Chapter 7: Creating IS Solutions and Managing IS Projects

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Ryerson University
Information Technology Management
ITM 102
David Atkinson

CHAPTER 7 CREATING IS SOLUTIONS AND MANAGING IS PROJECTS CRITITCAL PRE-DEVELOPMENT QUESTIONS • “pre-development” questions because they happen before organization decides to start a system design project – concept design and inception stage: 1. WHAT ARE WE PLANNING AND WHY? • To improve performance of business process by automating, informating, and transforming; ways IS could add value to its new or existing products and services • Begins by understanding its high level system requirements and also the business case for why it makes sense to build the system 2. IS THE PROJECT FEASIBLE? • Feasible study: detailed investigation and analysis of a proposed development project that is undertaken to determine whether it is technically and economically possible to successfully build the proposed system • Project is feasible if the required technology is available • Study must conclude that company is technically capable of both acquiring and deploying required technology for the IS solution • Technically feasible: examine potential solutions and evaluating solutions based on its capabilities and capabilities of any technology partners • Financially feasible: if organization can pay for project and it is a sound investment of organization’s limited resources • Common financial measures show if benefits of implementing the system (payback period) or how much benefit it can expect (return on investment [ROI], net present value [NPV], internal rate of return [IRR]) • Difficulty of calculating it is obtaining the list of all costs and benefits, and then placing a monetary value on each of them; the costs and benefits can be tangible or intangible 3. SHOULD WE BUILD OR BUY/LEASE? • One of three primary options for obtaining an IS: buying, leasing, or building • Must consider time-to-market (unless we get the market fast, we are going to lose the opportunity) DEVELOPMENT ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES CHOICE BUYING • Generally faster and less costly • Little or no competitive than building entire system from advantage; may need to compromise scratch on some features • Dependent on vendor for product updates LEASING (SaaS • Lowest cost and fastest to put in • No competitive advantage OR ASP MODEL) place • Little to no control over system • Vendors are in charge of features maintenance and updates • Dependence on vendor for entire • Does not require an in-house IS system staff • Can get locked into an undesirable contract BUILDING • Most likely to provide a • Longest time and highest cost to competitive advantage put into place • Retain complete control over • Requires IS staff with time and sytem development knowledge • Customization of system 4. SHOULD WE DEVELOP IN-HOUSE OR OUTSOURCE? • If building an entirely new system, whether or not to use its own staff (in-housing) or hire another company (outsourcing) • Considerations include any time-to-market imperative (which puts the priority on speed), current financial performance, and organization’s risk tolerance (risk between building or buying an IS, while meeting the most important requirements of the system) IS DEVELOPMENT ADVANTAGE DISADVANTAGE SOURCE IN-HOUSE • Firm retains complete • Generally higher DEVELOPMENT control of the project development time and costs • Process builds internal • Distraction of in-house IS knowledge through learning staff from other duties and experience OUTSOURCING • High level of skill and • Firm loses some control of expertise project since it is necessary to • Internal staff provides give outsourcer some decision- project oversight, which is less making authority time intensive than full • Internal staff has less development opportunity to build experience • Generally lower time and costs • Requires good contracts and oversight IS DEVELOPMENT TEAMS • Those associated with IS project fall into two groups: 1. THE STAKEHOLDERS • Attitude of a powerful stakeholder towards a project can dramatically affect project’s success or failure • Some are subject matter experts (SMEs) • Stakeholder analysis: part of the project feasibility study; contains a list of stakeholders, what each has at stake, and the degree of impact on the project, expectation of what the stakeholder will provide, perceived attitudes and/or risks, stakeholder management strategy, and responsibility • It estimates potential impact on project’s success that each stakeholder can have, along with strategy for dealing with stakeholders to ensure they have input into the project 2. TYPICAL IS PROJECT TEAM • Most IS development projects requires a team but IS development team will vary: • Project sponsor – ensures project goal corresponds with organization business objective; often a senior executive or someone in a position of authority • Project manager – role demands knowledge and methods and techniques to ensure delivery of the project on time and on budget, and the ability to communicate project goals and requirements to the team and to co- ordinate workflows of everyone on the project team • Account manager – part of development team when project team works as an outsourcer; responsible for sales and services (provides initial point of contract and daily communication with clients • Architecture and design – must provide a well-designed user interface that requires skills in art and design • Analysts – provides methods and processes to translate high level requirements in their particular area into lower levels of details that can be turned into code by programmers • Developers – creates the system itself by coding and deploying technical infrastructure of the system and programming it to perform required tasks; requires knowledge in hardware and software • Specialists – handles unique aspects of the project and members are often called SMEs (subject matter experts) • Client interface – internal or external customer; must define system requirements, negotiate contract terms, and maintain oversight of teams as project progresses STAGE AND IMPORTANCE OF THE SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT LIFE CYCLE (SDLC) • System development life cycle (SDLF): stages and activities of system development; occurs from the beginning stages of a system to the end of its useful life • The waterfall model: 1. CONCEPT (pre-inception or idea phase) involves environment within t
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