Software Development

  Assignment 1 Guide

Investigation Phase


Task a. Describe the Problem in Detail

Carry out the Task



This guide  will help you to: -   

·   Complete assignment 1 - task a

You should have a copy of  following two assignment documents.

Assignment Scenario

Assignment 1: Investigating the problem

Task a. Describe the Problem in Detail

In order to complete Assignment 1 Task a, you need to describe the problem in detail.

You can read the Modern Carpets Case Study tutorial if you want to look at a different example.

Now lets concentrate on this company's problems. Here is a the company scenario:-

The Lawnsword Garden Design Company


Lawnsword Garden Design specialises in designing and producing lawns and old-fashioned hay meadows for clients.

Hay meadows, which contain mixtures of grass and wild flowers, are always produced by sowing seed.

Lawns may be made by laying prepared turf or by sowing seed. It is the seed sowing which causes a problem, since different types of seeds cover different areas. Ms Jane Lawnsword, who is the proprietor of the business, spends many hours calculating the amount of seeds required for each job and she now feels that she should be able to enlist the help of a computer to ease her workload.

You have volunteered to attempt to solve the “seed sowing problem” and Ms Lawnsword has passed you details of one of the pending jobs.

The scenario describes the company, what it does and the problems the company is currently experiencing.

What you need to do is to describe the company and its problems in your own words.

You might wonder why you need to restate the problem.  This is to ensure that you understand the problem.  We restate thing all the time in real life.  Consider your mum asking you to go down to the shop to buy a "pint of milk" and a "loaf of bread".  You would probably repeat that list back to her before going.

When you restate the problem with a company, the client reads the restated description of the problem and lets you know if you have described the problem correctly or not. It is vitally important you understand the problem because your job will be to try and fix the problem by developing a computer application.  The last thing you want to happen is for you to misunderstand the problem and develop an incorrect solution; in such a case arguments about who pays for the incorrect solution will be inevitable between yourself and the client.

So, what is the best way to restate the problem? One thing to avoid is just copying the company scenario.  Copying means you still may not understand the problem.  One way of restating the problem is to read the scenario and produce a list of phrases. 


  • Garden Design Company
  • Produces Lawns
  • Produces hay meadows
  • Hay meadows are created by sowing seeds
  • Lawns are created by sowing seeds or by laying turf
  • Seed sowing causes biggest problem
  • Different types of seeds cover different areas

You can then create your own problem description by referring to your phrases, without looking at the original scenario.

I produced these phrases by reading one sentence of the company scenario, then writing one or more phrases that covers the sentence.  I did this for each separate sentence. I have not included all the phrases, I stopped at the sentence - "It is the seed sowing which causes a problem".  It is up to you to carry on and produce more phrases for the rest of the sentences.


Activity A

Produce your own list of phrases that covers all the sentences in the scenario.

Are there any words you are not familiar with?  Do you know what a hay meadow is?

Here is a picture of a hay meadow showing many a variety of different wild flowers.


You can find out more about creating hay meadows by reading this article by Richard Burkmar


Activity B

Search the Internet and read some descriptions of hay meadows.  Perhaps you can find your own picture of a hay meadow.  If so, you can add it below your problem description.

There may be other parts of the problem you don't really understand.  Have you ever done any gardening?  Have you ever seen a seed packet? The picture below shows a seed packet and information you might find on the back of the packet.

Some seed packets give information such as how many seeds are contained inside a packet.  Other packets might state how many grams of seeds are in a packet and the area you can cover for that many grams of seeds. Try the following activity to become familiar with grams and seed sowing areas.


Activity C

Answer these questions on seed sowing areas

Carry out the Task

Using your phrases, produce a half-page word processed document that states the problem with the the Lawnsword Garden Design Company. Try not to cheat and look at the original scenario because you will find it difficult to resist copying.

Please ensure you write your name in the document header. The structure of your document should be as follows:-

 Assignment 1: Investigating the Problem:

      Task a: Description of the Problem

Here you should state the problem

Have you finished all the tasks and handed them in? 
If so - well done.




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