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Software Engineering Problem

Posted on 2011-09-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
You are a software- engineering consultant. The chief information officer of a regional gasoline distribution corporation wants you to develop a software product that will carry out all the accounting functions of the company and provide online information to the head office staff regarding orders and inventory in the various company storage tanks. Computers are required for 21 accounting clerks, 15 order clerks, and 37 storage tank clerks. In addition, 14 managers need access to the data. The company is willing to pay $ 30,000 for the hardware and the software together and wants the complete software product in 4 weeks. What do you tell him? Bear in mind that your company wants his corporation’s business, no matter how unreasonable his request.

The key information seems to be:

Computers -> 21 accounting   clerks
                       15 order            clerks
                       37 storage tank clerks

14 managers need access to the data

Company pays $30,000

Product must be ready in 4 weeks

Company doesn't care about unreasonable requests


My question is: how do I solve this problem?
1
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Question by:JCW2
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9 Comments
 
LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 36514727
You can not solve that problem.  Walk away.
0
 
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Nancy McCullough
ID: 36514745
This appears to be a question from a class. I don't believe I can answer this until I am assured by EE that this questions passes "GO!" with them. Sorry.
0
 

Author Comment

by:JCW2
ID: 36514859
I'm not looking for the answer to this - I'm looking for how to deal with the problem.
0
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:d-glitch
ID: 36514967
Is this for a class?  If so, say so.  If not, what is the context?

Go online, What is the best deal you can get on 68 computers?
0
 

Author Comment

by:JCW2
ID: 36514974
Yes; this is for a class (book: Object Oriented and Classical Software Engineering, Chapter 1)
0
 
LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 36515055
Dealing with it is very simple.  You work up the costs and figure out whether you would make or lose money.  If you would lose money, you say "No thanks." and walk away.  One of the critical parts of any consulting or engineering business is to know when to turn down a customer, when to say No.  I run my business so that I can fire any one of my customers if I need to.
0
 
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

by:
Nancy McCullough earned 2000 total points
ID: 36515397
1. Create a plan that isolates the scope of your assignment with the company. Scope creep is a major issue in consulting, and you have to protect your time and money as well as theirs.

2. Cost everything out. How many computers, how much time will it take to create the program(s) needed, how much time will it take to install the program, etc. Separate the costs between software and hardware.

3. BEFORE programming, ensure that your plan meets the needs of the business. Have them sign off on what you are about to create for them

4. Build program, test and have company approve creation BEFORE installation.

5. Install, test, bill and get paid.
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:JCW2
ID: 36517239
Thank you for your help.
0

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