Cornerstones Unified Database Design Project
SYST 699: Fall 2014
the large scope of this project, the ambitious goal of completing a
full systems-engineering life cycle, and the tight schedule of a single
semester, our team decided to dedicate the first two weeks of the
project to developing a project plan. Additionally, our team consisted
of two distance-learning students and one in-class student, so having a
defined plan of work, with established roles and responsibilities, was
extremely important. A formal Project Plan document was delivered as a
class assignment and to our customer. The highlights from this plan are
presented in the sub-sections below.
first step of planning involved identifying a high level definition of
the system’s capabilities so that the work could be logically
decomposed into manageable portions. Keeping the envisioned system in
mind, the following Capabilities Roadmap figure was created.
identified the capabilities that needed to be captured to create the
unified database of the envisioned system. The capabilities shown in
the figure above are defined as:
“Data collection” – One needed to identify the data collected on both
the pen and paper intake forms as well as the data that was input to
each of the spreadsheets. From this analysis, one could determine
a single intake form.
“Data identified” – A method needed to be determined that would
guarantee the unique identity of each client. In addition, the entire
collection of data that would be input into the data base needed to be
identified together with the output expected to be generated for the
normal reports with the expectation that other reports would be
generated on an as-needed basis from queries to the database.
“Unified Database designed and implemented” – The design of the unified
database needs to support all required functionality, as well as be
flexible enough to adapt to future needs. The database must be
implemented so that Cornerstones staff can use it for all current
“Unified Database deployed” – The unified database must be deployed to
the Cornerstones program locations so that it is accessible to all
Cornerstones staff at all program locations and offices.
- 5. “Import/export” – Existing client data needs to be migrated to the Unified Database.
“Entry forms” – Electronic forms must be designed and implemented so
that Cornerstones staff can use them at program sites to directly enter
client data into the Unified Database.
“Reports” – Custom reports must be designed and tested to enhance
Cornerstones’ ability to track their clients, measure volume of
services provided, discover trends, and capture performance metrics.
Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) was created and used by the team as a
project management tool. It provided our team with a high-level
schedule to follow for the semester. In addition, a Work Breakdown
Structure (WBS) was developed to identify all of the work items to be
completed within each phase of the project. These tools allowed us to
assign a team member as the lead for each activity. We also used this
tool during our weekly team meetings to gauge the status of our
progress against our schedule. A view of these items is presented below:
team developed two sets of milestones for this project. The first set
of milestones were class deliverables such as presentations, documents,
status reports, meetings with the professor, and the final project
presentation. The second set of milestones were directly related to the
development of the final product for Cornerstones. These milestones
included major deliverables to our customer, such as a project plan,
requirements document, design document, integration and test goals,
etc. These milestones closely followed our major phases of the systems
engineering process. These milestones are listed below:
• Develop Project Plan
• Collect Data
• Capture Originating Requirements
• Develop Requirements
• Identify Data
• Identify Reports
• Develop Unified Database Design
• Develop Test Database
• Integrate, Test, and Validate
• Customer Handoff
Meetings and Status ReportingThroughout
the semester, our team utilized four types of scheduled meetings to
communicate with each other, our customer, and the professor.
Roles & ResponsibilitiesThe
roles and responsibilities of the GMU Team members were captured in the
Project Plan. In addition, the Integrated Master Plan (IMS) and Work
Breakdown Structure (WBS) show the assigned team member for each task.
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