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BLIS Updates 10/22/2009

October 22, 2009

Our team has received lot of valuable feedback from the CDC representative who is visiting Africa. We provided him an updated evaluation form, which has resulted in specific and relevant feedback in the form of user observations, lab descriptions, anecdotes, photos, and even a video. Based on this feedback we have revised our project plan to include a complete system architecture revision so accommodate many of the new flexible features that the feedback implies.

We also have a local on-site visit planned for this Friday at a lab in the Atlanta CDC. We plan on conducting a local evaluation of the BLIS system and get feedback from one of our CDC contacts in the area.

This project is actually turing out to be an interesting experiment in the software design process. Generally, we are thought that an important part of the process is gathering requirements. Our experience has actually proved that this is true, however, requirements gathering can be extremely difficult, and sometimes the requirements are not fully available. Developing a beta system based on predictions and assumptions can be a means to gather these requirements. Originally, we believed that the beta system we were developing was part of our implementation stage, however, we are now learning that this is actually still our requirements gathering stage. Although we know what we will end up re-architecturing the entire system, we still want to continue to make incremental changes to this beta product to aid in our requirements gathering stage.

Overall our teams motivation has never been higher. The feedback we are getting from Africa is extremely positive, and we are getting support and encouragement from multiple levels. The fundamental problem is that people are literally dying because of the lack of a good information system, and knowing that we will be having an impact large enough to actually save lives is extremely motivational.

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