George Mason University

Cornerstones Unified Database Design Project

SYST 699: Fall 2014


About Our Project

In the Cornerstones Unified Database Design Project (CUDDP), the GMU team completed a systems engineering project to address a problem faced by Cornerstones, a nonprofit organization focused on providing support and advocacy for those in need of human services such as food, shelter, affordable housing, and quality childcare. The main focus of the project was to provide Cornerstones with an alternative way of tracking their clients and the services provided. The legacy system in place consisted of maintaining client records using pen & paper forms, and a variety of electronic spreadsheets. Having multiple repositories for client data made it difficult for Cornerstones to accurately track client information, history, identification, and demographics. Cornerstones uses the client data to report to local governing agencies and to their financial sponsors. Because of the urgent need for an effective system, the GMU team performed a rapid development of a unified database following systems engineering principals.

The GMU team completed the following phases of the systems engineering life cycle – definition, design, integration, test, validation, and operations. A working prototype of the Cornerstones Unified Database was delivered to Cornerstones, and staff was trained in its use. This website provides a description of the completed phases of this project.

Overall, this was a very fulfilling project for each of the GMU Team members. Cornerstones’ mission was one that we valued and we were honored to be able to work on such a meaningful final project. We hope that the unified database we delivered will be useful to Cornerstones, and that the work we captured here will be useful to future teams as they improve upon the database’s capabilities.

Thank you for visiting our page!