Definition of Budgeting System
From a technical point of view, a budgeting system is defined as a system for implementing budgeting decisions in an organization. Rather than being a decision system, each element of a budgeting system is designed to shape and inform decisions on how to allocate resources to critical tasks and functions of an organization.
Several methodologies can be used to develop a budgeting system. However, for Dean Foods Company, the budgeting system will be developed based on an Extreme Programming (XP) methodology. This is a unique software development methodology that is designed to improve quality and responsiveness of software to the regular changing needs of customers. Extreme Programming is relevant to this project of developing a budgeting system for the Dean Foods Company. This is because it has been used successfully to make several similar budget systems.
The basis of this methodology is to break a project into very tiny phases. This prevents developers from continuing into the next phase if the current phase has not been completed. This development methodology is typical of a jigsaw puzzle. This is because it includes several small software components that makeup sense when combined. However, as illustrated by Asemi, Safari, and Zavareh (2011), the individual pieces do not make sense unless connected. Combining all these small pieces together enables the organization to gain substantial visibility from the entire software system. This methodology is significant in that it provides useful iterations for all its developmental phases. Besides, the XP methodology heavily relies on the reuse of existing software components.
The most interesting aspect of EP methodology is it is based on simple rules. It acts similar to a jigsaw puzzle where many small pieces are put together. Although it seems very simple and awkward, this rule is based on sound value and principle. The methodology enables a customer to be involved as partners in the development process, working together with the developers (Li et al., 2012). The flow chart below illustrates how the XP’s simple rules work together.
There are several elements of Extreme Programming methodology. These features include using extensive coding, programming in pairs, unit testing, using a flat management structure, expecting changes, as well as clarity and simplicity. According to Van, Turoff and Hiltz (2014), all the basic principles of Extreme Programming methodology are value-based and intended to foster decisions. These principles should be simple but more concrete than values. Besides, they can be easily translated into guidance especially in a practical situation. In this methodology, everyone is part of the team, working together on everything. The figure below gives a holistic summary of the Extreme Programming methodological practice.
Scope of the Budgeting System
This system will be limited to only the element of the budgetary needs of Dean Foods Company. In particular, the system will be developed to contain mainly three components namely budgeting, customer orders, and sales reports. It will use financial data to make the budget plans. Customer orders and sales reports will be created using retail prices.
Plan for Tasks and Timeframe
As a typical composite artifact, a software development plan contains all the required information for managing and executing the project. As explained by Gregor and Hevner (2013) it is a simple tool that provides all the information about the project starting from its inception to culmination. This plan includes the timeframe for executing all elements of the project. In essence, this section lays out the entire required plans for developing, modifying as well as upgrading the budget system for Dean Foods Company. The figure below shows the development plan that will be followed in this project.
It provides specific details on how each step of the development will be delivered until the end of the project. It covers all aspects starting from the implementation and documentation through to testing and launching.The plan includes the start and end timeframe for all tasks included in the project. It also indicates the sequences that will be followed to complete the tasks. Lastly, it indicates who will deliver the specific tasks and at what time. Below is the developed plan of tasks and timeframe that will be used for executing this project.
|Month 1||Month 2||Month 3||Month 4||Month 5|
|Tasks / Weeks||1||2||3||4||1||2||3||4||1||2||3||4||1||2||3||4||1||2||3||4|
|Preparation of research instruments|
|Creating development plan|
|Creating test plan|
|Creating deployment plan|
|Creating maintenance plan|
|Creating acceptance criteria|
|Developing communications plan|
|Developing quality plan|
|Develop risk management plan|
|Manage integration planning|
|Managing quality assurance|
|Monitor product quality|
Key: Numbers 1, 2, 3, & 4 represent weeks of the month.
Analysis of the Budgeting System
This budgeting system is developed to Dean Foods Company have maximum control over money. This system will be designed with the primary goal of enhancing the company’s budgeting needs. To make things easier, this budgetary software will be developed to the company’s financial accounts as well as savings, credit cards, checking, debts, and investments. It will automatically pull the transactions, so they are seen in one place.
It will allow employees to import directly from the bank into the system. The company can use this system to build a budget, monitor how their spending matches the budgets, and make adjustments if necessary. It can also handle the company’s investment and retirement planning. Lastly, the software will be used to prepare sales reports among others (Beaven, 2012).
There are special data needs for this system. To execute it functions as a budgeting system, it will several categories of data from the clients. These include Names, IDs (identification number), physical address, postal address, telephone number(s), cell phone number(s), sex, date of birth, marital status, next of kin, as well as number of children if married. In addition to personal information, the system will also require data about the date of purchase, type of product, quantity of the product(s) purchased, time and date of purchase, as well as mode of payment. Employees will use these data to make various reports.
Budgeting System Design
(a) Entities /Tables
The budget system will have three entities namely sales, purchases, and production representing the various departments within Dean Foods. These tables will keep information about all the departments of this organization. These departments include finance, procurement, production facilities, logistics, retail units, information, marketing, and research labs. Each of the three entities will contain all information about the department such as ID, name, hiring employees, buying supplies, overtime work, buying machines among others.
(b) Entity Relationship Diagram
There is an existing relationship between the three chosen entities: sales, purchases, and production. There is a many-to-many relationship between these three entities. This is because every department can have one or more budgets. For instance, there could budget for hiring employees, buying supplies, overtime work, buying machines etc. in each department. No limit exists as to the amount of for each department at any particular time. The only limit is the amount of resources available to the department. Furthermore, each department is independent in making its budget. The figure below shows the elements of the table/ entity.
(c) ERD Diagram
ERD diagram shows the relationship between ales, purchases, and production. Below is an ERD diagram showing the relationships between the entities.
|One to One|
|One to Many|
|Many to Many|
(d) Table Design
This section of the design shows data field for each entity. Each data field must have unique entry name for each entity.There is ID number for all the entities. IDs will be auto generated by the system and they will act as the primary keys. The data fields will be as shown in the table below.
|Sales||ID, name, hiring employees, buying supplies, overtime work, buying machines|
|Purchases||ID, name, hiring employees, buying supplies, overtime work, buying machines|
|Production||ID, name, hiring employees, buying supplies, overtime work, buying machines|
(e) Data Dictionary
This section provides an explanation of all the entities and information that it will contain. The data dictionary is summarized in the table below.
|Entity||Description & information|
|Sales||This entity will contain all information about the company’s sales. As noted, Dean Food Company will be selling several diferent products such as y fluid milk, ice cream, juices, teas, cultured products, and bottled water. this entity will include necessary information such as ID, name, hiring employees, buying supplies, overtime work, buying machines. The ID will be a 5-digit unique identifier for each sales record. Information in this entity will be linked to both the purchases and production.|
|Purchases||This entity gives description of the company purchases. The company will regularly purchase diferent products and items for its daily operation and production requirements. It will contain any purchase made by the company. This entity will include elements such as name, hiring employees, buying supplies, overtime work, buying machines among others. It will include unique ID number for each product type of purchase, name, description, supplier, manufacture date, expiry date, price, and unit.|
|Production||This entity gives all details about the information related to production. It will give information such as ID, name, hiring employees, buying supplies, overtime work, buying machines.
It will also give specific details such as production quantity, quality, price delivery type, and expected delivery date. Each order will have a unique ID identifier.
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