Software specification and design for micro finance institutions: a case for Uganda
This research was carried out to study the major causes of software failure in satisfying the intended users’ requirements in MFIs and propose solutions to this problem and test the effectiveness of the proposed solutions. The research was carried out as follows: Literature by earlier researchers on that problem was studied and compared. A sample survey (case study) comprising of MFIs in Uganda was designed, data on software user requirements was collected and statistically analysed. This was done in order to determine the actual software user requirements in Uganda so as to use them in proposing a solution for MFIs in this sub-region. A study of some of the off-the-shelf Micro Finance software was done in order to determine to which extent the current software for MFIs fail to meet users’ requirements. Basing on the findings from the research, proposals to solve this problem are given. There are general solutions proposed which can solve this problem in MFIs in any region and also detailed specific solutions to solve this problem in Uganda sub-region and other related regions. The researcher believes that in order to solve this problem of software failure in meeting users’ requirements in the MF sector, users’ requirements could be determined per region where the social-economic indicators are similar through out the whole region. Detailed specifications and designs could be made so that software firms could base on these to write better and more flexible software for MFIs in the region and other regions where the socialeconomic indicators could be similar. The researcher also believes that the low income people targeted by MFIs in Africa have similar social-economic indicators and therefore a solution based on Uganda data can as well be a solution for the entire African region. The proposed solution for Uganda sub- region is detailed as follows: i) Statement of users’ requirements broken down into five categories, namely general system requirements, data requirements, input requirements, process requirements and output requirements. If software for MFIs is going to satisfy users’ needs, it must meet the requirements as specified in those categories ii) The software system model. This has been based on object oriented approach accessing an object database. This model has been broken into sub -systems with classes, methods and relations well defined. The researcher further believes that if software for MFIs is based on the proposed specifications and design, it would be easy to cater for ever changing users’ requirements in the MF sector. The design has been tested using prototype review, design review and inheritance-regression testing.