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CHAPTER 4 SYSTEMS

Terms in this set (85)

: During project identification and selection, a senior manager, a business group, an IS manager, or a steering committee identifies and assesses all possible systems development projects that an organization unit could undertake. Information systems development requests come from a variety of sources. One source is requests by managers and business units for replacing or extending an existing system to gain needed information or to provide a new service to customers. Another source for requests is IS managers who want to make a system more efficient and less costly to operate, or want to move it to a new operating environment. A final source of projects is a formal planning group that identifies projects for improvement to help the organization meet its corporate objectives.
Difficulty: Moderate
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 4.1 Describe the project identification and selection process
Classification: Synthesis
57) Identify the three activities in project identification and selection. Describe at least one step in each activity.
Answer: Project identification and selection consists of three primary activities: 1. Identifying potential development projects; 2. Classifying and ranking IS development projects; 3. Selecting IS development projects. Organizations vary as to how they identify projects. This process can be performed by a key member of top management, a steering committee, user departments, systems analyst or the development group/senior IS manager. The final activity in the project identification and selection process is the actual selection of projects for further development. Project selection is a process of considering both short- and long-term projects and selecting those most likely to achieve business objectives.
Difficulty: Difficult
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 4.1 Describe the project identification and selection process
Classification: Synthesis

58) What is a top-down planning approach? Identify four advantages to the top-down planning approach over other planning approaches.
Answer: A top-down planning approach is a generic information systems planning methodology that attempts to gain a broad understanding of the information system needs of the entire organization. Broader perspective, improved integration, improved management support, and better understanding are four advantages.
Difficulty: Moderate
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 4.1 Describe the project identification and selection process
Classification: Synthesis

59) List and describe the six evaluation criteria for classifying and ranking projects.
Answer: 1. Value Chain Analysis: Extent to which activities add value and costs when developing products and/or services. 2. Strategic Alignment: Extent to which the project is viewed as helping the organization achieve its strategic objectives and long-term goals. 3. Potential Benefits: Extent to which the project is viewed as improving profits, customer service, and so forth, and the duration of these benefits. 4. Resource Availability: Amount and type of resources the project requires and their availability. 5. Project Size/Duration: Number of individuals and the length of time needed to complete the project. 6. Technical Difficulty/Risks: Level of technical difficulty to successfully complete the project within given time and resource constraints.
Difficulty: Difficult
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 4.1 Describe the project identification and selection process
Classification: Synthesis
60) Define incremental commitment. Does it always result in a working system? Why or why not?
Answer: Incremental commitment is a systems analysis and design strategy in which the project is reviewed after each phase and continuation of the project is rejustified in each of these reviews. Incremental commitment does not always result in a working system. Incremental commitment permits management and the project team to reevaluate the system's costs, benefits, and risks in light of changing business conditions. If business conditions, system costs, system benefits, and/or risks have changed, the project may be cancelled.
Difficulty: Difficult
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 4.1 Describe the project identification and selection process
Classification: Synthesis


61) There is a need for improved information systems project and identification. Describe the indicators that support the previous statement.
Answer: The need for improved information systems project identification and selection is readily apparent when we consider factors such as the following:
1. The cost of information systems has risen steadily and approaches 40 percent of total expenses in some organizations.
2. Many systems cannot handle applications that cross organizational boundaries.
3. Many systems often do not address the critical problems of the business as a whole or support strategic applications.
4. Data redundancy is often out of control, and users may have little confidence in the quality of data.
5. Systems maintenance costs are out of control as old, poorly planned systems must constantly be revised.
6. Application backlogs often extend three years or more, and frustrated end users are forced to create (or purchase) their own systems, often creating redundant databases and incompatible systems in the process.
Difficulty: Moderate
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 4.1 Describe the project identification and selection process
Classification: Synthesis

62) Which of the following is NOT a consideration when discussing the need for improved IS project selection?
A) Systems cannot handle applications that cross organizational boundaries.
B) Poorly planned systems must be constantly revised.
C) Data redundancy is out of control.
D) The cost of information systems has remained steady.
Answer: D
Difficulty: Moderate
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 4.2 Describe the corporate strategic planning and information systems planning process
Classification:
: To make effective project selection decisions, a corporation must know where it is, where it is going, and the path it will take to get there. Corporate strategic planning is based on this premise. Corporate strategic planning can be viewed as a three step process: (1) current enterprise, (2) future enterprise, and (3) strategic plan. During corporate strategic planning, mission statements, statements of future corporate objectives, and strategies are developed.
Difficulty: Moderate
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 4.2 Describe the corporate strategic planning and information systems planning process
Classification: Synthesis

86) Identify and describe the generic competitive strategies. Provide an example for each strategy.
Answer: Low-Cost Producer: This strategy reflects competing in an industry on the basis of product or service cost to the consumer. For example, in the automobile industry, the South Korean-produced Hyundai is a product line that competes on the basis of low cost.
Product Differentiation: This competitive strategy reflects capitalizing on a key product criterion requested by the market (for example, high quality, style, performance, roominess). In the automobile industry, many manufacturers are trying to differentiate their products on the basis of quality (e.g., "At Ford, quality is job one.").
Product Focus or Niche: This strategy is similar to both the low-cost and differentiation strategies but with a much narrower market focus. For example, a niche market in the automobile industry is the convertible sports car market. Within this market, some manufacturers may employ a low-cost strategy and others may employ a differentiation strategy based on performance or style.
Difficulty: Moderate
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 4.2 Describe the corporate strategic planning and information systems planning process
Classification: Synthesis

87) Define and discuss information systems planning.
Answer: ISP is an orderly means of assessing the information needs of an organization, and defining the systems, databases, and technologies that will best satisfy those needs. During ISP, current and future organization informational needs will be modeled. Also, strategies and project plans to move the current information system and technologies to their desired future state will be developed. ISP looks at information systems and technologies in terms of how they can help the business achieve its objectives defined during corporate planning. ISP includes three key activities. The first activity involves assessing current IS-related assets; the second step involves developing target blueprints of the resources; a series of scheduled projects is defined in the third step.
Difficulty: Easy
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 4.2 Describe the corporate strategic planning and information systems planning process
Classification: Synthesis

88) Briefly describe four of the ten types of matrices that are beneficial during information systems planning.
Answer: The types of matrices typically developed include the following:
• Location-to-Function: This matrix identifies which business functions are being performed at various organizational locations.
• Location-to-Unit: This matrix identifies which organizational units are located in or interact with a specific business location.
• Unit-to-Function: This matrix identifies the relationships between organizational entities and each business function.
• Function-to-Objective: This matrix identifies which functions are essential or desirable in achieving each organizational objective.
• Function-to-Process: This matrix identifies which processes are used to support each business function.
• Function-to-Data Entity: This matrix identifies which business functions utilize which data entities.
• Process-to-Data Entity: This matrix identifies which data are captured, used, updated, or deleted within each process.
• Process-to-Information System: This matrix identifies which information systems are used to support each process.
• Data Entity-to-Information System: This matrix identifies which data are created, updated, accessed, or deleted in each system.
• Information System-to-Objective: This matrix identifies which information systems support each business objective as identified during organizational planning.
Difficulty: Easy
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 4.2 Describe the corporate strategic planning and information systems planning process
Classification: Synthesis

89) Describe three ways CASE tools help to sort out the information in matrices.
Answer: Management of Information: A big part of working with complex matrices is managing the information. Using the dictionary features of the CASE tool repository, terms can be defined or modified in a single location. All planners will therefore have the most recent information.
Matrix Construction: The reporting system within the CASE repository allows matrix reports to be easily produced. Because planning information can be changed at any time by many team members, an easy method to record changes and produce the most up-to-date reports is invaluable to the planning process.
Matrix Analysis: Possibly the most important feature CASE tools provide to planners is the ability to perform complex analyses within and across matrices. This analysis is often referred to as affinity clustering.
Difficulty: Easy
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 4.2 Describe the corporate strategic planning and information systems planning process
Classification: Synthesis

90) What is affinity clustering? Why is it important?
Answer: Affinity clustering is the process of arranging planning matrix information so that clusters of information with a predetermined level or type of affinity are placed next to each other on a matrix report. It is important because it allows planners a means to perform complex analyses. Thus, affinity clustering is the process of arranging matrix information so that clusters of information with some predetermined level or type of affinity are placed next to each other on a matrix report.
Difficulty: Moderate
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 4.2 Describe the corporate strategic planning and information systems planning process
Classification: Synthesis

91) Define and briefly discuss information systems planning (ISP).
Answer: Information systems planning is an orderly means of assessing the information needs of an organization, and defining the systems, databases, and technologies that will best satisfy those needs. During ISP, current and future organization informational needs will be modeled. Also, strategies and project plans to move the current information system and technologies to their desired future state will be developed. ISP looks at information systems and technologies in terms of how they can help the business achieve its objectives defined during corporate planning. ISP includes three key activities. The first activity involves assessing current IS-related assets; the second step involves developing target blueprints of the resources; a series of scheduled projects is defined in the third step.
Difficulty: Moderate
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 4.2 Describe the corporate strategic planning and information systems planning process
Classification: Synthesis

92) What is a large network of networks?
A) Electronic commerce
B) The Internet
C) EDI
D) A local area network
Answer: B
Difficulty: Easy
AACSB: Information Technology
LO: 4.3 Describe the three classes of Internet electronic commerce applications: business-to-consumer, business-to-employee, and business-to-business
Classification: