Case study 8- system analysis



  • Please refer to the original Willowbrook School Case Study and previous case study assignments as needed 
  • Read the additional background information below
  • Complete the tasks that follow
  • Submit ONE file (a document)

Additional Background

Willowbrook School has decided to proceed to the systems analysis phase, based on the findings and proposal you presented after the preliminary investigation. A summary of your fact-finding is as follows:

Fact-Finding Summary

Billing and payments for Willowbrook School have two components; tuition and after-care. Tuition is a fixed fee, set in the spring of the prior academic year. After-care fees have two components, a fixed fee based on the time-block of after-care the student is pre-registered for, and a variable fee based on any additional time that the student may have used on a “drop-in” basis. There are several different time blocks that students can be registered for in after-care, dependent on whether the child is in pre-school, kindergarten or primary school. For preschoolers, time blocks are noon – 1:30 p.m., noon – 3:30 p.m. and noon – 5:30 p.m. For kindergarten students, time blocks are 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. and 1:30 – 5:30 p.m. For primary school students the 3:30 – 5:30 time block is available. These time blocks are the time blocks available for drop-in after-care as well. In addition, for pre-registered students not registered for the entire afternoon, the 1:30 – 3:30 blocks and 3:30 – 5:30 blocks can be utilized on a drop-in basis.

There are two payment options for tuition and the fixed component of after-care. Parents can pay the entire amount by August 1 prior to the start of the school year; or the fixed fees can be spread out over a 10-month period, starting July 1 prior to the start of the school year. A discount of 5% is applied to fees for parents choosing the lump sum payment option. Parents who have more than one child enrolled at Willowbrook are eligible for a 5% discount on tuition for all enrolled children.

Payment for after-care used on a “drop-in” basis is billed monthly and is added to the bills for parents who are paying in 10 monthly installments. New bills are generated for “drop-in” care for those who paid fees in a lump sum.

Monthly bills for fees and “drop-in” care are due on the first of the month and are distributed to parents one week prior to their being due. Parents who have more than one child enrolled in Willowbrook receive a separate bill for each child. Willowbrook has not had a policy of charging interest on late payments, because it has not been a problem except in one or two cases per year. These cases are handled on a case-by-case basis. 

The billing is done using Microsoft Excel. Susan sets up a new workbook for each academic year. Each month Susan creates a new worksheet in the workbook. The worksheet maintained contains one line per student. Each line contains the following billing and payment information for the student:

  • Name of Student
  • Names of Parents
  • Amount of Discount on fixed fees
  • Monthly fixed tuition fee
  • Monthly fixed after-care fee
  • Discounted fixed fees
  • Monthly “drop-in” fees
  • Total Monthly fee (calculated field)
  • Payment received
  • Amount paid to date (calculated field)
  • Amount outstanding (calculated field) 

The entry for each student is updated twice each month, once to prepare the bills and once to record the payment. Entry for bill preparation requires the monthly statements from after-care detailing all “drop-in” hours for each student. Currently, the monthly statements include a listing for each child, detailing date(s) and time(s) of drop-in hours. From this listing, Susan Brown enters a total charge for additional after-care provided. 

A summary monthly report is generated for the finance committee from this spreadsheet summarizing fee collections for tuition and after-care. The finance committee also receives separate monthly reports detailing payroll expenses for all employees. Reports need to be ready for distribution at the finance committee meeting which is scheduled for the third Monday of every month.

In light of the plan to expand the system to handle less sensitive administrative tasks, and the fact that Susan Brown’s workstation is used by volunteers to assist in the production of newsletters and calendars for parents, you have been asked to ensure that the billing system be made secure somehow, so that volunteer workers cannot access financial information. Susan Brown has indicated that the most useful new feature that could be added to the system would be the ability to generate one bill per family per month, listing each student’s charges separately, and an overall total. Also useful would be the ability to automatically generate a receipt at the time payments are recorded. This receipt should contain the information required for reimbursement requests from different types of Dependent Care and tuition accounts, including Name, location, and Federal Tax ID number of the school. In addition, parents have asked for a separate statement accompanying their bill itemizing all drop-in after-care hours for that statement, including child’s name, date(s) and time(s) being billed for.


Each task below is to be presented in report format and in the order, the tasks are given.

  1. Functional Decomposition Diagrams (FDD)
    1. Draw an FDD of the organization under investigation.
    2. Explain the FDD of the Willowbrook School.
  2. Data Flow Diagram (DFD)
    1. Draw a context diagram.
    2. Draw a level 0 data flow diagram.
    3. Take 1 major process illustrated in the level 0 diagram and draw a level 1 diagram of the major process.
    4. Explain the 3 diagrams of the Willowbrook School.

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