Requirements Exercise

Client's Website

Your Task

Your task is to write a requirements document for the grocery store application described below. You must turn in use cases, but keep the scenarios handy in case we ask to see them. If you have questions about how to classify something, ask!

You must submit your requirements in PDF format by midnight (11:59pm) on Sunday, Feb 7.

The Situation

We run a moderately-sized local grocery store that wants to upgrade its aging inventory systems. As demand for varied household products and organic foods has grown, our product portfolio has as well. It is far too laborious to track buying trends, introduce product sales, and determine what the current inventory is. Computers can save us!


The Current System

There are three systems that need to be integrated: inventory tracking, point-of-sale, and the website.

The inventory tracking is done essentially by hand. When shipments come in, the buyer records them in a logbook, when products are moved from the back room to the front area, that is recorded, and when a product looks like it's getting low, the buyer orders more. There's a big whiteboard in the back room with expiration dates written on it for different pallets of products.

Point-of-sale is a pretty simple system—each register, when it scans a product, queries a server in the back room for a price. The server is essentially just a giant flat database mapping UPC codes to prices.

The website is pretty basic, with information about the store and a list of current sales. You can see it here.

When an item goes on sale, someone has to go in and change the HTML manually on the website, update the tables in the point-of-sale server, and print out new price tags for all the merchandise.

What We Want

A unified interface for product management. When a shipment comes in, the buyer inputs it into the computer. The computer will track the current inventory levels and expiration dates of merchandise, and the buyer can see a summary at any time of what products are running low or expiring soon. The system will automatically integrate with the point-of-sale database and the website.

The Characters

The Buyer

The buyer has worked at the store for 25 years, and understands the current system very well.

The Manager

The manager thinks the need to upgrade is pressing—there have been a few close calls recently with selling expired milk to grandmas.

The Computer Guy

The computer guy networked the current machines in the office, installed Windows XP and Office, and taught The Manager how to use them.

Your Interviews

Interviews will take place during class on Wednesday, Feb 3, and Friday, Feb 5. They will be in a “speed dating” format. The staffers will be seated at four different tables. You get about ten minutes with each one, after which you have to move to the next table, no exceptions. You will therefore get a chance to interview each staff member twice (once on each day). (The exact time will be determined by how many groups we form; pay attention in class!)


Submit your write-up using the handin script:

/course/cs190/bin/cs190_handin reqs