ADSYS Assessment Brief

ADSYS 2019 – 20; Assessment Brief
The assessment in ADSYS is a Research Based Project consisting of 2 parts and 3 submissions. All ADSYS submissions should have your name and student ID *in the actual submission*. The overall project document [all three submissions] *must* follow the same academic standard and instructions as your final year project. Recommended word count excludes, figures, models, templates, references and appendix. In ADSYS submissions are not penalized if work is over the recommended word count [but be sensible].
Submission deadlines: [please note that these dates are preliminary and there could be minor changes to them due to administrative reasons]
FOCUS for 2019-20 [*The Step* from the Sociotechnical Toolbox] is Step 14 [14a, 14b and 14c together as one].

Part 1 [10%, 500 words] Submission 1: Requirement Specification: [Friday, 18th October, 2019]
The Requirement Specification should fit on a *one page* document [500 words], which should include a concise and complete overview of the main requirements for your method. There should also be an overview of this in the form of a good MindMap which should be explained. You should aspire to make your one page Requirement Specification document outline and formatting to look neat, tidy and professional. Text is expected to take up approx. two thirds of one page and the MindMap the rest.
You are asked to develop a Requirement Specification for the method that you are going to develop. Your method will have to fulfil *exactly the same* purpose and objective of *the step* from the Sociotechnical Toolbox. Your method must also explicitly be drawing upon best practice ideas, methods and techniques from SSM [Soft Systems Methodology by Peter Checkland]. Your requirement specification must provide evidence that you understand the purpose and objective of the method that you are to develop. It must also provide evidence that you understand the links and fit of your method with the overall Sociotechnical toolbox *and* the basics of Systems Thinking.

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Part 2 [90%, 3500 words in total]: please note that Project part two has stepwise submission and is marked after submission 3 is complete.
Submission 2: Methodology Portfolio – ADSYS Analysis and Design Project: [Friday 22nd November, 2019];
The method you develop is expected to have a small number of steps, and each step is expected to have a template [similar to those in the Sociotechnical Toolbox], each of your steps have to have a justification, description and come with instructions for how to use it. Additionally it is useful to have an appendix with examples of your own templates with content and ideas taken from your own second year BSYS project, all examples should be your own [not copied and pasted from other peoples work]. If nothing else this demonstrates that you understand your own method.
The method you develop should fulfil your Requirement Specification. It must be based on *the step* and best practices, ideas and techniques from SSM.
You *must* use at least one book by Peter Checkland as main source for all references and discussions about SSM. You must also use the texts given to you on Moodle as sources for references regarding all aspects of your project [for example stakeholder analysis, systems thinking, knowledge management etc.]. Texts and references which have not explicitly been recommended to you in the ADSYS module, or given in instructions are not acceptable to be used *instead* of those on Moodle, or recommended books.
Must have [minimum to cope with this subject]:
Sociotechnical Toolbox, by Peter Bednar: you have been given a copy of this in your second year. If you do not have this anymore there is a pdf version on Moodle available for you to download.
Book on SSM by Peter Checkland: There are two possible to choose between which are equally useful and anyone of these will be good. [a] Systems Thinking, Systems Practice. [b] Soft Systems Methodology in Action. These books will help you to understand what SSM is. It does not matter if it is an older edition of any of these two books. The main difference between an older edition is that newer versions include a 30-year retrospective as introduction. If you get an older edition, do not worry as the retrospective is available separately on Moodle (not the rest of the book).
Should have [on top of must have – to help with appropriate understanding beyond the bare minimum in the subject]:
Information, Systems and Information Systems. By Peter Checkland and Sue Holwell. This is a useful book if you have studied and understood the basics of what SSM is about based on your reading of one of the books mentioned above. This book will help you to understand what makes SSM great.
Systematically go through the available texts on ADSYS Moodle and carefully study at least ten of them and try to explicitly integrate your insights from them in your method.
Can have [on top of should have – to help with sophisticated understanding when aiming for excellence in the topic]
The Manager’s Guide to Systems Practice, by Frank Stowell and Christine Welch. There are three chapters from this book available on Moodle as taster – but not the whole book. The whole book is very helpful to study if you wish to develop excellence in your understanding of the subject. It is not very meaningful to read this book until you have read at least one of the books by Peter Checkland.
Carefully read all of the texts made available to you on ADSYS Moodle and explicitly integrate what you learnt from a majority of the references in your Method.
It is allowed to add references and sources which have not been explicitly recommended to you as add-ons to extend the scope of your references – but it is not OK to have unsolicited references as replacement for any of those recommended.

Submission 3: Evaluation Portfolio – ADSYS Evaluation Project: [Wednesday, 8th January, 2020];
This Evaluation Portfolio consists of two sections.
Section [a] is to review two methods submitted by two other student to the submission system in Moodle. All students who submit their method on Moodle will have access to all other submissions [after they have submitted their own]. Briefly look at a number of submissions and choose two. One should be a submission that you think looks really great, the second should be a submission that fulfils the general guidelines but with obvious weaknesses and flaws. Do not choose a submission which clearly has not been done according to guidelines and instructions. Each review should explain what the main weaknesses are with the submission and make explicit suggestions for how the work could have been done better. Both reviews are expected to fit on one page together. Remember to reference the work you are reviewing.
Section [b] is to evaluate your own method. For this purpose you have to use the framework for evaluation of methodologies in the book by Avison and Fitzgerald which you may have from your second year studies.
Must have [to cover the bare minimum]
You must review two other student work which you have downloaded from Moodle. This review should highlight weaknesses and have suggestions for how it could be done better.
You must use the framework from the Avison and Fitzgerald book [Information Systems Development, either 3rd or 4th edition], The framework for evaluation is described in chapter 28 in this book.
Should have [on top of must have – to help with appropriate understanding beyond the bare minimum in the subject]:
It is a good idea to read and critically reflect also on the content of chapter 27 in the book by Avison and Fitzgerald.
Sociotechnical Toolbox, by Peter Bednar; This is useful text to help you develop a more full understanding of the topic and context for your method and therefore a more meaningful evaluation.
Book describing SSM by Peter Checkland; clearly useful when evaluating multiple aspects and weaknesses of your own method.
Some of the texts and references [that you choose yourself] from ADSYS Moodle [ten recommended]; useful to expand your evaluation perspective.
Can have [on top of should have – to help with sophisticated understanding when aiming for excellence in the topic]
The Manager’s Guide to Systems Practice, by Frank Stowell and Christine Welch. There are three chapters from this book available on Moodle as taster – but not the whole book. The whole book is very helpful to study if you wish to develop excellence in your understanding of the subject. It is not very meaningful to read this book until you have read at least one of the books by Peter Checkland.
Carefully read all of the texts made available to you on ADSYS Moodle and explicitly integrate what you learnt from a majority of the references in your Evaluation.
It is allowed to add references and sources which have not been explicitly recommended to you as add-ons to extend the scope of your references – but it is not OK to have unsolicited references as replacement for any of those recommended.
Understanding and Evaluating Methodologies [NIMSAD: A Systemic Framework], by Nimal Jayaratna. The evaluation framework described in this book can be used in conjunction with the framework from Avison and Fitzgerald. Only suitable for the very capable and ambitious student.

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