Kuwait University S S Student Information System Project (Phases and Obstacles)

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Kuwait University


Maryam M. Al
-
Otaibi

1












Kuwait University






S
S
S
tudent Information System Project

(Phases and Obstacles)














Maryam Muneef Al
-
Otaibi,

Head of Student information system department

Kuwait University Computer Information Services Center

Email
:
malotaibi@kuc01.kuniv.edu.kw


Kuwait University


Maryam M. Al
-
Otaibi

2


Table of content


1

INTRODUCTION
................................
................................
................................
..

3

2

OVERVIEW

................................
................................
................................
...........

4

3

PROJECT MOTIVES

................................
................................
...........................

4

3.1

A
DMINISTRATIVE
O
BJECTIVES

................................
................................
..........

5

3.2

A
CADEMIC OBJECTIVES
................................
................................
.....................

5

3.3

T
ECHNICAL OBJECTIVES
................................
................................
....................

6

3.4

F
INANCIAL OBJECTIVES
................................
................................
.....................

6

3.5

C
ULTURE OBJECTIVES

................................
................................
.......................

6

4

PROPOSALS STUDY

................................
................................
...........................

6

5

BUSINESS PROCESS REE
NGINEERING (BPR)
................................
............

7

5.1

A
S
I
S

................................
................................
................................
.................

8

5.2

T
O
-

B
E

................................
................................
................................
..............

8

5.3

O
BSTACLES

................................
................................
................................
.......

8

6

SIS IMPLEMENTATION

................................
................................
....................

9

6.1

G
AP
A
NALYSIS
................................
................................
................................
..

9

6.2

C
ONFIGURATION

................................
................................
.............................

10

6.3

M
IGRATION

................................
.................
E
RROR
!

B
OOKMARK NOT DEFINED
.

6.4

C
USTOMIZATIONS

................................
................................
...........................

13

6.5

T
RAINING AND
U
SER
A
CCEPTANCE TESTING
(UAT)

................................
.......

14

6.6

O
BSTACLES

................................
................................
................................
.....

18

7

TRANSITION TO THE NE
W SIS

................................
................................
....

19

8

CONCLUSIONS AND PROJ
ECT LEARNING

................................
..............

24

8.1

C
ONCLUSIONS

................................
.............
E
RROR
!

B
OOKMARK NOT DEFINED
.

8.2

P
ROJECT
L
EARNING

................................
....
E
RROR
!

B
OOKMARK NOT DEFINED
.


Kuwait University


Maryam M. Al
-
Otaibi

3


1

Introduction












In 1998 the most compelling reason for Kuwait University (KU) to undertake
replacemen
t of its student information system (IBM) was the approaching millennium
crisis. Kuwait University’s old student system had been purchased in the 1986 from
I.A, currently (SCT). Since then the application had been heavily customized to fit the
changes requ
ired by KU. Until, it is generally outdated in design and technology, where
it is running VSAM

files technology instead of database technology.

In addition to,
being dangerously not (fully) Y2K compliant by the turn of the century.


The decision, then, to
purchase a new system that would be, among other things,
millennium
-
compliant was by itself easy to make. Especially that there were a
substantial number of excellent products available and any one of them would provide
the solution to KU. But, the incenti
ve for change drove the university to take advantage
of this project to reengineering business process to improve the way Kuwait University
conduct business. Further to that achieve the planned objectives at the level of
administration, academic, technical
, financial, and culture
.

Therefore, it is not a matter
of purchasing new system to solve millennium crisis. It was an opportunity to improve
KU performance in its student related processes and activities and to invest a student
system for the next mille
nnium.


After twelve steering committee meetings to examine offered proposals from the
technical, functional, cost considerations, technology and business risk associated with
each proposal. Exeter Suite chosen to be Kuwait University Student Information
S
ystem.


Moving from the legacy system to the new system was not an easy path. It was felled
with administrative, technical, and/or culture obstacles. These obstacles did not

deter

the teams worked in this project. This is made them anxiety of being among t
he first
customers implemented this product.


The implementation of the Student Information System initiated simultaneously with
Business Process Reengineering (BPR). The implementation project focuses on
bringing up the new system, while reengineering wid
ens the scope of the project to
critically examine the way in which tasks around this system accomplished. BPR end
by producing the final To
-
Be documents at the end of 2
nd

April 2000. But, even before
the publication of To
-
Be document, Kuwait University ma
de significant progress
toward improving its business processes as recommended in the To
-
Be. Much of this
improvement has centered on the new Student Information System.


The execution of the system started at 18 November 2000 with aptitude tests module,
t
hen grading process via web at 13 January 2001, ..etc, until we reach registration
model at 1
st

December 2001, which transfer the university to depend on the new system
totally for enroll students data.


This project is a starting point for new projects t
o embrace and integrate our system
with the new technologies appears in the market, like what had been done with portal
and WAP systems.

Seeking for better work performance at Kuwait University. By
Kuwait University


Maryam M. Al
-
Otaibi

4

providing superior customer service, customer self
-
service
, and immediate access to
information to all constituents
-
while reducing administrative costs.

2

Overview











Kuwait University has a strong history of process innovation. The first Student
Information System (SIS) started at 1975 using NCR
-
Centry
-
100.

After that it has been
replaced by UNIVAC1100 system

in 1980, where the application built in house. Then,
it is switched to IBM900 in 1990 where the application had been purchased from I.A,
currently (SCT)

. Since then the application has been heavily cus
tomized to meet the
increasing demand of Kuwait University.


Student Information System tracks and maintains all information accumulated about
students throughout their academic career at the university. It also gives administrative
offices the ability to

obtain information and generate statistical reports related to
students, courses, and instructors.


The system serves thirteen colleges with different areas of studies for Bachelor, and
Master degree. In addition to different study systems such as year b
ased system, e.g.,
college of Law, Credit system, and a system that combine both, e.g., medical school. It
serves as well, outside organizations such as Kuwait ministries and
embass
ies.


Although, the old SIS had many deficiencies, the university was capab
le to evolve its
registration process from a manual system, to an on
-
line system, and then to a web
accessible system, based on IBM emulation. This project is a continuation of this
process innovation. To remain competitive in the new higher education envi
ronment
and provide superior customer service, customer self
-
service, and immediate access to
information to all constituents
-
while reducing administrative costs. Seeking for better
work performance

at Kuwait University
.

3

Project Motives











In 1998

the most compelling reason for Kuwait University (KU) to undertake
replacement of its student information system (IBM) was the approaching millennium
crisis. Kuwait University’s old student system had been purchased in the 1986 from
I.A, currently (SCT).
Since then the application has been heavily customized to fit the
changes required by KU. Until, it is generally outdated in design and technology, where
it is running VSAM

files technology instead of database technology.

In addition to,
being dangerously
not (fully) Y2K compliant by the turn of the century.


The decision, then, to purchase a new system that would be, among other things,
millennium
-
compliant was by itself easy to make. Especially that there were a
substantial number of excellent products av
ailable and any one of them would provide
the solution to KU. But, the incentive for change drove the university to take advantage
of this project to reengineering business process to improve the way Kuwait University
conduct business and achieve the follo
wing other goals:

Kuwait University


Maryam M. Al
-
Otaibi

5

3.1

Administrative Objectives


1.

Utilize the information technology to reengineer Kuwait University business
process. In order, to make substantive improvements in the way Kuwait
University conducts its business. This is can be achieved by remo
ving
redundant and repetitive tasks, reduce time/effort to accomplish tasks, and
provide better decision
-
making.

2.

Reduce employments in Kuwait University who add no value. In addition, to
free human resources from redundant and repetitive tasks and allow th
em to
focus on more qualitative work. This is can be accomplished by giving people
the access to information and systems to accomplish their work task.

3.

Remove papers from all processes and replace it with the electronic distribution
of information, if pos
sible. The system should automatically send messages to
faculty, students, and staff based on predefined situations.

4.

Support decision
-
making by implementing business rules in the system so that
the manual task of reviewing data to determine common busines
s cases is
eliminated. The system should automatically inform relevant people
electronically based on system logic, rather than have staff members manually
check data and then communicate via paper. For instance, the student can be
marked as graduated stud
ent or expected to be graduate automatically, if he/she
satisfied the GPA rules and systemized Degree Audit rules. After that the
students can view his/her status and the remaining courses in his/her web page
without the need to send hem/her paper includin
g the remaining courses.

5.

Intelligence to predict best solutions extracted from pervious information stored
in the system. For instance, the optimal offered course schedule can be
determined by collecting student’s major sheets and previous students
prefere
nces. Another example is to predict student academic path based on
same predefined variables for pervious students to help in advising.

6.

Optimize Kuwait University resources such as classrooms, where classes is
allocated into rooms based on time of days and

days of week during which the
classes are being offered. Taken into consideration room size, room feature
requirements, and location preferences or campus building of the sponsoring
departments. Thus, higher utilization of space is achieved with the same
teaching environments.

7.

Avoid system that is powered by rear expertise. In other words, depending on
young developers and easy to learn system.

3.2

Academic objectives

The old Student Information System (SIS) used to focus mostly on the tasks of
administrative
offices. However, a system that extends that focus to faculty,
advisors, administrators, students, and students family is required. Such that
students and faculty members should be able to access routine information and
initiate requests for services with
out the aid of staff. For example, a student will be
able register, check his/her grades, review his major sheet, and get advising without
staffs interfere. Faculty will be able to review class lists and submit grades online.
Administrators will have full
access to information to help with academic planning.

Kuwait University


Maryam M. Al
-
Otaibi

6

3.3

Technical objectives

1.

New robust and comprehensive system. That will be a seamless to central
repository for all student information at KU. Such that it manages extensive
information at both the colleges

and district level while saving time by
eliminating repeated data entry, i.e., the
Data entered into the system once at the
source, when information is collected and decisions are made.

2.

Open system to extension by today's tools and those that will appear

in the
future is required.

3.

A state
-
of
-
the
-
art system that leverages advanced GUI design to provide
friendliness in all aspects of its use. Because one of the biggest barriers to
widespread use of information in IBM system is the unfriendliness of the
syst
ems that support the data and/or the unfriendliness of the ad hoc toolset.

4.

A system that can be integrated with other applications in the university such as
Financial system, library system, ..etc. Moreover, the ability to integrated with
applications outs
ide the university such as banks, civil information system.. etc.

5.

A System that support new functionalities such as advising, reports and
statistics, degree audit, ..etc, with low maintenance and easy for end users to
master.

3.4

Financial objectives

Reduce t
he amount of money that spent yearly for system maintains. Especially,
that the maintenance for the IBM
-
Student Information System is

for non
-
upgradeable technology because of heavily customizations.

3.5

Culture objectives

Consolidate the students with the r
evolution in information and communication in
the world. By providing the opportunities for the student to use all technological
developments, which have already marked the modern educational apparatus. This
will qualify them for the world outside the univ
ersity.

Thus, they will not accept
poor services outside Kuwait University world and they will help in the
improvements at the country level.

Therefore, it is not a matter of purchasing new system to solve millennium crisis. It was
an opportunity for impro
vement in several important areas in KU as mentioned above.

4

Proposals study









In 19 September 1998, Kuwait University Presidents constructed the steering
committee of the project. This committee contains members from almost all the
colleges in the un
iversities, Dean of Admissions and Registration, and collaborators
from the computer center. The purpose of this committee is to study the available
products in the market that have been implemented in big universities like Kuwait
University. In addition t
o, supervise the implementation of this system.

There were a substantial number of excellent products available in the market. Kuwait
University computer Information Services (KUCIS) started to request for information
for all available products. Those ven
dors, who had the full range of functionalities that
will help to implement our proposed process of change, entered the next round of
discussions by the steering committee. The steering committee focused on those top
Kuwait University


Maryam M. Al
-
Otaibi

7

four vendors, People Soft, Exeter Stude
nt Suit from Exeter, (Banner 2000) from SCT,
and LOGSIS from Logos.

The Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued to the mentioned group of vendors, and
responses were reviewed for technical, functional, and cost considerations. The
technology and business r
isk associated with each proposal also examined. The
following activities performed to help committee thinking:

1.

Invited the four vendor candidates to the university to demonstrate their
products. Exeter, Logis and People Soft attended and presented their
products to
KU. While SCT
apologize
d to attend for presenting the product to Kuwait
University.

2.

Communicate with the universities that implemented one of the mentioned
products to gain advantage from their experience. By

-

Visiting some universities that sta
rted to implement one of the
mentioned products.

-

Calling some universities in Arabian Gulf that started to uses one of
the product.

-

Emailing all the universities that is listed as customers in the
proposals applied by the venders.

3.

Communicate with venders

to discuss the financial and technical issues.

The committee held twelve meetings just to study the mentioned proposals. At the
conclusion of the review, the committee awarded a contract to Exeter for Kuwait
University Student Information System.

By Selec
ting Oracle
-
Based Exeter Student
Suits

for the core components
Student Services System (SSS/ registration) module,
Student Marketing System (SMS/Admissions) module, and Student Web Services
(SWS) module.

5

Business Process Reengineering (BPR)





In conjunc
tion with the implementation of the Student Information System, Kuwait
University made the decision to embark upon a reengineering effort. While the
implementation project focuses on bringing up the new system, reengineering widens
the scope of the project

to critically examine the way in which tasks around this system
accomplished. The goal of reengineering is to make substantive improvements in the
way Kuwait University conducts its business. By embracing and integrating
information technology to the univ
ersity life. This integration, however, should always
support rather than replace administrative and educational interactions. There are a
number of ways to achieve process improvements:

1.

Reduced time/effort to accomplish tasks

2.

Better decision making

3.

Delive
ring a better level of service to stakeholders of the University (faculty,
students and/or staff)

The process of reengineering consists of two broad steps:

1.

Understand the current process (As
-
Is).

2.

Determine goals for improvement and Design new processes tha
t achieve the
identified goals (To_Be).

Kuwait University


Maryam M. Al
-
Otaibi

8

5.1

As Is

This process started with KPMG as partner for Exeter & KCC in 11
th

April 1999,
Where 30 interviews conducted, with all Kuwait University colleges (Guidance and
counseling offices), Dean of Admissions and Regist
ration Departments, Student Affairs
offices, College of Graduate Schools, Security and Safe Department, Library
department. Each office set to work describing how work was currently getting done,
from the first intake of information, through the processing

of that information, across
the full range of possible transactions, including all possible manual reports used, to the
final output.

The first AS
-
IS document delivered at the 22
nd

May 1999. This document detailed 20
processes related to the current stude
nt information system. Accordingly, three
workshops arranged full days to discuss this document with all KU offices and the
steering committee. In these workshops it come into view that the created documents
doesn’t satisfy what KU is looking for. As resul
t, the steering committee decided on the
13
th

meeting at
9
th

June 1999, to exclude the KPMG from AS IS phase on BPR and
repeat this process by executive committee, which is constructed from members of the
steering committee, in addition to people from Exet
er have a strong experience with the
Exeter product and strong background on Higher Education. This is beside strong
involvement of KU IT team. On the other hand, include experts perspective on TO
-
BE
phase to give quality assurance after the end of this ph
ase.

Understanding the current process was accomplished with the creation of the second
AS
-
IS document in September 1999. This document detailed 67 processes related to the
current student information system.

5.2

To
-

Be

In the eight weeks after the release of

the AS
-
IS document, the reengineering team
turned its attention to the ‘To
-
Be’ phase. This phase focused on how to engineer AS
-
IS
processes to produce substantive positive change. For this purpose workshops conduct
with BPR team, steering committee, and K
U offices to help prioritize the ideas and set
the areas for focus.

Each process of 67 processes that were covered in the AS
-
IS document could
undoubtedly be improved in some fashion. However, it has been focused on those
processes, which, if changed, woul
d have the largest positive impact on Kuwait
University. The initial task of the To
-
Be phase was to identify those areas and process
in which improvements would result in the most benefit of Kuwait University. These
priority areas were further reviewed and

tangible ideas for improvements were
identified.

This phase end by producing the final To
-
Be documents at the end of 2
nd

April 2000.
But, even before the publication of To
-
Be document, Kuwait University made
significant progress toward improving its busi
ness processes as recommended in the
To
-
Be. Much of this improvement centered on the new Student Information System.

5.3

Obstacles



Difficulties that faces the consultants in understanding the current process, because
they don’t have good experience higher edu
cation field and Exeter product. This is
overcome by constructing new team have strong experience in Higher education
field as well as Exeter.

Kuwait University


Maryam M. Al
-
Otaibi

9



The language was one of the obstacles that face the team during the interviews that
conducted, with all Kuwait
University offices to describe how work was getting
done.

6

SIS Implementation








Although, our students were not complaining about the level of service they were
receiving, and the faculty were by and large comfortable with things the way they were.
Kuw
ait University initiated the implementation of the Student Information System
simultaneously with Business Process Reengineering (BPR). The main purpose beyond
that was to have the new system as a backup system for the IBM on the turn of the
century. Regar
dless whether all functionalities required would be included in the new
system or not. The main concern was to have all the data in IBM to be archived in the
new system and migrate all the enrolled students to Exeter application, in case
something happened

to IBM. This compressed timeframe was the biggest challenge to
the success of this project.

The implementation process started at April 1999. It consists of six banded steps as
listed below:

1.

Setup

2.

Gap Analysis

3.

Configurations

4.

Data migration

5.

Customization

6.

Testing and Training


The project started with a team of individual assembled from KU and KCC/Exeter. As
the project moved forward Kuwait University Center of Information Services (KUCIS)
recruited more staff, and established new Labs for

system training
, testing, and
workshops. KCC & Exeter handed the project to KU at February 2000. After that KU
was totally depended on its staff to lead and execute the project.


It worth to mention that beyond the team of managers, a whole range of other experts
and anc
illary users would in the course of time become involved in the project.
Figure
1

shows the general lines of responsibility as the project moved forward.

6.1

Gap Analysis

The project started by understanding the existi
ng business process, legacy information
systems architecture, design, and operational characteristics by the involved team. This
was in order develop the initial Project Plan, consisting of the detailed work plan and
measures to track progress and facilita
te consistent and orderly project progress.
Further to that was to include the strategies for moving from the old architecture to the
target architectures.

Sample configuration data of the system parameters was configured on test system, for
the purpose of

training and testing by the KU SIS project team. The base system, Exeter
Student Suite as it is, demonstrated for the steering committee, Admissions and
Registration heads and KU team to identify the customization that needs to be carried
out on the produ
ct to achieve the required business needs. In other words, determine the
gaps between Kuwait University requirements and Exeter Student Suite capabilities.

In addition, to iterative meetings with University officials of various levels were held
on an aver
age of three times a week to gather Business Requirements. Beside

daily
internal meeting for the IT team after noon
.


Kuwait University


Maryam M. Al
-
Otaibi

10

These meetings end with a log containing all the functionality required from the Exeter
Suit. Those requested items analyzed and discusse
d with the Executive committee and
the owners, to agree on the final solutions. Those solutions either exist already in
Exeter suit and it is require only user training. Or configuration, or/and customizations
are required.

6.2

Configuration

In this process th
e arabization procedure, security model, and user define Functions
defined to meet Kuwait University requirements. The primary language for data storage
in the application determined to be Arabic in order to cater to the greatest population of
SIS users in

the University. This means that the fields presented in the screens, such as
students name, course name, notes, ..etc. entered and stored in Arabic. While The
English equivalents will be stored in flexfields or other secondary fields.

However, the interfa
ce “Screens” for the smart clients will remain to be English
language. This is because these screens intended only for the system administrators and
Admissions & Registration offices. On the other hand, Student Web Services and
faculties Web Services inter
face (SWS) support both language as per requested by the
Executive Committee i.e. bilingual, were the users able to navigate the Web site either
in Arabic or English language.

The security profile initially created based on the pervious responsibility on I
BM. It is
reviewed with A&R head sections, to ensure proper responsibilities distribution. Then
as the project moved forward user authority and profile are changed with time. This is
due to the new system security concept, where the Edit and View permissio
n are
implemented based on the form/screen, not on field wise as it is in the IBM. In addition
to that, some responsibilities transferred from system administrators’ team to the end
users at A&R, such as defining Equivalent courses, course major mapping fo
r MGPA
calculation, running Degree Audit, defining building & room, link faculties to their
departments …etc.

6.3

Migration

This is the most technical phase of the implementation process. Where the data
transferred from the legacy system to the new system. Th
is process consist of three
stages:

1.

Data Mapping:
Through this stage the team defined how existing IBM data is to be
stored in the new system. This was required to study the IBM data elements and
data dictionary in Exeter system and match the corresponding

fields. In addition to
translating the code values used in IBM to the corresponding value that is used in
Exeter system.

2.

Archive and validations:
After mapping the data, all the existing data in IBM
exported in ASCII files. These files are checked and val
idated to ensure that Arabic
values are displayed correctly and the fields exported in the same order, agreed on.
This is to ensure successful importing of these data in Oracle database. After that,
archive plan developed. In the validation activity,
consi
stency between all the data
in all tables must be achieved. What is more, duplications removed and number of
records per file checked

Kuwait University


Maryam M. Al
-
Otaibi

11


Figure
1

General Lines of Responsibility


Kuwait University


Maryam M. Al
-
Otaibi

12


3.

Data Conversion

Packages to move the data from the

archived data to Exeter system for each
functional area created. It is usually run nightly to prevent interruption for user
tanning, testing, and also other developments. This due to the long time it require
for some packages such as Students Enrollments.


Conversions and data mapping tested and the process repeated till the user
comfortable that all data is getting into the new system in a usable format, and that
the procedures run correctly. For example in the early stages of this process it has
been dis
covered that the exporting of data from IBM remove “
لاا


letters from the
data that contains these letters, once this discovered, the problem investigated and
solved to be eliminated from the next migrations that will performed
.

The first data migration st
arted mid of September 1999. Followed by Data
Migration Quality Assurance workshop to serve two purposes:

1.

Check with small groups of records the data mapping and migration

2.

Functional Analysis

The lab was prepared with live IBM terminals for the testers in
the workshop, to
compare between both systems.

Migration is iterative process repeated, each time deadline was missed, or lack of
delivering data is discovered. This is happened even when the system went life.
Each time migration is repeated, pervious migr
ated data deleted. Script for cleaning
the data without removing the configurations was created. Taken into consideration
that some data could not be migrated again or deleted. For example, when the most
of major sheets configured by the user for degree Au
dit process, course catalog
couldn’t be migrated again because the major sheets tables depend on the course
catalog ID’s. Migrating the course catalog again means entering the major sheets
again, which was totally unacceptable. Since it is mean repeating t
he same effort of
data entry and testing those sheets. Therefore, for course catalog and similar tables
the new data only migrated. Therefore, programs and scripts written to handle all
the possible scenarios created.

Six full data migration performed for
Undergraduate and Gradate schools. On
average two full migration per year. Final migration for Undergraduate consistent
with the target “live date” decided to be 30 September 2001 till 8 November 2001.
It was agreed that both systems Oracle system and IBM
started to work in parallel
11 November 2000. Such that all the data entry performed manually in the IBM
must be performed in the ORACLE system. However, due to miss entries from
users and the impractical way for some processes to be performed parallel in
both
systems such as registration, grading, …etc. There were migrations performed for
only new admissions or/and new registrations or/and new grades performed in the
IBM system but not in Oracle system. This is to ensure consistency between both
systems. I
n the face of, mismatching which usually happened between the two
systems, validation and data cleaning was always required periodically and after
each activity and migration process. This is in order, to synchronize the two systems
(IBM and ORACLE) and cl
ean all the bad data entry.

Kuwait University


Maryam M. Al
-
Otaibi

13

6.4

Customizations

Gap Analysis phase end with a log containing all the functionalities required from
Exeter Suit. After it was analyzed and discussed with the Executive committee and the
owners, a list created with all customizati
on items required. On 19
th

January 2000
number of items reached 77 items. This customization list was too long to be done
within the short time remaining of the project cycle. So the project teams with
committee prioritize the items, such that all the func
tionalities exist in IBM included in
Exeter as minimum requirements before went life. All these items can be classified to

1.

Modifying existing functionality/interface to meet KU requirements such as the
Students Web interface, faculty Web interface, sortin
g, section restrictions.. etc.

2.

Create new functionalities not exist at Exeter suit, such as advising, Aptitude
test waiting list, thesis tracking, equivalent courses ..etc.

3.

Solve bugs within the Exeter suit. Any bugs discovered sent to Exeter to solve it
and release new batch included the solution. However, if the item is too urgent
to be performed and time frame is not permitting us to wait, the item is solved in
KU.

All the items were sent to Exeter as Enhancement requests to be adapt it in new
versions.

This is to help in enhancing the Exeter product and reduce the effort required
to apply all these changes every time new version is release from Exeter. Therefore,
with the release of new version, the implemented customization items reviewed, such
that an
y item adopted in the new version eliminated from KU list.

Although, the customization list was increased with the time user used to know system
well, customizations controlled by the IT team according to managers
recommendations. By accept the very import
ant items and avoid complex and less
important items, see Figure 2. This is in order to minimize the customizations
performed in the product and avoid any complexity may happened during any upgrade
for the application. For the purpose of keeping KU with th
e latest technology and avoid
what happened with the old SIS, which was heavily customized until it was difficult to
apply any new upgrades and it becomes outdated.

Even though some modules went life such as placement tests module, grading via
WEB, etc.,
the customizations activities were going on especially for registration
module. Which proved that it is the most difficult module to implement and customize,
since many of the business rules that underlay the student record keeping and
management had never

been articulated in a way that programmers could use in
producing code. Beside the non
-
standard rules between colleges in GPA calculations
such as college of law and other colleges, registrations rules between colleges, the
difference in major sheets grou
ps between colleges.. etc.

Furthermore, Web interface for registration (SWS) was not professional with the
functionalities and features that is provided by the base system SSS. This is allowing
for a lot of customizations performed on the interface, even
when the highest important
items in SSS completed from long time.

When the most important items completed to start transition to the new SIS and after
the stress test of SWS. SWS faced an operating system problems that caused the system
crashed and cannot
handle even less load (refer to section
6.5

for more detail). Hence,
KU teams switch their focus to develop new Web system that satisfies KU needs, using
Oracle portal. This after discussing all the plans and th
e paths that KU could follow to
solve the problem. From that time new stage of web development start to serve SIS
features.

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6.5

Training and User Acceptance testing (UAT)

Training

Training sessions segmented first by models (admissions, Re
gistration, ..etc) ,then by
job type with each functional area. Users are generally asked to describe their job
functions, general and specific interactions with students, and system knowledge; from
this information, custom training sessions are created to

address specific institutional
requirements.


After that power users established from representatives from each office. Six users
from College of graduate studies, one user from Admissions department, four users
from Records Department, and four users fro
m Registrations at dean of admissions and
Registration. Those users trained on how to use PC and the new system, to understand
and be responsible for more complex aspects of the system modules. They used to be
called before any process went life, to perfor
m the finale acceptance testing. Power
users were critical to a successful implementation, taking the role of the following:

1.

Carrying training sessions for all the staff in their offices.

2.

Validating migrated data.

3.

Creating testing scenarios and test the sy
stem after new customizations or
upgrade.

What is mentioned above is related to KU employees, who are using the system to
serve the students or faculties. However, there were a set of training sessions performed
to the students and KU instructors, on how t
o use Web to accomplish their tasks. These
training used to be synchronized with the related process, before it went life. Before
training started, IT team used to train the staff of Guidance and counseling offices and
others KU employees. To help during t
he first execution of any process, by providing
support to students/faculties in all KU labs.



I M P O R T A N C E

Sortin
g

Waiting list

Section
Restrictions

C O M P L E X I T Y

Degree Audit

Figure
2

Customizations axis

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Testing

Testing take place in three stages for each module:



Unit Testing.

Carried out for each item customized separately. This kind of testing used to be
perfo
rmed by the IT team excluding the developer/s for the tested item. The
defects detected during the testing closed and cleared by the developer/s, before
it is deliver to the power user to test it. The purpose of this testing is to check
the functionality a
chieved from the customized item. Thus, this testing always
performed on the Development environment. This environment is updated
periodically to have the same data on production.



User Acceptance Testing.

Power users used to carry out the acceptance testin
g based on test plans and test
scenarios prepared for this purpose. These testing scenarios cover all cases that
could happen on live. These scenarios are filled on standard documentations to
be used later for new upgrades or customization that could happe
n to the same
functionality.

The motive of this testing, is to check the customized item with the integrations
with other items in the Module. Therefore, Users acceptance testing is carried
out on test environment that is identical to production.



Stress Te
sting.

Executed on the basis of test plans prepared by the executive committee and the
IT teams. The reason of this testing is to test the performance of the system and
functionalities under real load.

1.

1
st

April 2000


11
th

April 2000
, the first stress tes
ting performed in the
system. It was for registration process in the smart client level. It was
intended to check the registration rules and functionalities all together with
the performance of the system. This testing performed in conjunction with
the rea
l registration of summer term. Real registration was performed in the
IBM system during the daytime, while registration on Oracle performed
afternoon. Based on the students class list printed from IBM. Using the final
class list from IBM, the test was for
only the valid cases, which should be
accepted smoothly in the new system. In addition, to test the configurations
carried out in the system. However, for checking the invalid cases, auditing
from IBM used. Such that the users took random cases of students
, and
follow the transactions requested until the students approved to register. The
expected results should be same as the IBM results tracked in auditing.

Most of the problems reported during this period were mainly because of
data inconsistency, because

there were many changes performed on IBM,
without updating Oracle, such as defining new offerings, new restrictions,
Exam time…etc. In addition, to some problems in configurations such as
configuring the term dates and some profile values. This is beside
few bugs
discovered which was related to co
-
requisites and section restrictions.

2.

14 November 2000,

SWS students registration stress testing. The main
target is to test the system under real load along with training the students in
how to use the system and

if possible collect their comments to help in
enhancing the interface. Because the executive committee was not satisfy
with the look and feel of the SWS. However, it was a good chance to test
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system performance, test the functionalities under real load, a
nd collects
user comments for future enhancements.

This test carried out in the production environments. For that reason, fake
term configured, to allow students to register in this term without affecting
their real schedule. Students were not obligated to

register in this term;
therefore, to attract them, they promised to have the highest priority in
registration for next real term, if and only if they registered in the fake term.

In this testing the system was very slow, and such performance was not
accep
table by all. Even that the system functionalities could not be tested
probably under such performance.

3.

17 March 2001


13 April 2001,

the second test for SWS student
registration. This was after many changes performed in the application level
and the data
base level. In the application level, the interface customized
according to executive committee and students comments. In the database
level, many things performed but the most important thing was changing the
web server configuration from Single to multi
-
node to handle high load. It
was intended that if this stress test succeed, KU would go life with Student
registration via web on mid of April 2001
.

However, in this test the web server crashes frequently even with low load,
which stops the www service. Th
e version, which KU used by that time,
was OAS 3.0.1.1, which was not supported by ORACLE. On the other hand,
Exeter application does not work probably with new version OAS 4.

Although the mentioned OAS 3.0.1.1 was de
-
supported, Oracle Support,
from United

Arab Emirates and United Kingdom, thankfully worked for the
duration of 3 months on a TAR (Technical Assistance Request) to debug
and solve the Dr. Watson problem. However, Oracle Support finally closed
the TAR with no resolution to this problem. On the o
ther hand, SALLIE
MAE SOLUTIONS, the owner of the Exeter suit by that time, could not do
anything and their explanation was the problem between Oracle and the
operating system, which was NT by that time. In addition, they mentioned
that they were working o
n new version of SSS including Web Registration
SWS
-

version 1.5 and it is supposed to be released end of August 2001.

At the same time, KUCIS contacted all the universities that use Exeter suit
based on Oracle. NONE of the fifteen universities by that ti
me went life
with SWS. KU was the first universities that stress tested SWS and tried to
go life with it. Creighton tested the system with 45 users

and it was not
acceptable, Rice University was hoping to go life with it on summer, and
other universities w
ere waiting the new release to go life with WEB
registration.

This problem put the KU on critical situation, because students used to
register on the IBM system by them self. While the only solution available
to go life with registration in the new system
was return back to old way of
registration where the staff register for the students using the smart client.
But this solution was not acceptable by it all means, because new system
suppose to improve the registration process not to degrade it to the old w
ay.
KUCIS did the best to solve the problem and they couldn’t. Therefore, the
executive committee held meeting on 07 July 2001 to discuss this issue and
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possible alternatives suggested by KUCIS (refer to
Table
1
). O
n this
meeting two paths suppose to be selected, due to the cost of the suggested
solutions.

Route one “ upgrading to 1.5”, the university was obligated to do it,
however there was high risk and non
-
assurance that the SALLIE MAE
SOLUTIONS will deliver it
on time and this is what happened actually. This
is beside the fact that to agree on this project long path of routine has to be
followed, which will delay the implementation. On the other hand, route two
“Migration to 9IAS” has been investigated and it is

fail.

Beside the five paths mentioned in
Table
1
, KUCIS was studding the
proposals for portal project. This project intended to integrate KU
applications and tools. In addition, to create an environment that is
sig
nificantly improve the Web interface for its applications, while delivering
powerful new services to students, Faculties, Staff, and outside users and
organizations. Due to the web problem KUCIS moved ahead quickly with
implementation of the portal project

and start with SIS services to be the
first phase of this project. This project started with prototype system on May
2001 as first stage to prove that portal software can provide dynamic
interaction to Student Information System source code/database. Afte
r
Portal prototype implementation completed successfully, the first phase that
was SIS services through portal started on September 2001 and ended on
November. It was a big achievement, even, with the short period available
for the project. But it successf
ully completed, due to the fact that, the project
teams were determined and like to thrust forward and get results.

4.

November 2001,

testing for student registrations through web using portal.
In this test the participants were from students, KUCIS employees
, A&R
employees, and advising and counseling employees. This test continued till
the first day of December. WEB HAMMER tool also used for stress test,
when there were no users to test. This for helping DBA team to tune the
database, because it was difficul
t to have all the people available once we
need them.

This test was useful to measure hardware capability, in addition to tune the
database for better performance. However, we didn’t reach the expected
load in reality.










Table
1

Students Web Registration Alternatives

Suggested Solution

Time

Owner

Uncertainty

Sol. Description

1.

Current
Configuration

End of
August.

Exeter

High


Provide SWS that runs on a fully
supported version of Oracle web
server.

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Solve the problem with Oracle.

2.

Migration to 9IAS

1 month

DBA& SIS

High

Migrate the OAS to 9iAS.

3.

Client
Customization

2 Months

SIS team

Low, but not
practical


Create new screen for student
Registration at the client level.


Prepare reg. halls with clients.

4.

SWS Customization

2 Months

SI
S team

High

Customize SWS to be run with fully
supported version of OAS 4.0.8.2

5.

Redevelop SWS

4 Months

KCC

Medium, Not
practical

Redevelop SWS using Web technology
and Java language. It cost 15000 KD.

6.6

Obstacles



The compressed timeframe to have the new sy
stem up and running on the turn of
the century was the biggest challenge to the success of this project.



Although Exeter has a long track record in providing student information services
to schools very much like Kuwait University, they were just in the pr
ocess of
developing an Oracle
-
based system that would fulfill the KU needs. Which mean
new versions released frequently to solve bugs and enhance the product.
Accordingly, the process of installing the Exeter suite of student information
modules was an ite
rative one in which there is risk to have bugs in a piece of code.
This is beside to what had been customized on the application.



Being among the first customers to implement this product, we became from the
first customers that faces bugs and suffer a lot

to solve it. Since non of the Exeter
clients reach the phases we reached. This some times means changing the plans if
there are no alternative solutions.



Oracle was very fast to release new versions of their product, while Exeter slow
comparing to them.
This cause Student Web registration (SWS) failed during the
stress test, due to incompatible versions between Oracle database and Exeter
products. For this reason, KU move ahead quickly to portal project tp replace
Exeter Web interface.



Security profile of

the new system has different concept of the security profile in
the legacy system. In the new system Edit and View permission are implemented
based on function, not on field wise as it is in the IBM. This is beside the fact that
some redundant fields in o
ld system to allow different authority of Edit, has been
unified in the new system. This change was hardly to be accepted by the users
because it means transfer/changing of authority between departments.



It was difficult to have a load in testing similar t
o reality.



Parallel Run for both systems (Oracle system, and IBM) was representing a big
burden for all the teams involved in this project. Because two systems were
working together which mean the work performed into one system are replicated to
the other
i.e. the load was duple for all. This is beside the fact that 75% of the IT
team time which suppose to be spend for developments and enhancements was
spent for synchronizing the two systems and tracing the problems that occurred
because of mismatching. The
refore, validations and data cleaning always required
periodically. However, it was an important period to ensure successful execution,
increase the confidant toward the new system,
allow

KU IT team to understand
“closely” the end users interactions with s
tudents, instructors…etc. On the other
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hand, allow the functional team to understand the way the new system working on
as different technology from old system. Accordingly, gives better suggestions for
providing the services to KU community.



During migrati
ons, life (IBM) systems should be freezing to ensure synchronization
of both systems. Such that when both systems become up, they are identical. This
was hard to plan since KU services offered all the time of the year.



Lack of delivering some data from IBM

during migration, which is discovered with
time users, get used to the system more.

7

Transition to the new SIS







Although Exeter has a long track record in providing student information services to
schools very much like Kuwait University, the
y were just in the process of developing
an Oracle
-
based system that would fulfill the KU needs. Accordingly, the process of
installing the Exeter suite of student information modules was an iterative one in which
there is risk to have bugs in a piece of c
ode. This is beside to what had been customized
on the application.

This way of doing business, of course, is fraught with risk. Whenever a deadline was
missed, the Executive Committee would convene for an emergency meeting to develop
contingency plans. Wh
enever a bug emerged in a piece of code, visions of disaster
danced across our monitor screens. But on balance, we believe the anxiety of being
among the first customers to implement this product line was more than made up for in
the quality of the product

that we ourselves helped in solving bugs on it.

Thus, as part of an overall strategy to replace the existing information system, Kuwait
University follows the “Phases” approach in conducting the execution of the new
student information system. This is in

order to ensure successful implementation, user
acceptance, and reengineer some processes for improvement.

The execution of the system started at 18 November 2000 with aptitude tests module,
then grading process via web at 13 January 2001, degree Audit on

June 2001,
admissions on July 2001 .. etc, until we reach registration model at 1
st

December 2001,
which transfer the university to depend on the new system totally for enroll students
data.

A contingency plan for each process to be live, built in a way
that Oracle and IBM
systems are prepared both for the indicated process. But as opposite way of testing,
Oracle is the main system to be used, while IBM is the backup system. The
environments, application, data, and time schedules prepared in flexible way
such that
switching to the backup system easy made and does not create a burden on the end user,
e.g. Admissions and Registration staff, or affect the service that provided to the
students. This is beside the operation team that constructed from members of

A&R and
most of KUCIS departments (SIS, DATABASE, NETWORK, and HELPDESK
departments). To be ready for any emergency that may occur. The communication
strategy defined between those members to ensure fast response time recovery for any
crises that comes ou
t.

SIS and the Integration with Other applications


Exeter student Suit was a successful choice to support KU student information
management. It is a robust and seamless central repository for our critical student
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information, and integrated with other ap
plications. This is had been proven by
integrating SIS with Portal, SMS & WAP through Mobile, and Reports tools.


Now KU Student Information System represents multiple applications and tools
interplay together to perform the tasks required. It represents:



Exeter Student Suit application:

which represents the core of SIS, where the
intelligence is performed, and data and codes are stored.

It is entirely developed on
Oracle's Designer/2000 and Oracle's Developer/2000. Database is Oracle
7.3.4/apps10.7 client
/server architecture run on Unix platform, currently in the
process to upgrade it to Oracle Database 8i/apps11i
.



Web (Oracle portal) application:

which

r
epresents a web interface for Exeter
Student suit Students to be accessed by administrators, faculties
, staff, students, and
applicant at any time. It is Oracle portal base in Oracle9i application server
(Oracle9iAS) with Unix platform.



WAP application:
an application that uses wireless application protocol to provide
SIS services in special text format on

special WAP
-
enabled GSM mobile phones,
such as Nokia, Alcatel, Siemens, Motorola, Ericcson, Samsong, Sony..etc. uses
ANNY WAY Gateway and

Developed using wml, java script
, and SQL.



Reports applications:

used for producing reports and statistics.
Oracle
reports used
for generating reports used form the client
“Student Exeter Suit”
, while discoverer
reports for accessing reports via Web, but it is still not used.


SIS WEB Application

1.

Students



Registration Summary

Where student display student’s program
details and the student’s course schedules
for the current term and all upcoming terms that the student has registered in.
Program details will cover information like student’s college, student’s Enrollment
Status, Year of study, Major, Minor, Earned, atte
mpted and waived Credits, GPA
and MGPA, Honor, Major and Minor Probations, and total number of terms that
have been studied by the student.

Course schedule will cover details like course number, course title, section number,
weekdays, class timings, locat
ion of class, faculty, and final exam date and timing.
In addition to that, each course schedule’s header should include the term name,
total number of registered credits, and final exams duration. At a given time student
can have maximum three course sche
dules for current and for the coming
semesters. Student will be able to take printout for the course schedule and program
detail by using browser print facility.



Registration

Student can perform on
-
line enrollment and same time he can check pre and co
-
req
uisites, course restrictions and schedule conflict. Student will add and drop
courses or switch section in efficient way and within short duration. Student can
search for any course or select from the recommended courses suggested according
to student majo
r sheet and the courses already passed by the student. Student is able
to view information related to grades, credits, GPA, MGPA, available courses,
offered courses and recommended course details and able to take decision same
time.



Student Grade List

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Thi
s service will allow displaying grade list for the login student. By showing all
courses for which student has got final grade from first start term to last completed
term. List will be grouped by semester where first the course number, course name,
and gr
ade will be displayed then the semester details will be listed below. This is in
addition to advanced search for filtration. Search criteria will be for course number
with help facility.

In addition to, summary of student academic information like student
’s college,
student’s Enrollment Status, Year of study, Major, Minor, Earned, attempted and
waived Credits, GPA, MGPA, Honor, Major, Minor Probations, and total number
of terms that have been studied by the student.



Course Catalog

This service will allow
displaying course catalog details. Default list will be for
current semester offerings for the student college. Search criteria will be available
for course number, course title, and department. College list will be available on the
top for filtering cours
es pertaining college. Drill down will be available on course
number to populate course pre
-
Requisites and Co
-
Requisites screen. In addition to,
long description of course in popup window.



Advising

Summary

This service display student’s program details an
d student’s transferred, waived &
repeated credit details, and academic program details such as the one displayed in
registration service. In addition to three separate lists that displayed for repeated
credits, transferred credits & waived credits. Repeat
ed credit list contains course
number, course name, section, term name, transfer type, units & grade details.
Transfer credit list contains course number, course name, section, term name,
transfer type, original & transferred units, original & transferred
grade details.
Waived credit list contains course number, course name, section, term name, and
transfer type & units details.

What if GPA

Display student’s Credit details such as Attempted, Earned, Repeated, Transfer,
Waived & Wasted credits Details and
GPA details. If student is on probation then it
displays minimum GPA requirement for removing probation. Moreover, it displays
all un
-
graded semesters and enrolled courses. Provision available for entering
expected grades against each course and to calcula
te projected Cumulative, Term &
Major GPA. Furthermore, it provides GAP graph that draw student progress in each
semester. The graph has color codes depending on term GPA.

Major Sheet

Major Sheet display student’s Major Sheet details with facility to vie
w Major sheet
Tree. Major Sheet detail contains Rule Group Name & its status, Sub Group Name
& its Status and course details coming under sub groups. This is multilevel
structure, where there is no limitation on level. Details of subgroup include course
nu
mber, course name, states value & equivalent course number if completed, grade
obtained, credit earned & term name. If course is not enrolled or currently enrolled
or equivalent course completed then appropriate message displayed instead of grade
& credit
details.

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In addition to, displaying the list of courses not considered for Major. Course list
contains course number, course name, section number, term name, units & grade
details. On top of page link should be available for invoking active Major’s tree
st
ructure.

This is beside “what if Major Sheet?


By allowing selecting other Major for what if
analysis, to display what will be counted toward the new major sheet and what
course will be wasted to the student.




Aptitude Registration

Provide facility for sub
mitting registration form for aptitude tests. Aptitude tests are
for Mathematics, Chemistry, and English. Tests can be given either Arabic or in
English language.

Registration form

contains student’s bio information like name, civil ID,
nationality, gender
, and date of birth, which displayed from database. This is beside
Education system at school level, county name, contact phone no, subjects for
which students want to give aptitude test and aptitude test language, which user
should able to enter values. T
his service also provided to applicant, who want to
apply in KU.

2.

Faculty



Grading

Provide schedule for the login faculty user. Schedule contains course number,
course name, section, days, time, location, and number of enrolled students, total
seats, and gra
ding status. Grading status will indicate whether faculty member has
submitted grade list or not for particular course. Term list available as drop down
for the terms for which faculty is assigned as a faculty. Schedule list only for the
courses for which
faculty is assigned as a faculty. It allows faculty to grade un
-
graded courses and view pervious listed terms. By displaying course details and list
of all students enrolled for invoked course. The list contains serial no, student id,
student name, enrolle
d status, grade obtained and notes if any.

This is beside the ability to provide grade summary for each course, by drawing
array of grades and total number of students obtained each grade. In addition to,
number of students not graded and total number of s
tudents. Further to the ability to
filter students according to grades.



Advising

This option display student list for whom faculty is assigned as advisor. Student list
contains serial no, student id, student name & major. Faculty should able invoke the
sam
e student advising screens mentioned early for the selected students, such
summary, GPA, Major sheet.

3.

Vice Dean for Student Affairs




Registration

This Option will allow vice dean to do registration on behalf of student. All
business rules will be applicabl
e for doing registration. Only in the case of
number of seats are full still registration process will take place given that course
belonging to Vice Dean’s college.

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Seats Updating

This option will allow Vice Dean to update number of seats for the given c
ourse at
section level. Number of seat value will be subject to decrease and increase. User
will be able to decrease number of seats but not lower than number of enrollments in
this section. Vice Dean will not be able to update seats for the sections for w
hich
section doesn’t comes under his college. In addition vice dean has the authority to
view the list of all students that are registered in the waiting list for a particular
section in his college. This service suspended and not delivered to vice dean,
a
ccording to A&R request.

4.

Staff



Eligibility Status

This option is available only for staff users pertaining to Social Welfare department
under Students Affair deanery. This option displays student eligibility status details
against aid.



Financial Aid Detai
ls

This option is available only for staff users pertaining to Social Welfare department
under Students Affair deanery. This option displays financial aid details.



Foreign Student Details

This option is available only for staff users pertaining to Dormitor
y & Foreign Affairs
department. This option displays student’s information & passport details.



Financial Aid Details for Foreign Student

This option is available only for staff users pertaining to Dormitory & Foreign Affairs
department.
This option display
s financial aid details.



Special Major Aid Details

This option is available only for staff users pertaining to Honors Student & Special
Major department. For promoting major & motivating students for selecting certain
majors this aid is given.



Admissions

P
rovides automated admission decisions based on the university rules and policy. It
allows the users to enter the Bio data for the applicants, school information, and
applicant choices. In addition to retrieve information from the database such as aptitude
tests results. Also, it provides the ability print the application from the web.


Data entries are validated and accordingly proper screens populated to the user. Such
that it takes into consideration transfer students, high school students and school typ
e
with different requirements for each type.




Questionnaire


This option provides facility for gathering feedback from KU users toward any subject
in general. It is used also for gathering feedback from the students toward the course
and the instructors. W
here student registration will be linked to the questioners for the
courses he/she studied.


Users will be able to create, update, or delete Questionnaires. In addition to, the ability
to determine the type of answers for each question inserted such as YES
/NO,

LOW/Medium/HIGH, text, ..etc. Also, assign the created questionnaires to
the required
the Groups , and subgroups to be answered by them. Groups can be Students, Graduate,
Faculty staff, Vice deans,… etc.. For each group there would be details called
s
ubgroups. Those subgroups can be different departments, Colleges, Years of
Kuwait University


Maryam M. Al
-
Otaibi

24

graduations, or any other division can configure in the future. Further to that is the
facility to Search by Questionnaire name, and/or valid flag to show only the valid
Questionnai
re(s), and by date(this feature implemented but not used by KU).


8

Project Learning








“Phases” approach in conducting the execution of the new student information
system, improved our quality of planning and strategy for the transition of the next
pro
cess. Beside it is ensure successful implementation, user acceptance, and
reengineer some processes for improvement.



In the scheduling for any process, idle period must be consider in the schedule.
Provide by that enough time for the IT team to solve any p
roblems may occur at the
level of application, hardware or/and operating system, or switch to the backup
system. Such that the services provided to end
-
users do not influenced. Moreover,
give the team sufficient time to tune the servers under the real stre
ss.



Technical and administrative support should be provided in the locations to avoid
any panic that could happen if the users face any problem. IT team should include
members from network, application, and help disk and distributed in each location.
This

is beside an operation team in the center to convene for an emergency meeting
to decide on the alternatives to be flowed or to develop contingency plans, when a
critical problem happened.



The completion of the project implementation does not mean the succ
ess of the
project. Rather, success defined by the achievement of the planned goals and the
ability to maintain the system.



Strong Sponsorship Support. The role of senior management has repeatedly proven
to be critical in ensuring that critical issues are
resolved promptly.



Productive teams constructed by

sharing with them an understanding of what
Managers trying to do and where the team is going both generally and in terms of
specific objectives. Allowing them to express themselves openly and confront
mis
takes, confusions, or frustrations.



The participated teams one of critical factors for the success of this project. They
were Self
-
managed teams, enjoy giving and gaining information, and like to thrust
forward and get results.