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Information Systems Application Project

Course Code: IS 480

Instructor (s)

Benjamin Gan

Associate Professor of Information Systems (Education), School of Information Systems

Email: benjamingan@smu.edu.sg


"This capstone course is designed for students to apply their undergraduate knowledge and skills in a real world project by building an IS application with multiple stakeholders. Students feedback that this is a course they get to build a substantial application that will actually solve a real problem. They interact with the end users, project sponsors, supervisors, testers, mentors, etc using an agile software development with two weeks iterations. Some teams deploy their web, mobile or enterprise applications or systems on AppStore/Google Play, AWS, Openshift, Azure for internal or external users. The course keeps challenging the students to get active users, complete transactions, solve complexity of automation, provide value to sponsors."


The IS480 course provide opportunity for students to

  • Develop an IT system via requirements gathering, analysis, design, implementation, testing, deployment and project management skills.
  • Experience an iterative software development lifecycle using a methodology such as agile RUP or eXtreme programming. Student will experience a project from inception to construction and hopefully a taste of deployment.
  • Build the additional depth required to become a Business IT professional. This includes building up competence in one or more of the IS depth elective courses, as well as learning domain knowledge by integrating technology into an industry sector.
  • Manage the project. This includes managing scope, risks, schedule, code configuration, and quality of the project. Students will manage the stakeholders, which include users, testers, sponsors or mentors, supervisors and reviewers.

Most of the IS480 information is available at the course website http://blue.smu.edu.sg/IS480/2017-2018/index.html

NOTE: This course is by application only. 

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Showcase expertise in executing a project using the knowledge acquired from the courses taken from the ISM curriculum.
  • Experience developing some technology deliverables
  • Experience working in a team environment with a sponsored project (if sponsored) using project management skills
  • Learn about an industry or technology
  • Work on a complex project

Types of projects

Types of projects could be any of the following (not exclusive). Refer to the website for examples of IS480 projects.

  • Application development – build a working system, prototype or proof of concept
  • Technology prototype – experiment by evaluating the capabilities of similar or competing technologies addressing a business-IT problem

Basic requirements

  • The project must involve building an IT system.
    • This course requires programming. Writing a report, a survey, use of some tools or building content is not the focus of IS480.
    • Just extracting Business Intelligence data using a tool (such as GIS, SAS or SAP) to visualize or provide a dashboard is not suitable. A suitable BI project should include writing customized code to automatically process the data. The customized code can filter the data presented and customized the visualization of the data.
    • We encourage research projects that implements a prototype. However, projects that lead to a research paper is better accomplished in IS470. The same goes for projects that produces marketing reports or white paper.
    • While revamping a website may be suitable. It should involve value added functions beyond just porting existing code.
    • Content building should be limited to producing content for testing. The major focus of the project should not be on building content.
  • There must be a team of 4-6 members.
  • The project must involve an approved sponsor or approved mentor.
  • The project must pass the project acceptance stage.

Project Source and Sponsor

The following list likely sources and sponsors for projects.

  • External Organization – Industry or government sponsors a project of interest to that organization. For example: NEC, Leco Pte Ltd, Cloudmaker Pte Ltd, Clearvision Eye Clinic and LASIK Centre, Carousell
  • Institutions, Centers and Labs (ICL) - Standard Charter Bank iLab, Khoo Tech Phuat Hospital tLab, LARC, LiveLab, etc.
  • SMU Organizations – SIS, OSL, Library, etc.
  • SMU SIS Faculty / Staff – Application Development project sponsored by SIS faculty
  • Other SMU Faculty / Staff – Work with faculty at other schools at SMU using IT
  • Student – Individual or small group proposes a project they’d like to pursue and identifies logical user for that kind of project. This can be based on ideas from the technopreneurship courses. However, the project must be approved and mentored by IIE, venture capitalist (STREAMglobal) or other VCs (to be determined on a case by case basis)


Students must pass IS 203 Software Engineering. Students must also be in year 3 or 4.

Do note that this is a mandatory course for All SIS undergraduate students. In your IS480 registration term, you are not to take more than 4 CUs (including IS480). Approvals from both IS480 supervisor & course coordinator are required for exception cases.


Offering Term(s): 
AY 17/18 Term 1, Term 2