The peers agreed it was a good idea

The first role I was
involved in within my group was the decision on what Organisation we were going
to propose to and the idea we were going to propose to them. This was a group
brainstorming session where we suggested ideas and organisations that we each
though were of interest and believed we could make improvements to their
current working system(s). I work in retail part-time and my employer had
recently replaced their previous employee management system with a new one.
Although I wasn’t involved in the development or management of the project I
was a client and witnessed various trial runs and the final implementation of
each component of the new system as they were completed. This was my main
suggestion to the group. My peers agreed it was a good idea and it was
eventually chosen as the proposed system. We finally agreed on proposing an
employee management system for Thomas Tunnock Limited, commonly known as
Tunnock’s. This decision was made due to my colleague Darren’s experience at
the factory during the summer as a temporary employee. I feel that my
suggestion of the management system was of significant importance. I believed
that we would be able to create a better proposal if we had a good
understanding of the system we were offering. My experience with various
management systems within retail led to a good understanding of the features
that should be implemented and what features I would improve that I feel were
either lacking, missing or unintuitive on other similar systems. This led to be
better proposal and as the project progressed a more focused view of the system
during the projects lifecycle.

My next role was to
discuss and present the proposed system lifecycle our group intended to use for
our project. After a group discussion and brainstorming session we decided that
an incremental model was the most suitable lifecycle pattern for our project. I
was tasked with researching this model further as to fully understand it and to
write about how we intend to follow this model in relation the projects
lifecycle. Due to time constraints and our overall lack of experience we
decided an iterative method would allow us to work with more flexibility. In
essence we could focus on getting an increment done and if later in the
lifecycle it became obsolete or we realised it wasn’t right for our project we
could go back and update or replace it. I was a huge advocate for the
incremental model and promoted its use during our debating session. My research
and write up of the model in relation to our project was of great importance to
the success of the project. I ensured that each advantage and potential
disadvantage was weight up accordingly and broke down how the incremental model
handles risk management, its effectiveness at managing large projects with
smaller teams and how each iteration can produce a high quality deliverable.

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I was then tasked with
writing about quality management within our project. Specifically I had to
define what quality management is and discuss the main quality factors
involved. (With a focus on non-function requirements). Additionally I went into
detail about the quality procedures and standards that we intended to follow
and our methods of testing and validating these quality standards. I also had
to give three example processes relating to quality management. To define
quality management I turned to the International Organization for
Standardization (ISO). They have a very detailed document called “Quality
Management Principles” (2015) defining quality management and I followed it
closely when defining quality management in relation to our project. I also
gave detailed explanations of the various quality standard we aim to uphold
including;

·        
ISO 9001:2015

·        
ISO/IEC 90003:2014

·        
EQMF Excellence Model

·        
IEEE standard 730-2014

I went into further
details about the importance of testing and the maturity model. Overall I
believe that my write up on quality management was important to the project as
it showed our understanding of quality and how to effectively manage it.
Without a fundamental understanding of quality management a project is destined
to fail so my documentation for the importance of quality management in
relation to our project is potentially to most important document pertaining to
the project.

My final role within the
project was aiding in the compilation of our works as a unified document.
Although this was a group task each of us played a role as an individual,
although I wasn’t heavily involved in the formatting of the final report I did
research and contribute various references that were initially missing from the
document. Due to inexperience various references were missing from pieces of
text. I meticulously read through the text and used software to find the required
references and add then to the document. This was vital as any hint of
plagiarism would have discredited our group report. If I had not done this step
we may had guaranteed failure and ruined all our hard work. Additionally I was
put in charge of purchasing the binder although this isn’t of great importance
to the contents of the report it was an important role in the presentation of
the report. As the presentation of the report is important I ensured that we
bound the report in a professional manner. In addition I burned the digital
submission to a CD and ensured it worked on various machines before we
submitted the hardcopy.

I identify my specific
personal and technical skills as follows. I believe I can lead groups and take
charge of situations. Although I wasn’t assigned project leader for this task I
still had situations were having leadership skill played a vital role in the
success of the project. During brainstorming sessions when various group
members weren’t contributing or being over bearing I stepped in to take charge
of the situation. This ensured we didn’t lose track of the task at hand or
become estranged from the project due to conflicts. Additionally I took charge
of the various task I was assigned and during discussions I ensure my peers
that quality was being upheld and that that the project was cohesive.

Although I would say I am
confident in leadership roles I am also happy to work within a team under a
supervisor. I would say I am a team player and take into account the various
points and ideas my peers suggest. However I ensure my own voice is heard and
will fight my own corner if I feel I am being ignored or separated from the
group’s activities or goals. I also stand up for other team members whether they
make me aware of it or I notice it myself. I have a good understanding of group
dynamics and believe the failure of a group is never down to specific members
but the entire group.

I am also an effective
and efficient individual worker. This can be seen from my work within the group
report. I am confident in my own work ability and enjoy working by myself. I
always aim to produce the best quality work I can, and try my hardest to use
what I’ve learned previously and acknowledge advice I’ve been given. However
during group work I ensure my individual segments are coherent with the rest of
the project and that my peers are happy with my work before submission. I am
generally quite focused and hardworking when it comes to work and have what I
believe are good work ethics in general.

I am a very reliable
person. I always aim to achieve goals that have been set for me and have good
time keeping skills. During this project I have had to have work completed for
specific dates in order for other members of the group to start their next job.
Being able to deliver work on time when promised is vital to the efficient
functioning of a group but also keep moral up. However if work has fallen
behind I have been able to put my hand up apologise and come to a swift agreement
to a later date with my peers. This ensures work can continue but also shows
that I have the ability to adapt if the situation changes.

I can also take
criticism. I like to believe I am thick skinned but also a sensible person. I
appreciate constructive criticism and take on board the point that have been
raised about my work or attitude within the project. I also don’t let criticism
deter me from my goal and make sure to keep my moral. However if the criticism
doesn’t contain anything constructive to take away I can turn the other cheek
and not rise to it.

I consider myself to have
excellent writing skills. I have a good vocabulary and can articulate well. I
keep a few simple but important rules when writing which includes; Assume the
reader had no knowledge of your topic(s), keep your explanations and views
concise and to the point, avoid fluffing your text and use simple language to
explain things. I follow these rules whenever I write and I like to think they
make sure my text is easy to read and can convey my meaning across well. I also
make extensive use of plans and plan every piece of text I write. This ensures
I stay on track and my text flows and make sense as a collective piece.

I am also very competent
in using word processors such as Microsoft Word. I have a solid grasp on the
various features and options available to me. I have been using Word and
similar word processors for years now and as such know how to properly use many
of the features available to me. This can be important as it can reduce the
time taken to properly format and layout a written piece and can improve the
overall presentation of the document. Presentation of documentation is an
important factor as poor presentation can deter clients from reading it and in
turn reduce its appeal and lustre.

My technical knowledge is
a requirement for a project such as this. Understanding the development and
deployment of a system is important when managing the project. I used all my
previous technical knowledge to propose the system to the clients as well as
write about the various quality standards and how it would relate to a software
development project. I also used my technical knowledge when deciding the
lifecycle model as I had to use my understanding of the software development
cycle and the technology available to realise the task and from there, decide
on the model that made the most sense.

There are a number of
relevant professional (legal) issues cover by software law in the United
Kingdom, European Union and other global powers. Software has to abide by these
laws before it can be published as a finished product.

One of these professional
issues is data protection. Data protection is in place to protect private
individuals (users) from the risk of the use of incorrect information about
them and also the mistreatment and exploitation of correct information about
them. Data is defined as recorded information in a form that can be processed
by equipment working automatically in response to instructions given for that
purpose. Although from a technical point of view all data is vaguely similar in
legal terms this is not the case;

“Personal data means data
which relate to a living individual who can be identified – (a) from those
data, or (b) from those data and other information which is in the possession
of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller, and
includes any expression of opinion about the individual and any indication of
the intentions of the data controller or any other person in respect of the
individual.” (Information Commissioner’s Office, 2017).

Beyond this there is a
further definition of Sensitive personal data which;

“means personal data consisting
of information as to – (a) the racial or ethnic origin of the data subject, (b)
his political opinions, (c) his religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar
nature, (d) whether he is a member of a trade union (within the meaning of the
Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992), (e) his physical or
mental health or condition, (f) his sexual life, (g) the commission or alleged
commission by him of any offence, or (h) any proceedings for any offence
committed or alleged to have been committed by him, the disposal of such
proceedings or the sentence of any court in such proceedings.” (Information
Commissioner’s Office, 2017).

As is shown the law takes
data very seriously and as IT professionals we have to account for this.
However guidelines in the form of the data protection act help define and
defend this front. The most influential and important legislations were brought
in place between 1984 and 1998. After the 1998 revisions there are eight key
principles that have to be followed to protect personal data these include;

·        
Data should be processed fairly and
lawfully, data shall only be obtained to be processed for specific purposes

·        
data should be adequate, relevant and not excessive

·        
Data should be accurate and up to date

·        
Data should be held no longer than necessary

·        
Data should be processed in accordance
with the rights of the data subject

·        
Data should be kept secure

·        
Data should be transferred outside of the
EEA only if adequate safeguards exist.

(Edwin Gray, 2017)

As our proposed system
makes heavy use of employee data from Tunnocks. Data protection is our top priority
(non-functional requirements). We will be storing personal data such as
employee name’s and national insurance number; payroll information; employee
medical records such as doctor’s ‘fit note’ or long term illness or disability information.
This mean that within our system we must ensure data is responsibly handled and
adheres to the key principles as well as any further guidelines laid out by
this legislation. We don’t expect to be sending employee information outside
the EEA (or anywhere that these legislations fail to take effect) within the
confines of our system for the foreseeable future however if we are approached by
a potential client working outside of these legislations it would be possible
to refactor our system to fit other guidelines if necessary.

However the General Data
Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) will be taking effect sometime around the 25th of May
2018. Many of the guidelines from previous data protection legislation is being
transferred and updated to fit into this new framework laid out by the European
Union. In simple terms this new legislation framework is set to replace any
data protection legislation that exists within the EU’s member states and unify
data protection across Europe. It aims to rectify the collage of legislation brought
in by various members based of the original 1995 directive which has left a
number of loopholes and issues around data being passed between member states.
Our system will meet the expected guidelines as laid out by the GDPR. If we are
to maintain our system we must look to future legislation and by ensuring our
system meets future standards now, we can reduce cost in the long term and
create a higher quality product that is more competitive on the market.

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