Read and use the following case study to complete the tasks.
Valentinos CASE STUDY
The following information was gained from an interview with Rodolfo, MD of Valentinos, a highly successful “Personal Introductions Agency”. Although they have been very successful and have made major investment in the Internet, they are becoming increasingly worried about their market share and continuing profitability. They have asked you to advise them on their strategy and how they might further use technology. Their current technology was at the cutting edge 10 years ago but a lack of recent investment in this area is beginning to worry their senior management.
There has always been a need for matchmakers throughout history, in all levels of society – Valentinos has successfully filled this role since 1976. There are over eight million single men and women in the UK between the ages of 18 and 64, so it might be thought easy to meet someone special. However, people usually only meet at work or within the confines of their social circle and even though they may have an interesting job and a busy social life, the perfect partner could still be difficult to find.
The quality and integrity of the introduction agency is very important. How established they are, how they will respect privacy and how they will provide value for money. In terms of cost, service and the number of people you can meet, Valentinos claim to provide the best value for money at
£150 for one year’s membership. Carefully selected by Valentinos, these people will already have many things in common. Whether clients are looking for friendship, love, marriage, or just want to get out and meet new people, Valentinos will help start off on the right track.
Most of their new applications come from advertising, which is one of their major outgoings. They advertise in newspapers, magazines and on public transport.
Valentinos have over twenty telephone lines and many qualified personnel and are always ready to talk to clients and offer advice. The Valentinos system has been developed over the years to provide a comprehensive and efficient service. They operate by telephone and post and increasingly by e-mail.
Valentinos unique combination of modern technology coupled with the personal touch has made them the world’s leading and most popular agency of its kind
The Valentinos service is, of course, completely confidential. They apply the strict rules of the Data Protection Act, so a name will never appear on another company’s mailing list. They take great pride in their reputation.
Clients can request as many introductions as required and, for reference, on each provide a copy of the information held about them. Without charge, and at any time, clients can change any of their details or requirements to ensure that they get the most compatible matches.
Valentinos experienced staff are always available to help and advice in any way they can.
If, on any computer list, the client gets fewer than three introductions the next list is without charge. They can ask for just their address, telephone number, or both to be given out, and on each computer run Valentinos will automatically print out the names of the people who have been given their details since the last run.
Valentinos is a computerised matching service, which covers the whole of the UK. To become a member, applicants need to complete a comprehensive questionnaire, which they receive in their initial information pack.
The questionnaire asks a number of questions about the person and also, about the type of person they wish to meet. They are asked to indicate the areas from which they would like their contacts to come.
Once Valentinos have received the completed application form, the details are entered onto computer, which then matches the client with the six most compatible members in the area chosen. It is then up to the client to contact their matches by letter, telephone or email. The proportion of members using the Internet has risen considerably in the last few years, but still 25% of new members don’t have an email address and only 45% choose email as their preferred means of communication. It seems that, in affairs of the heart, Valentino’s members still prefer the personal touch.
Valentino’s normally send the list to the client by post, but some clients now prefer to receive their details by email. If clients wish, their name can be given out to appear on other compatible members’ lists, so they can be contacted in the same way. Clients can request as many lists as they want, over the membership term, until such time as they have met someone.
On a matching run Valentinos send out the names and the contact details of up to six compatible members. Clients can then make contact with them using whichever means they have told us to release. Clients can ask for their matching runs to be e-mailed and can then access the members’ area of the website and get further background information about the members with whom they have been matched. This may include a page written by the members themselves, in which they often include their photographs or links to their homepage elsewhere on the Internet. Their web site is maintained by a third party and is currently information only – matching cannot be done on-line. The members database uses Oracle with an old version of Oracle forms used by Valentino’s staff for maintenance of the data. The matching program (written in C++ with embedded SQL) works well but was written more than 10 years ago by a skilled employee who has now left. Current IT staff struggle to maintain this system, which is poorly documented. A link between the database and the website enables members details to be displayed on the Valentino’s site if they so request it but it can take several days for this to happen.
Valentinos have tried to make the service as flexible as possible:
• clients can define (and easily change) the location of their matches
• clients can control how much information is released to other members
• clients can change those options at any time by accessing their record in the members’ area
• clients can define how they receive contact from us and from other members
• clients can request further names at any time using our secure payment system – remembering that if they get fewer than three names on a matching run the subsequent one is free.
• clients can alter their requirements at any time
• clients can if they wish, include their photograph for other members to see
Statistics show that 93% of the people who join Valentinos are looking for one permanent long- lasting relationship. Since they were established in 1976, their safety record has been excellent. This is perhaps due to the fact that, not only do Valentinos know so much about the members who join, but additionally do not accept members unless they can provide private residential addresses. (i.e., no work addresses, P.O. Box numbers, temporary addresses etc.) . In fact, statistics show that the majority of undesirable incidents occur when people meet through other situations – chance encounters in nightclubs, pubs and parties etc.
Due to the constraints of the Data Protection Act, no dating agency is allowed access to police or local authority records. Even if it were, this would not identify potential first-time offenders. On joining, Valentinos provide a sensible guide on how best to manage the first date – the advice is the sort that mother would give – don’t invite anyone to your home on the first date, don’t accept a lift home, and make your first meeting a brief one, in a public place.
Payment of £150 for one year membership is required on joining; this can be by credit card or cheque. The first list of introductions is generated on joining and this contains up to six introductions. It rarely takes more than five working days to process an application and it is common for the first list of introductions to be sent the day after receiving the questionnaire. Subsequent lists are £5 each and can be requested as required. Valentinos recommend applying for a new computer run every three to four weeks in order to be matched with new members and any members who have returned their details to the active list. With a large database of members, it is usual for members to receive a list of six introductions each time they request a new list, although this depends on an individual’s details and requirements.
On average there are 70,000 applications to join Valentinos each year, coming from all over the UK. The density of membership follows the population patterns of the country as a whole.
Valentino’s members come from all walks of life. From production workers to company directors, the common thread of our members is the lack of opportunity to meet new people, as opposed to the inability to do so. The majority of Valentino’s members fall into professional groups. Most people do not wish to meet a partner at a pub or club, may work in a single sex environment, or simply do not have the spare time to go out and look for someone.
Valentinos wouldn’t be prospering today without regular personal recommendations from members who have met their partners through our service. A great many people are joining Valentinos each day, not only because of the excellent reputation and high standards of customer care, but also because they offer members an introduction agency with the largest number of members, which is fundamental in effective matching.
Valentinos are the foremost introduction agency in the UK and clients really do stand a better chance of meeting the right people through them than with anyone else. Generally, the fees to join other agencies are substantially more. Valentinos have been in business for thirty years, and the reason for success has been the great number of people matched over that time, the largest database of members and the high quality of service.
These all relate to the description of Valentinos given above. This description should not be regarded as complete but can be regarded as accurate (in other words you can expand upon it but your answer should not contradict it). You may want to investigate similar dating agency websites for ideas! Please note that there are no absolutely definitive (or correct) answers to these. You will be assessed on your ability to present the requirements in a clear and logical manner, the way you have addressed the description of the system provided, and the quality of your discussion of the issues arising.
Note that you are required to present requirements and models for the new system at Valentinos – much of the discussion below relates to the current system. Please note that the country is in lockdown due to the COVID situation so take this into consideration when you complete this coursework and discuss how Valentinos can adapt to survive and thrive even under these restrictions.
1. Business Modeling for Valentinos: A Balanced Business Scorecard, Porters 5 Forces Analysis, SWOT analysis, PESTLE Analysis, VUCA storm scale and MEST analysis [15 marks]
Define the Business Realisation plan using a Balanced Business Scorecard. Also Perform a SWOT analysis, PESTLE analysis and Porters 5 forces analysis of Valentinos. Consider the COVID situation and complete a VUCA storm scale and a MEST analysis.
Take into consideration the current COVID lockdown situation and produce a SWOT analysis, PESTLE Analysis, VUCA storm scale, MEST analysis to adapt and survive and even thrive under these disastrous business situations.
2. Develop various Project Initiation Products [10 marks]
You should identify an Information System project and give it a name, that Valentinos need. Develop a Project Vision statement, a Scope diagram (also list the out-of-scope issues), cost benefit analysis (including tangible and intangible benefits) and an investment appraisal which includes a profit loss analysis for 3 years showing the when the Return on Investment is achieved.
3. Produce a Requirements Catalogue and a subsequent Use Case diagram of the required system [10 marks]
This should include the following:
A list of at least 10 high level functional requirements, each characterised by a name, and a priority. Make sure the functional requirements are at the right level of detail and written as ‘verb – noun’ as taught in the module. Produce at li5st 5 non-functional requirements.
Two of these functional requirements should be expanded in more detail using a template as taught in the module to give a full description of the requirement and include any associated non-functional requirements such as those associated with performance, usability, security etc… The Use Case diagram should directly map to the functional requirements.
4. Produce a Class Diagram of the required system [10 marks]
Class Diagram – follow UML standards. For each class include attributes (full set) and operations (samples only) for each association include a name and a multiplicity and any other constraints. In a further A4 page describe any decisions you have made in producing your model: what to include or exclude, a discussion of alternative ways of modelling that you rejected, any clarification of your model, any areas requiring further definition, any assumptions made, and how it relates to the requirements you have defined in part 3.
5. Consider the soft, human stakeholder aspects of this project and use the Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) to develop a Rich Picture, Root Definition, Conceptual Map, stakeholder attitude matrixes [10 marks]
Use a rich picture (one A4 page) to describe the potential problem situation arising from the implementation. Write Root Definitions and Conceptual Activity Model of the System. Carry out stakeholder analysis which includes a Matrix showing the how to prioritise stakeholder attitudes and another matrix showing the stakeholder assessment according to the balancing of benefits and the amount of change required. Discuss how the problems you have identified might be avoided or overcome.
6. Draw an Activity Diagram including swim-lanes and the transitions of use cases. Consider your use case diagram you developed in question 3 [5 marks]
Draw one business level activity diagram which shows the all the business processes in the whole business focusing on the activities based on the use cases you have identified in the Use Case diagram.
7. Produce 4 Prototypes presented as a storyboard [10 marks]
Present 4 high fidelity paper prototypes drawn as screenshots to show the system as if it was developed. Remember each prototype maybe made up of several screenshots. Each prototype should map to a specific use case.
8. Using the MVC pattern, produce 2 Sequence Diagrams corresponding to 2 of the 4 Prototypes above [10 marks]
9. Critically explain the benefits of using the Zachman Framework. [10 marks]
Critically explain, with references, the benefits of modelling the Enterprise Architecture for this case study and why in particular Zachman Framework is useful for this.
10. Draw the Zachman Framework and populate it with the appropriate content (Including all the models and diagrams you have developed in this coursework and map them to the correct boxes of the Zachman Framework from the Valentino Case Study [10 marks]
Consider ALL the diagrams you have developed in this case study and populate each box with the correct diagram. Some diagrams maybe be present in several boxes. You don’t need to draw the diagram in the box, just the name of the diagram and where in you report you drew that diagram. Please also add the following diagram names: state chart diagram, component diagram and deployment diagram in the boxes these diagrams will be put in.
Objectives / Scope
Model of the Information System