Imagin8 Inc.                                   

To: Design Team (31 Jan 1997)

Re: Functional Specifications



We reviewed the specifications for our system and noticed various mistakes in them, and other elements that need to be elaborated and / or modified. The various areas of concern are outlined below. We have grouped them into "Trivial" and "Non-Trivial" errors.


1. Introduction: System Requirements
Is 16 MB really going to be enough for a large system like this? We've run smaller systems on a 32MB server and they are too slow, so perhaps that is unrealistic.
2. Timetabling and Diary Subsystems: Starting the Application
Spelling mistake "beginning with you(sic) first name".

Is the "About" button really necessary? Maybe it could be incorporated into the help menu.

3. Data Structures and Algorithms: Table: Employee
30 characters for a last name is not enough! There are several names longer than that; we have some Dutch names here that are well over 50 characters long!


1. Introduction: Users
"Employees may also schedule personal activities,delete and modify meetings and view personal diary entries..."

"...Administrators may also access an employee's diary,viewing details pertaining to scheduled appointments and meetings. Administrators have the ability to change users' schedules as well."

Since administrators can view any employees diary and employees may enter personal activities, we think this feature will discourage employees from entering personal activities if someone can view them. The administrator should only be able to see if a time is available or not. This is how it should work.

We don't think administrators should be able to change employees schedules at will. There should be some interaction between admin and employees to alter schedules. Viewing details of a meeting conflicts with what is stated in the EMS functions section on viewing an employee's schedule.

2. User Interface
"ISSI has created SuperScheduler's graphical user interface, or GUI, to maximize..."

What is a graphical user interface? There is no definition in the glossary.

"To log into the system,click in the 'Full Name' field and type into it your full name..."

Instead of typing in full name, maybe we could type in our login name.

3. Timetabling and Diary Subsystems: Starting the Application
"the top portion of day will highlighted if there is a meeting scheduled in the morning..."

Can you clarify or show more examples of how this works?

When the schedule for the entire day is displayed, will we be able to see the time for the entire day, and if not shouldn't there be a scroll bar here?

4. Timetabling and Diary Subsystems: Starting the Application
Will we be able to see more of our time table at once? Instead of just the current 4 hours?
5. Timetabling and Diary Subsystems: Starting the Application
No option to print or save our schedule. Laptops are expensive and we just cannot afford to carry them around and hook them up to our network when we are in another part of the office building. Thus we need and option to save and to print our schedule.
6. Timetabling and Diary Subsystems: Previous and Next
When will the "previous" months be removed? Will we have to press a button? If not at what time will this happen automatically? When will the new months at the end be added?
7. Timetabling and Diary Subsystems: Delete
What kind of messages will be sent if you delete a meeting from the diary?
8. Timetabling and Diary Subsystems: View/Modify
The screen shot indicates with the Location field the word Room. Will that be required? Will we be given a choice from a list?
9. Timetabling and Diary Subsystems: View/Modify
Major problem in that we asked the system to handle over 200 employees. How do they expect us to choose from a very large list on the side. Is there an easier way to navigate it or do we have to keep pressing the scroll bar to move through the list. Within a large list it can be rather difficult to locate a single name (especially if you are not quite sure how it is spelled). Perhaps a way of searching the names list would be nicer. Also, how are dupli- cate names handled?
10. Timetabling and Diary Subsystems: View the Details of a Meeting
Will it also show the originator of the meeting?
11. Timetabling and Diary Subsystems: Schedule a New Meeting
Will we be able to add new locations to this list as our company increases in size?
12. Timetabling and Diary Subsystems: Schedule a New Meeting
The specifications say:

"(if time permits, messages will be sent to those employees who had conflicts and at which point it will be left to the employee's discretion to make alternate arrangements)"

This was part of the original specifications and in our opinion is very important to have this in the system. It should not be an "if time permits" thing. (By the way, there are too many of the "if time permits" statements).

13. Timetabling and Diary Subsystems: Change Password
Do we have seperate passwords for SuperScheduler and our regular system passwords. If they are the same then does changing your password in SuperScheduler automatically change our system passwords?

"'Company Personnel and 'Meeting Attendees'...The employee names in in the "Company Personnel' field appear in bold or in light grey text..."

The employee names in the "Company Personnel" field contain all the employees at the company but we're only interested in status of those employees we want to meet with, not the status of every employee.

14. Employee Management Subsystem:
How can we view a person's personal diary information (the times that is not details). There is no button on the screen shot.
15. Employee Management Subsystem: Modify
"The administrator has full control over the employee's schedule."

Do you mean that the administrators can change anything that they want to? Including the employee's personal meetings? We think the administrators should only have control over the meetings within the company.

16. TDS Functions: Add Meeting
The Output reminded us of a point. What about reporting capabilities. How are people going to know if they've been scheduled for meetings/cancelled from meetings/etc if all of the messages and output are "(optional)". Also how informative are these messages that are "(optional)". Once again, too many "optional" and "if time permits" statements. What is this system really going to do?!
17. TDS Functions
All of the "if time permits" from View/Modify Meeting, Cancel Meeting Attendance, and Cancel Meeting screens should not be "if time permits" but instead part of the core of the system. No exceptions!
18. TDS Functions
(Major point)
For the Cancel Meeting Attendance and Cancel Meeting screens we are required to enter the "Meeting Title" to access a particular meeting. Will this be unique? How will we know if another meeting title is not unique? Where will it check this? What if we don't know the meeting title. Where will we find this information? Can we search for it?
19. TDS Funcionts...If Time Permits:
This was part of our original specifications and should NOT be an "if time permits". We are really concerned about the abundance of "if time permits" clauses.
20. EMS Functions: Add Employee
Will they be given an employee number? Will we see this? Also will the employee name be required to be unique? If not then what will be (employee number)? Also, how do we get access to the login identification of the employee?
21. EMS Functions: View/Modify Employee Information
What about searching for an employee. Perhaps if we don't know that person's exact name spelling (there are over 200 employees you know) we should be given some opportunity to search for that value. (The same point could be made for the "View Employee's Schedule" section as well.
22. Auxiliary Fuction: Login
"If the user enters the Administrator Password (for which there is only one at any one time) ..."

Do you mean there is only one Administrator Password? If there is only one Administrator Password, then can everyone who knows the password can access the EMS?

23. Data Structures and Algorithms: Table: Employee
Will we be able to see the employee ID? If so then where?

In this table there is an item called "UserName" which is a unique name for user in order to login to the system. However, in the "Starting the Application" section, you wrote "To log into the system, click in the 'Full Name' field and type into it your full name, beginning with your first name followed by your last name." Is "Full Name" same as the unique "UserName"?

24. Data Structures and Algorithms: Algorithms
Will meetings be able to span multiple days? Perhaps a 11:00pm meeting on December 31 going for three hours? How would that be handled?
25. Management Plan: (2) The Employee Management Subsystem (EMS)
It says "The user should be able to scroll the employees..." Do they refer to the list box? Is that really an adequate means of searching through 200 employees to find four or five? We're mentioning this again because this is very important to the system's use.
26. Management Plan: Minimal System: TDS
"No actual messages will [be] sent as this feature can be integrated int he the existing email system."

How do they plan on actually doing this? Just have us write all messages to everyone? This seems like an inefficient use of time. Currently we can just write messages to people, so how would this system be a benefit to us?

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