From the first step of establishing Prince Mohammed bin Fahad University, the sense of development and modern technology achievement is taking its place within its strategy. So, the need of tracking this big achievement and monitoring the performance of its students is becoming more important since the technological, social and cultural changes took their place in the kingdom these days. Therefore, in order for PMU to check the consequences and the results of educational strategy it follows, an alumnus system should be established to keep updating the band between PMU faculties and the graduates as well, so both sides see the impacts and being updated with whatever changes and demands of the current economical and industrial environments. However, this research discovers the need of this system throughout showing all the steps it takes to be implemented and used for the whole university, passing through the primary actors of it like the studying the feasibility analysis and the possible costs and budget this whole system needs, the strategic plan and the categories it will contain, the requirements and the diagrams that facilitate the way to get this real and useable.
Table of Content
Statement of the Problem……………………………………………………………………...3
1.1 The Need of the Proposed Solution…………………..……………………………………….3
4.0 Summery and Recommendation of Findings ……………………………………….……25
Statement of the Problem
After PMU had its first graduates last year of 2011, the problem of disconnection
between it and its graduates has been taken place. All those students are considered fresh
graduates whom still lack from experiences and supporting knowledge to guide them toward
their future. This problem creates resistance to PMU as an international university from
accomplishing its mission and achieving its broad vision toward its students.
1.1 The Need of the Proposed System Solution
PMU is surly familiar with the advancement of the current technology trends. Those trends are always changing and consistently improving in data management and web applications and software. Between all this huge developments in technology, there is an academic need that helps as a series of tutorials and online training assessment as well. Actually, Prince Mohammed University is one of those universities that have many online systems implemented to improve and give convenience to both faculty and students, but none of the implemented systems aims regarding on Alumni Online Association. So, we as a system analysts and designers decided to propose such a system to the university. We’ll improve the current manual system for the Alumni Office which PMU is now using.
This Online Website will automatically perform the tasks involved the scheduling and monitoring processes in details. After conducting an interview with the Alumni officer and as with our own observation, we encourage the following problems:
PMU may have a specific website, but it doesn’t advertise certain topics like; job hiring, training programs recommendation that help the fresh graduates and the unemployed alumnus as well.
The PMU Alumni Office is considered to be hard in communicating with its alumnus.
PMU Office uses manual posting of announcement with emails and text messages to inform its alumnus about such an event or meeting.
1.2 PMU Graduate Outcomes
As Prince Mohammed University states its vision and mission statement, there were certain areas where it finds the basic skills of building professional students. Those areas are summarized into 6 core competencies that PMU still working to meet the top of each criteria, and we believe that our project is going to promote those learning dimensions with different types of manner;
The Communication Competency
It is considered to be the first step in the learning hierarchy, because without the communication skills there is no way to get improved or educated even. Our project of Alumni System is really assess the communication competency, due to the definite need to it to get the actors of faculties and the alumni get contact together.
The Technological competency
It is the basic step that determine the way to transfer information using suitable medias. And regarding to our project the main system is based on the concept of technology. Its based on network and database systems terminologies, plus using efficient application that helps in easy communication.
The Leadership Competency
As PMU works its best to meet its strategy of building leaders, the concept of leadership can make sense now after getting those graduate leaders to get in and join with their implemented skills of leadership that they learned. It’s the time for them to get invite for those meeting and get updated by any event they want to attend and share their backgrounds about. Alumni system is there for this reason.
The Professional Competency
Since every college is working to get professional and academic educated students, PMU sat very helpful courses toward reaching this target. And our system as well is going to test the profession alumni got or working to get after graduation and during their jobs and can ask for assistant to support them.
The Teamwork Competency
Actually studying in PMU is enabling a great opportunity to get use to different types of group works. That thing helps in teaching them the significant impact of effective teamwork. Our alumni system is going to help in sharing information within the alumni them selves and faculties as well. There will be a discussion or a chat room for all to get in academic discussion and sharing experiences and taking advice, too.
The Critical Thinking Competency
There is a big chance for the student to go and discuss critically and in respects to other point of views. Critical thinking is an important concept that PMU gives a chance for learning the basics of it, and how to be aware in dealing with colleagues and other partners in work. Alumni system is accept critical discussion and debating session just to let those alumni know and practice it with faculties.
1.3 PMU Vision Statement
PMU vision statement is
To be a unique and distinguished institution of higher education that participates in preparing future leaders in various fields of human knowledge and its application, enriching and developing intelligence, exploring innovative methodologies and technologies to achieve its objectives and removing the barrier between the academic and business society.
1.4 PMU Mission Statement
PMU mission statement is to achieve the following objectives:
Contribute to advancement of human intelligence and promulgation and development of knowledge.
Prepare specialized candidates in various fields of human knowledge through utilizing modern technologies in the education process.
Encourage the graduate to play a pioneering and leading role in the community, by teaching him or her how to take responsibilities and to contribute to the solving of problems through innovative thinking, collective work, reflection and self-development.
Link academic programs and specializations with actual requirements of the surrounding work environment. This is undertaken by maintaining effective participation and cooperation between the University and local business firms.
Guide research activities to create solutions for persistent problems in the surrounding communities, through applied research and technical consultation. The importance of performing basic scientific research for enriching human intelligence will be emphasized.
Provide community service through training and education.
1.5 PMU Background
Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University (PMU) was established in 2006 as private institution; as HRH believed that high quality education is the most essential aspect to meet the expectation and challenges of the contemporary workplaces. He initiated the idea of establishing new university in the eastern province in 2002. To achieve the goal of making a high education, PMU System Design Project (Academic/Administrative) was created by Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC). However, PMU consist of three colleges including college of business administration that involve accounting, finance, business administration, management information system, and executive master in business administration (EMBA); college of information technology that involve information technology, computer science, and computer engineering; college of engineering that involve electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and interior design.
1.6 PMU Basic Departments
PMU has several departments. First, the Human Resources (HR) Department at Prince Mohammad University (PMU) aims to accomplish the University's mission and goals by building and fostering high-end professional working environment with the highest level of human resources services and customer satisfaction. Second is information technology department. Third is the purchasing department.
1.7 PMU Structure
1.8 PMU SWOT Analyses
The most essential aspect that is considered as one of PMU strength is the level of education. It is very unique compared to other universities located at the same country. It provides all courses from different majors in English with high standard books and syllabus.
The majors provided are highly demanded in the market. There are variety of majors such as MIS, Finance and BA.
The number of competitors is so limited in Saudi Arabia, especially in eastern province; the other universities that are located in Saudi Arabia are teaching in Arabic.
The instructors are recruited from different countries and backgrounds.
The yearly tuition is unaffordable for low-income people.
The governmental foreign scholarship, which increased the number students who apply to study abroad such as in United States and United Kingdom.
PMU is still considered new and it needs more credit and certificate to be more powerful.
The current political situation in the Middle East is not stable and that will struggle PMU to attract foreign qualified instructors to come to the area.
The last threat variable is the cultural limitation in SA. Saudi Arabia dose not have facilities like other countries; Women cannot drive; there are no cinemas and other entertainments.
2.0 The Feasibility Study
The proposed system being developed by us as the system analysts and designers is a great contribution to help our university in gaining access upon its alumnus, in terms of advertising new jobs and helps them in keep tracking with what are new, coming events, conferences and other academic issues that they concern.
The following benefits that our system will offer:
For Alumnus; the system will provide them with communication accessibility, security and updates from the university and other alumnus within the same major.
For PMU; it could organized job hiring vacancies with their corresponding qualifications, and keeps tracking with its alumnus.
For us; this system will enhance our programming skills, interaction and communication skills of the incoming students and others more.
We can divide the feasibility study into two important categories:
First: The Technical Feasibility
This below shows the required hardware and software for the new system to be implemented:
Dual Core 2
At least Windows XP SP2
Microsoft Visual Basic 2008
DVD ROM Drive
Any Web browser
Second: The Financial Feasibility
The table below shows the estimated cost of the proposed project
There are two types of benefits for PMU Alumni system.
Tangible benefits: Tangible benefits are those measured in monetary terms. The tangible benefits for our project include taking advantages of the students. Moreover, they can assist in some task in the organization such as helping in doing system that the university need, or assist in some classes to help students understand the courses.
Intangible benefits: cannot be measured in monetary terms but they do have a very significant business impact. It includes keeping graduated students part of the family.
There are two types of costs:
Variable costs: The expenses that change in proportion to the activity of a business
Fixed costs: A cost that does not vary depending on production or sales levels, such as rent, property tax, insurance, or interest expense.
For our system the fixed costs= SR 15,000 which is the cost of the server we need to get.
Variable costs= SR 10,000 maintenance for the automatic system for 5 years.
Capital Budgeting Techniques:
The payback is a technique to evaluate an investment project. The payback technique focuses on the payback period. The payback period is the length of time that it takes for a project to recoup its initial cost out of the cash receipts that it generates. This period is sometimes referred to as" the time that it takes for an investment to pay for itself." The basic premise of the payback technique is that the more quickly the cost of an investment can be recovered, the more desirable is the investment. The payback period is expressed in years. When the net annual cash inflow is the same every year, the following calculation is used to calculate the payback period for the project:
2 years + (10,000/20,000) = 2 .5 years
According to the above calculation, we will have our payback for the override project in two and a half years.
The payback technique is not a true measure of the profitability ofan investment. Rather, it simply tells the manager how many years will be required to recover the original investment. Unfortunately, a shorter payback period does not always mean that one investment is more desirable than another. The payback technique has two disadvantages:
It ignores the time of money (TVM).
It ignores cash inflows after the payback period.
Net Present Value:
The Net Present Value (NPV) is a technique used in capital budgeting to analyze the profitability of an investment or project. Unlike the payback technique, the NPV technique is sensitive to the reliability of future cash inflows that an investment or project will yield.
NPV compares the value of a Riyal today to the value of that same Riyal in the future, taking inflation and returns into account. If the NPV of a prospective project is positive, it should be accepted. However, if NPV is negative, the project should probably be rejected because cash flows will also be negative. By having the present value factor at 5% for each year we can calculate the total present value in 5 years by multiplying each year’s factor by its benefit. Then we sum the present values for the 5 years, subtract it from the total cost of the project to get the NPV. The following figure has this calculation.
PV Factor 5%
NPV | 5%
The Net Present Value (36588) at 5% is calculated by subtracting the total present value 86588 from the initial cost 50,000. This NPV is greater than zero so we can accept the project.
Discounted Payback Period:
In contrast to an NPV analysis, which provides the overall value of a project, a discounted payback period technique gives the number of years it takes to break even from undertaking the initial expenditure. Future cash flows are considered are discounted to time "zero." This procedure is similar to a payback period; however, the payback period only measure how long it takes for the initial cash outflow to be paid back, ignoring the time value of money.
According to the total Present Value at 5% in Figure 2 above, we can have our cost back in 2+ (12812/17276) = 2.7 years.
Internal Rate of Return:
The discount rate often used in capital budgeting that makes the net present value of all cash flows from a particular project equal to zero. Generally speaking, the higher a project's internal rate of return, the more desirable it is to undertake the project. As such, IRR can be used to rank several prospective projects a firm is considering. Assuming all other factors are equal among the various projects, the project with the highest IRR would probably be considered the best and undertaken first. Since we have only one project will not have the ability to compare between two projects to choose the best, but we are going to calculate the IRR for the single project we have as follows:
NPV at 5% = 36588
NPV at 30% = -1290
PV Factor 30%
NPV | 30%
IRR= A + [a/(b+a) ] (B-A)
= 5% + [36588/(1290 +36588)] (30%-5%)
= 0.05 + [0.97*0.25)
= 0.05 + 0.24
= 29% is the internal rate of return
If we have another project with an IRR of 10%, the previous project which has an IRR of 29% will be undertaken, because the higher the IRR would be the best to undertaken its project first.
2.1 Strategic Plan
Our Alumni Online Association is a sustainable plan that promotes PMU main strategy based on 3 main goals which indicate numerous key strategies within each goal;
Goal 1: prepare every student for a lifetime of growth in faith, leadership, academic support, and community
Responding to PMU Mission effectiveness study
Developing a master association system plan to enhance the communication between faculty and alumnus
Building Alumni system categories and basic posts that facilitates the way of good interaction between them.
Goal 2: To sustainably hold the effective flow of system development processes and keep it consistence and updated.
Maintaining the salaries of programmers, designers, and developer of the Alumni system
Providing developed and professional software applications plus applying the latest technological techniques
Expanding the opportunities to more suggestions from the users and increasing the flexibility of adding more categories, so it fulfill the demand and improved the performance
Goal 3: To enhance the learning paths of Alumnus and share the benefits and maintain the overall process by asking for feedbacks
Advertising the importance of attending meetings and events by providing active posts
The goal of marketing plan in any project is to promote the program and the main selling points to a defined target market and the other prospective students. So, by increasing the number of qualified applicants to our Alumni Online Association that needs a small media budget of SR 30,000 and also we can advertise through the existing university website.
The promotions used will include:
Brochures about the effective benefits of Alumni Online Association
Some posters advertise Alumni coming events and how PMU is taking the responsibility toward its Alumnus as well as their future.
It will be a great way to advertise throughout TV commercials.
Renew themes and colors changes, edit academic status, and set Academic photo and other more is one way to promote through the existing alumnus get interested with this program.
2.3 Current System
The System discuss in our case is a manual system contains the Alumni data, and any information written about the alumni. For a specific description Alumni data like(courses taken, year graduated, location, contact info, current CV, current position, academic activities, events attended, basic qualifications, etc). The current data is an essential part of PMU interest so it has to get accurate and specific so it can promote an effective educational background obtained.
Further more, there will be a detailed description in the analysis section discussed later in this report, but we can say that the contents of alumni data are determined by the uses of records just to promote their success and provide appropriate services.
Here is an optical scope of the proposed system:
It is a highly secured system, where the password is applied so only the authorized personnel could access the system
The system is designed and could work for all universities which has an alumni organization
It allows the users to view, update and edit their information
Only the authorized personnel can create and print an ID of the alumni
The system allows the users to search in a broad filter
The system functional features are as follow:
Login security to access the alumni information.
Private email system for sending events notification.
Online tools to submit news, photos, suggestions and requests.
2.4 Aims/Objectives of Alumni System
Alumni system used to be an important part to assure the effective strategy implemented within the university.
It is the way graduates can share ideas and future projects of their current career.
It takes the priority in supporting the graduates toward facing issues with their first step in the company and sharing experiences.
The ability to get improved with the overall quality of the educational tools used in the university and suggest some other courses that help to fulfill the economical demand and trends.
Modern technological domain in providing everything helps in enhancing the way its students educating and improving through.
2.5 Project Management
The management of the Alumni System will be as followed:
As the records of the students will already be documented in the registration system.
The Admin of Alumni system will send a request of getting the record of the graduated students and the faculties as well
He will create a new username and pass word for all the alligematic users of the system
he will connect the system to another system where he can be updated with the updated events and conferences as well
The user(a student/a faculty) will be able to access his/her account through out an email (their original PMU email) that indicates their login usernames and passwords
They can modify their account post their current status info, plus sending requests for some recommendation letters or asking for some support relating to his major and get in the discussion room whenever the time is.
Also they can be updated with the latest event and meetings, see those who will attend, other attended already and some important topics discussed in.
Narrative Description of Alumni System
The system will be consisted of 9 major use cases, each one of them will be subsisted into its domain models, each of those domain models, or in other systematic domain we call them interaction diagrams (sequences), will indicate an array of database relational diagrams.
Those nine use cases are: (Send events- create account- manage request-manage event- update records- login- view activities- modify information,- fill in request).
The Following Diagrams and Design Section will discussed those use cases in details.
The System Use cases Context
Here is a short scenario for the main nine use cases will be shown lately in the use case diagram context
The first use case is about Send events; where the administrators send all events to the user account in Alumni system.
The seconduse case is about Create accounts; where the administrators select to create user account in Alumni system.
The third use case is about Manage request; where the administrators select to manage user request in Alumni system and send feedback to them.
The fourth use case is about Update records; where the administrators select to update records of users in the alumni system.
The fifth use case is about Manage events; where the administrators select to manage events in Alumni system, by edit event information or create new events.
The sixth use case is about Login; where the Alumni system user needs to access in to the system by insert his Owen username and password.
The seventh use case is about View activities; where the instructor and students select to view if there are any events in Alumni system.
The eighth use case is about Modify information; where the instructor and students select to edit them information n in Alumni system.
The ninth use case is about Fill request; where the students select to send a request to the admin in Alumni system.
The Domain Model
A Scenario of this Diagram:
The Domain model is a relational diagram where it connects all of the actors in such a use case together throughout logical commands those differ from the interaction diagrams which use systematic commands between the subsystems or the actors of the use case. In the diagram below, you will see how the actor of student use the logical command insert, and modify to connect with the administrator and the request table as well.
The Interaction Diagram
For the interaction diagram that uses the systematic commands instead of the logical commands mentioned in the domain model. We’ve choose the sequences phase that is mostly used today more than the other phase of interactive diagrams. The movement of requests and commands will be shown horizontally. The sequence diagram below is for the command of view events requested from the user (student, faculty):
Figure a sequence diagram (view event)
Here is another sequence diagram for making and creating the event:
Figure Sequence diagram (create event)
3.5 The ERD Diagram
In the following diagram we can see the ERD diagram where it describe in more details the relational characteristics of the actors and the methods used to connect to the system and the other actors in the system.
Summery and Recommendation of Findings
After the allover description and the placement of the need for this system, we’ve recommend that by implementing this system, PMU will be ranked as the first university in the region which has been established this service. And it will show the main functionality of this great system and it would be much clearer after implementing it instead of just talking about the way it should be segmented in and the other mentioned material.
Based on the previous diagrams, the benefit behind these diagrams is to facilitate the way to prototype and build this system. At the current time, we are working on the implementation stage using a very dynamic object oriented building program, a collection of C# and visual basic programs will help us creating the best design of the whole system.
Since, it is easier to build on other existed program that building it as isolated program. So, taking the best action of having PMU main website and server as well as a good connection of data based flow of PMU banner services and blackboard platforms and records of data, Alumni Online Association will be a great opportunity to go for and increase the communication and the confidentiality that PMU strategy works its best to achieve it, now it’s the time to get it real.
Prince Mohammed University, 2009, PMU Five Years Strategic Plan, retrieved from http://www.dcook.us/BB/ashbbobjects/Strategic%20Plan_V_Mar_28.pdf