues that are specific to the issue being raised.
  • Time Management Skills: FYP has taught me to be aware of the time that I spend managing the team, managing my own workload within the team and juggling my workload with my other modules that I was taking in school.
  • Client Negotiation skills: I was able to apply the negotiation skills that I learnt from a module to achieve integrative outcomes for the client and the team, and what are the tactics that are readily available to deal with such situations.
  • Applied Project Management Skills: The FYP experience has been an extension of what I have learnt in Software Engineering and I was able to refine my skills in scope management, schedule management and further extend the practicality of metrics being used within a project.

I started with a very simple learning outcomes - to learn life skills that were above and beyond exams/textbook as well as to apply what my education in SMU has taught me so far.
In my opinion, i have achieved that. However, the most valuable lesson for me was learning to deal with changes. In SMU, all our projects has a clear defined scope that stays constant from beginning till the end. But through this FYP, changes was probably the only constant (on top of dedicated team mates who were always there to go through each storm). Managing never ending changes was certainly not just about a "can or cannot" mindset. It really required me to understand the fundamental reasoning behind the changes requested and understanding it from a business view point.
With regards to my education, in a bigger picture, I have been able to apply the following

  • Understanding and improving business processes: i was able to leverage on the knowledge I've acquired in Process Modelling and Solution Blueprinting (PMSB) to help out in understanding the business process of our client. In addition, I was able to give opinions on how the process could be more efficient.
  • Understanding how IT and business value - As I had just completed Advanced Information Systems Management (AISM) I was able to apply the concepts of how IT can be an enabler and contribute in adding business value to an organisation.
  • Presentation skills - In Management Communication (MC) we were taught how clear communication is essential be it verbal or presentation. I was able to apply skills I learnt from that module when communicating with clients, team mates or presentation.

Wai Mun
As this FYP is coming to an end, these are the few learning points that i am taking it away:

  • Time managment : Time management is very important as usually FYP work takes up a bulk of my time. Hence, it is very important for me to plan my time well for my other activities and my studies.
  • Usability learning journey : My usability learning journey is interesting and exciting as i get to know more knowledge on usability through Interaction Design and Prototyping. It is definitely a good module to take as it complements very well with FYP.

At the start, I envisioned that IS480 is a platform that will validate my IS education and sum up my journey as an IS student. Boy! I got more than what I expected and was overwhelmed by the entire journey. IS480 does not only validate my IS education; it has shown me that what I have learnt in school is just a mere reflection of what the ‘real’ world is expected from an IS business enabler. In school, we often complain and whine about the ambiguity of project/assignment requirements and the number of changes our professors/instructors love to put us through. During this project, we encountered changes from the start until the end of the project. Each change comes with its own challenges and complexity and often, it derailed us from our original plan and required some rework. I have learnt to be more appreciative of what my school has prepared and put me through. Yeow Leong has always emphasized on “Managing your client” and I finally understood why he tries to push this point across badly in classes. From this project, I have several takeaways:

  • Never stop learning: Initially, I thought I had the necessary skills and knowledge to handle this project. Instead, this project has given me a wakeup call. Every stage of this project, there are many challenges that were beyond my current capabilities and require me to push myself to learn more in order to meet our client’s requirements.
  • Understanding business requirements: In any project, it is important to understand and clarify all the project requirements from your client and translate the solution properly in terms which the client can understand. At times, there were some misunderstanding about requirements and often led to disagreements and compromises. When communicating with clients, it is important to understand their needs and their understanding of their requirements. Often, clients do not know what they really want but they will know what they don’t want. Hence, it is important to ask the right questions and uncover all ambiguity.
  • Team Dynamics: Team dynamics is the key to the success of this project and knowing my teammates is the best way to cultivate team dynamics. It is much easier to work and communicate with others once you get to know them personally and their working patterns. In addition, it will also result in lesser instance of conflict during project.

Boon Kheng
I think the IS480 project is a great experience for me as it is my first time implementing such a big solution in a team. Other than technical skills, I’ve seen how an organization like Empact progress together with the project, it seems like both the sponsor and the team work closely together to achieve goals for both parties.
I find that this is a great collaboration as both the sponsor and us are sharing knowledge with each other, after this project, I get to know more about how a social enterprise operates and also, the sponsor Peter did feedback that he learnt a lot of technical knowledge through the project.
I am also able to apply subjects that we‘ve learnt during curriculum put in use, such as project and process management and also see how case studies issues being showcase in real scenarios.

As FYP as come to the end, I didnt expect to have learn so much by now. Initially I was expecting to learn more and hone my technical skills, and to learn to take on a big project in a bigger group. Not only did I achieved what I was set out for, but I'm able to see clearly how applicable IS480 is in the real world and how I can apply what I've learnt in school to this project. My other takeaways will be: managing expectations of the clients, taking feedback for usability improvements, setting priorities, and time management. Through this FYP period, I've also see the importance of managing client relationship and to educate them on their needs and wants, and also what actually can be done so they can understand better. Last but not least, I'm able to experience the full SDLC of a project and it will be greatly useful for future real-life projects.