Informatics 43 Spring 2009
Course Project
Phase 1: Requirements Engineering

Due date and time: Monday, April 20, 9:00pm


Philadelphia Polyester Polytechnic University — Triple P — presently uses a very old, not-especially-user-friendly system for managing classroom space, scheduling courses into classrooms, and enrolling students into those courses. Due in part to its age — it's becoming difficult to maintain the hardware necessary to run their current system — and its poorly-designed user interface, Triple P is interested in replacing that system with a new one, which you will be designing and implementing throughout the quarter as you work on this course project.

This phase of the project asks you to write a requirements specification for the system, in which you'll focus your efforts on discovering your customer's needs, organizing them, and writing them. Note, in this phase, that you should be focused on what the system should do and not how the system should do it; it is important that you specify things that must constrain the design and implementation, but not things that constrain them unnecessarily. Note, also, that the goal here is not to be creative; your goal is to describe your customer's requirements, so that you ultimately build the system that your customer wants, as opposed to the system that you want.

Your requirements specification

Your requirements specification should be comprised of the following sections.

Grading criteria

As we read through your requirements specification, we will be looking for the following qualities:

Interacting with your customer

Your TA, Hye Jung Choi, is acting as the customer for this phase of the project. To keep things simple and prevent the problem of receiving conflicting requirements, Hye Jung the sole arbiter of the requirements during this phase. I will not be answering questions about the system's requirements during this phase; I will direct all such questions to Hye Jung. I will, on the other hand, be happy to answer other questions about this phase of the project, such as questions about the structure of your requirements specification or the process of requirements engineering. (I will also be more involved in question-answering during future phases of the project.)

The discussion sections on Friday, April 10 and Friday, April 17 will be devoted to requirements elicitation, negotiation, and clarification. Attend these discussions and be sure to ask questions; these are your only two chances to speak with your customer directly, so it's important to make the most of your time.


You are required to deliver your requirements specification in one of the following formats: Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf), or PDF (.pdf).

Follow this link for a discussion of how to submit files via Checkmate, an ICS-built online assignment submission system. Be aware that I'll be holding you to all of the rules specified in that document, including the one that says that you're responsible for submitting the version of the specification that you want graded. We won't regrade your work simply because you submitted the wrong version accidentally.