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Agile Software Development: Objectives, Features, Role of Teams and Customers, and Commercial Risks

Overview of Agile Development

For this question you should assume the role of a systems engineer in a small software company. Your managing director asks you to write a brief account of agile softwaredevelopment. This will involve you in some research, probably using the Internet.

A description of agile development, its objectives and main features.

The role of teams and meetings

The role of the customer

An assessment of the commercial risks in moving to agile methodology within this sort of software company. (You may base your answer on a generic company,

(a) This part is based on the Penguin Maintenance Ltd scenario in the appendix.Suppose that you are a software requirements engineer retained by Penguin Maintenance Ltd to advise on the feasibility of the automating their systems. Make a list of the possible events (or risks) that might cause the system to fail (see Topic 2 Sections 5 & 6, and Topic 3 Section 9). For each risk describe what might be done to avoid the event or mitigate its impact.

b) Explain how the Boehm Spiral representation of a project is used as a risk management tool, and how it might apply to the design and implementation of a system for the Penguin Maintenance Ltd

This question is based on the Penguin Maintenance Ltd scenario in the appendix.You are a software requirements engineer retained by Penguin Maintenance Ltd to advise on the feasibility of the system and to define its detailed requirements. Produce a skeleton project plan for this activity. This should identify:

The issues to be investigated when considering feasibility

The techniques you would employ for information gathering

The sequence of stages or activities in the project (a timed schedule is not required and you may answer with a simple list of activities).

Who would be involved in each activity

The output(s) of the project

An initial report on feasibility

Penguin Maintenance Ltd provide an emergency call out service for domestic and commercial heating and hot water systems. They cover a wide range of products and have a stated target of fixing 90% of problems within 24 hours and 99% within 48 hours. The engineers do their best to ensure they have the relevant tools and parts to fix the problems they have been called out for. Customers telephone the help line which is staffed by reception staff who use a questionnaire and an operations manual to discover and record in a job sheet:x The address and contact number of the client

The degree of urgency

The type of equipment

The reported fault

The specialist parts and tools most likely to be needed

The type of engineer needed

An initial estimate of the repair time The jobs are allocated to engineers by a logistics officer who provides each engineer with a daily job list and a list of parts likely to be needed for them. Each engineer starts the day by checking the van contains the standard kit and all the likely parts mentioned in the job list. advice. The company employ senior engineers who are available to give advice by telephone or, in rare cases, to join the engineer on site. Engineers have dedicated mobile phones with multiple SIMS so they can phone a senior engineer whenever they
need advice. If the job cannot be completed that day the engineer phones in the reasons.

The company wish to automate as much of this system as possible, in particular they would like to reduce the costs of maintaining the current level of reception staff and senior engineers. You are asked to investigate the feasibility of building a system which involves customers completing a web based questionnaire. So far as possible the system should undertake the same kind of analysis as the reception staff and produce the same kind of job sheets. It should notify the customer (by email) of the day and approximate time of the visit.

The system should also include a restricted access web page which engineers can use to view specifications and drawings, and which links to a  system that can beinterrogated for diagnostic and repair advice related to a specific fault or repair. The company would like you to report in  detail on the feasibility of the proposal andprovide outline plans for a detailed analysis of system requirements 

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