management information system

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Session 22: YA Case Study Questions
1. What were the goals and objectives of the YA Systems project?
a. .
b. .
c. .
d. .
e. .
f. add more lines as needed….
2. Use the project management life cycle as a checklist to create a table and itemize
what went right and what went wrong with this project, and explain why.
Post-Project Assessment
What Went right?
What Went Wrong
3. Separately, list the changes that you would make in undertaking this project, and
explain why.
prepared by rmk 051514
Page 1
Session 22: Young Audiences Case
The Need:
Independent Young Audiences chapters across the country work with local artists (including actors,
poets, authors, musicians, dancers, painters, and sculpture) to provide educational arts programs to
area public school systems. Each YA chapter vets and then coaches its artists to help them prepare
programs and supporting materials suitable for use in grades K-12 in public schools. As a core business
process within the thirty-two autonomous chapters that comprise Young Audiences (YA) nationwide,
each YA chapter must approve and schedule its own list of professional/teaching artists into schools and
other community venues, communicate logistical information to both the schools and artists involved,
collect fees and distribute payments for said events, and communicate scheduled activities within their
respective communities. The staff of a typical office includes an Executive Director who focuses almost
exclusively on fundraising for the organization, a program administrator who works with the artists and
schools to develop and vet program offers, a scheduler who schedules events, issues contracts,
dispenses payments, and so forth, and one or more administrative assistants – some of whom may be
volunteers. YA personnel come from either K-12 education and/or the arts and are neither trained in
business nor in information management
Existing information systems for the various chapter offices are home grown – based Excel spreadsheets
or Access databases, or are provided by some low-end functional scheduling system. In general YA
chapters suffer from antiquated IT hardware and software, no internal IT support, and high turnover
among office personnel. The latter due to the low pay/no pay of some office personnel, especially the
scheduler and the admins.
In 2007 at a semi-annual meeting of chapter executive directors, the YA chapters decided to identify an
information technology services (ITS) partner who would provide, host, support, and maintain a new
shared scheduling system and IT platform in line with the requirements of the chapters. The challenge
in this undertaking would be to provide a robust and flexible solution that will meet the common but at
times differentiated needs of YA’s thirty-two (32) chapters at a price – both capital and ongoing – that is
commensurate with the modest means of these not-for-profit organizations. It was assumed that the
parent organization YA, Inc. in New York City would take over system and financial administration of this
arrangement at the close of the project.
The Approach:
YA was fortunate to have among the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Chapter a highly
experiences Chief Information Officer (CIO) from the private sector. This individual agreed to serve as
the project director and also helped arrange for a grant to cover the initial development of the solution.
As a first step in the process, the project director insisted upon the hire of a part-time project manager
who would oversee the day-to-day operations of the project and who would serve as the liaison
between the chosen vendor and the consortium of YA chapters. The chapters submitted their
requirements for consolidation by the project director into a single request for proposal (RFP) that was
then circulated to a qualified field of 10 prospective vendors. The project director also laid out a series
of ground rules to be followed by the project team:
the Web-based and hosted solution would free the chapters from costly local hardware and
software upgrades but to achieve this end the chapters would need to come to consensus on
system process and data terminology and system functionality
prepared by rmk 051514
Page 1
Session 22: Young Audiences Case
each chapter would appoint a stakeholder to review in a timely manner the proposed system as
it evolved
all commitments to the system design and vendor services would be decided on by the
governance board of the project (i.e. the several executive directors representing their chapters)
through consensus
only the project manager would interact with the vendor
the grant would cover core functionality only; any special needs of a particular chapter would be
addressed if possible AFTER core system delivery and then at the direct expense of that chapter
a majority of the chapters must sign-up for the project for monthly maintenance and hosting
fees to make the project affordable to all
the “national chapter” in New York City would serve as the consolidator for all invoices coming
from the vendor and all payments going from the chapters to the vendor, bearing in mind that
all of the chapters are independent not-for-profit entities
two chapters – the MA chapter and the Cleveland Chapter (the former because they were
champions of the effort and the latter because they operated within a 50 minute drive of the
vendor) – will serve as the pilot chapters for the product’s release. The remaining chapters will
be phased into the new system in line with breaks in their academic programming schedules.
Project Outcomes:
The table that follows summarizes most of the important outcomes from the project. In general, the
project delivered on time and within budget but like most IT undertakings, it was not a smooth ride.
The Bad
The Ugly
project manager – excellent; great
listener and coalition builder; solid
PM skills
The Good
the chapters found it hard to give up
their particular agendas and unique
business process practices
vendor – met commitments and
timelines and bent over backwards
to accommodate YA needs.
the chapters continued to layer on
functionality to the core system,
adding complexity and slowing
overall performance
the trainer (the vendor’s partner)
was a bit of a prima dona, requiring
special handling by the project
director and the project manager
YA Inc., a.k.a. the national chapter
failed to live up to its commitments
as the administrative keeper of the
PM process
some chapters backed out towards
the end of the development phase
raising the share of ongoing costs
for those chapters that remained
YA Inc., failed to assign a “system
owner” for post-cutover
management of the relationship
between the chapters and the
“ownership” is still an issue with
both the project director and the
project manager now exiting the
training and data transfer from
legacy systems to the new system
happened with few if any problems
a core team of chapters created a
system user committee to oversee
the long term management of the
arrangement with the vendor after
YA Inc. bailed on them
within a reasonable amount of time
this committee worked with the
vendor to address functional and
performance issues in the core
prepared by rmk 051514
many chapters were and still are
computer-phobic while also
maintaining unrealistic expectations
as to what the new system could do
for them and at what cost
Page 2
An Introduction to Project
What is a project?
• A project is a
temporary endeavor
undertaken to produce
a unique product or
• Examples:
– Build a house
– Design and implement
a network
What is a project?
• What are the differences
between projects and
– Characteristics of Operations
• Ongoing – Continuous cycle
• Repetitive – Expected inputs
and outputs
– Characteristics of Projects
• Temporary – Definitive
beginning and end
• Unique – New undertaking,
unfamiliar ground
What is a successful project?
• Customer Requirements
• Completed within allocated time frame
• Completed within allocated budget
• Acceptance by the customer
Project Management Failures
• Over 70% of IT projects fail
in some way
• Major reasons for failure
– Scope creep – the adding of
unplanned requirements to
the budget
– Budget creep – unexpected or
poorly projected costs
– Schedule creep – unexpected
delays or poorly projected
time requirements
Why do projects fail?
• No up-front commitment by stakeholders
• Poor communication among the project team
and stakeholders
• Scope creep
• Poor requirements gathering
• No functional input in planning
• Lack of sponsorship
• Unrealistic planning and
scheduling/impossible schedule commitments
• Lack of resources
What is Project Management?
• The purpose of project management is
prediction and prevention, NOT
recognition and reaction
• Effective management of the triple
– Scope
– Cost
– Time
IT Project Management
• the Project Management Life Cycle (PMLC) – the
process steps and best practices
• Project Governance – the body of stakeholders
who oversee the project
• Sponsor (line of business) – puts up the cash and
signs off on the deliverables
• Stakeholders (a.k.a. working clients) (also line of
business) – members of governance
• Chief Information Officer (CIO) – IT business
• Chief Technology Officer (CTO) – IT products
and architecture
IT Project Management
Vocabulary – continued
• Project Manager – coordinator, reporter, scorecard
• Business Analyst – business requirements gatherer
• Systems Analyst – translator of business requirements
into functional requirements (of IT solution)
• Prototype – a low cost simulation of the IT solution
• Quality assurance and quality control – testing to ensure
tha the solution meets business requirements
• Risk management (concerning projects) – to mitigate risk
• System implementation approaches – piloting, phasing,
paralleling, plunging.
Project Triple Constraints
• Scope
– Identified or
• Cost/resources
– Staff, money,
• Schedule/time
Project Execution and Control
• A project schedule empowers a Project
Manager to:
– Manage the time, cost, and resources of the
– Assess the progress of the project against the
– Assess and communicate the impact of issues
and change management
– Forecast and what-If scenarios
• Issue Management
• Change Management
Project Management Life Cycle
(PMLC) Process Workflows, Part 1:
initial scoping
discussion with
clients; OK to proceed.
score card
and approval
formal project
kickoff by core
project team
functional and
technical reviews
with stakeholders
if appropriate,
develop prototype
of desired solution
proceed to infrastructure
phase of process
Project Management Life Cycle
(PMLC) Process Workflows, Part 2:
review final technical
specifications with
partner providers
OSDA changes
& commitments
identify existing
resources to be
develop solution
for production
including reports
and related
user & tech
fix bugs
certify, define
release strategy
trained support personnel
documentation, OSDA’s
and SLA’s in place;
formal customer signoff
Launch and Release
prepare test
lab and test
test scripts
and process
retire older system
hardware and software,
place project docs in KM
store, hold lessons learned
Project Closure: customer sign-off; lessons learned review
Project Management Role
What are “People, Process, and Technology” challenges for these areas?
• Communications management – how project communications will
be handled to ensure all project stakeholders are informed. Could
also be considered “relationship management.”
• Human resource/talent management – development of the project
team, reporting structure, resource capacity/workload (including
augmenting with outsourcing)
• Requirements management – identifying, prioritizing and then
ensuring that the appropriate functions/features are included in the
production/go live system (no more, no less)
• Procurement management – materials purchasing, contract
processes (including sourcing)
• Issue management – formal recording, attribution, and follow up on
potential problems identified (related to bug / defect tracking, but not
the same thing
• Change control management – identifying, prioritizing, and
scheduling revisions to the scope (increase or decrease)
Project Management Areas
Scope management
Issue management
Cost management
Quality management
Communications management
Risk management
Change control management
Scope Management
• The process to ensure that the project is
inclusive of all the work required, and only the
work required
• Primarily it is the definition and control of
what IS and IS NOT included in the project
• Communicates
How the scope was defined
How the project scope will be managed
Who will manage the scope
Change Control
Scope Management
• The process to ensure that the
project is inclusive of all the work
required, and only the work
• Primarily it is the definition and
control of what features ARE and
ARE NOT included in a project
Source: mysticMundane (2008)
Issue Management
• Where issues will be maintained and
• The process for updating issues regularly
• The escalation process
• The vehicle by which team members can
access documented issues
Cost Management
• Resource Planning
– physical resources required and what quantities are
necessary for successful project completion
– Staffing/human resources / expertise – insourcing,
partnering, outsourcing (onshore, offshore) for successful
project completion
• Budget
– Budget estimates (forecast)
– Baseline estimates (change in scope, schedule)
– Project actual costs
• TCO considerations
– Budget forecasting timeline should match magnitude of
investment (e.g., ERP, 3+ years)
– Must include ongoing and safeguarding costs for staffing
Scope/Quality Management
• Processes that insure the project will satisfy
or exceed information requirements
• Quality planning, assurance, and control
– Clearly define performance standards (project,
– Identify how standards are measured and
– Determine how testing/assurance will verify
standards satisfaction
Related activities:
Defect management (bugs, inaccuracies, unmet expectations)
Change control management (adjustments to features)
Quality Management:
User Participation
IS specialist
Executive Sponsor
End user
Schedule Management
• Overall project forecast and tracking of work
• Understanding interdependencies between
• Identification of “critical path” tasks – i.e.
those tasks in the process that are absolutely
necessary for the successful completion of
the project.
• Clear milestones for key deliverables
A project schedule empowers a Project Manager to:
• Manage the time, cost, and resources of the project
• Assess the progress of the project against the baseline
• Assess and communicate the impact of issues and
change management
• Forecast and what-If scenarios
Schedule Management – Gantt
chart show tasks and dependencies over time
Communications Management
• Communications planning
– Who needs what information
– When they need it,
– How it will be delivered
• Information distribution
– How information will flow to the project
• Schedule appropriate project meetings
• Communications can make or break a
Risk Management
• Define risk management plan (e.g., tolerance)
• Identify risks
• Perform risk analysis (sources, probability,
• Develop responses
• Monitor and control risks.
Related activities:
Issue management
Communication management
Change control management
Probability of Occurrence
Dimensions of Risk
Do these projects?
Negative Consequence of Occurrence
Risks by source
• Project complexity
– Volume of parts, variety of parts, interactions between parts, dynamism
• Organizational / Structural
Degree of business units/functions affected (RID)
Degree of business procedures/activities affected
Degree of organizational chart / reporting relationships affected
Level of executive support / commitment (enthusiastic-resistant)
Level of end-user attitude to technology adoption (pro-con)
• Technological
– Novelty of technology in market
– Novelty of technology for end-user
– Novelty of technology for IS specialists
• Market / Regulatory
(McFarlan 1981)
Change Control Management
• Define how changes to the project will be
• Formal change control is required for all of
the following
Scope change
Schedule changes
Budget changes
Technical specification changes
• All changes require buy from project sponsor
signature prior to change implementation
Information System
* Today very few information systems are developed in-house. Businesses more
typically license and deploy software packages developed by software companies.
The Overall Approach
Define problem/
Select best
Design solution
IS Development Life Cycle – SDLC
System Definition:
Goals & Feasibility
Requirements Analysis:
Functional Requirements
Component Design:
System Design Specs
Here is when most
companies will seek
a vender solution as
FastFit did.
System Implementation:
Operational System
System Maintenance:
Improved System
System Definition ?
Feasibility Study
Should we develop the system?
1. Organizational Feasibility –
a) how well does this system support the strategic
business priorities of the business?
b) Does it fit the culture and way of doing things and
will it be used?
2. Cost Feasibility – will the benefits exceed the
costs and over what time frame?
3. Schedule Feasibility – can it be done on
4. Technical Feasibility – Can we build/buy it
and will the technology work?
Requirements Analysis ?
Functional Requirements
What should the system do?
• Organizational Analysis
– How does the organizational function?
• Present System Analysis
– What are users doing now?
– Inputs, processes, outputs, controls
• Future Functional Requirements Analysis
– What kinds of tasks will users perform?
– What information and functions will they need?
Component Design ?
System Design Specifications
• Hardware
• Software
• Data
• Roles
• Procedures
Prototyping – when to use
•Requirements are difficult to specify (tacit
•Iterative refinement required (feedback, learning,
•Heavy user participation (more accurate, more
•Rapid turnaround to show progress (less
need for forecasting)
•Often used with tra …
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