The winning team in this year’s annual competition run by the Department of Information Systems in the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) School of Information Technology (IT) will donate their R10 000 prize to the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children, in the name of murdered UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana.
The competition, run as part of the final-year INF3012S course, was won this year by a team comprising Tana Feyt, Wen Kang Lu, Jo Theron, Rong Wei Tony Deng and Melcom Brandon Smit, who examined the psychological outreach services offered by the universityʼs Student Wellness Service (SWS).
The course, Business Process Management and Enterprise Systems, gives students real-world experience in analysing the business processes of enterprises including UCT, the City of Cape Town, Amazon and Pick n Pay. This helps prepare them for the business analyst roles they will assume following graduation.
The winning team’s extensive report, which mapped the process of making and keeping appointments, identified problem areas via a survey of patient needs and a risk analysis. They completed the project with suggestions for a redesign and included more than 12 operational reports and dashboards, as well as an advertising campaign aimed at addressing the problem of missed appointments.
SWS was so impressed that they will be implementing some of the students’ innovative ideas and using their slides in training presentations.
The INF3012S project, which runs for the entire second semester, accounts for 36% of the students’ year mark. The prize money is donated by multinational professional services firm EY.
“Neneʼs tragic death was a critical turning point in our project. It felt as if the project now had purpose and meaning.”
Team member Feyt, explaining their donation in honour of Mrwetyana, said their immediate reaction to her tragic death had been shock, anger, despair and fear.
“My fellow team member Jo was specifically concerned about her role as a woman in the field of IT and, as a team, we reflected a lot on [Neneʼs] death and on other incidents of gender-based violence,” she said.
One of their course lecturers, Gwamaka Mwalemba, had also challenged the class to focus not only on building systems and increasing the efficiency of processes, but also on how one can change the lives of others.
“We then decided that if we were fortunate enough to win, we would donate all of the prize money to the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children. Neneʼs tragic death was a critical turning point in our project. It felt as if the project now had purpose and meaning. We were now working hard towards something much bigger than us,” Feyt said.
The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children, in Manenberg, provides a 24-hour crisis response for women and their children who are being abused in their homes. They can access emergency counselling, short-term individual and group counselling and support, legal advice and assistance.
Good learning platform
In their evaluation of the course, the students expressed support for the project generally, suggesting that the team work and team dynamics had provided a good learning platform. They also said it gave them experience of what it would be like working in the real world, taught them to interact with sponsors, and entrenched the importance of planning and milestones towards which the team could strive.
“I am passionate about information systems and want to have a positive impact on the lives of others.”
Feyt said INF3012S has been her favourite course so far.
“The course does not only equip one with skills concerning ERP [enterprise resource planning] and business process management, but also with many interpersonal skills, such as communication, problem-solving and working in teams.
“I learnt so much, but also about myself. I am passionate about information systems and want to have a positive impact on the lives of others.”
The team that came second examined the hire-purchase procedures in a furniture chain, focusing on how personal information is stored and transmitted. They were commended for surveying the employees, producing an insightful root-cause analysis of their problems, and a rigorous risk analysis of the business.
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