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I am going to investigate how a new IT system in a Dubai Marauders Rugby Football Club can solve its problems. It is the biggest club in the region and most of its members are expatriates. It has a large rugby sevens tournament that takes place annually, and many international sides attend the tournament. There is also a good youth rugby scheme. It is located on the outskirts of Dubai City near to some motorways for good accessibility. Currently there are three grassed pitches, but there are plans to extend the number of these. During the tournament the club expects about ten thousand people to attend. Anyone who wants to use the club’s facilities has to become a member.

The Problem

The current system used at the club is extremely poor. Applicants have to write all the details on a blank piece of paper. This often leads to the applicant becoming frustrated, as they do not know what information is required.

The secretary then writes down the information on another pieces of paper and then clips the member’s photo to and files it away. Currently the filing cabinets take up a lot of room and there are files of people who are no longer members. The secretary normally has to spend hours manually searching through all the filing cabinets to find the person’s / peoples’ file that they want.

The club’s finances are kept on sheets of paper drawn up by the financial officer. He has to do all the calculations and he has to re-check the answers to see if they are correct. Throughout the course of the year many letters are sent out en masse with the same content. The secretary has to type out each individual letter on a typewriter, and this takes up a lot of time. A lot of the games that the clubs have do not have many spectators, as advertising is poor. The only advertising that is used, is word of mouth, and the club relies on members to spread the news of an upcoming game.

Also there are many conflicts in training sessions, as many people are complaining of having several teams playing on the one pitch at the same time. The only form of organising the use of the pitches is to the secretary remembering who uses the pitch at the one time.

Solution

I believe that the Dubai Marauders Rugby Football Club should update their record files by using computers to record the data. As well as just a database of members, I believe that they should make full use of Information Technology (e.g. in creating a website and enrolment forms). This IT system is required desperately as there is an upcoming rugby tournament and I have planned many ideas about what the system has to do.

All the member’s files should be computerised so that the club can perform regular searches on the data (such as to find all first team members). An enrolment form (data capture form) should be produced for new applicants, so that their information can be stored on hard disk. A shell of an accounting solution could be useful for the Financial officer. A simple spreadsheet could be produced in which he can add monthly financial data to. This spreadsheet will automatically do all the sums for him. The clubs obviously needs a system to produce quick, simple and personalized letters and sent out to several members. To gain a larger crowd to the upcoming tournament, more teams for the social side of the tournament, and to inform possible spectators of upcoming games, some leaflets and posters have to be produced. Also advertising online and having their own website will improve public knowledge of upcoming events. The website will be able to be updated regularly with recent results. A pitch schedule should be drawn up to avoid training conflicts in the future. I have divided this problem in to several sub sections that are the following:

Tasks

Software

A LOGO for the club

Adobe Photoshop

A Database of Members Containing Members’ Details and Contacts

Microsoft Access

A Query of the Database to Find all Adults Who are not Currently in a Team to Create a Barbarian Team

Microsoft Access

An Enrolment Form for Applicants to Provide Information for the Database

Microsoft Word

An Accounting Solution for the Club’s Finances

Microsoft Excel

Able to Create Quick Personalised Letters to be Sent En Masse (Mail Merge)

Microsoft Access

Microsoft Word

Create a Leaflet and Posters for upcoming 7s Tournament

Microsoft Publisher

Advertising of the Club Online on a Website

Microsoft WordPad

To Create a Pitch Schedule that can be Updated Easily

Microsoft Excel

TASK 1 – Club Logo / Letterhead

The club needs a logo and a letterhead that will appear on printouts that will be seen by members of the public and on letters. The club already has a logo, which I could scan and save it on the computer. For the letterhead to be adequate the club’s telephone number, fax number, e-mail address and website should be present.

The final result should be two pictures, a logo and a letterhead. The logo will just be the club’s picture, while the letterhead will include contact details as well as the picture.

I will first have to scan the logo that the club already has using a scanner. I will then enhance the picture if need be. This will be the logo and should be saved as either a graphic interchange format (gif) file or JPEG. I will have to add writing to the logo so there is sufficient information for people to contact the club.

The program I will use is Adobe Photoshop, but you could use another paint program such as Microsoft Paint. Photoshop is a more powerful program than Paint and has many more features. I am used to using Photoshop at home so this will be the program I will use to produce the logo.

TASK 2 – Member’s Database

Firstly the member’s database has to be created. Making a new databse in Microsoft Access will do this. The Design View will be utilized to make the headings of the database. The following headings will be required to produce a comprehensive database:

* First Name and Surname

* Sex

* Date of Birth

* Street

* Region

* City

* Postcode

* Telephone Number

* Type of Membership

* Rugby Team

The output of this task is to produce a working database containing information on the members of the rugby club. Each column will contain a different criteria and each row will relate to a different member. A line will separate each cell from others, and each column should be wide enough so that you can view the contents of the column.

The data to input is to actually design the database. This will involve choosing and creating the headings. It will also include entering the data of a certain number of people who are already members.

This database has to be able to have new rows (members) added to it. Existing members must also be able to be deleted as some members might leave the club. Queries must be able to search the files to find certain members. The database must be easy to read and simple to use, as receptionists and secretaries are expected to be able to perform searches on a regular basis.

Another, less appealing, option to produce computerised member’s files is to make use of a spreadsheet program, such as Microsoft Excel. Using the find word option in the Edit section of the menu bar can perform searches of the document. This however is not as efficient as using Access as only one member can be found at a time. So for the club’s members I will use Microsoft Access.

TASK 3 – Find all Male Adults who are not Currently Playing for a Team

This task involves using the database to search the member’s files to find all adult males who are not currently playing for a rugby team. This is so that they can be asked via a letter whether or not they would be interested in playing in a barbarian’s side.

The output of this task will be a list of adult males who are currently not playing for a rugby side. The list has to include enough information so that a letter can be sent to these members. All the information must be visible so the columns must be of right width. The columns that will be present in the final list will be:

* First Name and Surname

* Sex

* Street

* Region

* City

* Postcode

* Rugby Team

The input of this task includes the database of members, which was created in task 1. It also includes the creation of the criteria of the query (i.e. All the columns that want to be shown, and with what criteria e.g. male in the sex column).

This query must automatically produce every adult male who is not currently playing for a rugby team. Enough information has to be provided by the query so that a letter can out and the information must be readable. The query must be repeatable with other criteria and must be simple to use as secretaries and receptions might have to perform these on a regular basis.

The testing on this task is to print out the whole database. Then I will manually go through the whole database highlighting every adult male who is not currently playing for a team. I will then compare these results with the one that the query produces to see if the results are right.

TASK 4 – An Enrolment Form to Join the Club

An enrolment form has to be produced so that people can apply to join the rugby club. There has to be enough space so that adequate information can be entered to complete the database entry.

The enrolment form will be on one side of A4 paper as it is easier to use. There will be boxes for people write in and these boxes must be large enough for one letter each. A clear font will be used and it should be large enough to read from. The club’s logo will be present on the top of the page.

The input that is needed will be creating the questions. Also the club’s logo will have to be produced for the enrolment form. Tables will have to be used to create the small little boxes for people to write in.

This enrolment form must be easy to use and be easily understandable. There must be enough space for the applicant fill in all the details required for the database. There must be instructions on the form so that the applicant knows exactly what to do.

There will be no testing for this task.

Another option for this task is to use Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Publisher. In Excel there are already the cells which can resized to be little boxes. There is also the option to put lines around certain cells. In publisher I can follow the same method of that in Microsoft Word, but it is probably more efficient to make the form in Word.

TASK 5 – An Accounting Solution for the Club’s Accounts

The financial officer requires a simple to use accounting system. He wants me to produce the shell of the spreadsheet so that he can fill in the types of income and expenditure as well as the figures. The accounts will be updated monthly and he requires that the spreadsheet has formulas that automatically calculates all the figures.

The output will be a spreadsheet program. There will be the months across the top of the document and a section for income and expenditure down the left-hand side. There will be lines to separate the separate sections to make it look clearer. The formulas for all the totals will already be on there so that the financial officer just has to enter the monthly figures. The accounts I create will be on one side of A4 but the financial officer will be able to add more room if there is more space required for different types of incomes and expenditures. The spreadsheet could be saved as read-only and be used as a template.

The input is to actually design the spreadsheet. I have to lay it out so that it is efficient and clear and so that there is enough room for all income and expenditure. Titles will have to be created for each section and formulas must be created for monthly income, monthly expenditure, money brought forward, money carried forward, yearly totals for types of income and yearly totals for types of expenditure.

The spreadsheet must automatically do any calculations required, by use of formulas, which I have typed in. The financial officer must be able to insert rows to enlarge the accounts if more types of income and expenditure occur. The spreadsheet must be clear and easy to understand. All the officer has to do is to type in monthly numerical figures for each type of income and expenditure.

To test this task I will add some data of my own into the accounts. I will see if the totals are automatically calculated and then I will test the results by use of calculator.

Microsoft Access could also be used, but this is less efficient than Excel. This is because only simple calculations can be performed, not the complicated formulas that will be used for the accounts. Therefore Excel will be used.

TASK 6 – The System of Mail Merge

The club wants to be able to send personalised letters to their members, which are easy and quick to produce. The system must be simple to use, as secretaries will have to use this method frequently. As there is an upcoming rugby tournament and the club wants to create a barbarian rugby side. The search for all the players has already been done in task 2. The clubs wants to use the results of this query to send out personalised letters to each of the members.

The final output should be the letters. The letters should be personalised with each member’s name and surname, etc. The addresses of the member will also be included. The club’s letterhead will be at the top of the page and the letter will be brief, but informative. The letter should be on one side of A4

The input for this task is to create the standard letter. The letter will be clear and short. I will have to create the merge deals, which relate to the data that has to be imported to the letter from Access. I have to also create the club’s letterhead.

The mail merge system must be personalised for every member that it is going to be sent to. The addresses must be included as well as the club’s letterhead. The letter must be on one side of A4.

By actually doing the mail merge for the Barbarians side I am testing if the mail merge system works. So by seeing if only the people who do not play for a team get through it is proving whether the systems works or not.

There is no other way to produce personalised letters other than actually typing the names in manually.

TASK 7 – Advertising of Tournament

As there is an upcoming tournament, the club wants to advertise the event. They would like a poster and a leaflet to be produced. The posters and leaflets must be eye catching and contain lots of information. The prices of tickets for the event are 75dhs on Thursday and Friday and free admission on Wednesday. The event will take place 6th – 8th December. There will be international teams playing in a tournament, Gulf sides in a separate tournament and also a social sevens tournament.

The output will be a poster and a leaflet. The poster will be on one side of A3 paper. It will contain the dates of the tournament and also the admission prices for tournament. They will use a lot of colours and be eye-catching. The leaflet will be on a page of A4 folded in half. There will be information on both sides and it will contain information on the tournament and also on how to enter a social side. Both types of advertising will include the club’s logo.

The input of this task will be to design the posters and the leaflet, and create or find suitable pictures. I will have to invent the text that will be contained within both.

The advertising material must be eye-catching and colourful. They must contain the dates of the tournament and the prices of admission for each day. The poster must be on A3 and the leaflet must fit on A4 and must be folded down the middle. No writing is allowed to go across the folds.

There will be no testing for this task.

Word and Publisher could be used, but Publisher is better as it is specifically designed for Desktop Publishing. It has better features (such as templates) for producing posters and leaflets. Word is more of a word processor. The text that I include in the posters and leaflet will be typed up in Word so that it can be spell checked and different typefaces could be used.

TASK 8 – Online Website

The clubs wants a simple website to be published online. They want it to be simple and easy to update regularly. They want four main sections:

* The latest Results (if any)

* About the Club

* Fixtures

* Links Page

They like the results obtained by use of html coding but do not want to spend money in training their staff. This means that instructions must be included within the code to instruct the staff in where to add the latest results.

The final output will be a finished website with four sections as mentioned above. There will be custom made pictures and the finished coding will have instructions in it to instruct the staff in what do.

I will have to design the website and create it using html coding in Word Pad. I will have to create the pictures that will be used in the website, and these will be created in Photoshop 5.5.

The coding must be simple to update and the website must be informative.

A web page builder could be used to produce a website instead of html coding to produce a website. This usually involves inserting and arranging pictures to where you want them on the page. So what you see is the finished product. However, although this is simpler, it is not as effective and the club prefers html coding.

TASK 9 – Pitch Schedule

There have been many people complaining that the club’s three pitches have been overbooked to train on. Teams can train for an hour on half of a pitch, but due to the current system of the staff remembering when the pitch is booked, many teams are training at once and not having enough room. The clubs wants a simple, easy to use schedule that can be changed weekly.

The output will be a table form schedule. The days will be across the top and the times will down the left. The times will be at hourly intervals. There will be lines on the spreadsheet to separate different sections. There must enough room at each time to fit in two teams, as two teams can train on one pitch.

The input is to design the schedule. The time intervals should be at hourly periods and teams can train on any day of the week. I have to create lines to separate each section.

The schedule must be straightforward to use, as secretaries have to update this regularly. There must be hourly intervals and enough room for three pitches. It should fit on one side of A3 and the separate cells must be separated by gridlines. There must be enough room in each cell to write two teams’ names in.

There will be no testing for this task as the pitch schedule can only be tested by actually using it. People have to come and fill it in by hand and see if there are any problems caused.

There are three programs that can be used are Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word. Each has the facility to work in table form. I believe that Microsoft Excel would better to use, as it is a pure spreadsheet program. All I have to do is type in the cells (that are already there); resize them or put gridlines around them.