- 1 Introduction
- 2 Concrete task examples
- 3 Tentative list of requirements
- 4 A concluding recommendation
A private high school board decided to offer a nonprofit leadership enrichment program for their students in order to help them develop their skills and abilities to prepare them for college and life beyond.
The program consists of the following activities:
- Invite guest speakers to prepare students for college by teaching them valuable information on how to succeed in their future professions.
- Carry out hands-on simulations to allow students the opportunity to explore interactions based on real-life scenarios.
- Implement a leadership mentoring program based on one-to-one mentoring sessions. This program is called “Leader Mentorship” and is the subject of this project.
What will the mentorship system be used for
The leadership mentoring system will assist the school in managing the mentorship program by allowing the program users to manage and schedule their mentoring sessions anytime and anywhere. The system may also assist in enrolling users and matching participants with mentors.
Work context—a description of the work setting
- The school administration will assign a number of mentees to each mentor based on the goals of each mentee, moreover, a first meeting between the mentee and his/her mentor will be organized to allow them to discuss a concrete plan for their upcoming sessions.
- The time commitment is flexible, in other words, there is no fixed number of sessions a mentee has to take. In fact, the mentee’s needs change, and therefore, several meetings per month could be necessary during a challenging period.
- Both the mentor and the mentee must collaborate for mentoring to be successful.
- Logistics of the process: All sessions between a mentor and a mentee will take place in a designed room at the school.
- A session must be a maximum of one hour and has to be face-to-face.
- The mentor cannot mentor more than one mentee at the same time.
Sessions will take place between 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Sundays.
Moreover, the school has a set of rules regarding the following aspects of the program:
- A set of responsibilities each participant is assuming.
- A set of rules on how and when to end the mentoring relationship.
- A set of rules on dealing with conflicts that may arise during the mentoring process.
- Agreement on how confidential information must be addressed throughout the mentoring process.
Expected types of users of the system
Users that the system must absolutely include
- Mentees: The high school’s students in grades 9-12 (ages 14-18) who have a goal to gain a better understanding of who they are and what they can offer, to explore their strengths and talents and unleash their natural leadership abilities.
- Mentors: can be teachers or young professionals who want to apply for a mentoring position. Mentors should be willing to be at school every Sunday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM to provide mentoring sessions to mentees that have booked a session.
Users that the system design should include if possible
- The school administration is also a possible user of the system. In fact, the system may allow an admin to login and be able to manage the lists of mentors and mentees. However, the inclusion of these users can be deferred to the next system release, as for now, we might just use the database to perform CRUD operations on the mentors and mentees data.
- Potential mentors or volunteers who want to participate in the mentorship program can also be accommodated, the system might allow them to apply and submit their applications.
Concrete task examples
Nadia, a 16 years old who is registered in the program as a mentee, needs to book an appointment for her next session with her mentor Mrs. Dolstra where she will discuss her communication skills.
Nadia knows that mentors can only be available on Sundays from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. She wants to book a session between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM for the next Sunday because she has to go with her mom to visit her grandma in the afternoon. Her mom can pick her up after she is done her session.
Nadia has to check first if her mentor is not already booked that Sunday (December 1, 2018) for the sessions 10:00 AM _to_ 11:00 AM and 11:00 AM_to_12:00 AM. Her mentor is booked from 10:00-11:00 and free from 11:00-12:00 so she picked the available session after choosing the date.
Booking a new session is the most important task in the system. Mentees can book a new session at least 2 days prior to the intended meeting date which usually takes place on Sundays from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. A session lasts for one hour.
Mr. Adam is a mentor at the mentorship program, 10 mentees are assigned to him. On Friday, Mr. Adam checks if any of his mentees have booked an appointment for Sunday, otherwise, he plans to visit the Zoo with his family. Mr. Adam signs into his account, he clicks on the sessions link, all sessions are displayed. Mr. Adam finds out that he has one session booked on Sunday, December 31, he clicks on that session and checks all its details, the session is booked at 10:00 AM. Therefore, he decided that he can still go to the zoo when he finishes the session.
Mentors need to check their upcoming sessions because even though during sessions, mentees and mentors may plan for the next sessions, a session can only take place when it is actually booked. Moreover, mentors should usually be available during Sundays from 10 AM to 3 PM, therefore, the students are given the advantage of choosing the most convenient time for them.
The mentor Mrs. Dolstra has 14 mentees assigned to her. One of her mentees, Salma, has booked a session for the upcoming Sunday where she wants to discuss her communication skills. Therefore, Mrs. Dolstra needs to check the previous sessions and review the subjects that she went through with her mentee Salma. This will help her in preparing for the next session.
It is very common that a mentor may want to check all the completed sessions with one of his/her mentees.
Brian is a high school student who has joined the mentorship program in the last week. Brian created a new email address where he wants to keep all emails coming from school and the mentorship system and wants to keep his first email for his social life. So now, he wants to change the email of his profile, so that his mentor can be able to use his new email address. Brian signs into his account, he clicks on profile and changes the existent email with his new email.
Both mentees and mentors need to have access to their profile in order to be able to change their phone number, email address or to write something in the ‘about me’ field.
On Saturday morning, the mentee Brian needs to contact his mentor Mrs. Dolstra to tell her that he will not be able to attend tomorrow’s session. He tried to cancel the session from the mentorship system, however, he could not do it as the system requires at least 2 days before cancellation. So he clicks on “My mentor” link on the menu, his mentor’s name, phone number and email are displayed, he can now choose to either send an email or directly call his mentor.
It is important that mentees be able to contact their mentors. However, the system so far only allows them to get their mentor’s contact information without being able to contact them directly from the system.
The mentee Salma wants to cancel her session scheduled for the next Sunday because her cousins are coming over to her house next weekend and she wants to spend more time with them. Salma signs into her account, she clicks on the “scheduled sessions” button and chooses to cancel the session booked on December 31.
Mentees should be able to cancel an upcoming session. However, the school requires a two days notice for a session to be canceled through the system. If the mentee is not able to come and can’t cancel the session through the system, then he/she should contact the school and his/her mentor to notify them.
Tentative list of requirements
Tasks that must be included in the system
The most important tasks have to be included in the first version of the system. These tasks include the following:
- Mentees and mentors should be able to log in because each participant needs to have his/her own account.
- A mentee can book a session. This is the main task in the system.
- A mentee/mentor can view a list of his/her upcoming sessions as well as his/her completed sessions.
- A mentor should be able to view a list of his/her mentees. This will allow the mentor to monitor his/her mentees and contact them if necessary.
- A selected session can be viewed by a mentee/mentor because it is important for a participant to view the details of a selected session.
Contact information should be available, in other words, a mentee can contact a mentor and vice versa.
- A session can be canceled at least 2 days before its intended date, however, in case of emergency and the session has to be canceled, the mentee has to contact the school office as well as his/her mentor.
Tasks that should be included in the system
- When a mentee cancels a session a notice should be sent to his/her mentor to notify him/her.
- So far the list of mentees and mentors are added through the database, which is inconvenient, and there has to be a login page for the admin to manage the mentees and mentors data.
- The contact page so far only contains the contact info of the mentee/mentor, however, it could be more practical to be able to directly send a message to the mentor’s mailbox and vice versa.
- A mentee should be able to reschedule a session without having to cancel a session and book a new one with the same information.
- A mentor/mentee should be able to attach a file to a session.
These tasks are important, however, due to time constraint, they should be included in a later version.
Tasks that could be included in the system
- A system for managing mentor applicants and matching them with the appropriate mentees, for example, the system can allow mentors to complete and submit their applications, register the applicants in training/orientation sessions, allow the applicants to upload documents such as references and criminal record check.
- A useful feature in the system may be to allow each party the ability to submit feedback to let the administration know if both parties in the process are comfortable, or if anything has to change.
- Another feature that may be useful consists of allowing a participant to submit a request in order to stop the mentoring relationship or to leave the program.
The above features, if implemented, can improve the mentoring experience for the users.
Tasks to exclude
- Provide users with the ability to personalize their dashboard and put the data that is most important to them where they think is more convenient.
This task is not important, especially that the system is lightweight and all the system features can be available to the user in one page, moreover, integrating this feature may even be a source of confusion to some users. in addition to that, this feature is difficult to implement, and therefore, it should be excluded.
A concluding recommendation
As a first step, the system design must accommodate the basic users as well as the basic tasks. Therefore mentors and mentees should be allowed to perform the main and basic tasks, such as to login into the system, to book a session, etc.
Moreover, the system has to be online so that the users can log in anywhere and be able to manage their sessions, check the booked sessions, etc. without having to come to school.
The time scope might not be enough to accommodate all the possible users of the system and/or all the possible tasks, therefore we have to follow an iterative approach in designing the system, in other words, we should start by implementing the main features and add more components along the way.