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Inputs are the physical objects or information that goes into a system.

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Introduction

Inputs are the physical objects or information that goes into a system. For example, for a mobile service provider, they sell mobile handsets to compliment their mobile services. The mobile phones which they purchase from the supplier are inputs to the system of the mobile service provider. A customer who wishes to sign up for a mobile plan and purchase mobile handset gives their personal information so that the mobile service providers can bill them. For the mobile service provider, these are inputs from customers to the system. The system of the mobile service provider is as below: Inside the system for providing mobile phone services, there are many subsystems that chain together to make the whole system functioning. For example, The Customer Service department have front desk officers to help answer queries/tackle complaints from customers who walk into the retail shop. They also have a call center that receives calls from customers. All these complaints, suggestions are then channeled into a central database which is available to all the staffs of the company. Commonly asked questions will then be uploaded to the Mobile Service Provider's website by the Customer Service Department so that they are readily available as FAQs on their homepage. From the example, although the Customer Service Department is part of the system to ensure smooth delivery of mobile handsets and mobile services, we can see that it is in fact a system by itself to categorize complains and feedbacks, to channel the required information to the respective departments via the database system and to ensure that commonly asked questions are loaded into the web. If we blow up the Customer Service group (as below), you'll notice that it functions as a system in its own right. ...read more.

Middle

Thus both systems had to be kept running in parallel and subscribers are given means to access the old system via a key stroke in the TUI (Telephone User Interface). Prior preparation was done and the subscribers of the affected service were informed. Although the cutover was successful, we kept both systems as we need to monitor the stability of the system. Operation and Maintenance was taken care by the Operations team. Basically, they monitor the system to make sure it is stable, inform me when the storage is insufficient to support the growing number of subscribers so that I can purchase storage extensions and the required licenses. Regular patches had to be applied to the system to keep it updated especially the anti virus software and firewalls and whenever we discovered bugs that wasn't filtered out by the UAT test in development. The challenges were encountered in the scenario explained in part 1 of the question. Since the project was implemented in phases we can also categorize the challenges as per in the four phases. During the initialization phase, we asked ourselves like how do I improve the competitiveness of the service? How can I make my service stand out? We got our marketing group to pool ideas and improvise them into our system. We had new features that make full use of existing internet facilities that are readily available. Are they sufficient in giving us the edge? We had 7 racks for the old system and we want to reduce it thus the hardware has to be small to save ground area and to be portable. What are major trends in technology that can help us achieve this? ...read more.

Conclusion

On the other hand, I didn't quite agree to the stance of the organization in making the functional requirement framework compulsory. What happens here is that some of the group tends to abuse the framework. The very nature of this framework is for us to gather all the necessary and required information thus as to conceive the functional requirements and the required internal processes to support the service. However, at times, some of the groups tend to give very unreasonable requirements that are not technically possible. For example, Marketing group wanted a 3G video call to drop automatically down to a 2G environment if the receiving party is terminated to a 2G voicemail system. We were not technically capable of that at that time but the Marketing group just wouldn't listen and would not sign off the functional specs. We explained to them that it wasn't technically possible at that point of time but to no avail. We had to get our technical director to step in order to get the project rolling. Such cases though few still impacts us as projects are sometime delayed because of such a scenario. The eight elements can be seen as per in the diagram attached below. Customers are the ones who use the service. Ultimately, they are the ones who determine if the Business is actually successful. In this scenario, they are the students who will register for class. Products and services is what the Business Process does to produce. They are the services that are sought by the customer and directly impact the way the customer feels about the organization. Actual placement in a class is the service required by the students. Information on the class are also services sought by the students. Business Process is the driving force of the services provided here. ...read more.

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