Scene: The office of Peter Charles, president of Coastline Systems Consulting. Peter is working at his desk. Anna Kelly knocks on the open door.
Anna: Hey, Boss, do you have a few minutes?
Peter: The door is always open, Anna. Have a seat. What's on your mind?
Anna: I have an idea I'd like to bounce off you. I was talking to Ben the other day. He told me about going out to Fox Motors to check out a problem with their router. When he got there he discovered that the router password he had in his files wasn't right. He had to call back to our office to see if anyone knew what was going on. Turns out Jeff had replaced the router three months ago. Jeff had a record of its configuration, but Ben essentially wasted most of an hour learning what Jeff already knew.
Peter: Ouch. Sad to say, that isn't the first time something like that has happened.
Anna: Well, it got me …show more content…
That increases the complexity of the system.
Peter: Yes, but we should build something that meets our needs. Also, components change over time. We might like to know what components were previously installed on each PC and when they were changed out.
Anna: Anything else the system should do?
Peter: Well, let's think about the example with Ben that you opened with. How did that service call originate? The client called in or e-mailed in with a problem. I'd like to build an Internet application off our home page that would allow clients to submit service requests. Then consultants could enter notes of their work on those requests.
Anna: If we had had that system, Ben might have known the router had been changed out before he got there.
Peter: Right. Plus on ongoing problems, any consultant could access that history and know what not to do. In addition, this would probably save Kathy 5 hours a week in answering service request calls and trying to pass them on to technicians.
Anna: Having service requests on the Internet is a good idea. But we can't have the configuration and component information on the Internet, can …show more content…
I'd also like you to do a Problem Statement Matrix.
Anna: Do we have to do that even when we are requesting our own services? I mean this system is for our own use.
Peter: Yes, we do. We have to justify our allocation of human resources to this project as opposed to projects than generate client billings. How long do you think it will take you to complete the project?
Anna: I wouldn’t know how to begin to estimate it.
Peter: It comes with experience. But you have some experience already from working on your other projects. How does this one compare in terms of complexity of the data?
Anna: My original ideas could have been implemented with a pretty simple data structure. The PC components and the request tracking makes it more complex. I guess it is about twice as complex as the shopping cart application I wrote.
Peter: So where does all that lead you in terms of a ballpark estimate?
Anna: I’ll say six months for now. But that is very rough. I would need to look at it more closely to be