Development of a Time Table Management System

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Introduction

Product management or managing a product is considered to be one of the most important phases in product development. This stage addresses all sorts of aspects required for product modeling and development. Apart from this, it helps in analyzing and specifying how the product needs to be designed and what kind of steps one needs to follow in order to develop the product. “Product development is performed by a multi-disciplinary team whose goal is building, operating, and maintaining the product” (Windley 2002, p.1). Team members earmarked for this task may include many people such as “product managers, software developers, project managers, product operations engineers, customer support managers, software quality assurance engineers, user interface engineers, marketers, financial personnel, and graphic artists” (Windley 2002, p.1).

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The product in the instant case is a software to facilitate a timetable management system and this paper attempts to familiarize the readers on how the development or implementation of a timetable management system can be done. Considering the advancement of technology in the modern times, this timetable management system will be an up-to-date solution for universities, colleges, schools, teachers and all those who require such a system. This proposed software will provide an easy way to create timetables without having to indulge in a lot of manual or mental activities by those who need such a timetable system. Manually creating the timetable will consume more amount of time and it will call for thorough check in order to determine whether there are any collisions among the subjects and teachers. Collision in this context refers to the chances of allocating the same teacher to more than one class during the same hour. This may cause problems. However, the timetable management system under discussion will eliminate these kinds of problems, and it will facilitate accuracy to the timetable.

Literature review

David A. Wesson in his article named “The interactive effects of rules on teaching timetable flexibility and resource utilization” (1995) mentions problems while generating the timetable. The problem highlighted by this author is there can be a tendency for rules to be coinciding with each other and may create collision. That is there are chances for happening of the collision while allocating rules for rooms, staff resources and subjects.

Proposed system

This system can overcome all sorts of problems that a user will face with the traditional system. The new system is mainly used for generating the timetable and it can be of potential relevance to universities, colleges, schools and other such users. The main advantage of the proposed system is that it eliminates a lot of paper works. In the traditional method, without using technology, one can prepare timetables only by writing in a paper. This will not be an easy task and it requires both manual works as well as the application of mind. The salient features of this system include very easy way in data entry and retrieval systems and also it is very user-friendly while comparing to the existing system. The main reason behind this is it ensures security of data and also the help feature and user manual provided along with this system are very effective for a computer user and non-computer user to understand about this system. Apart from this the system and its operations are easy to learn thereby the organizations deploying this software will have to incur only minimum training cost. Besides, this system offers a very excellent interface and it is extremely user-friendly.

Aim and objectives

This project aims to develop a timetable management system. The main motto behind this is to eliminate a host of problems that persist in the traditional system. This will facilitate more convenience to the users who require this system. This is going to be an excellent technology that will encourage the people to use it again and again once they come to know of it. This product is not only useful for teachers but also for the students who can search the timetable for their classes as well as for others also.

Technology used

Different types of technologies are used in this timetable management system. The front end of this project, which is the presentation layers, is made up of HTML and java scripts. Both HTML and javascript are said to be “most popular client-side scripting language” (Korpela 2005). PHP is hypertext preprocessor is used in business layer of this project. The intention of using this is that it is “a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML” (What is PHP? 2009). One of the major advantages of using PHP in this project is that it has the capability of offering cross-platform compatibility. In other words, there are no issues regarding the platform and there is no need for any additional software to see the PHP’s dynamic content. Backend of this project is supported by MySql. It is one of “the world’s most popular open-source databases because of its consistently fast performance, high reliability and ease of use” (Why MySQL? 2010). All related databases with timetable management systems, for inserting and retrieving, are handled by using MySql. This facilitates cost reduction in production as this software is available for free download from the internet.

Model used for project

Model used for developing the timetable management system is the “waterfall model approach.” This model includes different phases which are the “Requirement Specifications Phase, Software Design, Implementation and Testing & Maintenance” (Waterfall model 2010). This model specifies how timetable management projects are managed from start to finish. A well-planned schedule has been prepared beforehand. The progress of the project has been monitored at regular intervals in order to avoid the chances of lagging. The system is based on internet. Besides, it is designed in such a way that it can be viewed only by registered members. For example, consider this is going to be implemented in a college. There will be an administrator for this system who will control all the functions. This person will grant permission to members or users of this system. He/she is the person who will generate the timetable or enter everything into the system such as faculty name, subject name, classroom number, department and semester in order to generate the timetable. What the administrator wants to do is first he/she needs to select and create a new timetable button. Then the administrator needs to select a department and semester from the drop-down menu. Once this is finished he/she can allocate faculty and appropriate subjects and room number into each cell or for each day. All these details entered into the system are stored in the database. Data flow diagrams are used to represent different activities that take place in the timetable generation system. The coding of the project is done during the design stage of the project. After that the design testing of the project is conducted and any errors noticed are corrected and finally the system is implemented.

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Program of work

The program for the work consists of several steps by which the project objective can be accomplished. The first step involved in the project process is analysis. In the analysis step the need for designing the particular project has been analyzed. The analysis process is done through interviews and face-to-face meetings between the customer and developer. During this stage, the problem and the reason for designing a new product have been taken into consideration. In the analysis part some information is generated and based on this, the following tasks have been completed. The second stage is modeling. This refers to the implementation of latest trends in technology and upgrading the system within the concern. The third stage refers to the designing of the system. As far as traditional system is concerned it involves more paperwork and it is a time-consuming process. The designing is the step where modern methods and technologies are used to meet the current requirements. Coding is the process whereby a specific number or character has been assigned to a particular product. Testing is the process whereby the quality of the designed work is measured and evaluated.

Gantt Diagram

“The GANTT diagram is a tool for the project manager, which allows for the graphic representation of the progress of the project, but it is also a good means of communication amongst the various persons involved in a project” (Gantt Diagram, 2008). The program for the work has been presented in the Gantt diagram. The work has been scheduled for 5 months and 5 days starting from March 1st to August 5th. The time period is allocated based on the priority and complexity of the work to be performed. Below shown is the Gantt diagram where all the activities involved in the project process with respect to their time period are depicted.

Table one

Risk assessment form

The risk assessment form helps in managing the risks involved in the implementation of the project work. “This is used in events to know if extensive care should be done under special circumstances or whether the event should be canceled” (Avoid harm with risk assessment form 2009). It also helps to identify the risks and take the essential steps to evade or reduce chances of their occurrences. There are numerous risks in an online management project. One of the main problems in this project is the lack of security. Since the system is an online system, there will be many security problems. When a virus attacks a system it will damage the data or it may degrade the system’s performance. Members who do not know how to use computers and the Internet will find it difficult to use the system. They will have to check with someone if they wish to search for or borrow a book. If there is any problem with the server, this system cannot be used. All these risks are managed by the risk assessment form. The risks have been carefully monitored and controlled, which has helped in the smooth execution of the project.

Reference

Avoid harm with risk assessment form, 2009. Web.

Gantt Diagram, 2008. [Online] Kioskea. Web.

Korpela, J.Y., 2005. JavaScript and HTML: Possibilities and caveats. [Online] IT and Communication. Web.

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Operations: Gantt chart, 2007. [Online] Net MBA. Web.

Waterfall model, 2010. [Online] One Stop Testing. Web.

Wesson, D.A., 1995. The interactive effects of rules on teaching timetable flexibility and resource utilization. [Online] Kluwer Academic Publishers. Web.

What is PHP?, 2009. [Online] The PHP Group. Web.

Why MySQL?, 2010. [Online] MySQL.Com. Web.

Windley, J.P., 2002. The discipline of product management. [Online] Utah.Gov. Web.

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