This is a group project. So please write it as a team and submit one copy. (Be sure to include everyone’s name in the document.)
Due: at the beginning of Sprint 1. This date is flexible, in case you have challenges in scheduling the first meeting with your community partner.
For many projects, especially when custom software is being created, companies create a document that records the goals and limitations of the work that is to be done. This includes an initial, high-level summary of the project’s goals, a description of the work to be created, and some agreements between the developer and the client about how they will work together to complete the project.
Such a document is called a Memo of Understanding or (more often) a Scope of Work.
In Agile development companies, you do not usually include a delivery date, budget, or a contracted list of features since Agile focuses on delivering product and negotiating with a client on an iterative basis. Still, you can jointly create a plan and document expectations before you start, leaving room (in Agile) for agreed-upon changes.
Things to include in a Memo of Understanding (generally)
- Description of the project and the high level goals
- A schedule for the first phase or milestone. In Scrum, this can be the date for the end of the first sprint and the resulting demo and negotiation over the next set of user stories or tasks for the second sprint
- A rough meeting and demonstration schedule (when will you meet the client?)
- Description of where you will meet
- Who will be involved from both the development team and the client
- How much time (the team’s effort in terms of hours) can you spend on the project before you need to get further authorization to continue development?
For This Assignment
Your team will write a Memo of Understanding after you have met with your community partner for the first time. Use whatever information you can gather from the brief provided by your instructor, the community partner’s website, the GitHub repository, and whatever you learn from your community partner in the first meeting.
It is very important that you make good use of this meeting to gain a clear understanding of your partner’s software needs. While you may follow up this meeting with email to clarify certain points, the less of this you have to do, the better. In an Agile development situation, it is expected that further meetings and demonstrations will continue to help refine the plan, the more you understand of the big picture, the more attentive and professional you will appear to them.
The Memo of Understanding should also include a section that addresses how you will communicate with your community partner and how frequently. Also, it should confirm who is your main contact person. It should include a section on how frequently demos and feedback sessions will occur and where. For now, you will need to include that there will be a public demonstration at the end of the semester, but the date, time, and location are to be determined.
This document should be short and concise. It should be no more than 3 pages single-spaced (12 point type). For readability, you should break it into sections with appropriate headers and should include the following information:
- A brief overview of the organization and its mission (particularly as it relates to your project)
- The high level need or problem that this web application is intended to meet
- The time frame in which this team will be operating
- Persons involved (both on the team and at the community partner’s organization)
- Expectations of communication between the team and the community partner, including possible meetings
- A description of features that the team will attempt to create during the term, with a note that you will do your best to deliver a working prototype that incorporates as many of these features as possible by the end of the semester.
- A note that there is no cost to the community partner for this service other than their time
The client will review and either approve this Memo of Understanding or ask for revisions. The M of U then acts as an informal agreement between the team and the community partner for the term.
Scoring Rubric (10 Points)
- Uses a professional memo format such as this example.
- Includes an introduction explaining the purpose of the document as an informal agreement between the student development team and the community partner (the name of the organization) to jointly develop a prototype software solution for the community partner’s organization
- Includes a brief overview of the organization and its mission (particularly as it relates to the project)
- Describes the high level need or problem that this web application is intended to meet
- Describes the time frame in which this team will be operating, including starting and ending dates. Includes a statement that this prototype might not be fully functional by the end of the time period of the agreement
- Describes the expectations of communication between the team and the community partner, including possible meeting schedule
- Includes a description of the features that the team will attempt to create during the term, with a note that you will do your best to deliver a working prototype that incorporates as many of these features as possible by the date of the last class.
- Notes that there is no cost to the community partner for this service other than their time
- Should be written in formal, business language and format appropriate for a business memo.
- Two to three pages long with section headers as needed