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Project on Performance Appraisal System - DOC

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									                                    CIS 518 - Summer 2006

                          Excerpts from IS graduate project document

                          FACULTY APPRAISAL SYSTEM (FAST)
                                          by
                               Gopi Krishna Yeleswarapu

ABSTRACT

Performance assessment is a critical function in all organizations. Faculty in the School of CIS
self-assess performance by submitting a Goals & Objectives document (G&O) to management.
The G&O document assesses performance in the areas of research, teaching, and service. The
self-assessment process involves multiple steps, multiple stakeholders, and employs a
combination of technologies and techniques (paper, word processing, spreadsheet, and one-on-
one consultations). The current process for creating a G&O document can be time consuming
and error prone. The goal of this graduate project is to design and develop a web-based,
distributed application (FASt) that makes the self-assessment process faster and more accurate.
FASt was built on an N-tier architecture using the .Net framework (VB.Net, C#, and ADO.Net)
and SQL Server. The classic waterfall methodology was used throughout the project. Unit and
integration testing was conducted throughout the development process. FASt is designed to
reduce the time required to conduct self-assessment by integrating the planning and review of the
G&O document and by providing a structured, online interactive interface that prompts users
with historical and potentially related assessment data. The experience of three process experts
found that FASt made the self-assesment process faster and more accurate. It is expected that the
deployment of FASt will benefit the School of CIS by providing more timely and accurate
assessment data and thereby providing a better basis for faculty evaluation, planning and
resource allocation. FASt could be generalized for use by other academic units whose faculty
self-assess performance in the three areas of research, teaching, and service. As a platform for
graduate research, FASt could be used to study issues of motivation in goal-setting and
assessment.


Outline of graduate project document

Chapter1: INTRODUCTION
       Overview of SCIS self-assessment process
       Problem statement (research question)
       Overview of Solution

Chapter2: RELATED WORK (literature review)
       Related self-assessment processes
       Related software solutions
       Interview-type process
Chapter 3: REQUIREMENTS (research/conceptual model)
       Enumerated requirements
       Technologies used
       Architecture used
       Testing plan

Chapter 4: SOFTWARE ENGINEERING PROCESS (methods)
       Classic waterfall method
              Graduate project is a document driven process
       Timetable

Chapter 5: RESULTS
       Success!
       Supporting evidence:
           1. Met enumerated requirements
           2. Software enables self-assessment process
           3. Reduces time and errors of self-assessment process

Chapter 6: DISCUSSION

6.1. Contributions
        The result of this graduate project, FASt, is a successful IT implementation of an existing
semi-automated self-assessment process. Although the implementation of FASt does not add
significantly to the Information Systems body of knowledge per se, as an intellectual construct it
represents a credible data and software model of a common and critical organizational process,
viz., performance assessment. Futhermore, to the degree to which FASt can be used in other
academic domains, FASt represents a solution to a class of problems.
        FASt was built on an N-tier architecture using sound software engineering patterns and
principles. In addition to providing a solution that can make self-assessment data more timely
and accurate, FASt is designed to accommodate changes in the assessment scoring system while
providing an effective platform for gradually revising the self-assessment process. For example,
the high level of cohesion and low level of coupling of within and between-tier components
means changes to the scoring system are restricted to the changes in the business logic layer and
alterations to the flow or composition of the interview process does not necessarily require the
application be rebuilt.


6.2     Lessons Learned
Although FASt and this document are the deliverables of this graduate project, the real value for
the student was not the destination but the journey. Many things were learned on this journey.
Some of the skills learned were associated with the tools, for example, Visual Studio and SQL
Server; other skills focused on implementation techniques and technologies such as
programming, creating custom controls, and writing advanced SQL expressions, stored
procedures and triggers. Still other skills were methodological in nature. Implementing a full
scale information system from inception to implementation required the development of project
management skills, a firm grasp of life cycle concepts and techniques, and an solid
understanding of interface design techniques.
There were at least two major programming challenges. The first challenge was the logic
required to pre-fill a new G&O plan document with the preceding year’s information. A second
major challenge was associated with enabling co-authored activities such as publications and
grants. Both solutions were far more complex than anticipated and instigated a re-evaluation of
and significant changes to the database design.
The primary interface challenge was effectively displaying the publication list in the professional
development category. This list can be long and each publication entry can contain a large
amount of text. In addition, publications can be co-authored.
6.3      Future directions
One possible future direction is to explore use of the exception handling class Microsoft
publishes as a companion class in the .Net framework. FASt makes extensive use of the data
access class. The use of the data access class reduces development time and maintenance cost.
In hindsight, integrating the comments user control with the template control would have made
the interface more conistent. Integrating one user control into another user control and accessing
it as a webcontrol in webforms provides may provide interesting results on usage of customized
user controls.


Note: the above prose is from the first draft of the document to the project committee.

Sample enumerated requirement from appendix

1.0 Selection of Module
    1.1. Provide for selection of the Document type (Plan or review) to be selected
    1.2. Provide for Creation of New document
    1.3. Provide for selection of year
    1.4. Provide for Updating existing document that is not finalized
    1.5. Provide for read-only view of finalized documents
    1.6. Provide for copy of Previous Plan to a new plan.

2.0 Weights
    2.1. Look up for weights

3.0 General Requirement-
    3.1. Plan/Review for current academic year’s Fall and Spring semester and Previous
        year’s Summer Semester

4.0 Teaching Effectiveness
    4.1. Provide for tabbed pages that contain
        4.1.1.       Class Taught
            4.1.1.1.        Provide for grid to enter the list of classes taught by the faculty
            4.1.1.2.        Provide for adding rows in the grid
            4.1.1.3.        Provide for updating the rows.
Sample screen captures in appendix




Figure 1-Courses Information of Faculty




Figure 2: Publication Detail

								
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