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 Assignment 4 (Due: December 17, 2009, before 01:00pm)

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Maria Theresa F. Rulete

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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 4 (Due: December 17, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:02 am

You were invited by the university president to prepare an IS plan for the university, discuss what are the steps in order to expedite the implementation of the IS Plan.

Strategic information systems planning (SISP) is the process of identifying a portfolio of computer-based applications that will assist an organization in executing its business plans and realizing its business. Because information technology is playing an increasingly strategic role in today's highly competitive business world, the need for effective strategic information systems planning (SISP) has become more and more critical. SISP can contribute substantially to an organization. It can bring IS users and IS professionals together and establish a mutual understanding of the value of information systems and the problems associated with them. It also can help the organization develop priorities for information systems development by ranking such systems in terms of their efficiency, effectiveness, and strategic value. In that manner, it helps the organization identify its portfolio of planned computer-based applications, which both align well with corporate strategy and can create an advantage over competitors. Although much SISP research has been conducted over the past few years, the same types of problems repeatedly appear, thus suggesting that SISP has not improved much in practice. A gap continues to separate the plans and expectations of the developers of an IS strategy from the actual outcome of the strategy. Often, only a few of the systems in the strategy are implemented and some of them take substantially longer than anticipated. A survey of four Norwegian organizations found that only 42% of the projects in the formal IT strategy had been implemented after five years. This lack of implementation not only leaves firms dissatisfied with their current SISP, but also creates problems establishing and maintaining priorities in future SISP.

The failure to execute SISP effectively can cause an organization to lose competitive advantage. Hence it is no surprise that both corporate general managers and IS executives have viewed improved SISP as a key issue facing them. Observers have suggested many practices to make SISP more successful. Categorizations of practices, case studies, and surveys have offered a broad look at SISP practices across large sets of organizations in different countries. The objective of the study described here was to apply the findings from such research to the problem of the failure to implement the recommendations of a SISP study and thus to identify a comprehensive and parsimonious set of factors of practices that predict implementation. The importance of SISP to both general and IS management and its challenging nature make this research issue significant. SISP has been defined as "the process of identifying a portfolio of computer-based applications that will assist an organization in executing its business plans and realizing its business goals". It also includes the specification of databases and systems to support those applications. It embraces the selection of rather prosaic applications which would best fill the organization's current and future needs, but it also entails the discovery of new applications with the potential to create an advantage over competitors. It has been viewed as comprised of six broad process dimensions drawn from strategic management - comprehensiveness, formalization, focus, flow, participation, and consistency and also as comprised of content aspects of business domain analysis and technology domain analysis, and process aspects of top management involvement, user involvement, quality of support mechanisms, and use of a steering committee.

To perform SISP, an organization typically conducts a multi-phase study. One observer summarized such a SISP study in terms of five phases. The first phase, strategic awareness, included the identification of strategic goals, identification of business and IT systems, and the definition of planning process objectives. The second, situation analysis, comprised the analysis of business systems, organizational systems, IT systems, and the external business and IT environments. The third, strategy conception, included the scanning of the future, the identification of alternative scenarios, and scenario elaboration. Strategy formulation, the fourth, contained the formulation of the business architecture, the formulation of the IT architecture, the formulation of organizational solutions, and synthesis and prioritization. Finally, strategy implementation planning comprised the definition of action plan elements for developing the applications in the plan, the elaboration of the action plan, the evaluation of the action plan, and the definition of follow-up and control procedures. SISP has also been described as a system comprised of inputs, processing, and outputs. Objectives, resources, and information serve as inputs and they influence a specific, predetermined planning process. Elements both within the organization's internal environment and beyond its control (i.e., in its external environment) also influence the process. The process itself consists
of a set of practices that result in an IT strategy whose major component is recommendations for the portfolio of new information systems. However, organizations often fail to develop the systems in the strategy. Such failure to implement can be seen as a function of the planning process, and more specifically, its practices.

SISP has evolved over time. It initially was conducted as a fairly formal and comprehensive activity, although nowadays such an administrative approach is generally not very successful. Competitive analysis and advantage later became a major objective. As organizations began to understand that IT could improve internal efficiencies, SISP began to emphasize business process reengineering. More recently, observers have recognized the importance of SISP for organizational learning. SISP generates an enormous amount of information about an organization, and its internal and external environment, and this information must be organized, managed, and understood. For example, by emphasizing measurable criteria for judging the merits and risks of proposed projects, and by creating concrete procedures for measuring the effectiveness of the plan, organizations learn from their SISP. Thus, SISP can be viewed as having evolved into a knowledge management activity. The purpose of SISP is to create a plan of recommendations that fulfill management objectives and thus benefit the organization. SISP lays the groundwork for implementation of the plan. Implementation is essential because it enables the organization to achieve SISP benefits.

Although the extent of plan implementation is positively associated to the extent of SISP, implementation of the plan is not assured and the failure to implement is common. In fact, a majority of senior IS executives have classified failure to translate goals and strategies into action plans as a major IS planning problem. Going from strategies to action plans is, however, a necessity for implementing IT strategies. Over 55% of senior IS executives have classified the "difficulty to secure top management commitment to implement the IS plan" and over 50% have classified "ignoring the IS plan once it has been developed" as major IS planning problems. Ignoring implementation issues or lack of support for information technology architecture and duration of SISP has also been suggested as the causes of the low rate of SISP implementation. In one study of SISP, less than a quarter of the recommended projects had been initiated after over half the planning horizon had passed. This suggests that organizations were not implementing their plan very vigorously. During the same horizon, 38% of all initiated projects had not been identified in the SISP plan. This also suggests that organizations were not following their plan. Finally, the same study found that satisfaction with plan implementation was significantly lower than satisfaction with the input, process, and resources used during the process.

Several reasons may explain the failure to implement the SISP plan. The duration of IS development is so long that it provides time for the business strategy to change in response to external and internal environmental change, and thus forces IS priorities to change. Users politic to raise the priorities of their projects and bypass the prioritization scheme established in the plan. The organization underestimates the cost of projects and runs out of resources. Long and short-term plans are poorly integrated. Government legislation forces changes in priorities. Groups within the IS department set their own priorities. Management raises the priority of new proposals with higher return on investment. Insufficiently high-level managers participate in SISP. In summary, management does not focus its SISP efforts on implementation issues. A Norwegian study derived ten predictor constructs of implementation from 35 SISP practices. The predictors were intended to reflect the content of the IT strategy rather than practices independent of the final plan. A full multiple regression with all ten showed a significant overall relationship between the predictors and the IT strategy implementation, but no individual one was significant. Stepwise multiple regression, however, showed that two had significant coefficients. "Responsibility for the implementation" had the highest explanatory power, and "user involvement during the implementation" had the second highest (p<.05). Perhaps surprisingly, the other eight plan characteristics - resources needed for implementation, analysis of the organization, anticipated changes in the external environment, solutions to potential resistance during implementation, information technology to be implemented, projects' relevance to the business plan, management support for the implementation, and clear presentation of implementation issues - were not significant implementation predictors. Regardless of the two predictors, the lack of implementation still often leaves firms dissatisfied with their SISP efforts.

The current research used a list of recommended planning practices presumed to produce a more accurate, convincing, and stable plan, a plan less vulnerable to the political and environmental changes that can alter the priorities of its recommendations. However, research has not yet examined the relationship of these practices to implementation. The implications of the research for managers, who want to improve the likelihood of SISP implementation based on the study's findings, are simple and succinct: Deliberately plan for implementation by identifying specific actions to accomplish it and incorporate them in the plan itself. More specifically, identify the resources and actions needed to implement new applications development and maintenance tools. Identify the MIS department's actions necessary to expedite adoption of the plan. Prepare a plan for migrating to new applications including key projects and their order of implementation. Specify actions needed to implement the proposed architecture. Evaluate the costs, benefits and risks of each proposed project to determine its priority. Complete the study in a reasonable period of time. The current research suggests that these practices, grouped together, are the strongest predictors of implementation. Also, control the progress of the SISP study and the implementation of the plan with feedback and guidance. Resolve conflict and bring about agreement on priorities quickly.

To improve the overall value of the SISP study, focus on trends, competitors, the impact of information technology, and focus on tying these issues to strategic business planning. Also, it is important to ensure the reputation of the planning team. However, do not expect these practices necessarily to lead to implementation. Analyze organization needs. However, do so quickly and not to the extent that the analysis impedes plan implementation, as this research suggested it can. Finally, managers should assess each practice regardless of whether it predicts implementation or not. Each practice might play a key role in the implementation of a particular plan. Hence each one merits careful consideration in the context of each individual organization. Different circumstances could render some - even those that do not predict implementation in a large sample - both essential and effective for individual organizations. The research examined the planning practices expected to predict the implementation of SISP plans. It found that the Migration factor predicted greater implementation using two different dependent variables, whereas Management Control predicted it with only one dependent variable, Study Focus and Team Member Selection Criteria did not predict it with either, and Needs predicted less implementation with one variable. The lack of consistent prediction of implementation may suggest practices do not play as great a role as anticipated in implementation. However, such findings are consistent with previous research that showed that only two practices, "responsibility for the implementation" and "user involvement during the implementation" out of ten predicted it using a similar, multi-item, scaled dependent variable. Combined, the two studies suggest that although many practices may be valuable, their direct impact on implementation itself is limited. This research speculated why such practices might not predict implementation, but future research should look more closely to assess the reasons.

While diligent efforts were made to ensure that this research considered all possible planning practices, more practices may exist and hence further research with a larger number of practices might be desirable. However, a larger sample of subjects would also be necessary. With a larger sample, the more powerful analytic technique of structural equation modeling would be possible; the current sample had insufficient subjects for such analysis. Some of the prescriptions correlated negatively with the implementation
measure. Future research might reword them. For example, "The SISP study used experienced external consultants" might be changed to "The SISP study avoided the use of experienced external consultants," or perhaps simply "The SISP study avoided the use of external consultants." The research assessed implementation success by regressing practices on two measures of implementation. One measure was perceptual and the other was more objective. The results were not completely consistent. The differences suggest the importance of multiple measures of variables and imply that they should be used more frequently in future research. One of those measures was the ratio of the number of implemented projects to the total recommended. Previous research has used that ratio. However, the ratio does not take into account project size. A firm that implements many minor projects would be deemed more successful than one that implements a few major projects, although in fact, it might or might not actually be more successful. In a sense the ratio is consistent with popular advice to break large projects into smaller ones to facilitate their implementation. Nevertheless, future research should consider project size in the evaluation process. Researchers could also ask about implementation success in different ways. One alternative approach would be to ask planners directly to assess how much each practice contributed to implementation.

Planners' perceptions played a major role in this study. Information systems department professionals are probably not the only parties knowledgeable about SISP. Hence, future researchers should also seek the views of business managers and other participants from outside the MIS function. Correlation and regression also played an important role in this study. Correlation and regression are not causation. Perhaps more in-depth studies of SISP would facilitate a better assessment of causality. Finally, the research predicted that the analysis of organization needs would presage the implementation of plans. Instead, it found that such analysis might impede implementation. Naturally some level of such analysis is necessary. Hence, future research should seek to determine this level. In reference to such an appropriate level of analysis, information systems managers speak informally of "analysis paralysis" - the excessive study of a problem and resultant delay in beginning to solve it. Perhaps the greatest need for research is thus to determine when enough analysis is complete so as to begin implementing and to avoid analysis paralysis. In other words, future research should ask, how much analysis is necessary to facilitate SISP implementation and how much more analysis will begin to impede it? Strategic information systems planning has evolved over time from a fairly formal and comprehensive to a knowledge management activity. It continues to challenge information systems managers and other executives. Planning is expensive and the failure to implement a SISP plan wastes valuable resources. By focusing on the actions necessary for implementation, the chances of
successfully doing so can likely be increased.

Strategic information system planning (SlSP) is the process of deciding the objectives for organizational computing and identifying potential computer applications which the organization should implement. Most information systems today are affected by one or more
regulations, and some would argue that industries as a whole are over-regulated. That is particularly true in industries such as banking and insurance. There are many valid reasons for regulations, especially when it comes to information systems. A significant portion of business processes and activities in most organizations depends completely on information systems, and could not function without them. The vast amount of information generated by information systems is used by publicly-traded companies to report to authorities and regulatory agents. Additionally, decision-makers and stakeholders use financial reports published by organizations to make business decisions about investments, mergers, and acquisitions. Internal and IT auditors are in a unique professional position. Their traditional and primary duty is to inspect and verify that business processes and practices are carried out as required by various regulatory bodies. Additionally, the main output of an audit activity is an audit report that describes risks, control deficiencies, and breach of existing controls. Auditors also can assume the role of trusted advisor and suggest ways to improve existing processes and add new processes, tools, and best practices that improve performance and reduce operating costs. This article presents some ways in which internal and IT auditors can bring tremendous value to organizations in the course of conducting an audit.

In spite of the overwhelming number of existing regulations, there is strong evidence that a tidal wave of new regulations will emerge in the next 12 to 18 months. The new regulations will ensure that better controls are applied as an oversight on activities performed by particular groups within an organization. One thing IT departments can do now is use this grace period to prepare for complying with new regulations. A paradigm shift and thinking outside of the box regarding current practices will help in accepting a different approach to complying with regulation requirements. For example, the notion that regulation is not the chief information officer’s or IT department’s responsibility and the view that regulation requirements are not part of system requirements no longer apply. Instead, IT departments should accept the involvement of stakeholders and subject matter experts (SMEs) within the organization as critical and necessary for successful implementation of regulation requirements in information systems. The following represents the primary key players and SMEs who should be directly involved in complying with regulations requirements throughout the life cycle of the information system: Chief compliance officer, Chief risk officer, Information system manager, IT project manager, Information security manager, and Quality assurance manager. Internal and IT auditors cannot and should not take an active part in the design or implementation of regulation requirements in order to prevent potential conflicts of interest in future audits.

A key point of this new approach is that regulation requirements are an integral part of the set of requirements that are defined for an information system (functional, technical, performance, security) and therefore: Regulation requirements must be documented and managed along with all other requirements. (The use of a requirements management tool is recommended.); Regulation requirements must be translated into tasks and activities to be performed throughout the life cycle of the information system and clearly defined in all project work plans; and the test plan for information systems must include specific tests to ensure effective and accurate implementation of regulation requirements. Internal and IT auditors can bring an important added value to organizations by raising the level of awareness among managers and stakeholders of the benefits to be gained by adopting a new approach to meeting regulation requirements. Auditors can express such opinions in audit reports and during audit closing meetings as general comments and recommendations. “Information System Life Cycle Phases” represents a typical life cycle model for information system development, implementation, and sustainability. The model includes some key activities that are related to regulation requirements in each phase of the life cycle. The activities relating to regulation requirements development, testing, and implementation can be easily incorporated into other life cycle models. There is no need to invent a new methodology for information systems development or to alter existing methodologies drastically. Instead, organizations should change and upgrade concepts that are currently used by IT departments. The involvement and active participation of SMEs is essential to successful implementation of this approach.

The adoption and implementation of the proposed approach to complying with regulation requirements consist of four steps. Activities in these four steps can be easily incorporated into the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) currently in use by the organization. “Information System Life Cycle Phases” is a model that demonstrates integrating regulation requirements into a popular SDLC:

1. Discovery and Identification. Specific regulation requirements relevant to information systems should be documented. A current risk survey report may be used if available. Identification and classification of binding enterprise regulations, standards, and frameworks should be included in a dictionary of terms and definitions. This dictionary should be the basis for a common language among all the organizational units in
the enterprise that are involved in implementing and sustaining regulatory compliance measures. Existing and planned information systems and the identification of gaps between regulation requirements and their implementation should also be surveyed. It is possible to have regulation requirements from multiple regulatory agents. Conversely, IT controls that were developed in response to a particular regulation requirement may be applicable to several information systems. One byproduct of this exercise is the identification of duplicate controls that were implemented to remedy regulatory requirements. A list of information systems, their risk classification, and associated controls presents an excellent opportunity to streamline and consolidate the number of IT controls in the organization. Once IT controls are documented, a logical next step would be to expand the knowledge base by linking relevant policies, procedures, work instructions, forms, process owner information, and system managers. A repository of such information could help reduce the burden and high demand on IT professionals and make the audit process more efficient.

2. Classification Information systems should be classified to facilitate prioritization according to criteria such as: The importance of a system to a business process. An existing risk survey report can be used as a source for information system classification and serve as a starting point. Control self-assessment is a popular tool that can be used for establishing information systems classification; the impact of the information system on one or more business processes and the risk factors associated with information systems; the interdependency with other internal and external information systems. Once prioritized, a viable work plan for implementing regulation requirements can be developed for the information systems managed by the IT department.

3. Mapping To establish ownership and direct responsibility for each information system in the organization, it is necessary to map information systems. Mapping should identify the following relationships: Information system to business process; Regulation requirements to organizational unit(s); Information system ownership; Identification or discovery of “orphan” information systems; Identification of multi-owner information systems. Any identified gaps must be investigated and resolved. Additionally, the mapping information collected in this effort should be well-documented and maintained as an ongoing regulation compliance activity.

4. Development, Testing, Implementation, and Maintenance The development, testing, implementation, and maintenance of regulation requirements include: Development of code necessary to satisfy regulation requirements; Testing and validation of regulation compliance of information systems developed in-house; Validation that all vendor-supplied information systems comply with regulation requirements; Testing, validation, and approval of external information systems services compliance with regulation requirements (including software as a service-based (SaaS) systems). Certification demonstrating regulatory compliance of information systems by all stakeholders is required to authorize systems for production use. During tough economic times and budget cuts, improving business processes is a good way to prepare for the up-turn cycle and for the inevitable wave of new regulations that are sure to hit our shores. The prevailing best practice of doing more with less applies to internal and IT auditors just as it does to other stakeholders in business enterprises. Internal and IT auditors can add value to their audited parties, in particular, and to business organizations in general, by playing the role of trusted advisor. The primary role of an auditor is to verify compliance; identify risks, control deficiencies, and the effectiveness of existing controls; and produce an audit report for management.

An experienced auditor can suggest and recommend improvements to existing processes and recommend new tools and methods for consideration. Furthermore, over time this approach can improve work relationships between the auditor and audited parties in the organization. For a long time relationship between information system functions and corporate strategy was not of much interest to Top Management of firms. Information Systems were thought to be synonymous with corporate data processing and treated as some back-room operation in support of day-to-day mundane tasks . In the 80’s and 90’s, however, there has been a growing realization of the need to make information systems of strategic importance to an organization. Consequently, strategic information systems planning (SISP) is a critical issue. In many industry surveys, improved SISP is often mentioned as the most serious challenge facing IS managers. Planning for information systems, as for any other system, begins with the identification of needs. In order to be effective, development of any type of computer-based system should be a response to need--whether at the transaction processing level or at the more complex information and support systems levels. Such planning for information systems is much like strategic planning in management. Objectives, priorities, and authorization for information systems projects need to be formalized. The systems development plan should identify specific projects slated for the future, priorities for each project and for resources, general procedures, and constraints for each application area. The plan must be specific enough to enable understanding of each application and to know where it stands in the order of development. Also the plan should be flexible so that priorities can be adjusted if necessary. King in his recent article has argued that strategic capability architecture - a flexible and continuously improving infrastructure of organizational capabilities – is the primary basis for a company's sustainable competitive advantage. He has emphasized the need for continuously updating and improving the strategic capabilities architecture.


SISP is the analysis of a corporation’s information and processes using business information models together with the evaluation of risk, current needs and requirements. The result is an action plan showing the desired course of events necessary to align information use and needs with the strategic direction of the company. The same article emphasizes the need to note that SISP is a management function and not a technical one. This is consistent with the earlier distinction between the older data processing views and the modern strategic importance view of Information Systems. SISP thus is used to identify the best targets for purchasing and installing new management information systems and help an organization maximize the return on its information technology investment. A portfolio of computer-based applications is identified that will assist an organization in executing its business plans and realize its business goals. There is a growing realization that the application of information technology (IT) to a firm’s strategic activities has been one of the most common and effective ways to improve business performance. The paper reviews the existing methodologies for SISP in an attempt to answer the critical question: how to move ahead and further improve the effectiveness of strategic planning for information-based enterprises? In particular, we examine their capacity for driving the development of corporate information systems ensuing the planning, and their potential to support economic evaluations of information systems investments. Strategic Information Systems Planning in the present SIS era is not an easy task because such a process is deeply embedded in business processes. These systems need to cater to the strategic demands of organizations, i.e., serving the business goals and creating competitive advantage as well as meeting their data processing and MIS needs. The key point here is that organizations have to plan for information systems not merely as tools for cutting costs but as means to adding value. The magnitude of this change in perspective of IS/IT’s role in organizations is highlighted in a Business Week article, ‘The Technology Payoff’.


According to this article, throughout the 1980s US businesses invested a staggering $1 trillion in the information technology. This huge investment did not result in a commensurate productivity gain - overall national productivity rose at a 1% annual rate compared with nearly 5% in Japan. Using the information technology merely to automate routine tasks without altering the business processes is identified as the cause of the above productivity paradox. As IT is used to support breakthrough ideas in business processes, essentially supporting direct value adding activities instead of merely cost saving, it has resulted in major productivity gains. In 1992, productivity rose nearly 3% and the corporate profits went up sharply. According to an MIT study quoted in the above article,
the return on investment in information systems averaged 54% for manufacturing and 68% for all businesses surveyed. This impact of information technology on re-defining, re-engineering businesses is likely to continue and it is expected that information technology will play increasingly important roles in future. For example, Pant point out that the emerging vision of virtual corporations will become a reality only if it is rooted in new visionary information technology. It is information technology alone which will carve multiple ‘virtual
corporations’ simultaneously out of the same physical resources and adapt them without having to change the actual organizations. Thus, it is obvious that information technology has indeed come a long way in the SIS era, offering unprecedented possibilities, which, if not cashed on, would turn into unprecedented risks. As Keen has morbidly but realistically pointed out that organizations not planning for strategic information systems may fail to spot the business implications of competitors’ use of information technology until it is too late for them to react. In situations like this, when information technology changes the basics of competition in an industry, 50% of the companies in that industry disappear within ten years. The task of strategic information systems planning is difficult and often time organizations do not know how to do it. Strategic information systems planning is a major change for organizations, from planning for information systems based on users’ demands to those based on business strategy.

Also strategic information systems planning changes the planning characteristics in major ways. For example, the time horizon for planning changes from 1 year to 3 years or more and development plans are driven by current and future business needs rather than incremental user needs. Increase in the time horizon is a factor which results in poor response from the top management to the strategic information systems planning process as it is difficult to hold their attention for such a long period. Other questions associated with strategic information systems planning are related to the scope of the planning study, the focus of the planning exercise – corporate organization vs. strategic business unit, number of studies and their sequence, choosing a strategic information
systems planning methodology or developing one if none is suitable, targets of planning process and deliverables. Because of the complexity of the strategic information systems planning process and uniqueness of each organization, there is no one best way to tackle it.


References:

http://www.allbusiness.com/technology/3502724-1.html
http://viu.eng.rpi.edu/publications/strpaper.pdf
http://www.theiia.org/intAuditor/itaudit/2009-articles/the-impact-of-regulation-on-information-system-planning/


My Blog: http://etelur.blogspot.com/2009/12/mis2-assignment-4.html




Last edited by Maria Theresa F. Rulete on Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:50 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Assignment#4   Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:59 am

The situation:
You were invited by the university president to prepare an IS plan for the university, discuss what are the steps in order to expedite the implementation of the IS Plan.

The purpose of System Implementation can be summarized as follows: making the new system available to a prepared set of users (the deployment), and positioning on-going support and maintenance of the system within the Performing Organization (the transition). At a finer level of detail, deploying the system consists of executing all steps necessary to educate the Consumers on the use of the new system, placing the newly developed system into production, confirming that all data required at the start of operations is available and accurate, and validating that business functions that interact with the system are functioning properly. Transitioning the system support responsibilities involves changing from a system development to a system support and maintenance mode of operation, with ownership of the new system moving from the Project Team to the Performing Organization. A key difference between System Implementation and all other phases of the lifecycle is that all project activities up to this point have been performed in safe, protected, and secure environments, where project issues that arise have little or no impact on day-to-day business operations. Once the system goes live, however, this is no longer the case. Any miscues at this point will almost certainly translate into direct operational and/or financial impacts on the Performing Organization. It is through the careful planning, execution, and management of System Implementation activities that the Project Team can minimize the likelihood of these occurrences, and determine appropriate contingency plans in the event of a problem.

This phase consists of the following processes:
Arrow Prepare for System Implementation, where all steps needed in advance of actually deploying the application are performed, including preparation of both the production environment and the Consumer communities.
Arrow Deploy System, where the full deployment plan, initially developed during System Design and evolved throughout subsequent lifecycle phases, is executed and validated.
Arrow Transition to Performing Organization, where responsibility for and ownership of the application are transitioned from the Project Team to the unit in the Performing Organization that will provide system support and maintenance.

The purpose of each phase:
Exclamation Prepare for System Implementation. The purpose of Prepare for System Implementation is to take all possible steps to ensure that the upcoming system deployment and transition occurs smoothly, efficiently, and flawlessly.
Exclamation Deploy System. The purpose of the Deploy System process is to perform all activities required to successfully install the new system and make it available to the Consumers.
Exclamation Transition to Performing Organization. The purpose of the Transition to Performing Organization process is to successfully prepare the Performing Organization to assume responsibility for maintaining and supporting the new application.

Prepare for System Implementation.
In the implementation of any new system, it is necessary to ensure that the Consumer community is best positioned to utilize the system once deployment efforts have been validated. Therefore, all necessary training activities must be scheduled and coordinated. As this training is often the first exposure to the system for many individuals, it should be conducted as professionally and competently as possible. A positive training experience is a great first step towards Customer acceptance of the system. During System Implementation it is essential that everyone involved be absolutely synchronized with the deployment plan and with each other. Often the performance of deployment efforts impacts many of the Performing Organization’s normal business operations.

Examples of these impacts include:
• _ Consumers may experience a period of time in which the systems that they depend on to perform their jobs are temporarily unavailable to them. They may be asked to maintain detailed manual records or logs of business functions that they perform to be entered into the new system once it is operational.
• _ Technical Services personnel may be required to assume significant implementation responsibilities while at the same time having to continue current levels of service on other critical business systems.
• _ Technical Support personnel may experience unusually high volumes of support requests due to the possible disruption of day-to-day processing.

Because of these and other impacts, the communication of planned deployment activities to all parties involved in the project is critical. A smooth deployment requires strong leadership, planning, and communications. By this point in the project lifecycle, the team will have spent countless hours devising and refining the steps to be followed. During this preparation process the Project Manager must verify that all conditions that must be met prior to initiating deployment activities have been met, and that the final ‘green light’ is on for the team to proceed. The final process within the System Development Lifecycle is to transition ownership of the system support responsibilities to the Performing Organization. In order for there to be an efficient and effective transition, the Project Manager should make sure that all involved parties are aware of the transition plan, the timing of the various transition activities, and their role in its execution. Due to the number of project participants in this phase of the SDLC, many of the necessary conditions and activities may be beyond the direct control of the Project Manager. Consequently, all Project Team members with roles in the implementation efforts must understand the plan, acknowledge their responsibilities, recognize the extent to which other implementation efforts are dependent upon them, and confirm their commitment.

Deploy System.
Deploying the system is the culmination of all prior efforts – where all of the meetings, planning sessions, deliverable reviews, prototypes, development, and testing pay off in the delivery of the final system. It is also the point in the project that often requires the most coordination, due to the breadth and variety of activities that must be performed. Depending upon the complexity of the system being implemented, it may impact technical, operational, and cultural aspects of the organization. A representative sample of high-level activities might include the installation of new hardware, increased network capabilities, deployment and configuration of the new system software, a training and awareness campaign, activation of new job titles and responsibilities, and a completely new operational support structure aimed at providing Consumer-oriented assistance during the hours that the new system is available for use (to name a few). Whatever the realm of activities related to the new system, their impacts should be addressed in the Organizational Change Management Plan, while specific deployment activities should all be encompassed in the Project Implementation and Transition Plan, (both created during the Project Planning phase of the Project Management Lifecycle.)

All Consumers training should be performed prior to physically migrating the system to the production environment. This will enable the Consumers to begin to familiarize themselves with the system, and will help to establish their expectations regarding what the system will and will not do. The sequencing of deployment activities is just as important as it was with previous testing activities. This sequence of events should be encompassed in the Deployment and Transition Plan section of the Technical Specification, and will address and prioritize any necessary training activities, set-up activities needed to prepare the production environment (desktop, LAN, servers, data center, etc.), and data conversion and validation activities. This deployment plan will also define the steps for physically migrating the system and any associated utilities to production, and for validating the accuracy and completeness of this migration after these steps have been performed. During deployment, Project Team members may often be required to work extra hours to meet aggressive timeframes, or additional staff may be brought in temporarily to assist with large data entry efforts. Proper planning and sequencing of the deployment can help to minimize these situations, and reduce the chance of any missteps that could result in having to restart the deployment process, or lengthen the implementation schedule. As the system is enabled, and the Project Team validates that the application is performing to expectations, there may be times when certain system functions seem suspect. One of the challenges most frequently faced by Project Teams is to determine the root cause of potential issues.

Discrepancies that exist within the data could be due to defects in the application’s business logic, or could be the result of data that was improperly migrated into the system. Similarly, the inability of a Consumer to access specific features of the system could be caused by improperly configured hardware, or incorrectly established security privileges. To minimize confusion and reduce the opportunity for such issues to surface, every attempt should be made to immediately validate each step of the deployment as it is performed. Additionally, the Project Manager should be aware that not everyone is open or receptive to change. As a system is rolled out to its target audience, the team must remain keenly attentive to how it is perceived. The fact that functions that were present in the legacy system no longer exist or work differently may cause some Consumers to see the new system negatively. And while the new system may provide overall benefits to the business or agency, those benefits may come at the expense of additional work responsibilities to some of the individuals who interact with the system (e.g., the new system may require the entry of additional data that was not previously required). By understanding some of the dynamics behind how the system is being received, the Project Team may be better able to identify or publicize some of the benefits that the system provides. A well-defined Organizational Change Management Plan should have anticipated and addressed these issues.

Transition to Performing organization
In many organizations, the team of individuals responsible for the long-term support and maintenance of a system is different from the team initially responsible for designing and developing the application. Often, the two teams include a comparable set of technical skills. The responsibilities associated with supporting an operational system, however, are different from those associated with new development. In order to effect this shift of responsibilities, the Project Team must provide those responsible for system support in the Performing Organization with a combination of technical documentation, training, and hands-on assistance to enable them to provide an acceptable level of operational support to the Consumers. This system transition is one element
(albeit a major one) of the overall Project Implementation and Transition Plan, developed as part of the PM Lifecycle. The Project Manager should review the transition plan to confirm that all defined actions have been successfully completed.

System Implementation serves as its own Measurement of Success; indeed, a smooth System Implementation culminates – and validates – the entire system development effort. Nevertheless, even before the final turnover, the Project Manager can utilize the measurement criteria below to assess how successfully the implementation is proceeding. More than one “No” answer indicates a serious risk to the success of this phase – and the entire project.

Link of source:
http://www.oft.state.ny.us/pmmp/guidebook2/SystemImplement.pdf






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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 4 (Due: December 17, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:16 am

You were invited by the university president to prepare an IS plan for the university, discuss what are the steps in order to expedite the implementation of the IS Plan.

The purpose of System Implementation can be summarized as follows: making the new system available to a prepared set of users (the deployment), and positioning on-going support and maintenance of the system within the Performing Organization (the transition). At a finer level of detail, deploying the system consists of executing all steps necessary to educate the Consumers on the use of the new system, placing the newly developed system into production, confirming that all data required at the start of operations is available and accurate, and validating that business functions that interact with the system are functioning properly. Transitioning the system support responsibilities involves changing from a system development to ma system support and maintenance mode of operation, with ownership of the new system moving from the Project Team to the Performing Organization. A key difference between System Implementation and all other phases of the lifecycle is that all project activities up to this point have been performed in safe, protected, and secure environments, where project issues that arise have little or no impact on day-to-day business operations. Once the system goes live, however, this is no longer the case. Any miscues at this point will almost certainly translate into direct operational and/or financial impacts on the Performing Organization. It is through the careful planning, execution, and management of System Implementation activities that the Project Team can minimize the likelihood of these occurrences, and determine appropriate contingency plans in the event of a problem

In an Information System implementation, the following are its phases:

Prepare for System Implementation, where all steps needed in advance of actually deploying the application are performed, including preparation of both the production environment and the Consumer communities.

Deploy System, where the full deployment plan, initially developed during System Design and evolved throughout subsequent lifecycle phases, is executed and validated.

Transition to Performing Organization, where responsibility for and ownership of the application are transitioned from the Project Team to the unit in the Performing Organization that will provide system support and maintenance.

The purpose of Prepare for System Implementation is to take all possible steps to ensure that the upcoming system deployment and transition occurs smoothly, efficiently, and flawlessly.

In the implementation of any new system, it is necessary to ensure that the Consumer community is best positioned to utilize the system once deployment efforts have been validated. Therefore, all necessary training activities must be scheduled and coordinated. As this training is often the first exposure to the system for many individuals, it should be conducted as professionally and competently as possible. A positive training experience is a great first step towards Customer acceptance of the system. During System Implementation it is essential that everyone involved be absolutely synchronized with the deployment plan and with each other. Often the performance of deployment efforts impacts many of the Performing Organization’s normal business operations. Examples of these impacts include: Consumers may experience a period of time in which the systems that they depend on to perform their jobs are temporarily unavailable to them. They may be asked to maintain detailed manual records or logs of business functions that they perform to be entered into the new system once it is operational. Technical Services personnel may be required to assume significant implementation responsibilities while at the same time having to continue current levels of service on other critical business systems. Technical Support personnel may experience unusually high volumes of support requests due to the possible Because of these and other impacts, the communication of planned deployment activities to all parties involved in the project is critical. A smooth deployment requires strong leadership, planning, and communications. By this point in the project lifecycle, the team will have spent countless hours devising and refining the steps to be followed. During this preparation process the Project Manager must verify must be met prior to initiating deployment activities have been met, and that the final ‘green light’ is on for the team to proceed.

Deploying the system is the culmination of all prior efforts – where all of the meetings, planning sessions, deliverable reviews, prototypes, development, and testing pay off in the delivery of the final system. It is also the point in the project that often requires the most coordination, due to the breadth and variety of activities that must be performed. Depending upon the complexity of the system being implemented, it may impact technical, operational, and cultural aspects of the organization. A representative sample of high-level activities might include the installation of new hardware, increased network capabilities, deployment and configuration of the new system software, a training and awareness campaign, activation of new job titles and responsibilities, and a completely new operational support structure aimed at providing Consumer-oriented assistance during the hours that the new system is available for use (to name a few). Whatever the realm of activities related to the new system, their impacts should be addressed in the Organizational Change Management Plan, while specific deployment activities should all be encompassed in the Project Implementation and Transition Plan, (both created during the Project Planning phase of the Project Management Lifecycle.) In the Information System implementation, these are the following services:

• Project Management & Project Facilitation are both key areas of our service delivery. Maximizing project resources, we assist the client in meeting critical project timelines and keeping initiatives on the fast track.
• Content Design & Development to include establishment of initial data standards (clinical including PNDS, financial, and materials) for your perioperative system and other integrated applications. We make sure your database is clinically responsive to the services offered at your institution.
• Solution Design Documentation to include design rationale and critical design and content decisions related to organizational, JCAHO, AORN, and software application requirements.
• Preference Card Development including optimal build structure and establishment of shared application data decisions to support SPD & OR Supply Chain initiatives.
• Report Writing to optimize your system output and meet the analysis needs across your health network.
• System Testing required for new system implementations, upgrades or enhancements.
• System Training to provide your project team & staff with the on-going knowledge and understanding necessary to succeed from pre-implementation through go-live. We believe that the quality of training your users receive directly correlates to the level of success you are able to achieve with your information system. J2 can provide system training tailored for all users. During implementation, training services are coordinated with the vendor's training program and augment in-house training resources.
• Interface Planning work starts with appropriate client and vendor resources to ensure accurate development from specification review, requirement identification, testing, and implementation.

Going back to the question, what is meant by the term Expedite?

Expedite is to accelerate or speed up something. Having constructed an IS Plan should entail the details on how it is to be implemented in effective and efficient ways.

Is there are need to expedite Information System Implementation?

I think that there is that great demand to expedite the Information Implementation, especially that technology is fast changing, and there is that high possibility that if the process will not be expedited the development will overrun.

To expedite the implementation, these are some involved processes:

Coordination with the personnel involve

The workforces/people ware itself are the main element in carrying out the IS plan. They are the brain and core of the system. Without which, the plan would not be put into action. This entails people management with their particular function and responsibility.

Assigning of responsibilities

Distribution and allocating of task should be thoroughly thought out. Constructing a timetable or outline of what-must-be-done is very crucial for it will be the basis for monitoring means of how the plan is going. Top management has ultimate responsibility for the organization and the overall effectiveness of risk control related programs. It initiates them, sets their goals, specifies procedures, allocates resources, and provides competent managers. Top management must create a culture that is supportive of risk control, and encourage all personnel to actively participate and contribute to the program’s success. It must also oversee program effectiveness and enforce discipline for non-conformance to agreed-upon standards and objectives. When top management cannot achieve these ends on its own, it must provide for those who can. Top management’s responsibility in these cases is not transferred to those it designates. It is shared.

“Delegating” is a perfectly good word, but in many management circles, it has acquired some negative baggage. It implies a handing down or passing off of something; that the something delegated is beneath or not important enough for the individual doing the delegating. “Assigning responsibility”, on the other hand, implies an active, positive process; one where care is taken to select and groom the right person, and insure that he or she has the proper resources, support, and authority to do the job properly.

Basic Guidelines for Assigning Responsibility

• Focus on Performance. - Assign responsibility so that managers, supervisors and employees clearly understand what performance is expected of each of them – what they must DO - to succeed in that task. It is performance objectives that determine:
1. What the individual must know to do the job,
2. What skills he or she must have,
3. What resources are needed, and
4. What level of authority is required.

• Make all assignments in writing. - Whenever possible, assignments should be in writing. The rule of thumb in assigning responsibilities is that the need for written assignment increases with complexity of the required tasks and or the organization. Verbal messages can be vague, misheard, misunderstood, ignored, even forgotten. Committing something to paper requires greater precision of thought and assignment, and reduces confusion and uncertainty for all parties involved. The written document can also be reproduced and distributed efficiently, and constitutes a record for purposes of accountability.
• Communicate the assignment of responsibilities and authority to all applicable levels of the organization. – This is especially true when the assigned responsibility requires interdepartmental action. Departmental “turf wars” can be minimized, the program will be better understood, and managers and employees can be held accountable more readily when everyone involved understands the rules.
• Provide adequate authority and resources to meet responsibilities. - It is unreasonable to assign responsibility without providing adequate authority and resources to accomplish the task. Essential resources may include:
1. Competent Staffing – an adequate number, properly trained and equipped.
2. Training – appropriate for responsibilities, both for supervisors and employees.
3. Equipment – the right tool, and enough of them to do the job.
4. Budget - adequate funds for operational expenditures

Setting timelines


The importance of time management would strike you at some point of your career. You would be inundated with work, and you will need to evaluate how to manage your time. There are a few factors why time management is important for your career success.
1. Time Is A Limited Resource

Remember that time is a limited resource. There is a Chinese proverb that says ‘no amount of gold will buy you time that has passed.’ Knowing that time is a limited resource, you would naturally need to cherish it. After all, deadlines to work will continue to inch closer to you whether or not you have started or you are slow on it. Once time is lost, you can never make up for it. Your work will have to be compromised - given that you have not managed your time. The importance of managing time to your career cannot be trivialized. Know the importance, take steps to perfect this skill to increase your chances of career success.
2. Small Steps Build Into Big Goals

Understand the importance of time management, as your career success depends on these small steps across time. If you not take care of the seconds, the minutes will waste, and so will the hours and days. All these will accumulate into poor results. The importance of time management is to understand that small steps across time build into big goals. And a main part of achieving goals is about time management.
3. Efficiency Of Your Work Relates To Time

Being efficient at work is about managing your time. Optimum use of your time means you accomplish more in the least possible time. Being able to manage your time well gives you a competitive advantage over your colleagues. You get more done and hence you get assigned to more important projects in the future.

When bosses see you as an efficient worker, you become a competitive advantage to your unit. This translates to better performance score, more trust and respect from colleagues and bosses. The importance of time management in this aspect should be kept in mind if you want to climb higher in the corporate ladder.

One of the most common question I get from managers is ‘How do I lessen my stress?’ I have learned that the first thing is to have them think about their time management skills. The importance of time management skill is also understanding that it can help lessen your stress.
If you have poor time management skills, work gets backlogged. You are caught chasing your own tail; overdue work gets caught up with current work while future projects are being given to you. These unattended work piles on the pressure. Before you know it, you are stressed over work. You start to complain about being overloaded. However, you fail to realize that it is your lack of time management skills that has created this stress.

5. Knowing Your Priority At Work

The importance of time management in your career success also comes in the form of allowing you to prioritize. Part of good time management skills involves knowing when to do what is urgent and important. Being able to recognize work that needs focus at the right time is a skill that is important to achieving career success.
When you are able to crystallize what is important, you will attend to the actual task that needs your focus. You become more effective. Becoming efficient and effective at your workplace will automatically contribute significantly to your career success.
The importance of time management to your career success cannot be trivialized. Learn these important skills and see your career soar.

Utilization of resources

It is of practical act to properly make use of all the resources available for the system. Analysis of the resources should be made. A university should look out for any source accessible. Overlooked resource could be a big lost for one’s organization. Human can be utilized as a resource, in which this resource is very vital. In organizations, it is important to determine both current and future organizational requirements for both core employees and the contingent workforce in terms of their skills/technical abilities, competencies, flexibility etc. The analysis requires consideration of the internal and external factors that can have an effect on the resourcing, development, motivation and retention of employees and other workers. The external factors are those largely out-with the control of the organization and include issues such as the economic climate, current and future trends of the labor market e.g. skills, education level, government investment into industries etc. On the other hand internal influences are broadly within the control of the organization to predict determine and monitor, for example the organizational culture underpinned by management behaviours (or style), environmental climate and the approach to ethical and corporate social responsibilities. Human resources is a term used to refer to how people are managed by organizations. The field has moved from a traditionally administrative function to a strategic one that recognizes the link between talented and engaged people and organizational success. The field draws upon concepts developed in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and System Theory. Human resources has at least two related interpretations depending on context. The original usage derives from political economy and economics, where it was traditionally called labor, one of four factors of production although this perspective is changing as a function of new and ongoing research into more strategic approaches at national levels.[1] This first usage is used more in terms of 'human resources development', and can go beyond just organizations to the level of nations [2]. The more traditional usage within corporations and businesses refers to the individuals within a firm or agency, and to the portion of the organization that deals with hiring, firing, training, and other personnel issues, typically referred to as 'human resources management'.

Monitoring of the growth of development

To keep track with the project schedules must be observed. Any progress should be made recognize. Updates and improvements must also be identified and evaluated if it has been going well with what has been planned for the system. Monitoring is an important part of the project management. Proper monitoring has get different advantages like you must know the development of the project, correcting the technical or other types of problems, promoting the team members to achieve the goal etc.

Monitoring is regular activity of the project manager to keep eyes on the different phases of the projects. It is essential that each team member must know the objective of the monitoring of the projects. You must have to know the actual development between the actual plan and the achievements of the project at different phase. Based on the defined schedule, you must have to finish the goal based on the time fixed by you and time lapse. The monitoring of the project should be based on the time, work and the resources utilize by the project team. You must have to keep watching on the monitoring of the activity or productivity of the employee. It is essential to keep watch on activity. You must have to conduct a regular interaction with the team to know the developments of the project. You should also know the problems faces by the team member at the grass root level. You must have to short out the problems so that you should be running as per schedule. You must have to monitor the technical problem too. If you are working on large employment group than you must have to solve the inter-personal issues too. As project manager, you must have to keep eye on the welfare of the issues.

Assessments and revisions of plans

It is an evaluation and comparison of the actual system implementation with the original ISP. Changes would not be inevitable and so as with what has been intended or planned for the ISP. In this phase, with what is good for the betterment, alteration or modification of the original plan is being done.


References:
http://www.harleysvillegroup.com/losc/PDFs/LCT1005.pdf
http://www.career-success-for-newbies.com/importance-of-time-management.html
http://www.1866projectmanagement.com/importance-of-project-monitoring.html


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ailaine adaptar

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PostSubject: >> assuming..   Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:32 am


You were invited by the university president to prepare an IS plan for the university,
discuss what are the steps in order to expedite the implementation of the IS Plan.


[ The Intoduction ]

I do agree to the statement that information has emerged as an agent of integration and the enabler of new competitiveness for today’s enterprise in the global marketplace. However, has the paradigm of strategic planning changed sufficiently to support the new role of information systems and technology? We reviewed the literature for commonly used or representative information planning methodologies and found that a new approach is needed. There are six methodologies reviewed in this paper. They all tend to regard planning as a separate stage which does not connect structurally and directly to the information systems development. An integration of planning with development and management through enterprise information resources - which capture and characterize the enterprise - will shorten the response cycle and even allow for economic evaluation of information system investment.

It is always true that planning for information systems, as for any other system, begins with the identification of needs. In order to be effective, development of any type of computer-based system should be a response to need--whether at the transaction processing level or at the more complex information and support systems levels. Such planning for information systems is much like strategic planning in management. Objectives, priorities, and authorization for information systems projects need to be formalized. The systems development plan should identify specific projects slated for the future, priorities for each project and for resources, general procedures, and constraints for each application area. The plan must be specific enough to enable understanding of each application and to know where it stands in the order of development. Also the plan should be flexible so that priorities can be adjusted if necessary.


[ The Review ]


I would give a thumbs-up to the article I have read that states that the task of strategic information systems planning is difficult and often time organizations do not know how to do it. Strategic information systems planning is a major change for organizations, from planning for information systems based on users’ demands to those based on business strategy. Also strategic information systems planning changes the planning characteristics in major ways. For example, the time horizon for planning changes from 1 year to 3 years or more and development plans are driven by current and future business needs rather than incremental user needs.

In addition, increase in the time horizon is a factor which results in poor response from the top management to the strategic information systems planning process as it is difficult to hold their attention for such a long period. Other questions associated with strategic information systems planning are related to the scope of the planning study, the focus of the planning exercise - corporate organization vs. strategic business unit, number of studies and their sequence, choosing a strategic information systems planning methodology or developing one if none is suitable, targets of planning process and deliverables. Because of the complexity of the strategic information systems planning process and uniqueness of each organization, there is no one best way to tackle it. Vitale, et al. (1986) classify SISP methodologies into two categories: impact and alignment. Impact methodologies help create and justify new uses of IT, while the methodologies in the “alignment” category align IS objectives with organizational goals.

A quality ISP must exhibit five distinct characteristics before it is useful. These five are presented in the table that follows.








Information
Systems were thought to be synonymous with corporate data processing and
treated as some back-room operation in support of day-to-day mundane tasks. In
the 80’s and 90’s until this generation, however, there has been a growing
realization of the need to make information systems of strategic importance to
an organization. Consequently, a strategic information system planning is a
critical issue.






Planning
for information systems, as for any other system, begins with the identification of needs. In order to be effective, evelopment of any type of computer-based system should be a response to need--whether at the transaction
processing level or at the more complex information and support systems levels. Such planning for information systems is much like strategic planning in management. Objectives, priorities, and authorization for information systems projects need to be formalized. The systems development plan should identify specific projects slated for the future, priorities for each project and for resources, general procedures, and constraints for each application area. The plan must be specific enough to enable understanding of each application and to know where it stands in the order of development. Also the plan should be flexible so that priorities can be adjusted if necessary.


The Perspective of Strategic Information Systems Planning
In order
to put the planning for strategic information systems in perspective, the evolution of information systems according to the three-era model of John Ward, et al.(1990) is pertinent. According to this model there are three distinct,
albeit overlapping, eras of information systems, dating back to the 60’s. The relationship over time of the three eras of information systems is shown in table 1:





ERA

CHARACTERISTICS



60’s

Data
Processing (DP)


Standalone
computers, remote from users, cost reduction function.




70’s
and 80’s


Management

Information
Systems


(MIS)



Distributed process,
interconnected, regulated by management service, supporting the business,
user driven.


80’s
and 90’s


Strategic
Information Systems (SIS)




Networked, integrated systems,
available and supportive to users, relate to business strategy, enable the
business - business driven.



Table 1: The Three Era Model of IS [Adapted from Ward (1990) ]


Applications in the overall Data Processing (DP), Management Information Systems (MIS) and Strategic Information Systems (SIS) area need to be planned and managed according to their existing and future contribution to the business. Traditional portfolio models consider the relationship of systems to each other
and the tasks being performed rather than the relationship with business success.


Some characteristics of strategic IS planning are:

• Main task: strategic/competitive advantage, linkage to business strategy.
• Key objective: pursuing opportunities, integrating IS and business strategies
• Direction from: executives/senior management and users, coalition of users/management and information systems.

• Main approach: entrepreneurial (user innovation), multiple (bottom-up development, top down analysis, etc.) at the same time.

Strategic Information Systems Planning in the present SIS era is not an easy task because such a process is deeply embedded in business processes. These systems need to cater to the strategic demands of organizations, i.e., erving the business goals and creating competitive advantage as well as meeting their data processing
and MIS needs. The key point here is that organizations have to plan for information systems not merely as tools for cutting costs but as means to
adding value. It is information technology alone which will carve multiple ‘virtual corporations’ simultaneously out of the same physical resources and adapt them without having to change the actual organizations. Thus, it is obvious that information technology has indeed come a long way in the SIS era, offering unprecedented possibilities, which, if not cashed on, would turn into unprecedented risks


Strategic Information Systems Planning Methodologies

The task of strategic information systems planning is difficult and often time organizations do not know how to do it. Strategic information systems planning is a major change for organizations, from planning for information systems based on users’ demands to those based on business strategy. Also, strategic information systems planning changes the planning characteristics in major ways. For example, the time horizon for planning changes from 1 year to 3 years or more and development plans are driven by current and future business needs rather than incremental
user needs. Increase in the time horizon is a factor which results in poor response from the top management to the strategic information systems planning process as it is difficult to hold their attention for such a long period. Other questions associated with strategic information systems planning are related to the scope of the planning study, the focus of the planning exercise – corporate organization vs. strategic business unit, number of studies and their sequence, choosing a strategic information systems planning methodology or developing one if none is suitable, targets of planning process and deliverables. Because of the complexity of the strategic information systems planning process and uniqueness of each organization, there is no one best way to tackle it. Vitale, et al. (1986) classifies SISP methodologies into two categories: impact and alignme t. Impact methodologies help create and justify new uses of IT, while the methodologies in the “alignment” category align IS objectives with organizational goals. These two views of SISP are shown in figure 1.


I have searched problems that an IS manager typically face and found one interesting study. It detailed list of problems in implementing SISP methodologies classified as (1) resource, (2) planning process, or (3) output related problem associated with the three methodologies.

According to this survey, the most severe problem identified by IS managers is the failure to secure top anagement commitment for carrying out the final plan. The second most severe problem identified is the requirement for substantial further analysis after the completion of the IS plan.

Both these problems are related to the output of the planning process. Besides these top two, six of the next top eight problems are related to the resources required to carry out the strategic information systems planning (success of the plan depends on the team leader, difficulty in finding the team leader meeting the criteria specified in the study, methodology lacking computer support, planning exercise taking long time, etc.). Among the top ten problems encountered while implementing one of these methodologies (or, even while implementing an in-house methodology), three are common: difficulty in obtaining top management commitment for implementing the outputs, the requirement of substantial further analysis and difficulty in finding a good team leader. The results of this survey suggest that IS planners are not particularly satisfied with their methodologies. If the objective of the SISP exercise is to align IS objectives with business goals, then detailed, lengthy and complex SISP may be of limited value. Where the objective is to use IT to impact a business strategy, these methodologies may to generate useful ideas for that purpose. Bergeron et al. (1990), however, point out that the value chain analysis and Wiseman’s strategic ethodologies do help in achieving that purpose. Barlow (1990) suggests that the large number of methodologies that
have been developed can often ‘add confusion rather than clarity to the (IS) planning process.’


Conceptual Framework for SISP

A conceptual framework for SISP is necessary both from a theory building perspective as also providing a basis for undertaking SISP. The latter is expected to answer the following questions frequently encountered by the practitioners in this area:

What is involved in SISP and how to go about doing it?
How to link the products of SISP to systems analysis, design and implementation in a timely manner?
Is one SISP methodology more suitable than another in a given context?
How to evaluate alternative information systems plans?

The theory building perspective of SISP is expected to contribute to research in tis area, which, being in its infancy has been largely anecdotal. Based on the literature in this area and a careful study of the current methodologies,
certain generic steps in a typical SISP formulation can be identified. These are:


Study Internal Business Environment.
This is a prerequisite to determining the business IS needs. The internal business environment is comprised of mission of the organization, its objectives, strategies and plans, business activities, the organizational environment, core competencies, its critical success factors and the internal value chain.


Study external business environment.
This helps an organization focus attention on the forces and pressure groups it encounters. These external forces exert a very strong influence on the business strategy of an organization. Factors to be considered here are the industry that the organization is in and that industry’s critical success factors, competitive position of the organization in the industry, relationship with major buyers and suppliers.


Study internal IS/IT environment.
This is mainly comprised of the current and planned applications portfolio that supports the business. Other aspects to be considered here are the present
IS organization, skills and attitudes of people in the organization, I
environment and the IS/IT budgets.


It is also hypothesized that the above model will provide an organization a third alternative to develop applications based on either a comprehensive systems development life cycle or rapid prototyping. Either after the completion of the top level model or even during its completion, some critical vertical flows can be identified - for example those based on the critical success factors, or some competitive advantage/threat. Applications can then quickly be eveloped,
tested and implemented along those critical/competitive flows. The rest of the model can await completion and subsequent implementation while the organizational resources are concentrated on developing applications demanded by the exigencies of the current situation.


Developing a Theoretical Perspective
Hsu and Rattner (1993) developed a theory of information integration in CIM environment.


This theory developed a concept of parallel paradigm of integration which asserts that by the sharing of information between processes interdependent decisions are pooled into concurrent processes. This parallel formulation of processes is a major change from the traditional sequential formulation of processes. In traditional CIM formulation, functions are supported by isolated decision spaces.

That is, only the information pertaining to that decision is handled as a variable. Other information is inherited as a constraint. For example the part cycle inherits the information processed by the production cycle as a constraint
which in turn is constrained by the information processed at the product development cycle. One can look at the degree of non-integration as the number of constraints a decision space inherits. The extent to which these onstraints can be converted into variables represents the degree of integration. For instance, the design function in sequential formulation will constraint the process planning function. Because of the isolation of decision spaces, a mere interfacing between these two functions will require repeated iterations. Integration of the functions, will, however, provide for real-time interaction between these functions. From an enterprise point of view, parameterized
decision spaces are fragmented and their existence prevents the associated set of functions from operating as an information-processing and decision-making whole, since results reflect a sequence of discrete decisions. Hsu and
Rattner’s work suggests that while such functions operate as though they are using local variables, they are in fact tightly coupled (through, perhaps second or third order relationships) to many other apparently local variables.
Part of the difficulty in achieving integration stems from the obscured local vs. global distinction.


Another distinction which needs to be made here is that between local and global optimality. Since constraints from both higher levels and from peer-level are inherited as constraints, they are not evaluated in local decisions. Therefore, it is possible that while an enterprise may try to achieve local optimality, it may prevent global optimality of enterprise performance. This is further explained with reference to figure 8. Figure 8(a) depicts a traditional, sequential formulation of manufacturing functions. Each oval represents a decision space . Within each level in the hierarchy, the arrows depict the explicit flow of information between pairs of peer functions. Between hierarchy levels, the arrows symbolize the assertion of constraints. In contrast, manufacturing functions can be organized in parallel; i.e., to explicitly share unified decision spaces. The extent to which parameters and constraints are converted to decision variables is a measure of integration strength among sub-functions. The implication is that by explicitly managing global decision variables as such, each local function supports global performance objectives. The impact of optimizing global performance is ultimately measurable from the firm’s production function. The aradigm is rooted in the premise that local productivity is largely irrelevant and that an enterprise achieves ompetitive success if it achieves optimal global productivity. Formulating tasks in parall is a means towards that end. The paradigm alters the decision-making hierarchy so that peer functions operate in parallel. Thus, all decisions are made in support of explicit global requirements. In this way, decisions contribute to synergy. Figure 8(b) depicts the concept
of parallel formulation. Each oval again represents a decision space and each arrow represents the flow of onstraints (downward) and feedback (upward) between hierarchy levels. There is no longer a need for explicit flows among peer functions since such iterations (sequential iterations) have been replaced by a comprehensive decision space.


The three level approach to information systems development can also be brought into the ambit of the above theoretical framework. The decisions at the planning level vel and from there down to the design level. The task here is to convert these constraints into variables which can be manipulated as the need arises. For example, the critical success factors at the planning level constraint the analysis, design and implementation of a particular application. In a parallel formulation this constraint would becomea variable - that is not only do CSFs determine applications to support thembut the CSFs set itself will be altered depending on the realities of an enterprise’s information system. This provides a new perspective on SISP – the bottom up planning here the planning level ariables (at least some of them) are manipulated by the ‘state of the IS’ in the organization. Where these variables can not be manipulated, for example those reflecting the external environment (competitors, technology available, etc.), this bottom-up approach will explicitly acknowledge those limitations and hopefully initiate a corrective action. It is not that organizations are not doing some or all of the things suggested here. The parallel formulation of information systems development tasks is expected to formalize and structure these steps and provide automated support for carrying them out in an interactive manner. This parallel formulation of IS development tasks will also help organizations tide over a major limitation of SISP methodologies: planning is unnecessarily detailed and takes a long time. When the entire hierarchy of tasks related to developing down to implementing a plan is modeled in terms of its explicit information flows and data and knowledge classes, information systems can be developed quickly along the preferred paths (flows) without having to develop in an ad hoc manner in response to exigencies of the situation - these systems will be integrated with the overall system at the logical level as they are developed out of the shared information, data and knowledge spaces. This concept has its parallel in Physics. Holographic images are made up of a multitude of images where each individual image is derived from and contains the big image. In the same way, individual systems will be derived from the overall system and will in turn holistically support the overall system. To conclude this theoretical perspective, it offers a viable alternative to the SISP process. Although not as well defined as in the CIM scenario, there is a structure to the SISP process. The literature and the analysis of existing methodologies, as mentioned earlier, does point to certain generic tasks and information flows required for SISP. This will provide the starting point for building a framework for a parallel formulation of SISP tasks.

Information-Gathering Techniques

Any, or a combination, of the following techniques can be used in gathering information relevant to the IT system within its operational boundary:
Questionnaire. To collect relevant information, risk assessment personnel can develop a questionnaire concerning the management and operational controls planned or used for the IT system. This questionnaire should be distributed to the applicable technical and nontechnical management personnel who are designing or supporting the IT system. The questionnaire could also be used during on-site visits and interviews.

On-site Interviews. Interviews with IT system support and management personnel can enable risk assessment
personnel to collect useful information about the IT system (e.g., how the system is operated and managed). On-site visits also allow risk assessment personnel to observe and gather information about the physical, environmental,
and operational security of the IT system. Appendix A contains sample interview questions asked during interviews with site personnel to achieve a better understanding of the operational characteristics of an organization. For
systems still in the design phase, on-site visit would be face-to-face data gathering exercises and could provide the opportunity to evaluate the physical environment in which the IT system will operate.


Document Review. Policy documents (e.g., legislative documentation, directives), system documentation (e.g., system user guide, system administrative manual, system design and requirement document, acquisition document), and security-related documentation (e.g., previous audit report, risk assessment report, system test results,
system security plan5, security policies) can provide good information about the security controls used by and planned for the IT system. An organization’s mission impact analysis or asset criticality assessment provides
information regarding system and data criticality and sensitivity.


Use of Automated Scanning Tool.
Proactive technical methods can be used to collect system information efficiently. For example, a network mapping tool can identify the services that run on a large group of hosts and provide a quick way of building individual
profiles of the target IT system(s).


Information gathering can be conducted throughout the risk assessment process, from Step 1 (System
Characterization) through Step 9 (Results Documentation).


CONTROL ANALYSIS

The goal of this step is to analyze the controls that have been implemented, or are planned for implementation, by
the organization to minimize or eliminate the likelihood (or probability) of a threat’s exercising a system vulnerability.


To derive an overall likelihood rating that indicates the probability that a potential vulnerability may be exercised
within the construct of the associated threat environment (Step 5 below), the implementation of current or planned controls must be considered. For example, a vulnerability
(e.g., system or procedural weakness) is not likely to be exercised or the likelihood is low if there is a low level of threat-source interest or capability or if there are effective
security controls that can eliminate, or reduce the magnitude of, harm.


A. Control Methods
Security controls encompass the use of technical and nontechnical methods. Technical controls are safeguards that
are incorporated into computer hardware, software, or firmware (e.g., access control mechanisms, identification and authentication mechanisms, encryption methods, intrusion detection software). Nontechnical controls are management and operational controls, such as security policies; operational procedures; and personnel, physical, and environmental security.


B. Control Categories
The control categories for bothtechnical and nontechnical control methods can be further classified as either
preventive or detective. These two subcategories are explained as follows:


• Preventive controls inhibit
attempts to violate security policy and include such controls as access controlenforcement, encryption, and authentication.


• Detective controls warn of violations or attempted violations of security policy and include such controls
as audit trails, intrusion detection methods, and checksums.


C. Control Analysis Technique
As discussed in Section 3.3.3,development of a security requirements checklist or use of an available checklist will be helpful in analyzing controls in an efficient and systematic manner. The security requirements checklist can be used to validate security noncompliance as well as compliance. Therefore, it is essential to update such checklists to reflect changes in an organization’s control environment (e.g., changes in security policies, methods, and requirements) to ensure the checklist’s validity.

INCREMENTAL CHANGE

Depending on how dire your situation is, you may not have the luxury of being entirely ready when you launch your new offering. For that reason, the safest approach is not to pull out all the stops immediately. "Go for small
successes," says Davis. Rinaldi isn't courting would-be business buyers aggressively. Instead, he's working with "clients who walk in through the door," and says it will be take at least six months of testing before he decides how hard he'll go after this new market.


There's always room for fine-tuning. "We weren't 100% ready when we started," says Matheson Shedrick of mySpaShop. Over the past three months, she's added more products, such as odometers and jump ropes, and advice from experts in Chinese herbal medicine and feng shui. She hired three new employees, but relies on staff from her consulting firm to work at both operations. That has meant divvying up assignments based on employees' strengths, weaknesses, and schedules, and she has already had to rejigger the workload once. "It's been a bit of trial and error," Matheson Shedrick says. But with yourcompany's future at stake, you may have no choice but to keep trying.

Qualitative Factors

Cost
Access is not just about availability. Cost affects usage. High cost is still a barrier. While prices have definitely come down the cost of access is still too high to have a transformatory impact.

Poor electricity supply
Epileptic power supply increases the cost of access. Supply of electricity needs to be optimal to enable businesses and banks to provide seamless online services through local areas networks, wide area networks and the Internet. Inefficiency is the word to describe a situation where everybody has to depend ot power generators, as the primary, reliable power supply. This constitutes a barrier to growth and sustainable development. The growth of real e-business cannot take place or be of any significance in an environment with unreliable public power supply.

Quality of service
While availability has grown, this has not been matched by quality of service. It is not enough to have cheap lines and low cost bandwidth. Efficiency and accessibility of telecoms service should be paramount. Most operators have a
lot of work to do in QoS especially in the areas of congestion and support.


IS Improvement
Companies wanting to optimize their IS/IT resources (e.g. the hardware, software, networks, people) have a strategic intent of IS improvement. They are focused on reducing costs, improving service quality, and bringing in new technical and management expertise. They believe outside specialists can better handle new technologies
and provide superior processes and management methods.


This strategy’s success comes from achieving economies of scale, implementing cost reduction and service improvement, and bringing in technical expertise. Unfortunately, this strategy can also lead to failure if the company does not get the skills it requires, there are cost shifts instead of real cost reductions, and coordination costs exceed the savings from outsourcing. Management control mechanisms (contract type, performance measures, reward and penalty schemes, and decision structures) need to focus on IS/IT services (e.g. network provision, datacenter operations, applications program maintenance, and new systems development. Performance metrics include network response time, problem-resolution cycle time, cost per user, and function po nts. Vendor compensation is
typically based on a pricing schedule for technology services. It is often difficult to determine future costs, so it is critical to create a very competitive vendor selection process to ensure costs are competitive. Companis
also need to incorporate frequent benchmarks into the contract to allow renegotiation if there is a substantial change in business and technology conditions.


The relationship should depend on the risks and uncertainty associated with delivering the outsourced services. When requirements are well defined and outcomes observable, the relationship should focus on contractual elements. However, when there is uncertainty about requirements, a partnership approach may be more desirable

The requirement for success is to strike the right balance between risk and reward for both the vendor and
client, and ensure that the client is significantly involved in any improvement initiatives. Transferring ownership and responsibility for IS/IT assets from the customer to the outsourcing vendor is extremely important as ownership
provides the incentive to continue investing in those assets.


Shift to Virtual

Some of the driving forces behind this shift to the virtual include a shortage of skilled workers, an expanding global economy, and significantly increased competition. To survive in this extremely fluid environment, companies need to quickly identify, design, and engineer new IS/IT products and services. Unfortunately, no single company can do this on its own and no single vendor can do it for them. The only way to compete is by creating a constantly shifting etwork of alliances and partnerships to achieve a dynamic set of corporate objectives. With the explosion of technology, outside vendors can see significant dollar amounts waiting if they are able to fill the gap brought on by the changing business environment. Because it often takes too long to develop technology in-house, vendors is often the answer.

Use Process Models as Guide

The first general reason why one must use software process modeling is that real-world organizational processes can be surprisingly complex. As a result, it requires considerable effort to weave together the various components of the process into a cohesive whole.

To detail, Process Models are processes of the same nature that are classified together into a model. Thus, a process model is a description of a process at the type level. Since the process model is at the type level, a process is an instantiation of it. The same process model is used repeatedly for the development of many applications and thus, has many instantiations. One possible use of a process model is to prescribe how things must/should/could be done in contrast to the process itself which is really what happens. A process model is roughly an anticipation
of what the process will look like. What the process shall be will be determined during actual system development. Each process model follows a particular life cycle in order to ensure success in process of software maturity.


Think like a user
Let me repeat the keyaspect of business modeling: lump processes of the same type into a model so you can see how those processes work together. This is an important fact to understand. For some reason, a good many usiness analysts try to make the process more difficult than it is. They might try to lump dissimilar processes
together, for instance, to prove that an entire architecture needs an overhaul. They bite off more than they can chew doing something like that, and they run the risk of alienating potential allies during the process. Business modeling
isn't rocket science: It's a straightforward process with the ultimate goal of understanding whether modifications are needed in a specific process and, if they are, what those modifications should be.


Speak for the user
As a business analyst, your biggest role is to speak for the user—to create processes that work with users instead of against them. When you're modeling new business processes, it's imperative that you intimately understand what that user will experience with any change in the process. Writing user stories and use cases will help
you do this and will also help you essentially speak for the user when the business modeling process gets underway. Although some say that user stories and use cases are technically pieces of the requirements process, I'm going to
address them in this section.


Get the tools for the job

If you're in the requirements stage, check out IBM Rational RequisitePro®️. It's integrated with Microsoft®️ Office Word, so if you use Microsoft Office products, you'll see a familiar environment. It also helps you write strong use cases with a database infrastructure that lets you easily organize requirements, trace them in processes, and analyze what needs to happen in a business process.

Information-based
enterprises must be planned in an integrated way whereby all stages of the life cycle are engaged to bring about agility, quality, and productivity. This integration is similar in nature to the integration of product life cyc e for an enterprise. The existing methodologies, however, tend to support information planning as an island separated from the wealth of the enterprise’s information resources. A needed new approach would tap into these resources which capture and characterize the enterprise to allow for integration of the planning stage with information systems development stages and support a shortened and adaptive cycle. This paper is a small first step towards a big task: developing a framework and a theory for strategic information systems planning. The need for such a framework is established by the existing problems in implementing SISP methodologies and also by what these methodologies themselves lack. A
possible approach to building a framework is traced to the theoretical work of Hsu and Rattner (1993) and that is where
the thrust of this line of research is expected to lie.

Conclusions

I would say that the task of strategic information systems planning is difficult and often time organizations do not know how to do it. Planning is not an easy task because such a process is deeply embedded in business processes. These systems need to cater to the strategic demands of organizations, i.e., serving the business goals and creating competitive advantage as well as meeting their data processing and MIS needs (in my case, the task to meet the needs of our university).

I (should I say ‘we’) must remember that planning for information systems, as for any other system, begins with the identification of needs. In order to be effective, development of any type of computer-based system should be a response to need--whether at the transaction processing level or at the more complex information and support ystems levels.

One must remember, as what was stated above, that the plan must be specific enough to enable understanding of each application and to know where it stands in the order of development. Also the plan should be flexible so that riorities can be adjusted if necessary.


References:

Somendra Pant and Cheng Hsu. 1995. Strategic Information Systems Planning: A Review


Information
Resources Management Association International Conference, May 21-24, Atlanta, Georgia.
[January 1995]

Slack, S.E. 2008. Understanding business process modeling: Learn what it is, how it works, and why it's a must for any organization IBM [Aug. 28, 2008]


Gary Stoneburner, Alice Goguen, and Alexis Feringa. 2002. Risk Management Guide for Information Technology Systems: Recommendations of the National Institute of Standards and Technology 1Booz Allen
Hamilton Inc .[July 2002]


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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 4 (Due: December 17, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:44 am

Shocked You were invited by the university president to prepare an IS plan for the university, discuss what are the steps in order to expedite the implementation of the IS Plan.

If I were invited by the university president to prepare an IS plan, it would be a great privilege for me but at the same time it would be a huge responsibility that I don’t have any idea if I can make it through. There are several steps in coming up with an Information Systems Plan. The steps and strategies that will be used would matter to the current situation of the university, its capabilities, financial budget and other essential factors.

As an IT student of the university, I can observe that the facilities and even the people are not that updated with the new technology nowadays. There are still operations that are done manually which cause delay whenever there are events like enrollment, election and etc. I know it’s not easy to automate all the operations inside the university for there will always be resistance in the part of the faculty, students and even with the administration. But with an effective and powerful information systems plan, the University of Southeastern Philippines will cope up with the fast evolution of technology. Why is an Information Systems Plan important? What are the things that it can do for the improvement of the university? What are the steps in making an Information Systems Plan? Will this be effective to the university? Before anything else, and before preparing an Information Systems Plan, I would give explanation to the university president what is really an IS plan and what it can do to the university.

Let us consider these questions before preparing the IS plan: Why plan information system? Why is it useful to plan a system? What is an information systems plan? Information system plan methodology? Information System plan in the firm? What does information system help in planning? Developing a long-range information system plan? How do you develop a long-range information system plan? What are the major categories of an information system plan? Plan for the establishment of geographic information system? Describe the planning and implementation of information system? Describe the purpose of an information systems plan and list the major categories in the plan?

An Information Systems Plan is a process for developing a strategy and plans for aligning information systems with the business strategies of an organization. An information system is a combination of hardware, software, infrastructure and trained personnel organized to facilitate planning, control, coordination, and decision-making while planning is the process of setting goals, developing strategies, and outlining tasks and schedules to accomplish the goals.

To make an IS plan, you should consider everything; you should also consider the characteristics of your information system plan. A quality ISP must exhibit five distinct characteristics before it is useful. These five are presented in the table that follows:

Arrow Timely - The ISP must be timely. An ISP that is created long after it is needed is useless. In almost all cases, it makes no sense to take longer to plan work than to perform the work planned.
Arrow Useable - The ISP must be useable. It must be so for all the projects as well as for each project. The ISP should exist in sections that once adopted can be parceled out to project managers and immediately started.
Arrow Maintainable - The ISP must be maintainable. New business opportunities, new computers, business mergers, etc. all affect the ISP. The ISP must support quick changes to the estimates, technologies employed, and possibly even to the fundamental project sequences. Once these changes are accomplished, the new ISP should be just a few computer program executions away.
Arrow Quality - While the ISP must be a quality product, no ISP is ever perfect on the first try. As the ISP is executed, the metrics employed to derive the individual project estimates become refined as a consequence of new hardware technologies, code generators, techniques, or faster working staff. As these changes occur, their effects should be installable into the data that supports ISP computation. In short, the ISP is a living document. It should be updated with every technology event, and certainly no less often than quarterly.
Arrow Reproducible - The ISP must be reproducible. That is, when its development activities are performed by any other staff, the ISP produced should essentially be the same. The ISP should not significantly vary by staff assigned.

Whenever a proposal for the development of an ISP is created it must be assessed against these five characteristics. If any fail or not addressed in an optimum way, the entire set of funds for the development of an ISP is risked.
Every year, $300-700 million dollar corporations spend about 5% of their gross income on information systems and their supports. That's from about $15,000,000 to $35,000,000! A significant part of those funds support enterprise databases, a philosophy of database system applications that enable corporations to research the past, control the present, and plan for the future.

Even though an information system costs from $1,000,000 to $10,000,000, and even through most chief information officers (CIOs) can specify exactly how much money is being spent for hardware, software, and staff, CIOs cannot however state with any degree of certainty why one system is being done this year versus next, why it is being done ahead of another, or finally, why it is being done at all.

Many enterprises do not have model-based information systems development environments that allow system designers to see the benefits of rearranging an information systems development schedule. Consequently, the questions that cannot be answered include:

·What effect will there be on the overall schedule if an information system is purchased versus developed?
·At what point does it pay to hire an abnormal quantity of contract staff to advance a schedule?
·What is the long term benefit from 4GL versus 3GL?
·Is it better to generate 3GL than to generate/use a 4GL?
·What are the real costs of distributed software development over centralized development?

If these questions were transformed and applied to any other component of a business (e.g., accounting, manufacturing, distribution and marketing), and remained unanswered, that unit's manager would surely be fired!
We not only need answers to these questions NOW!, we also need them quickly, cost effectively, and in a form that they can be modeled and changed in response to unfolding realities. This paper provides a brief review of a successful 10-step strategy that answers these questions.

Too many half-billion dollar organizations have only a vague notion of the names and interactions of the existing and under development information systems. Whenever they need to know, a meeting is held among the critical few, an inventory is taken, interactions confirmed, and accomplishment schedules are updated.

This ad hoc information systems plan was possible only because all design and development was centralized, the only computer was a main-frame, and the past was acceptable prologue because budgets were ever increasing, schedules always slipping, and information was not yet part of the corporation's critical edge.

Well, today is different, really different! Budgets are decreasing, and slipped schedules are being cited as preventing business alternatives. Confounding the computing environment are different operating systems, DBMSs, development tools, telecommunications (LAN, WAN, Intra-, Inter-, and Extra-net), and distributed hard- and software.
Rather than having centralized, long-range planning and management activities that address these problems, today's business units are using readily available tools to design and build ad hoc stop-gap solutions. These ad hoc systems not only do not interconnect, support common semantics, or provide synchronized views of critical corporate policy, they are soon to form the almost impossible to comprehend confusion of systems and data from which systems order and semantic harmony must spring.

Not only has the computing landscape become profoundly different and more difficult to comprehend, the need for just the right--and correct--information at just the right time is escalating. Late or wrong information is worse than no information.

Information systems managers need a model of their information systems environment. A model that is malleable. As new requirements are discovered, budgets modified, new hardware/software introduced, this model must be such that it can reconstitute the information systems plan in a timely and efficient manner.

The information systems plan project determines the sequence for implementing specific information systems. The goal of the strategy is to deliver the most valuable business information at the earliest time possible in the most cost-effective manner.

The end product of the information systems project is an information systems plan (ISP). Once deployed, the information systems department can implement the plan with confidence that they are doing the correct information systems project at the right time and in the right sequence. The focus of the ISP is not one information system but the entire suite of information systems for the enterprise. Once developed, each identified information system is seen in context with all other information systems within the enterprise. The steps on preparing for an information systems plan are the following:

1.Create the mission model - The mission model, generally shorter than 30 pages presents end-result characterizations of the essential raison d=etre of the enterprise. Missions are strategic, long range, and a-political because they are stripped of the Awho@ and the Ahow.@
2.Develop a high-level data model - The high-level data model is an Entity Relationship diagram created to meet the data needs of the mission descriptions. No attributes or keys are created.
3.Create the resource life cycles (RLC) and their nodes - Resources are drawn from both the mission descriptions and the high level data model. Resources and their life cycles are the names, descriptions and life cycles of the critical assets of the enterprise, which, when exercised achieve one or more aspect of the missions. Each enterprise resource Alives@ through its resource life cycle.
4.Allocate precedence vectors among RLC nodes - Tied together into a enablement network, the resulting resource life cycle network forms a framework of enterprise=s assets that represent an order and set of inter-resource relationships. The enterprise Alives@ through its resource life cycle network.
5.Allocate existing information systems and databases to the RLC nodes - The resource life cycle network presents a Alattice-work@onto which the Aas is@ business information systems and databases can be Aattached.@ See for example, the meta model in Figure 2. The Ato-be@ databases and information systems are similarly attached. ADifference projects@ between the Aas-is@ and the Ato-be@ are then formulated. Achievement of all the difference projects is the achievement of the Information Systems Plan.
6.Allocate standard work break down structures (WBS) to each RLC node - Detailed planning of the Adifference projects@ entails allocating the appropriate canned work breakdown structures and metrics. Employing WBS and metrics from a comprehensive methodology supports project management standardization, repeatability, and self-learning.
7.Load resources into each WBS node - Once the resources are determined, these are loaded into the project management meta entities of the meta data repository, that is, metrics, project, work plan and deliverables. The meta entities are those inferred by Figure 2.
8.Schedule the RLC nodes through a project management package facilities. - The entire suite of projects is then scheduled on an enterprise-wide basis. The PERT chart used by project management is the APERT@ chart represented by the Resource Life Cycle enablement network.
9.Produce and review of the ISP - The scheduled result is predicable: Too long, too costly, and too ambitious. At that point, the real work starts: paring down the suite of projects to a realistic set within time and budget. Because of the meta data environment (see Figure 1), the integrated project management meta data (see Figure 2), and because all projects are configured against fundamental business-rationale based designs, the results of the inevitable trade-offs can be set against business basics. Although the process is painful, the results can be justified and rationalized.
10.Execute and adjust the ISP through time. - As the ISP is set into execution, technology changes occur that affect resource loadings. In this case, only steps 6-9 need to be repeated. As work progresses, the underlying meta data built or used in steps 1-5 will also change. Because a quality ISP is Aautomated@ the recasting of the ISP should only take a week or less.

Collectively, the first nine steps take about 5000 staff hours, or about $500,000. Compared to an IS budget $15-35 million, that's only about 3.0% to 1.0%.
If the pundits are to be believed, that is, that the right information at the right time is the competitive edge, then paying for an information systems plan that is accurate, repeatable, and reliable is a small price indeed.
IT projects are accomplished within distinct development environments. The two most common are: discrete project and release. The discrete project environment is typified by completely encapsulated projects accomplished through a water-fall methodology.

In release environments, there are a number of different projects underway by different organizations and staff of varying skill levels. Once a large number of projects are underway, the ability of the enterprise to know about and manage all the different projects degrades rapidly. That is because the project management environment has been transformed from discrete encapsulated projects into a continuous flow process of product or functionality improvements that are released on a set time schedule. Figure 3 illustrates the continuous flow process environment that supports releases. The continuous flow process environment is characterized by:
·Multiple, concurrent, but differently scheduled projects against the same enterprise resource
·Single projects that affect multiple enterprise resources
·Projects that develop completely new capabilities, or changes to existing capabilities within enterprise resources

It is precisely because enterprises have transformed themselves from a project to a release environment that information systems plans that can be created, evolved, and maintained on an enterprise-wide basis are essential.
There are four major sets of activities within the continuous flow process environment. The user/client is represented at the top in the small rectangular box. Each of the ellipses represents an activity targeted to a specific need. The four basic needs are:
·Need Identification
·Need Assessment
·Design
·Deployment

The box in the center is the meta data repository. Specification and impact analysis is represented through the left two processes. Implementation design and accomplishment is represented by the right two processes. Two key characteristics should be immediately apparent. First, unlike the water-fall approach, the activities do not flow one to the other. They are disjoint. In fact, they may be done by different teams, on different time schedules, and involve different quantities of products under management. In short, these four activities are independent one from the other. Their only interdependence is through the meta data repository.

The second characteristic flows from the first. Because these four activities are independent one from the other, the enterprise evolves by means of releases rather than through whole systems. If it evolved through whole systems, then the four activities would be connected either in a waterfall or a spiral approach, and the enterprise would be evolving through major upgrades to encapsulated functionality within specific business resources. In contrast, the release approach causes coordinated sets of changes to multiple business resources to be placed into production. This causes simultaneous, enterprise-wide capability upgrades across multiple business resources.
Through this continuous-flow process, several unique features are present:
·All four processes are concurrently executing.
·Changes to enterprise resources occur in unison, periodically, and in a very controlled manner.
·The meta data repository is always contains all the enterprise resource specifications: current or planned. Simply put, if an enterprise resource semantic is not within the meta data repository, it is not enterprise policy.
·All changes are planned, scheduled, measured, and subject to auditing, accounting, and traceability.
All documentation of all types is generated from the meta data repository.

The information systems plan is the plan by which databases and information systems of the enterprise are accomplished in a timely manner. A key facility through which the ISP obtains its Adata@ is the meta data repository. The domain of the meta data repository is set forth in Figure 1, and, as seen through Figure 1, persons through their role within an organization perform functions in the accomplishment of enterprise missions, they have information needs. These information needs reflect the state of certain enterprise resources such as finance, people, and products that are known to the enterprises. The states are created through business information systems and databases.

The majority of the meta data employed to develop the ISP resides in the meta entities supporting the enterprise=s resource life cycles (see TDAN issue #7, December 1998, Resource Life Cycle Analysis), the databases and information systems, and project management.

Risk management is a method of identifying potential disasters that may cause temporary or extended loss to one or more of your information systems, and of developing and implementing cost-effective countermeasures to cope with these disasters.

A business continuity plan is a program to reduce the effects of a disaster by providing smooth, rapid restoration of your company’s critical operations until the lost information technology assets can be recovered or restored. It is difficult to quantify the total impact of any single information system loss. A few days without your computers and network might have only minimal effect¾or it could cost millions.

IT loss over an extended period, however, could conceivably cause so much damage to your company that it would have great difficulty returning to its normal operation. A business continuity plan will reduce the possibility of such damage. Unlike large organizations and governments, you probably do not have either the skills and knowledge or the money to hire experts to develop an all-encompassing and expensive business continuity plan.

You do not need much money to plan for disasters, however you do need to take some simple, inexpensive steps – things that you can do, first, to prevent most problems from occurring, and second, to prepare and be able to resume your business operations while ensuring that business continues, if not normally, then as close to normal as possible. At least you will be comfortable that you will not go out of business due to a disaster.

But if you do not plan for disasters, you could suddenly be out of business. It is believed within the disaster recovery industry that 95% of those businesses (micro, small, medium and large) that do not have a business continuity plan in place when a major disaster such as 9/11 strikes will quickly be out of business.

No business continuity plan will replace a normal operating environment. The plan’s primary purpose is to counter any disaster that might cause a temporary, but extended, loss of your information systems. The plan should not be restricted to any single disaster; rather it should be designed to adapt to almost any situation, and the expense should be commensurate with the risk and magnitude of loss. An effective business continuity plan is a dynamic and evolving document.

In order to have an effective information systems plan, we need to perform strategic planning.
Strategic planning is the PROCESS by which the GUIDING MEMBERS of an organization ENVISION its future and develop the necessary PROCEDURES AND OPERATIONS to achieve that future.

The planning process can be viewed as a somewhat circular flow of topics and action steps, where the results from one step initiate study and action in the next step. However, the process does not necessarily always flow in one direction. Issues that arise in a particular step may cause the planning team to go back to an earlier step to do additional work. If desired, the order of the steps can even be altered to suit the particular needs of the planning team. The implementation step also does not end the planning process. Analysis of results could easily result in additional analysis or a change in strategic direction. Also, it is recommended that the plan be reviewed on an annual basis to verify that all the base assumptions are still valid and that the implementation plan is progressing according to expectations.

Steps of the Strategic Planning Process:

Small to medium size companies need the same planning processes as do their larger competitors. Often, the need for planning is even greater in the smaller company, where the risk of being able to effectively respond to an ever-changing marketplace is limited by internal capabilities. The problem comes down to the cost effectiveness of delivering this planning expertise to a company already limited by financial and people resources. It is to this planning gap that enTarga directs its efforts.

To evaluate the level of resources needed to move the planning process forward, a self-evaluation needs to be undertaken to determine what level of internal knowledge about the planning process already exists. This effort will place individuals and the organization as a whole at one of five stages of learning. If an organization is serious about developing its ability to create its own future, there must be a way to develop a critical mass of competent people in the required knowledge areas. This requires an organizational awareness of its level of learning and the development of a learning plan to move forward. Part of the learning plan is the identification of available internal training resources and acquiring outside resources when needed. Which brings us to ...

Roles of the Planning Consultant
Initiating a strategic planning process can be very scary with many new activities that can trigger internal cultural and political hot spots. It is for this reason that many companies hire a planning consultant to lead the organization through the process, not only the first time, but in succeeding annual reviews. The role the consultant plays can range from being an outside expert on planning to being actively involved with the planning results. The critical point is that the role be clearly defined up-front so as not to cause any organizational confusion during the planning period. If necessary, the role can shift as different needs arise during the planning process. Ideally, the outside consultant can team with someone inside the organization to guide the planning team through the process together. The possible roles of the Planning Consultant are:

1. Trainer - Explain the process.
2. Facilitator - Provide assistance in moving through difficult phases.
3. Coach - Provide active direction throughout the process.
4. Strategist - Actively help set strategy.
5. Advocate - Actively pursue certain ideas.
6. Stakeholder - vested interest in results.

Planning to Plan - housekeeping
·Who is on the Planning Team?
·What is the planning timetable? (need at least 5 to 7 2-day sessions over 6 months)
·Where and how often will the planning team meet?
·Who will do the research and business analysis?
·How will information be given to other stakeholders?

Evaluation of Business Culture is Critical

·Personal values of the Planning team
- not to change, but to understand each other

·Values of Organization as a whole
- profit vs. growth
- to what extent is this to be a value added organization
- importance of being a good "corporate citizen"
- importance of being a "good" place to work

·Company's operating philosophy
- How work is done
- How conflict is managed
- Accounting procedures

·Impact of and on other stakeholders
Are the underlying assumptions valid and relevant? For the future?

Areas of Influence

Stakeholders
The strategic plan impacts many, both outside as well as inside the organization. To varying degrees these relationships must be recognized during various planning phases, including the communication of the plan. Some of the possible stakeholders are:

·End Consumers
ohousehold
§demographic segments
§psychographic segments
§purchasing behavior segments
ocommercial & industrial
§product use
§alternative products
§purchasing behavior segments
§industry classification

·Key Customer groups, if not direct to end consumer
odistributors
oretailers
oproduct transporters
ointermediary storage

·Employees
ointernal, specify level
osales force
osupport personnel for outside relationships
ocontractors (not really employees, but still impacted)

·Stockholders (owners)
oBoard of Directors

·Financial community
olenders (long & short term)
obanks

·Suppliers

·Interest groups
ocommunity (local residents)
oenvironmental
osocial advocates
oindustry trade groups
oother (specify)

·Public organizations
ogovernmental (specify)
omedia
onon-profit (local, regional, national, world)
oschools
opublic service & other charities

·Children
oschool projects

Role map - who does what, identifying influential relationships, both formal and informal
Environmental Monitoring - External
·Macro - Raising prices, consumerism, employee attitudes toward work, world & national economy, technological developments.
·Industry - Structure, marketing strategies, financing, governmental regulation, products.
Competetive Analysis - market segmentation, competitor profiles
Does anyone (or can anyone) provide substitute goods or services to the same market place?
Early warning system to detect competitor's strategies.

Compete through
·Differentiation (internal abilities)
·Market segmentation (customer driven)
·Cost efficiencies
- capital employed
- product cost
-expense (manufacturing, distribution, marketing, administration)
Understand competition and search for opportunities. But, do not let them dictate your actions. If you are reacting to the actions of others, you are moving away from the ability to create your own future.

Internal Business Culture
Numerous internal, cultural factors determine the approach an organization will take to the planning process and how the resulting plan will be implemented across the organization. Some corporate soul searching will be required:
·Willingness to seriously engage in the strategic planning process
·Ability to confront itself in the performance audit and gap analysis phases
·Assumptions about the corporate mission
·Assumptions about communicating the strategic plan

Plan Development

Vision
A strategic vision is usually thought to be solely future oriented. [ deeper understanding ]
·A vision provides an organization a forward looking, idealized image of itself.
·Moves outside the usual assumptions.
·Concentrates on the end goal, not the means to reach the goal.
·Followers gain ownership by developing the means (action plan).

An alternate view from the field of organizational learning expands this to shared vision, which also include a present component.
·Vision is not a destination, but an intangible structure that surrounds us and guides our daily activities. From this perspective, a shared vision is a form of self-identity.

Mission Formulation
The mission is the ultimate purpose for why the organization exists. [ deeper understanding ]

Business Modeling
1.identify Major Lines of Business (LOB).
2.Establish Critical Success Indicators (CSI) for each Line of Business to meet the Mission.

Strategy Development
Strategy development requires a two step process:
1.Identify Strategic Thrusts, and
2.Determine what Culture is required to support the above strategies.

The basic strategy will fall into one of three focuses (only one of which is price related):
1.Operational excellence - low price, efficient customer service
2.Product leadership - product excellence and innovation
3.Customer intimacy - emphasis on customer relationships within a specific segment
Assessment of Strategic Beg - Strategy is a choice that is made after careful reflection of environmental conditions, internal capabilities, and expected return. To some extent, the company is betting available resources on the success of a chosen strategy over alternate strategies.
Testing

Performance Audit
·Most Detailed and time-consuming phase.
·Indicates ability to move toward ideal future.

Gap Analysis
·Gap analysis - identifying the difference between the current situation and what is desired
·Reality test (Face the facts)
·Compromise on both ends
- Scale vision back, or
- Work to bridge the gap.
·May be impossible to close all gaps simultaneously
- Prioritize efforts.

Implementation
·Total organization agreement to full plan.
·Inter-function agreement to each other's plans
- Budget impact between units (may be difficult)
- Human capital planning - Importance of having the right people in the right place at the right time with the right skills
·Enthusiastic announcement
·Tracking and course adjustments
·Using the Balanced Scorecard Concept for Planning Implementation - analyzing the cause and effect of business processes needed to successfully implement business strategy, with built-in measurements to track progress.
·Go to Implementation Topics for further information.
·Commitment to Change - Influence Plan
·Balanced Scorecard - document and communicate: strategy, objectives and measures
·Measure results

Plan Maintenance
Feedback System - take corrective action as needed; loop back to previous steps as required

Risk management is the process of assessing risk, taking steps to reduce risk to
an acceptable level, and maintaining that level of risk. Managers analyze risks
for many aspects of their business; they consider alternatives and implement
plans to maximize returns on their investments. A risk management process for
information systems enables managers and their organizations to build an in-
depth knowledge about their systems and how they are interrelated.

The GAO identified five principles of risk management, which had been adopted by
the organizations studied:

* Assess risk and determine needs
* Establish a central management focus
* Implement appropriate policies and related controls
* Promote awareness
* Monitor and evaluate policy and control effectiveness

As Information Technology (IT) has become increasingly important to the competitive position of firms, managers have grown more sensitive to their organization's overall IT risk management. Recent publicity concerning losses incurred by companies because of problems with their sophisticated information systems has focused attention on the importance of these systems to the organization. In an attempt to minimize or avoid such losses, managers are employing various qualitative and quantitative risk analysis methodologies. The risk analysis literature, however, suggests that these managers typically utilize a single methodology, not a combination of methodologies. This paper proposes a risk analysis process that employs a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. This process should provide managers with a better approximation of their organization's overall information technology risk posture. Practicing managers can use this proposed process as a guideline in formulating new risk analysis procedures and/or evaluating their current risk analysis procedures.

cyclops If the faculty, students and the administration of the university will support the information systems plan, it will be great success for the university. Let us remember that as an IT student, we create and develop things that will improve the quality of life, right a wrong, and prevent the end of something good.
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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 4 (Due: December 17, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:00 am

“You were invited by the university president to prepare an IS plan for the university, discuss what are the steps in order to expedite the implementation of the IS Plan.”


First let us define the important terms mentioned above...

Information is the result of processing, manipulating and organizing data in a way that adds to the knowledge of the person receiving it.
System originates from the Greek term systema, which means to “place together.” It is a group of interdependent items that interact regularly to perform a task. A set of interacting or interdependent entities forming an integrated whole. The concept of an integrated whole can also be stated in terms of a system embodying a set of relationships which are differentiated from relationships of the set to other elements, and from relationships between an element of the set and elements not a part of the relational regime.
A plan is typically any procedure used to achieve an objective. It is a set of intended actions, through which one expects to achieve a goal. Planning helps assure that an organization remains relevant and responsive to the needs of its community, and contributes to organizational stability and growth. It provides a basis for monitoring progress, and for assessing results and impact. It facilitates new program development. It enables an organization to look into the future in an orderly and systematic way. From a governance perspective, it enables the Board to set policies and goals to guide the organization, and provides a clear focus to the Executive Director and staff for program implementation and agency management. Planning is designed to help an organization define its vision for the future and then determine systematically how it will get there, understanding obstacles and figuring out ways to overcome them. It is very difficult to plan in a crisis, and unrealistic to look five years ahead unless an organization has some confidence that it will exist next year, and that most of its key staff and its Board leadership will continue to be affiliated with the organization. Board and staff also need the time to plan, which means that they must not be using every minute to carry out functions required for survival. Moreover, while planning provides increased organizational definition, a sound base for planning is consensus concerning a well-defined mission statement and/or organizational goals – these must often be developed as a foundation for longer-term planning. It is also difficult to plan if the organization is so young or its leadership so new that they do not have a good sense of the community and of the broader external environment. Most new organizations, or groups which have undergone major institutional difficulties or change, find that they do best by first attempting to reach consensus on an organizational mission statement and then doing shorter-range planning, usually for a single year. Learning from that experience, they can begin a longer-term planning process. There may need to be a formal community needs assessment as input to planning. This is extremely valuable, but also demanding. Moreover, planning is not a one-time effort; any plan needs to be reviewed, monitored, and updated. The benefits to an organization can be significant -- a clear focus, a sense of joint purpose and agreed-upon priorities, consensus on strategies, and a basis for measuring progress and impact.

What is information system?
Information systems help to control the performance of business processes. An information system is a work system whose activities are devoted to processing (capturing, transmitting, storing, retrieving, manipulating and displaying) information. An information system is not only the technology an organization uses, but also the way in which the organizations interact with the technology and the way in which the technology works with the organization’s business processes. Information systems are distinct from information technology in that an information system has an information technology component that interacts with the processes components. Critical to most information systems are information technologies, which are typically designed to enable humans to perform tasks for which the human brain is not well suited, such as: handling large amounts of information, performing complex calculations, and controlling many simultaneous processes.

What is information system planning?
Planning is a process that is frequently done, but rarely done well. Planning helps assure that an organization remains relevant and responsive to the needs of its community, and contributes to organizational stability and growth. It provides a basis for monitoring progress, and for assessing results and impact. It facilitates new program development. It enables an organization to look into the future in an orderly and systematic way.
The planning process can be viewed as a somewhat circular flow of topics and action steps, where the results from one step initiate study and action in the next step. However, the process does not necessarily always flow in one direction. Issues that arise in a particular step may cause the planning team to go back to an earlier step to do additional work. If desired, the order of the steps can even be altered to suit the particular needs of the planning team. The implementation step also does not end the planning process. Analysis of results could easily result in additional analysis or a change in strategic direction. Also, it is recommended that the plan be reviewed on an annual basis to verify that all the base assumptions are still valid and that the implementation plan is progressing according to expectations.
Strategic planning is the process by which the guiding members of an organization envision its future and develop the necessary procedures and operations to achieve that future. The process by which leaders of an organization determine what it intends to be in the future and how it will get there. To put it another way, they develop a vision for the organization's future and determine the necessary priorities, procedures, and operations (strategies) to achieve that vision. Included are measurable goals which are realistic and attainable, but also challenging; emphasis is on long-term goals and strategies, rather than short-term (such as annual) objectives. Strategic planning assumes that certain aspects of the future can be created or influenced by the organization. Strategic planning is ongoing; it is "the process of self-examination, the confrontation of difficult choices, and the establishment of priorities" (Pfeiffer et al., Understanding Applied Strategic Planning: A Manager's Guide). Strategic planning involves "charting a course that you believe is wise, then adjusting that course as you gain more information and experience" (Wilder Foundation, Strategic Planning Workbook).
Rather than having centralized, long-range planning and management activities that address these problems, today's business units are using readily available tools to design and build ad hoc stop-gap solutions. These ad hoc systems not only do not interconnect, support common semantics, or provide synchronized views of critical corporate policy, they are soon to form the almost impossible to comprehend confusion of systems and data from which systems order and semantic harmony must spring. Not only has the computing landscape become profoundly different and more difficult to comprehend, the need for just the right--and correct--information at just the right time is escalating. Late or wrong information is worse than no information. Information systems managers need a model of their information systems environment. A model that is malleable. As new requirements are discovered, budgets modified, new hardware/software introduced, this model must be such that it can reconstitute the information systems plan in a timely and efficient manner.


Steps in information system plan:

Analyse the current situation “Where are we now?”
An internal analysis that encompasses assessing company strengths and weaknesses, financial performance, people, operational limitations, corporate culture, current positioning in the market(s), the overall characterization of the condition of the company and critical issues facing the organization.
An external analysis that focuses on analyzing competitors, assessing market opportunities and threats, evaluating changing technology that could impact the organization, analyzing regulatory or legislative concerns, changes and trends in the market(s) the company operates in and other potential outside influences on the organization.
Summarizing the current situation based on the information gathered and evaluated. This step is important to the process because it brings together relevant and critical data and information and allows members of the planning team to more easily get a feel for what opportunities and obstacles lie ahead.

Assess current responses “What have we been doing to make a difference?”
This is called a response analysis and the information can be collected and assessed from key informants or reports, such as the impact assessment.

Describe the future scenario “Where will we be in (3, 5 or 10) years if we continue doing what we are doing now?”
Again the information from the impact assessment will enable this to be answered.

Vision, mission, goal and objectives “Where do we want to be in (3, 5 or 10) years?”
This step is important perhaps more because of the process that the team will go through to develop it than the words that eventually end up on paper. In this step, the team is starting the process of focusing the organization and its people on what the organization is all about and what is important to the organization.
Vision is an activity of forming an idealized image of the company's future position. It is the driving force in guiding the company's progress towards goals. A strategic vision is usually thought to be solely future oriented. A vision provides an organization a forward looking, idealized image of itself.
• Moves outside the usual assumptions.
• Concentrates on the end goal, not the means to reach the goal.
• Followers gain ownership by developing the means (action plan).
• Vision is not a destination, but an intangible structure that surrounds us and guides our daily activities. From this perspective, a shared vision is a form of self-identity.

The mission is the ultimate purpose for why the organization exists. It is a brief description about the purpose of an organization's existence. It explains the company's services or products, the segmentation of the market, the distribution strategy. Every organization needs goals. Focus is a critical element in the success of any business. This step may be the most important of all of the strategic planning steps because it establishes the framework and basis for the development of the other key elements of the plan. A goal is a broad statement of intent. It should be phrased as an impact statement in the present tense. Objectives are statements of what needs to be done to achieve a goal. Objectives are more specific in nature and are supportive of the goal. They bring into even greater focus the goals of the organization.

Define strategies and activities “How do we get where we want to be?”
Strategies are the means to reach the objective (advocacy, education, care, etc.). Activities are discrete, specifications or sets of actions that need to be taken to reach an objective.

Select priorities, define target groups and sequence activities “Which are the most important activities that will make the greatest impact for whom?”
Use the following criteria against which to test each activity and discard or amend those that fail this test:
• Impact;
• Acceptability (by leaders, staff , partners and clients/beneficiaries);
• Feasibility (can it be done?); and
• Affordability and cost efficiency.
From the situation and response analysis there should be a sense of who the target groups should be, and these can be confirmed now in light of the prioritised activities. Finally, for the activities that remain after this process, agree on the optimal sequence and attach time frames to each.

Allocate roles and responsibilities “Who will lead and who will partner?”
For each activity identify the lead person or portfolio or unit, as well as the partners who can assist with the activity.

• Personal values of the Planning team
- not to change, but to understand each other
• Values of Organization as a whole
- profit vs. growth
- to what extent is this to be a value added organization
- importance of being a good "corporate citizen"
- importance of being a "good" place to work
• Company's operating philosophy
- How work is done
- How conflict is managed
- Accounting procedures
• Impact of and on other stakeholders

Numerous internal, cultural factors determine the approach an organization will take to the planning process and how the resulting plan will be implemented across the organization. Some corporate soul searching will be required:
• Willingness to seriously engage in the strategic planning process
• Ability to confront itself in the performance audit and gap analysis phases
• Assumptions about the corporate mission
• Assumptions about communicating the strategic plan

Set targets and indicators of progress and success “How will we know we are making progress?”
The targets and indicators should be realistic and linked to specific activities or objectives. Make sure that, for each indicator, there are ways to obtain the necessary information with a reasonable level of effort and cost.

Find the resources “What inputs are needed to make the activity happen?”
The inputs may be human, financial, material or technical and these need to be identified for each activity, as well as the sources.

Put it all together





Characteristics of a Quality ISP

A quality ISP must exhibit five distinct characteristics before it is useful. These five are presented in the table that follows.

Timely - The ISP must be timely. An ISP that is created long after it is needed is useless. In almost all cases, it makes no sense to take longer to plan work than to perform the work planned.

Useable - The ISP must be useable. It must be so for all the projects as well as for each project. The ISP should exist in sections that once adopted can be parceled out to project managers and immediately started.

Maintainable - The ISP should be maintainable. New business opportunities, new computers, business mergers, etc. all affect the ISP. The ISP must support quick changes to the estimates, technologies employed, and possibly even to the fundamental project sequences. Once these changes are accomplished, the new ISP should be just a few computer program executions away.

Quality - While the ISP must be a quality product, no ISP is ever perfect on the first try. As the ISP is executed, the metrics employed to derive the individual project estimates become refined as a consequence of new hardware technologies, code generators, techniques, or faster working staff. As these changes occur, their effects should be installable into the data that supports ISP computation. In short, the ISP is a living document. It should be updated with every technology event, and certainly no less often than quarterly.

Reproducible - The ISP must be reproducible. That is, when its development activities are performed by any other staff, the ISP produced should essentially be the same. The ISP should not significantly vary by staff assigned.

Whenever a proposal for the development of an ISP is created it must be assessed against these five characteristics. If any fail or not addressed in an optimum way, the entire set of funds for the development of an ISP is risked.

The steps listed above are just one approach to developing and implementing an information system plan. Planning process needs communication with the people involve in the organization, without proper communication the plan would be worthless. There should be staff to focus on the action plan and a Board session to review and approve the plan. According to what I’ve research the key planning sessions often work best when facilitated by an outsider knowledgeable about the organization or about community-based organizations generally. A facilitator should be someone skilled in group processes and experienced in strategic planning who is non-directive, committed to assuring full discussion of issues but also task-oriented and able to move the process forward. Put in mind that planning is not a one-time effort; any plan needs to be reviewed, monitored, and updated.





References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_system
http://www.answers.com/topic/management-information-system
http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/S/system.html
http://www.amicaall.org/publications/toolkit/Tool%2011.pdf
http://www.entarga.com/stratplan/plngsteps.htm
http://www.clarionmag.com/cmag/v3/informationsystemsplanning.pdf
http://www.strategicbusinessplanning.net/strategic_planning_steps.html
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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 4 (Due: December 17, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:24 am

Let us first define Information System(IS).

What is IS?
In a very broad sense, the term information system is frequently used to refer to the interaction between people, processes, data and technology. In this sense, the term is used to refer not only to the information and communication technology (ICT) an organization uses, but also to the way in which people interact with this technology in support of business processes.

Some make a clear distinction between information systems, ICT and business processes. Information systems are distinct from information technology in that an information system is typically seen as having an ICT component. Information systems are also different from business processes. Information systems help to control the performance of business processes.

Alter argues for an information system as a special type of work system. A work system is a system in which humans and/or machines perform work using resources (including ICT) to produce specific products and/or services for customers. An information system is a work system whose activities are devoted to processing (capturing, transmitting, storing, retrieving, manipulating and displaying)information.

Part of the difficulty in defining the term information system is due to vagueness in the definition of related terms such as system and information. Beynon-Davies argues for a clearer terminology based in systemics and semiotics. He defines an information system as an example of a system concerned with the manipulation of signs. An information system is a type of socio-technical system. An information system is a mediating construct between actions and technology.

As such, information systems inter-relate with data systems on the one hand and activity systems on the other. An information system is a form of communication system in which data represent and are processed as a form of social memory. An information system can also be considered a semi-formal language which supports human decision making and action.

Information systems are the primary focus of study for the information systems discipline and for organisational informatics.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_system)


The later subject we have taken last semester was all about IS. And as a peek of my learnings of the first day:


Great and fun! That’s how our first class in MIS has been. It was all smiles and laughers from the moment the class started until it ended. Even when I was already outside the class room, I still can’t stop grinning; I can’t stop thinking how our teacher interpreted his students’ reaction when he gives a bunch of assignments.

Anal. Geom. was my first subject under the supervision of Sir Randy Gamboa then, followed by Stats and now in MIS. I am expecting that I’ll be able to understand MIS as clearly as possible and I hope that learning every single thing about MIS would be a lot of fun than the last two subjects I have gone under Sir Gamboa.

Management Information System or MIS deals with managing/supervising hard ware, soft ware and people ware. It has four basic keys, which are planning, directing, organizing and controlling. Other than these things, I have also learned the differences between managing and supervising. I have learned that managing is actually controlling while supervising is just giving directions and guides.

Blog was required to us by our teacher. So, I was obliged to establish a blog of my own. Then, I realize blogging is fun. Blogging as a way of sharing views, opinions and even experiences does works for me.

Over all, it was a lot of fun, really. The way Sir Gamboa welcomed the transferees was warm, really warm, and warm as they were in a hot seat. Then I have concluded that students in Tagum Campus love to sing. That’s all, I guess…^_^

A subject that I expect to give me jaw-aches, due to constant smiling and laughing; backaches because of being in a sitting position for too long; headache for squeezing out every English word from my vocabulary and maybe even heartache at the end of the semester.


Now that we have unederstood the nature of IS and have defined the scope of IS, we will now discussed about the risk associated with it. As a reference we will be using the details and informations have used and learned from hubport company.

Risk Associated with IS/IT Change

Hubport Interactive is an IT based company that enables a business to build an imperative subsistence in the online B2C (Business-to-Consumer) space. They empower their customers' websites to attain optimum function and revolutionizes business by creating online channels to effectively connect with existing clients and successfully tap new ones. Their accomplished E-Commerce Storefront encoders, Retail Shop Managers, and Online Marketing Consultants provide the technology backbone that launch prospering and profitable websites.(http://www.hubportinteractive.com/about-us.htm)

As the interviewee say, the company started only with eight people, which is composed of six(6) developers and two(2) designers. They don't really have an IS to keep track of their business' movement. They only use one(1) computer and basic softwares for their business. Records for the deadline is aided by pen and paper. From that very simple alliance they have evolve into something big that they even reached and surpassed the boundary of the Philippines. Now, they've been working with more or less one hundred and fifty(150) staffs. The speaker added that they started establishing and using IS for their growing business in the year late 2006, particularly on the month of November.

As he has discussed that the role of IS/IT in the business is, it is the core or the backbone of their business, in which these systems keep track of their customers, old and new, and their staffs. He define IT/IS very important, that is ranging from software, which is essential for website developing and it can identify errors and split them up much faster than usual, with manual; hardware on the other hand, acts as the server and it is necessary for the staffs to have at least one(1) computer each, these hardwares are connected to each other, which is technically called networking, particularly by WAN or wide-area network, they use WAN because the company is based from the main office, which is located at the United States of America or USA, through internet; peopleware as the speaker says, are the one who develops, secures and maintains hardware and software, thus software and hardware relies on the people ware. As he said, "Hardwares would just be there without peopleware". These three things work together to uphold the business thus, enabling them to reach the full functionality of their company so they can provide the very best solution they can give for their clients and customers.
The risk associated with Information System change in Hubport Interactive.

Hubport Interactive is the same organization or company we have visited for the first assignment, which is identifying their best practices regarding Information System. Now, I would have to tackle about the risks associated with IT change in the company.

As the IT Officer enumerated, the following are the risks they would have to take when changing IS:

* Data loss
Data loss may come in two reasons, first is, the data which is stored for quite sometime will be given up for the new data. Since system's memory is limited and coming in of new data is a continuous process, they would have to delete old data and will try to use the space for the new data; a secondary reason is, changing into new IS will tend to risk their data, especially when the new system has features that won't be compatible with the old system.

* Rejection of staffs
This may also come in to two situations. First, as from what we all know that there is always resistance between technology and people, meaning people tend to deny that IS/IT is a big help when it comes to maximizing time. Thus, when a new system is implemented, staffs will tend to reject it. The staffs will choose to use the old one other than the new one. It is maybe because, they find it hard or time consuming to learn the new system without knowing that they would have a better use of their time on the future if and only if they give time on learning the new system. The second reason may be hiring new personnel who knows best regarding the new IS, will push the company to ask the old IS personnel to resign, which is a very critical choice. It may be a bad move but that's business, the company will have to hire people or staffs who have a better understanding of what the position their trying to fill and reject those who are not needed.

Further problem of rejection of staff/s may also give high risk regarding the cost of the new personnel. This may push the company to pay bigger amount than the older system and personnel.

What is an IS Plan?

IS plan is a process for developing a strategy and plans for aligning information systems with the business strategies of an organization.

Here is a sample of Information System Plan of the Agriculture Department of State of Tennessee:

Prior to the beginning of the fiscal year (July 1), each agency develops an Information Systems Plan (ISP) covering a threeyear planning horizon. Year One identifies projects for the current fiscal year for which funding is already in place. Year Two covers the following fiscal year where funding will be requested in the budget submitted in October. Year three covers future projects. Development of the agency's ISP is a cooperative effort between executive management, business staff, and Information Systems staff. Agency executive management and business staff, with Information Systems staff assistance, perform the following activities:

Review of the strategic business plan for the agency, including the statement of mission,
goals, objectives, strategies, and priorities that set business direction.

Assessment of the current technological environment within the agency, including
evaluation of the primary hardware requirements, application software, and connectivity.

Development of an Information Technology Strategy based upon the analysis of the
current environment and the business goals to be achieved. This strategy identifies the
agency's short and longrange goals related to managing and sharing information and information technology in support of the agency’s business strategic plan. The strategy also addresses agency technology weaknesses and needs.

Information technology projects are identified and documented in the ISP in support of the Information Technology Strategy. These projects may include traditional application development or acquisition projects, as well as projects involving specific technologies including voice response systems, geographic information systems, and communication infrastructure projects. Each project with initial costs over $100,000 is described in a Project Proposal. The Project Proposal addresses the business process to be impacted by the project and specifies the business strategy or objectives supported by the project. A Cost Benefit Analysis document is also included to detail the costs, benefits, risks, and funding sources for the project. The Project Proposal and Cost Benefit Analysis provide a framework for an agency’s executive management to evaluate and prioritize proposed projects, as well as provide a mechanism to monitor costs and benefits during project implementation. These documents also provide executive management in State government with the information needed to understand the business impact to the State, prioritize projects on a statewide basis, and recommend funding.

The Information Systems Plans are reviewed and authorized by Management Advisory Committees (MACs) within each agency. Management Advisory Committees perform the following functions:

1. Sets the information technology agenda as an adjunct to the development of the
business strategy for the agency.
2. Ensures that the agency information technology strategy is carried out and that projects
are appropriately targeted to support specific business strategies.
3. Reviews the cost assumptions and benefit estimates in order to approve submission of
the project.
4. Sets priorities within the agency for a project in relation to other projects competing for
resources.
5. Ensures that authorized projects meet targets established in the project proposal and
cost benefit analysis.
6. Ensures that technology projects are in line with business needs and direction.
7. Authorizes the Information Systems Plan and the technology projects contained therein.
(http://www.tn.gov/finance/oir/planning/ispprocess.pdf)

Implementation Plan

According to the wiki Directing Technology "Technology implementation starts at the inception of the planning development strategy. There are two distinct types of technology implementation: implementing developed technology and implementing developing technology projects. They are very similar in that the projects need a plan that has a schedule with clear GO/NO-GO decision points and a project team that has well laid out responsibilities. The technology department will be implementing developed technology(2006)".

Implementation of your technology plan will be the most complicated and time consuming part of the process. It is important to allow yourself at least one year before the actual implementation starting day to make all the necessary arrangements. Your plans will depend on many things including the size of your district, status of your existing technology program, skill set of your teachers and administrators and size of your technology staff. Your plan may need to be implemented all at once or over the course of several years, phasing in different stages.

Your technology plan has been accepted by the district. Its time to plan the implementation. At least six months to a year prior to beginning the implementation, several elements of the plan will be carried out simultaneously by several different groups.

The progress of the project should be documented in writing and communicated to all persons involved. A good checklist should be developed to organize the associated details.

A sample checklist:
Describe goals & objectives (as outlined in the Technology Plan)
Identify participant’s roles and responsibilities
Identify impacts
Design methods to deal with impacts
Identify resources needed and available
Identify the completion date desired
Identify the constraints
Break the implementation into steps
Identify milestones / decision points
Design project paths
Design tracking methods
Schedule team meetings
Design communication methods
Design technical support
Design professional development

The technical staff implementing developed technology must not only manage the deployment of the hardware and software, but they must also cope with the daily activities of the school district while they prepare for the transition to the new technology. Project management skills are necessary to provide as smooth a job as possible for all involved. Further information on project management: Sample list of project management organizational tools; Project Management Template

At the same time, the administrative team will have researched and decided exactly which laptops will be purchased and from which vendor. They will have determined necessary units and submitted purchase orders. They will include in their orders sufficient quantities of peripheral items like graphic tablets, mouses, headphones with mics, tables, chairs and extension cords.

Laptops for Students

The implementation is so important that students will be asked to return to school two days early to be introduced to the laptops. During these two days, students will be involved in induction classes that will take them through the essential concerns of using the new laptops in school. The students will complete two days of formal training with technology specialists and their presence is mandatory. At the end of the induction session, a test will be taken to identify students that can possibly receive further assistance during the start of the year.

The students will be assigned their laptops at before the start of the school year and will be asked to sign an acceptable user policy agreement form and encouraged to personalize their new laptops in case they get assigned laptops for the year. The administrative and professional development teams will assist teachers in introducing the students in understanding how the program will be run and what their responsibilities for using laptops will be.

In addition, parents will also be sent an policy agreement that covers all the necessary information about the consequences of mistreatment of the equipment. This document will also have insurance information. Parents are required to sign this docuemtn and send it back to school.

Laptop care

The schools will provide specific features for the school bags that students will use for carrying computer equipment. Those students in the elementary and middle school will be required to use smaller backpacks in comparison to the students in high school. The laptops that students will be using in high school are fully-equipped laptops that need more care that the other robust models used in the lower sections of the school.

In addition, staff and administrators will reinforce the rules of laptop carrying around campus. No computers in high school will be moved without the use of a suitable laptop bag that can safely strap the equipment inside the bag.

Staff Development

Teachers and administrators will be the first ones to have a chance to get familiarized with the equipment that will be introduced in their classrooms. It will be necessary to prepare comprehensive tutorials or manuals to allow a quick switch into using the new technology. The professional development group will have finalized their plans for training sessions and will have begun designing the instruction. This instruction will include specific information about the change of school structure as a well as content and grade specific methods for conducting student-centered classes. Teacher responsibilities and technology integration strategies for student-centered project-based units of study will be included.

The administrative team and the professional development team will be carrying out intensive, paid, summer training sessions to prepare teachers for the changes to come in the fall. Teachers will then be given time to restructure their lessons and will have support available when they have problems.

Numerous schools have found ways to adjust schedules and provide one hour of planning and inservice for teachers while maintaining state requirements for students contact time. In some schools teachers have agreed to start earlier and end later each day as well as give up some recess or duty time in order to develop a one-hour block of time per week for inservice and planning. A key is to make sure that at least one early-out per month is devoted to a technology inservice activity.

It is crucial that consideration be given to teacher learning well in advance of the arrival of computers in the classroom. The list that follows is a brief synopsis of beneficial staff development suggestions:
Formulate detailed plans for staff development and implementation.
Decide who will lead staff development programs and evaluate each stage of implementation.
Develop a working schedule for the staff development program.
Determine appropriate staff development activities for special services and support staff.
Identify who will lead and evaluate staff development for auxiliary staff members.
Identify in-house technical consultants who will help teachers deal quickly with problems that might arise.

Technical Support

Maintaining and servicing networked equipment continues to be a challenge for schools' effective use of technology. More states are now requiring that districts and schools have a technology specialist or coordinator who supports teachers in integrating instruction and technology before that district can receive state funding. Schools could also have in-house technical support to deal with all the technical problems that could arise. You should foresee a great number of incident reports that deal with student damaging display screen or damaging equipment because of negligence in carrying them.

The summer before the implementation, the same groups will be working to get things ready for the students in the fall. The goals are to have the technology in place to facilitate as smooth a transition as possible. The technology team will receive the laptops, inventory them and load them with the chosen operating systems and software. They will also check connectivity at each school and important points around the district to ensure that the laptops can work from the first day of school. Finally, they will create a yearly maintenance plan for cleaning and preventative care.

If staff or students need to use equipment like projectors, digital cameras or even cables, they can request the media center to facilitate the equipment and provide operational guidance.

Flexible Scheduling

They will also conduct public relations meetings for members of the community to inform them about the specifics of the program, including the change from a seven period isolated subject schedule to a more integrated block schedule that includes math-science-art blocks, history-literature-reading-writing-music blocks, world language-history-art music blocks and physical education-art-music-history blocks. They will explain the benefits of changing the school structure to a more constructivist, student- centered one by explaining the theory of how students learn best and demonstrating some proposed class exercises.

Flexible scheduling provides quality time either in the lounge or in the classroom for specific staff members to get together and share ideas about technology. A bonding often occurs between the mentor-teacher and the staff member needing encouragement. This new-found relationship helps solve technical problems and misunderstandings and opens the way for future inservice opportunities.

Local Intranet

Data intranets are becoming commonplace in schools. Intranets give schools an unprecedented ability to manage their budgets, buy supplies, and analyze student data. For example, districts are using the data intranet to provide information on student records, text scores, attendance, and health information, to create student profiles.

Additional Key Points

The key to success with technology is allowing teachers to develop a sense of ownership of the school's technology. Once teachers develop a sense of ownership, they will be ready to move on to higher levels of technology use. When all is said and done, it will be teachers who determine the success or failure of a technology plan. They are the people who connect technology with curricular practice in a way that will enhance student achievement. In every class, teachers must contend with a variety of learners, such as the fast-paced learner, the less-motivated learner, students with learning difficulties, and the list could go on. With computers in the classroom, teachers have access to tools that have potential for providing learning experiences relevant to each of these unique learners.

Infrastructure

When speaking of infrastructure, one is generally referring to the basic facilities and mechanical and electrical installations found in a school. These facilities and installations form the foundation for proposed technology upgrades. The following points provide a brief outline of things to consider when reviewing infrastructure:
Decide how existing equipment and infrastructure can be integrated into the project.
Visit other schools to evaluate successful programs for structural adaptations that could be copied and, in particular, look for unique ideas to solve local problems.
Make sure that the network wiring satisfies the needs of the teachers.
Make sure to count with the necessary expertise to ready the infrastructure for implementation.
Make sure professionals are brought in order to handle remodeling and other infrastructure needs.
The technology staff will run diagnostics on the district to check for adequate connectivity and electrical resources and take action to fix any inadequacies or to bolster the already existing systems.

Teaching and Learning

When considering how technology will be brought into the classroom, both teaching and learning should be considered. Several points to remember when considering the effects of technology on teaching and learning are:
Evaluate hardware purchases and coordinate them to student needs. Consider features like user-friendliness, dependability, and speed.
Evaluate projected software purchases to determine which programs will best complement, support, and expand classroom teaching and learning.
Evaluate planned software purchases for comprehensiveness and user-friendliness. Comprehensiveness is important because ease of use flattens the learning curve and helps ensure that the programs will be used. When checking the software programs, all updates to versions and site licenses will also be completed.
Determine the simplest approach that will effectively bring computers into the teaching and learning environment. Simplicity aids understanding and allows stakeholders to support the process more readily.
Establish dialogues with teachers to evaluate classroom space and decide on computer locations withing each classroom.
Determine the amount of use teachers will make of the new technology.
Regardless of the size of the technology project, standardizing hardware and software are essential to maintaining control of the technology. Having a single configuration for all computers helps simplify maintenance. More time can be spent using the technology.

Leadership

Quality leadership must prevail at all stages of the project. Below is a list of important factors to consider when a technology project is being led:
Keep students' and teachers' needs at the forefront during the various stages of the technology planning process.
Consider how students and staff members will be affected by the technology changes and develop appropriate support structures like training, changes in classroom layout, and inclusion into curricula.
Review school programs to determine how course subjects may be adjusted to make use of technologies in the classroom.
Consider the possibility of having to modify school practices or upgrade regulations.
Envision what the completed project will look like and what it will do for teaching and learning.

Financial Management

Most determinations about finance, generally dealt with at middle and upper management positions, will have a critical impact to the success of the larger groups. Several points are listed below to provide a general overview of the financial management process:
Itemize equipment resources owned by the school. The goal is to look to reduce unnecessary duplication in new purchases. Create an inventory of all technology related items including desktops, laptops, printers and other peripherals, accessories such as mice, power cords, keyboards, all software programs and furniture used for tech purposes.
Determine if the proposed equipment will be purchased locally or from a national distribution company. Decide who will be responsible for handling the recommended purchases.
Review all costs to make sure the technology project is affordable in all its phases.

Community Awareness and Support

Community support is necessary during the planning stages of the technology initiative. It is also true that many parents want to be informed about the development of the project in their children's education. Take into account the following factors in order to provide general information to the parents:
Consider how you will be able to show community members how teachers are adopting this technological direction onto their curriculum.
Address parents' and community members' concerns over how technology in the classroom will enhance student learning and achievement.
Show parents and members of the community how they and their children can benefit from the process of networking technologies in district classrooms.
Develop guidelines for presenting information to the public. Be sure all news releases are verified with the public relations director before they go public.(http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Technology_Planning/Implementation_Plan)

If I were to prepare an IS plan for the university, I will follow the following steps in creating my Information System:

*Study the requirements and the processes and systems needed by both staffs and students.

*Make sure the systems I will implement is a great help and is fully functioning.

*I will have to do a research and interview students and staffs with regards to the University's System, especially on busy days.

*I would have to provide a solution with regards to the problems of the student.

*Finally, implement the System

As for my opinion I would like to have every system in the university be a Mobile Application, so it would be easier for both parties (staffs and students) to get information and would be able to save money and time.

It would be best to have a security for the Information and this will only allow individual to access their own information only.
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Dolorosa G. Mancera

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PostSubject: Assignment4   Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:38 am

You were invited by the university president to prepare an IS plan for the university, discuss what are the steps in order to expedite the implementation of the IS plan. (at least 5000 words)

Being invited by the university’s president to prepare for an Information System plan for our university is a priviledge but it would not be that easy to conduct and create an IS plan. But having this chance is an advantage and opportunity for me ,as an Information Technology student of the said university, to be able to know and examine the processes of the university’s infomation system.

But before hand, let us have some review of some key points that was already discussed and defined in the previous assignments. Let’s define Information System, Planning, Strategice planning and Strategic Information System plan.

Information System.
As I explore the internet for definitions, I have gathered different ideas about information system. As what I have understand, Information Systems were thought to be similar with corporate data processing and was considered as some back-room oepration in support of day-to-day ordinary task.

Planning.
As described by the wikipedia, “Planning in organizations and public policy is both the organizational process of creating and maintaining a plan; and the psychological process of thinking about the activities required to create a desired goal on some scale. As such, it is a fundamental property of intelligent behavior. This thought process is essential to the creation and refinement of a plan, or integration of it with other plans, that is, it combines forecasting of developments with the preparation of scenarios of how to react to them”.

Strategic Planning.
According to a very reliable source, which is the Wikipedia, Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people.It is the formal consideration of an organization’s future course. Various techniques can be utilized in strategic planning. This include SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opprtunities, and Threats), PEST analysis (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological), STEER analysis (Socio-cultural, Technological, Economic, Ecological, and Regulatory factors) and EPISTEL (Environment, Political, Informatic, Social, Technological, Economic and Legal).

Information System Planning.
Refering to what I have understand on my researches and looking back to what I have post in the previous assignment, Information System Plan can also be compared as a strategic planning in a management or organization. In developing an IS plan you need to formalized your objectives, priorities and authorization and must identify what specific project you wnat in the future and especially, it should be flexible so that for some circumstances it can be adjusted if necessary. An IS plan should be useable, timely, maintainable, quality and reproducible.

Strategic Information System Planning.

According to an article of Somendra Pant and Cheng Hsu entitled “Strategic Information System Planning: A review” that I have read after surfing the internet, Strategic Information System (SISP) is the analysis of a corporation’s information and processes using business informationmodels together with the evaluation of risk, currentneeds and requirements. They noted that SISP is a management function and not a technical one. SISP is used to identify the best targets for purchasing and installing new management information systems and help an organization maximize the return on its information Technology investment. It is a major change for organizations, from planning for information systems based on users’ demands to those based on business strategy. Another definition that I have read about SISP is from the article of Albert L. Lederer and Vijay Sethi entitled “The Implementation of Strategic Information System Planning Methodologies”. On the abstract of there documentation, they are able to define SISP. It says that Strategic Information Systems Planning (SISP) is the process of deciding the objectives for organizational computing and identifying potential computer applications which the organization should implement. This article gives a thorough definition of SISP and then illustrates it with three methodologies.

Planning for an Information System always start by identifying with what the customers and the organization needs. So, in planning for an Information System in the university it is necessary to equate with what the university, the faculty and staff and especially the students’ needs. And as what I have observed after staying in the university for almost four years, there are numerous of complaints from the student. Even I, I have some moan that the university will soon listen and be implemented if possible. I do agree that the university gave quality education and are able to produced competitive gradutes but there are some things that the university are not able to give to the student, faculty and staff. Not enough facilities and classrooms are just few of the things the university must look after for the benefit of everyone.

If I will be invited to prepare an IS plan, I would recommend that I’m going to make a Strategic Information System Planning. Planning is very vital for an organization. Doing a strategic way of planning is more reliable because of the fast-evolving changes in our environment. An information system plan is mostly similar with strategic planning. It is important to formulized your goals, vision, mission and objectives first. And since the university has its own vision, mission and goals, we can now procede with our strategic information system planning.

As the years had passed, numerous information technologies, methodologies for system development and new ideas of information system are appearing. The only thing that never change is that things are always changing. In fact, more and more new hardwares and softwares are emerging. Everyone are aiming to be updated with what is the new trend in technologies, softwares, programming languages and others because we want to. That is why when we plan, we have to make sure that it is flexible enough to be able to adapt and be competitive with the rapid changes in our environment. That is why I want to organize a Strategic Information System Planning to our university.

On the article of Pant and Hsu, they have mentioned there that the evolution of information system deals with the three-era model of John Ward,et al.(1990). They said that these eras are related and significant. The three eras are as follows and is defined with its characteristics:
60s : Data Processing (DP) – standalone computers, remote from users, cost reduction function.
70s & 80s : Management Information systems (MIS) – distributed process, interconnected, regulated by management services, supporting the business, user driven.
80s & 90s : Strategic Information Systems (SIS) – networked, integrated systems, available and supportive to users, relate to business strategy, enable the business – business driven.

The overall applications of the three mentioned era model of Information System are need to be planned and managed for its future contribution to the business. This applications are categorized as strategic (applications which are critical for the future success), Turnaround (applications which may be of future strategic importance), Factory (applications which are critical to sustaining existing business) and support (applications which improve management and performance but are not critical to the business).

It is not an easy task to make a Strategic Information System Planning, which is in the present SIS era, because different processes are inserted in the organization’s business processes. Bear in mind that these systems are required to accommodate all the demands of the organization, serving the goals, complaints of the costumers, and as well as gathering the organization’s data processing and MIS needs. The point is that planning an Information System is not merely about aiming to cut the cost but it is essential to weigh all the benefits that the organization may have.

Strategic Information System Planning Methodologies.
Often times, an organization dont know how to act the tasks in Strategic Information System Planning because it is difficult and complex. According to Pant and Hsu, Vitale, et al.(1986) classify SISP methodologies in to two categories: impact and alignment. Those SISP methodologies that helps construct and align new uses of Information Technology belongs to impact category. While on the alignment category are those methodologies that support Information System objectives and organizational goals.

Impact metthodologies consist of Value Chain Analysis and Critical Success Factor Analysis. While reading on the article of Hsu and Pant, it was stated there that “According to Michael Porter (1984), every firm is a collection of activities that are performed to design, produce, market, deliver, and support its product. All these activities can be represented using a value chain.” Current rapid technological change in information system and information technology is a competitive advantage in an organization who have a better technology than its competitors. Value chain analysis is a form of business activity analysis that helps in formulating information system that would probably increase the organization’s profit. As what I have understood, the core potency of this type of methodology is that it concentrates on direct value adding activities of an organization and in this way throws the right of information system into domain of adding value than cutting the cost. Though it sound useful enough in an organization,there are few drawbacks in a value chain analysis method. Its good to hear that value chain analysis provides higher information for the organization but it fails deliver the development and implementation issues that may occur and fails to identify the firm’s data structure. Critical success factor analysis is considered as an impact methodology but it can also be an alignment tactic. It focuses on the core information requirements in an organization and business unit. And the best thihg with a critical success factor analysis is that it is easy to implement and can be done with a lesser number of resources. Still, there are some weaknesses in this method. It fails to classify the data architecture of an organization and do not draw attention with value added features of an information system.

Business System Planning (BSP), Strategic System Planning (SSP), and Information Engineering are categorized as part of alignment methodology. Business System Planning was developed by IBM and it combines top down planning and bottom up implementation. We already recognize that in an organzation or every orgainzation has its own vision, mission, goals and objectives. In this methodology, it mainly focuses on the business processes of an organization. Every business processes are analyzed for their data needs and after that data classes are then identified. And if there are similar data classes, they are combined to develop a database. There are several steps in Business System Planning that needs to be followed orderly: Gaining Executive Commitment, Preparing for the Study, Starting the Study, Defining Business Processes, Defining Data Classes, Analyzing Current Systems Support, Determining the Executive Perspective, Defining Findings and Conclusions, Defining the Information Architecture, Determining Architectural Priorities, Reviewing Information Resources Management, Developing Recommendations and Action Plan,and Reporting Results. The study produces vast amount of information. Usually, BSP places more importance on the top management and the executive involvement on their analysis. When we look at the top down strategy of a Business System Planning, it looks similar with the Critica Success Factor Analysis method. It is for the reason that it build up an overall knowledge on business plans and supports the Information System needs through discussions. The disadvantages of having this methodology is that it solemnly expect a degree experience in Information Technology within its planning team, there would be risk in connecting the gap of the top down planning and bottom up implementation, and it is timely and needs more effort for its successful implementation. Strategic Systems Planning was developed by Robert Holland which is almost similar with Business Systems Planning. It is also called PROplanner. With this method, it characterized a business functional model through investigating the major functional areas in business. After definign the business function model, you will be able to derived your data architecture and new systems with its implementation schedule will be derived having the data architecture as its basis. One thing that SSP is different from BSP is its automated way of storage, manipulation, and presentation and handling of the datas being collected during the SISP process. SSP has its own steps that should be followed accordingly: Analyze major functional areas, Develop a business functional model, Determine information requirments, Combine information requirements into generic data entities and subject databases, Derive IS architecture, and Define new systems and their implementation schedule. Information Engineering (IE) was a method developed by James Martin (1982). This method offer several techniques that would help in building enterprises, data and process models. As what I have observed, Information Engineering is more on technical approach than any other SISP methodologies that I have mentioned earlier. All its task are relying on the structured techniques which relates on the planning, analysis, design and construction of enterprise information system. IE differs from other methodologies because of its automated tools that would link to the output of the methodology to the succeeding systems development efforts. This reason is considered as the major strength of Information Engineering methodology. Its weakness would be long time planning exercise and the difficulty of finding a team leader that would perfectly fit to its criteria.

An organization generally apply one out of a number of methodologies in order to perform a Strategic Information System Planning studies. But whatever we choose, we cannot dehy the fact that risks are always there. You may encounter problems in the analysis or implementation phase. Certain problems may occur on the structure and implementation part. But the commonly identified problem of the IS managers in the implementation of one of these three alignment methodolgies is the failure to secure the top management commitment for executing the outputs, the requirement of substantial further analysis and the difficulty in looking for a good team leader.

If I were to decide what motehodology I would use is that I prefer to have a method that have both as impact and alignment categorization. Probelm are always there. Risk can never be changed because risk are always coming. One thing that I would focus with is to be able to find a way that will help me face the risk and pursue my IS plan. Technologies today are evrywhere that is why I need to have a method that is willing to adapt with the rapid growth of breakthroughs. Comparing the different methodologies, I guess I would be using a Strategic System Planning. I choose this because out of the three, it focuses with the ddata, define a data architecture and it has an automated support ,which the BSP lacks. SSP is almost the same with IE but I prefer to choose this because I am aiming to expedite the implementation of my Information System plan. If I would go with IE, it is defined that it needs longer time to be finished. So it takes time on the implementation. With regards to steps in Strategic System Planning, it is quite the same with a Business System Planning. What differs is the word automated. Business System Planning dont have an automated support while on the other hand, Strategic System Planning uses automated design tools. With this method, users are guided with the on-line data collection and maintenance. In this model, there is already a software that would produce the reports and provides a data dictionary interface for sharing SSP data. And comparing to its individual steps, the Strategic System Plannig has the lesser steps that needs to be followed.

Improving a Strategic Information System Plan is onee of the major challenge that an Information System executives are facig until the present days. That is why, there is always a need of effective planning ahead of time so that as early as it would take, you will be able to realize the potential collision of computer-based information systems. Problems and risk may come in the middle of your ongoing Strategic Information System Plan or on its implementation but you can never avoid it. Actually, there are four ways on how to treat the risk. It includes: tolerate the risk, terminate the risk, treat the risk , and transfer the risk. If risk would come you must know how to face it. Its up to you if what would you do with the risk. Either you tolerate it, terminate, treat or transfer. There are some risk that is not applicable to be tolerated so you have to look for another way on how you could face it. But, every plan would be pursued and be fastly implemented if evryone would cooperate. I think that would be the best and number one step. What part would you be in the implementation or even in the analysis phase of Strategic Information System Plan, you must be cooperative to avoid more conflicts. There are some instances that the organization had a problem with resistance to change. Even if you already know how to solve the organization’s problem, you know what would be the best solution for the company to be more competitive with the rapid change in information but if the company resist to accept that possible or recommended solution everything would end up nothing. That is why there is a need for a cooperation between the top management, the users, the IS executives, the systems analyst and everyone who will be involved.The influence of new information technology has been one reason why organizations want to have their own Information System.

Adapting to changes is not an easy task especially in an organization. In changes there are risk. With new information technologies, the risk in an organization is the budget or cost. If the university will be more cooperative and aggressive to adapt with the rapid changes and wants to have an Information System of its own, it would be a lesser effort if they will be willing to give the required resources, enough cost and will be eager to give time for this would be a good thing to be able to ake your Strategic Information System Plan applicable, successful and reliable. If the university want to be globally competitive and aims to be the premier university in the South-east Asia, then they should be supportive and updated with what is new in the world of Information Technology.


References:
Pant, S. & Hsu, C.,1995. Strategic Information System Planning: A review. In: 1995 Information Resources Management Association International Conference, May 21-24, 1995, Atlanta, Georgia.

Article from Albert L. Lederer & Vijay Sethi : “The Implementation of Strategic Information Systems Planning Methodologies”

www.wikipedia.com




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Marren Pequiro

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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 4 (Due: December 17, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:54 am

IS Plan


Being invited by the University President would really be a great pleasure. Since expediting the implementation is the main task to do, I assume that it refers only to the actual implementation of the Information System plan; hence it is a fact that we already have a background and a plan for the University.

Since planning is being the issue, let me state how strategic planning works. Strategic planning is an organization's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people. Various business analysis techniques can be used in strategic planning, including SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) and PEST analysis (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological analysis) or STEER analysis involving Socio-cultural, Technological, Economic, Ecological, and Regulatory factors. According to what I have researched, strategic plan is a document used by an organization to align its organization and budget structure with organizational priorities, missions, and objectives. As it says, it is also a process of comprehensive, integrative program planning that considers, at a minimum, the future of current decisions, overall policy, organizational development, and links to operational plans. Strategic planning is a basic document for planning of different projects of the program and their sub-projects; this is according to the project management club. It is based on the content of the Financing Memorandum and the Monitoring and Evaluation Matrix attached to the Financing Proposal and translates the two documents into detailed operational terms. A satisfactory strategic plan must be realistic and attainable so as to allow managers and entrepreneurs to think strategically and act operationally. In our Management Information Systems 1subject last semester, we are successfully done doing a business plan with our adopted company. With the help of the head officer in the department, all he information and other facts of that business plan was been discussed accordingly. As we always hear from our instructor, we the human resources or the IT personnel may lift up the company to its highest peak or eventually put it down depending on what we have wanted to. As what I have stated above, strategic planning must have the SWOT analysis. In to our preparation and to our research about the company, we have then listed some of the weaknesses and strength of the company. In such way we can decide how to build up a company.


In conducting strategic planning, each person or part of the organization that does the planning is really up into a purpose and what are those purposes in it. According to Field Marshal Helmuth Graf von Moltke “Planning is everything. Plans are nothing”. On what I have understood, it simply means that we can really plan for anything, for our future and for all the things that we ought to aspire. We can say that it is really easy to plan directly as it is in our hands and have the planning for ourselves. But in the end, after we have decided the planning, we cannot really have the activities to do the plan. Since I am going to be invited to speak out to the University president, lets me take the University of Southeastern Philippines as the subject. We all know that all the things, activities and transactions that happen within the school is done by the University professional professors and teachers. They do have their conference and meeting about the strategic planning for the school, but once it was been designed or talked properly, at the end of the discussion and after the technical paper was made, there are still no implementation for it. The words and discussions are being taken for granted. Meaning, the planning was still useless since it was not been implemented properly.


So what are the purposes of strategic planning? For example, in our own self, we do have dreams and visions in life. Before we are able to conquer those dreams and visions, we must first start by step by step process on it. We must have first decided on what our goals to achieve the dream. We must always think of planning as the first step. In strategic planning, especially in businesses and industry, the main purpose of it is to set the overall goals for the business and to develop a plan to achieve them. It involves stepping back from the day-to-day operations and asking where the business is headed and what its priorities should be. In the world market side, there are lots of purposes why strategic planning must be done.


First on the list, is the purpose on reducing the risks. Planning increases the likelihood of project success by providing insights into the project’s risks. Some projects are so risky that the business may choose not to start once they have learned about the risks. Other projects may contain features whose risks can be contained by early attention. The discussions that occur while estimating raise questions that expose potential dark corners of a project. Another is to reduce uncertainty within a team. A team is generating new capabilities and potentials about what is inside the business or the company throughout the whole project. They are also generating new knowledge—about it, the technologies in use, and themselves as a team. It is critical that this new knowledge be acknowledged and factored into an iterative planning process that is designed to help a team refine their vision. Next, is supporting in the decision making. Plans help the business to make decisions. How does an organization decide whether a particular project is worth doing if it does not have estimates of the value and the cost of the project? Beyond decisions about whether or not to start a project, estimates help them make sure that they are working on the most valuable projects possible. Strategic planning also helps in conveying information. A plan conveys expectations and describes one possibility of what may come to pass over the course of a project. A plan does not guarantee an exact set of features on an exact date at a specified cost. A plan does, however, communicate and establish a set of baseline expectations. Far too often a plan is reduced to a single date, and all of the assumptions and expectations that led to that date are forgotten. In relation with planning supports in decision making, it also acquires establishing trusts. Frequent reliable delivery of promised features builds trust between the developers and the customers. Reliable estimates enable reliable delivery. A customer needs estimates to make important prioritization and tradeoff decisions. Estimates also help a customer decide how much of a feature to develop. Customers are reluctant to make these types of tradeoff decisions early in a project unless the developers’ estimates have proved trustworthy.


Consequently, all of those things are being considered in order to have a very effective and successful Information System Plan (IS Plan). As a choice, I wanted to focus on the newly implemented University Registration Management Information System (USRMIS). Today, it is likely called as the Student Registration Management Information System (SRMIS). We all know that the University had just decided to in source the system and laid all their trust to our very own programmers. I would say to the University President, that in order to improve the services to its students, faculty, staff and stakeholders, it is very good to embark on the automation of its operation towards the institution’s system. Before deciding to pursue with this in source system, according to what I have interviewed with some personnel involve in this system, at present the University is leasing its enrolment system provided by ECPAC System (an outsource program) amounting to a very large amount that would be very costly to pay per month only. Considering that the University has a several colleges and at least two computers are utilizing the said ECPAC System per college in addition with the computer units being used in the office of the Registrar and the Accounting/Finance office. While ECPAC is providing these services, some problems arises for the reason that the system is not made and contextualized to cater the appropriate needs of the different offices and colleges of the University. In maintaining the program, the University had also encountered some difficulty since the customization is outsourced and there are some limitations that are not immediately address whenever there are changes in the procedures and policies in the University. Outsourced system also limiting the University on the source code, design and architecture of the ECPAC system because the University can never own these information. The University has also the restriction of opportunity to customize and repackage the system and eventually sell it for an income generating project later on.

I can proudly say that among all the Universities in the city, the University of Southeastern Philippines has the good programmers and IT people. When the Institute of Computing (IC) proposed about this Student Registration Management Information System (SRMIS), we could say that this project will soon address the issues in minimizing the operating procedures of the University in the proceeding years the system will be use. The in house development also gives enough liberty to customize these systems. It will also give the University an opportunity to have a stable and sustainable income generating project through these developed information systems. At present, the Institute of Computing (IC) has already developed the Students Registration Management Information System (SRMIS) for student and enrolment and registration system including the cashiering and collection system. The whole recently expanded Students Registration Management Information System (SRMIS), have aimed to develop an automated system for the registration and record keeping of the student’s records to be handled by the assigned office which is the Office of Admission and Student Records (OASR). It will also manage the student assessment in terms of how much number of units in total a student has enrolled and the corresponding fees associated with it. The additional fees such as laboratory, library, internet, insurance and other fees is being automated and will automatically reflect it on the Cashiering system. As of now, two faculty members of the Institute of Computing (IC) are the one in charge in developing the Students Registration Management Information System (SRMIS). Since, the programmers and the developers came from the University; it will not be costly later on with the maintenance of the said system considering that the rental of the ECPAC System cost too much. So, this time with this project the cost will be minimized and the University can save and eliminated expenditures related to the ECPAC System rental. Again, this project will be a great help for the faculty who were developing the system because they are given the chance for professional development. This project showcased the institute’s capability of developing information systems. Also it will advertise the University’s expertise in the field of Information Systems development. The project is under the Office of the President while the project development is under the direct supervision of the Institute of Computing.


A lot of things are being presented. We have seen the good side of it and also consider the disadvantage that it will bring to the University. But in order to expedite the implementation of the Students Registration Management Information System (SRMIS), here are the steps that I think will be a great aid for the success of the Information System.


Project Management is the first step they would do in order for the involving people be aware and understand what is all the Information System Plan (IS Plan) all about. Then it better for the people involve in the plan on what kind of involvement they will have in order for them to participate enthusiastically.
They would also coordinate with the parties involved in the IS implementation, since they will be the ones performing the roles in the IS plan. In this step, it refers to considerations such as where would the project/system suitable to be implemented or placed in, budget on executing and maintaining it, who are going to manage it and are they suitable to handle implementation of the project? This also requires orienting the people involved about the different roles that need to be played in the IS plan. This is also in line with the employees that will be affected with the implementation of the Information System Plan (IS Plan). Their experiences must be noted for us to know how effective they can be in handling the implementation of the new Information System Plan (IS Plan). We must determine the strength in terms of time that is necessary for the implementation of the Information System Plan (IS Plan) and even the location variable. Through this information we could come up to reasonable activities and deadlines.

We must also consider the cost that is needed in the implementation of the system. It must be in relation to the overall budget the Information System Plan (IS Plan) have and the amount that is allotted in the implementation stage. And as said earlier the implementation plan must be within the allotted time. Also they should assign responsibilities and set timelines. This entails the development of efficient working plans that are constituted by the specific steps or action plans to implement the Information System Plan (IS Plan). Setting timelines for taking action in the Information System Plan (IS Plan) is very important to ensure that the plan is being carried out efficiently and productively and also to see results within a specified timeframe. We should determine the time to be allotted in order to complete the plan. With this we can utilize time management and other factors concerning schedules. Other than managing time we should also consider who will manage the plan and create planning teams that is capable in planning an IS. Project management must be properly supervised and development practices are also one most significant factor to be considered. We need to better understand the plan so that implementation won’t become more complicated. That is why such issues must be put into consideration.

The second step would be the Data Conversion. This includes analyzing the data that would be necessary for the system, the volume of the data to be converted and the issues involved in converting the data. Issues involving data conversion and allocation of resources must also be considered. Proper usage of resources must also be recognized because it might cause several failures, either when it comes to implementation or allocation of data. This will be applying for the change in information system development the University has decided. All the data from the past system must be properly transferred to the new one. This requires skilled personnel that know the previous system and persons that are also trained for the new system. Depending on the data that must be converted the personnel assigned must be reasonable in choosing the type of process in converting the data. The factors that must be considered includes the time and the percentage of error that my occur in the conversion process

To allocate resources is another step in order to expedite the implementation of the Information System Plan (IS Plan). This is a very critical part in the implementation of the Information System Plan (IS Plan) in the university where the budget for carrying out the ISP will be laid out in detail. A well-made IS plan will go to waste if the necessary resources are not allocated to it. Without resources, it is nearly impossible to expedite the implementation of the Information System Plan (IS Plan). Money is always involved and so even our university cannot escape from this fact. There are other necessary resources to expedite the Information System Plan (IS Plan). Some of these are people, time and physical resources. Resources not only of money but also of knowledge, of strength are needed to successfully implement the IS plan. It is of practical act to properly make use of all the resources available for the system. Analysis of the resources should be made. A university should look out for any source accessible. Overlooked resource could be a big lost for one’s organization. All these and more need to be properly and adequately allocated to ensure that the plan will not fail.


Next step is training of the people involve in the Information System Plan (IS Plan). Training is also the most important factor to be considered. IT staffs that are properly trained will make the project easily done. They need to have knowledge in terms of managing data and IS plan implementation. One of the things that are essential to successful continuous improvement in order to expedite implementation of IS plan are strongly matters on the people involve around the plan. User of the project are not IT professionals that is why time and training has to done to guide them in how to use and manipulate the project. If the person is knowledgeable or has received appropriate training then implementation if IS plan will be done faster. The people are the most fundamental resource of an Information System Plan (IS Plan). Since that they are the one who is using the systems the plan. They are the user or the client of the plan; it must be necessary that they have the knowledge about and how to deal with the change. There must be a necessary training for the IT staff and the general staff to run the information system in a smooth way. Since it is new system, a new way of operating the system and the function of the system must be utilize very well.

To monitor the progress of the new system should also be considered. The targeted task should be identified and the parties involved should see to it that the milestones are achieved. Milestones are very efficient measures of progress because it divides the whole project into smaller and more achievable tasks. Every milestone achieved can also motivate the people involved, as they are assured that they are making progress with the implementation of the ISP. Rather than setting a large and distant measure of progress, milestones can be used to keep track of progress in the smaller picture. To keep track with the project schedules they must observed the progress of the project development. Any progress should be made recognize. Updates and improvements must also be identified and evaluated if it has been going well with what has been planned for the system. They should evaluate if the desired outcomes had achieved, to see if still on the trail or if still following the timetable also to find out if there is a progress or not. By checking the details of each of the tasks or summary task we are better informed on the overall progress of the implementation. The programmers should submit a progress report on a monthly basis, in the progress report, programmers will be required to enumerate all deliverables expected from them and state the status of each deliverables required.

The compare and contrast of the actual implementation of the Information System Plan (IS Plan) to the original plan would be the final step. The original plan should be examined every now and then for detection of errors. Once errors are detected and revisions are made, the actual results of the revised action plans and the original plan should be compared or evaluated to look for the differences again for the errors, and to mull over what are the changes to be done, and what are the things to be added or subtracted. This would serve as a basis for revising the original action plan. Since it cannot be helped that the actual implementation of the Information System Plan (IS Plan) in the university would not follow the written plan exactly, it is necessary to compare how the plan is doing when it is carried out to how the plan is doing based on projections in the original plan.


With all those steps I have presented, I hope it could address the problems and solve it through expediting its implementation while utilizing the full potential of the university in delivering its services. Since we a state university, many opportunities may rise and make use of this and using it up to the maximum benefit would greatly improve the university. The foremost concern for this process of changing the information system is the willingness of the University for Implementation. We can never avoid a huge resistance for the implementation of an Information System Plan (IS Plan) would prove a huge risk and may cause the Information System Plan (IS Plan) to fail or never implemented. It would greatly help if the IS plan is backed and supported by the top university officials so that other parts of the university or colleges would have minimal amount of resistance. The IS plan with the acknowledgment from the university would be implemented faster if the university itself knows of the Information System Plan (IS Plan) so training and seminars are thereby held. The whole process of implementation would require much time and resources that focusing all efforts will be required for the implementation to go smoothly and immediately.

In our own self as well, we do have a strategic planning that was been planned accordingly. Now, it is our choice on how to implement it, how to maintain it and how to make it flexible in change without putting us into much cost.


References:

http://managementhelp.org/plan_dec/str_plan/basics.htm

http://www.tdan.com/view-articles/5262

http://entrepreneurs.about.com/od/businessplan/a/implementation.htm

http://www.thepbgrp.com/merger-acquisition-services/post.html
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katherine eng lajom

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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 4 (Due: December 17, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:03 pm

“…ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country..” –JFK

“..ask not what Sir - - - can do for you but ask yourself what you can do to help Sir - - -… don’t just sit there and wait! Do something for IC…” - RSG

Okay… THANK YOU SIR. And Merry Christmas. Hohohoho!

No one can doubt that the pace of technology and many other basic changes and reforms we are proposing will force adjustments as we move forward. In this assignment, we are to discuss some steps as the preparation for making a fully functional and useful implementation of an IS plan.
Strengthening the university’s ability to share information constitutes a fundamentally important role in developing/upgrading/enhancing all of its own entities (departments). It starts from the top level personnel down the university’s students. So recognizing the need to explore and/or go beyond individual solutions to create this environment. But before discussing the steps asked from the question stated above, I wanted to share, posted in an article I read online. I think this must also be considered and/or addressed in the steps in the IS implementation.
According to Michael M. Gorman, from the The Bet-Your-Business Project, corporations spend about 5% of their gross income on information systems and their supports. A significant part of those funds support enterprise databases, a philosophy of database system applications that enable corporations to research the past, control the present and plan for the future.

[How can we research the past, control the present and plan for the future…?]



And since, the university is on tight budget and we could hardly get their support, budget and the management’s support is the first thing we need to be looked at.
Anyways, if some things get complicated and this IS plan implementation can hardly be accomplished because some important “entities”, won’t cooperate, then we’ll think of an alternative way to pursue it without them. I don’t mean eliminating them in the environment because they might even benefit from this.
In the same article from Michael M. Gorman, information systems managers need a model of their information systems environment. A model that is malleable. As new requirements are discovered, budgets modified, new hardware/software introduced, this model must be such that it can reconstitute the information systems plan in a timely and efficient manner.
HE then presented that a quality ISP must exhibit five (5) distinct characteristics before it is useful.

1. The ISP must be timely. According to Gorman, an ISP that is created long after it is needed is useless. That is, the plan work takes longer than to perform the work planned.

2. The ISP must be useable. It should exist in sections that once adopted can be parceled out (shared out, divided among) to project managers and immediately started.

3. The ISP must be maintainable. It must support quick changes to the estimates; technologies employed, and possibly even to fundamental project sequences. So once these changes are accomplished, the new ISP should be just a few computer executions away.

4. While the ISP must be a quality product, no ISP is ever perfect on the first try. As the ISP is executed, the metrics employed to derive the individual project estimates become refined as a consequence of new hardware technologies, code generators, techniques, or faster working staff. As these changes occur, their effects should be installable into the data that supports ISP computation. In short, the ISP is a living document. It should be updated with every technology event, and certainly no less often than quarterly.

5. The ISP must be reproducible. That is, when its development activities are performed by any other staff, the ISP produced should essentially be the same. The ISP should not significantly vary by staff assigned.

Whenever a proposal for the development of an ISP is created it must be assessed against these five characteristics. If any fail or not addressed in an optimum way, the entire set of funds for the development of an ISP is risked.

Going back to the question, on the implementation of the ISP, to support the university’s interests and to comply with the growing number of regulatory requirements, one must start with the identification of needs. Transforming today’s ISP and its implementation is a complex task. Today’s ISP and the future’s ISP may exist in a dynamic, unpredictable threat environment. As threats change, technologies evolve, and information needs shift, by then the ISP must prove resilient and adaptable to change. ISP essentially involves:
(a) identification of the stage of IS in the organization,
(b) identification of the applications of organizational ISs,
(c) evaluation of each of these applications, based on established evaluation criteria,
(d) establishing a priority ranking for these application, and
(e) determining the “optimum” architectutre of IS for serving the top priority applications.

Listed below might be considered some steps and/or guidelines in the implementation of the ISP:

1. Identify the organization’s information needs.

2. Find new opportunities in using information to achieve competitive advantage.

3. Define common standards for how information is acquired, accessed, shared, and used within the IS

The implementation of a fully functional ISP involves constructing, integrating, and maintaining information resource infrastructure. These information resources must include personnel, equipment funds, and information technology (that’s US!). Based from what I have read an learned, the approach to managing information resources involves the use of strategic management - such as enterprise architectures – to help organizations (our university) understand the interrelationships of their missions (our mission!) and IT processes.

4. Develop a common framework for the sharing of information between and among the departments.

5. Develop a common framework for the sharing of information between and among the departments.

6. Realizing the full potential of the ISP and its after effects in the future should require sharing across all its entities (departments).

7. Standardize procedures for sensitive but unclassified information.

8. Facilitate information sharing between university departments.

9. Promote a culture for information sharing.

There exists a need to develop a culture that promotes information sharing, including training and performance measurements that will stimulate the development of this culture and that will build up harmonious and united development among the participants (administration, department heads, faculty and
staff, and the university students).

ISP performance management and planning, programming, and budgeting are necessary to enable the ISP implementation. Performance management requires a collaborative effort among the participants (see, everyone should cooperate!) because this will include goals and measures and targets to specific individual departments. Dedication of specific funds and resources are required to transform an ISP implementation into a better one. Specific funding estimates, strategies and proposals are needed to be assessed and prioritized.

And in order to carry out this mission, the university must address specific strategies. As mentioned earlier, one must be able to define the basic, specific needs of the organization. In this case, in this university, I believe information technology (IT) can and should play a strategic role in helping facilitate the achievement of the University’s mission.

1. Minimizing administrative burdens placed on our faculty.

Improving the work life of faculty is crucial to maintaining and increasing the excellence of the institution. To enable collaboration, faculty need to easily access and share information regarding research and teaching activities across the University. Moreover, units want to better leverage faculty and staff resources across the University and to actively enable and support faculty development and performance. Information technology will play a key role in providing timely information to faculty in order to reduce administrative burdens while simultaneously providing avenues for sharing information to improve collaboration, interaction with students, delivery of instruction, and resource utilization.

2. Enhance academic units’ ability to connect with individual students.

Academic units strive to cultivate a rewarding and productive relationship with students throughout the lifecycle of their engagement with the University. Whether it be innovative student recruitment programs, <b>improved enrollment management and course demand planning</b>, or staying connected to alumni, information technology initiatives will play a critical role in helping students feel more connected to the University.

3. Maintain and increase the excellence of our staff.

The retirement of a significant portion of the workforce is a future challenge that requires the transfer of institutional knowledge to a new group of managers. The University needs to meet the demands for training the existing and new workforce via enhanced staff training and education. There is a need to develop better capabilities for tracking and managing staff performance. Finally, there is a need to reduce the administrative burden on staff. Easier access to policy, procedure and regulatory information is needed.

4. Streamline and improve research administration.

Units will continue to increase their pursuit of both private and public research funding opportunities. To support research pursuits, the University should strategically develop research facilities in emerging scientific fields. There is significant concern about the administrative burden related to grant submission and management, and the lack of data about the University’s total research effort. There should also be a concern about protecting informational assets and complying with increased regulations. Improved information technology systems will play an important role in overcoming these concerns.

5. Streamline and improve the fundraising process.
Many units plan to pursue increased private support to maintain the quality of their programs and take advantage of new opportunities in an era of decreasing state support. There is a desire to increase both large donations and annual giving through improved identification, interaction, and tracking of potential donors through improved business processes and better access to and use of alumni and donor information. The efficiency of fundraising events could be improved through better information management tools and processes. There is a high level of dissatisfaction with the current development information systems and processes in meeting the above needs.

6. Maintain excellence while optimizing the size of our academic programs and use of facilities.

Most units have the need for more space to support increased research and student enrollment. Some units are adding new undergraduate programs, some are increasing the enrollment in existing programs, while others plan to add or expand executive education programs. Units will need to upgrade or expand physical facilities and improve the management of physical space and events. Improved information systems are needed to provide this information.

7. Enhance administrative processes through efficiency gains and resource sharing.

There is universal desire to create more efficient and cost effective administrative processes. The University needs to continue to utilize technology to meet more demanding service delivery performance expectations while reducing administrative costs.


Sources:
http://www.ise.gov/docs/ISE-impplan-200611.pdf
www.tdan.com/view-articles/5262
http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~ha270-c/class/selection/
http://viu.eng.rpi.edu/publications/strpaper.pdf
http://www.wfu.edu/Computer-information/about/plan.html
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PostSubject: You were invited by the university president to prepare an IS plan for the university, discuss what are the steps in order to expedite the implementation of the IS Plan. (at least 5000 words)   Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:10 pm

You were invited by the university president to prepare an IS plan for the university, discuss what are the steps in order to expedite the implementation of the IS Plan. (at least 5000 words)

weew! another hard question.. No It is very difficult to obtain consensus on a functional decomposition for any one application, much less across all the information systems within the entire corporation. That is because functional analysis requires identification and codification of how activities are performed. In short, the codification of style. This type of analysis leads to conflicts, power struggles, and endless nit-picking. In the end, nobody likes the results. Once, or if ever completed, both IBM and Martin use the resulting ISP as a foundation for identifying information systems. Building the ISP on top of such a foundation of discord cannot possibly result in stable, enduring information systems.

For a long time relationship between information system functions and corporate strategy was not of much interest to Top Management of firms. Information Systems were thought to be synonymous with corporate data processing and treated as some back-room operation in support of day-to-day mundane tasks (Rockart, 1979). In the 80’s and 90’s, however, there has been a growing realization of the need to make information systems of strategic importance to an
organization. Consequently, strategic information systems planning (SISP) is a critical issue. In many industry surveys, improved SISP is often mentioned as the most serious challenge facing IS managers (Pavri and Ang, 1995, Beath and Orlikowski, 1994; Martin, 1993; Porter and Miller, 1985). Planning for information systems, as for any other system, begins with the identification of needs. In order to be effective, development of any type of computer-based system should be a response to need--whether at the transaction processing level or at the more complex information and support systems levels. Such planning for information systems is much like strategic planning in management. Objectives, priorities, and authorization for information systems projects need to be formalized. The systems development plan should identify specific projects slated for the future, priorities for each project and for resources, general procedures, and constraints for each application area. The plan must be specific enough to enable understanding of each application and to know where it stands in the order of development. Also the plan should be flexible so that priorities can be adjusted if necessary. King (King, 1995) in his recent article has argued that a strategic capability architecture - a flexible and continuously improving infrastructure of organizational capabilities - is the primary basis for a company's sustainable competitive advantage. He has emphasized the need for continuously updating and improving the strategic capabilities architecture.

Characteristics of a Quality ISP



A quality ISP must exhibit five distinct characteristics before it is useful. These five are presented in the table that follows.

Characteristic ------- Description


Timely -------- The ISP must be timely. An ISP that is created long after it is needed is useless. In almost all cases, it makes no sense to take longer to plan work than to perform the work planned.

Useable ------- The ISP must be useable. It must be so for all the projects as well as for each project. The ISP should exist in sections that once adopted can be parceled out to project managers and immediately started.

Maintainable ------- The ISP must be maintainable. New business opportunities, new computers, business mergers, etc. all affect the ISP. The ISP must support quick changes to the estimates, technologies employed, and possibly even to the fundamental project sequences. Once these changes are accomplished, the new ISP should be just a few computer program executions away.

Quality -------- While the ISP must be a quality product, no ISP is ever perfect on the first try. As the ISP is executed, the metrics employed to derive the individual project estimates become refined as a consequence of new
hardware technologies, code generators, techniques, or faster working staff. As these changes occur, their effects should be installable into the data that supports ISP computation. In short, the ISP is a living document. It should be updated with every technology event, and certainly no less often than quarterly.

Reproducible -------- The ISP must be reproducible. That is, when its development activities are performed by any other staff, the ISP produced should essentially be the same. The ISP should not significantly vary by staff assigned.



The ISP Steps


The information systems plan project determines the sequence for implementing specific information systems. The goal of the strategy is to deliver the most valuable business information at the earliest time possible in the most cost-effective manner.

The end product of the information systems project is an information systems plan (ISP). Once deployed, the information systems department can implement the plan with confidence that they are doing the correct information systems project at the right time and in the right sequence. The focus of the ISP is not one information system but
the entire suite of information systems for the enterprise. Once developed, each identified information system is seen in context with all other information systems within the enterprise.



Information Systems Plan Development Steps




Step


Name



Description

1.
Create the mission model
The mission model, generally shorter than 30 pages presents end-result
characterizations of the essential raison d=etre of the enterprise.
Missions are strategic, long range, and a-political because they are
stripped of the Awho@ and the Ahow.@
2.
Develop a high-level data model
The high-level data model is an Entity Relationship diagram created to
meet the data needs of the mission descriptions. No attributes or keys
are created.
3.
Create the resource life cycles (RLC) and their nodes
Resources are drawn from both the mission descriptions and the high
level data model. Resources and their life cycles are the names,
descriptions and life cycles of the critical assets of the enterprise,
which, when exercised achieve one or more aspect of the missions. Each
enterprise resource Alives@ through its resource life cycle.
4.
Allocate precedence vectors among RLC nodes
Tied together into a enablement network, the resulting resource life
cycle network forms a framework of enterprise=s assets that represent
an order and set of inter-resource relationships. The enterprise
Alives@ through its resource life cycle network.
5.
Allocate existing information systems and databases to the RLC nodes
The resource life cycle network presents a Alattice-work@onto which the
Aas is@ business information systems and databases can be Aattached.@
See for example, the meta model in Figure 2. The Ato-be@ databases and
information systems are similarly attached. ADifference projects@
between the Aas-is@ and the Ato-be@ are then formulated. Achievement of
all the difference projects is the achievement of the Information
Systems Plan.
6.
Allocate standard work break down structures (WBS) to each RLC node
Detailed planning of the Adifference projects@ entails allocating the
appropriate canned work breakdown structures and metrics. Employing WBS
and metrics from a comprehensive methodology supports project
management standardization, repeatability, and self-learning.
7.
Load resources into each WBS node
Once the resources are determined, these are loaded into the project
management meta entities of the meta data repository, that is, metrics,
project, work plan and deliverables. The meta entities are those
inferred by Figure 2.
8.
Schedule the RLC nodes through a project management package facilities.
The entire suite of projects is then scheduled on an enterprise-wide
basis. The PERT chart used by project management is the APERT@ chart
represented by the Resource Life Cycle enablement network.
9.
Produce and review of the ISP
The scheduled result is predicable: Too long, too costly, and too
ambitious. At that point, the real work starts: paring down the suite
of projects to a realistic set within time and budget. Because of the
meta data environment (see Figure 1), the integrated project management
meta data (see Figure 2), and because all projects are configured
against fundamental business-rationale based designs, the results of
the inevitable trade-offs can be set against business basics. Although
the process is painful, the results can be justified and rationalized.
10.
Execute and adjust the ISP through time.
As the ISP is set into execution, technology changes occur that affect
resource loadings. In this case, only steps 6-9 need to be repeated. As
work progresses, the underlying meta data built or used in steps 1-5
will also change. Because a quality ISP is Aautomated@ the recasting of
the ISP should only take a week or less.


cont.. next thread


Last edited by Jezreel Jyl P. Hilado on Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 4 (Due: December 17, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:12 pm

You were invited by the university president to prepare an IS plan for the university, discuss what are the steps in order to expedite the implementation of the IS Plan.
If I were hired by the University president to prepare for an IS Plan, it would be better to put all the plans in action or implement it. The bad thing about us, we really don’t care about everything that is happening in our University. We kept on murmuring the strategies that were all implemented in papers. We haven’t seen that also students could be a part of that plan.
One thing is we should not rush things out in order for the plan to be implemented. We should follow some steps that I’ll be discussing later. We also should consider some factors that could harm the implementation. As I have observed, the University also don’t have the full support to implement the plans. The management should encourage everyone in order for the planning team to work well and hard.
Information System Planning is a broad enduring statement giving the organizations “reason for being”. The objective is to desire future positions and destine the organizations intended to reach in order to fulfill its mission. When it comes to strategies, it is a general direction in which an objective is to be sought.
Many enterprises do not have model-based information systems development environments that allow system designers to see the benefits of rearranging an information systems development schedule. Consequently, the questions that cannot be answered include:
• What effect will there be on the overall schedule if an information system is purchased versus developed?
• At what point does it pay to hire an abnormal quantity of contract staff to advance a schedule?
• What is the long term benefit from 4GL versus 3GL?
• Is it better to generate 3GL than to generate/use a 4GL?
• What are the real costs of distributed software development over centralized development?
For a long time relationship between information system functions and corporate strategy was not of much interest to Top Management of firms. Information Systems were thought to be synonymous with corporate data processing and treated as some back-room operation in support of day-to-day mundane tasks (Rockart, 1979). In the 80’s and 90’s, however, there has been a growing realization of the need to make information systems of strategic importance to an organization. Consequently, strategic information systems planning (SISP) is a critical issue. In many industry surveys, improved SISP is often mentioned as the most serious challenge facing IS managers (Pavri and Ang, 1995, Beath and Orlikowski, 1994; Martin, 1993; Porter and Miller,
1985).
Planning for information systems, as for any other system, begins with the identification of needs. In order to be effective, development of any type of computer-based system should be a response to need--whether at the transaction processing level or at the more complex information and support systems levels. Such planning for information systems is much like strategic planning in management. Objectives, priorities, and authorization for information systems projects need to be formalized. The systems development plan should identify specific projects slated for the future, priorities for each project and for resources, general procedures, and constraints for each application area. The plan must be specific enough to enable understanding of each application and to know where it stands in the order of development. Also the plan should be flexible so that priorities can be adjusted if necessary. King (King, 1995) in his recent article has argued that strategic capability architecture - a flexible and continuously improving infrastructure of organizational capabilities – is the primary basis for a company's sustainable competitive advantage. He has emphasized the need for continuously updating and improving the strategic capabilities architecture.
SISP is the analysis of a corporation’s information and processes using business information models together with the evaluation of risk, current needs and requirements. The result is an action plan showing the desired course of events necessary to align information use and needs with the strategic direction of the company (Battaglia, 1991). The same article emphasizes the need to note that SISP is a management function and not a technical one. This is consistent with the earlier distinction between the older data processing views and the modern strategic importance view of Information Systems. SISP thus is used to identify the best targets for purchasing and installing new management information systems and help an organization maximize the return on its information technology investment. A portfolio of computer-based applications is identified that will assist an organization in executing its business plans and realize its business goals. There is a growing realization that the application of information technology (IT) to a firm’s strategic activities has been one of the most common and effective ways to improve business performance.
Responsibility for information security is provided by the following personnel for the areas indicated.
Section I. Employee Management and Training
1. References will be checked prior to hiring employees who will have access to personally identifiable information.
2. All employees must agree to the information security policies of the university by completing an online tutorial and quiz which include the Whitworth computer policy, the Whitworth FERPA policy, the code of ethics and the educational record.
3. Employees will be given training appropriate to their position in the basic steps to maintain security, confidentiality and integrity of personally identifiable information. A FERPA video and tutorial are available online.
4. Employees in breach of information security policies and procedures are subject to disciplinary action.
Section II. Information Systems
1. Information security will be a primary consideration in the design and implementation of all computer and network systems used in a production environment at Whitworth.
2. All servers which contain personally identifiable data will be located in the department of information systems secure area with limited key distribution and electronic alarms.
3. Backup data is located in the built-in safe in the registrar's office.
4. Tapes, disks, hard drives or other media containing institutional data will be destroyed or wiped prior to disposal.
5. Internet access to personally identifiable data will be through the Intranet or through SSL connections. In addition, proprietary encryption systems from Security Smith and the Datatel Messaging Interface are used for communications between the web servers in the DMZ (demilitarized zone) and the administrative system.
6. Complex passwords are required for network access and system-generated passwords are used on the administrative system. Access to the network is by individual accounts except with the approval of the Director of Information Systems. Access to the primary administrative software from Datatel requires another password and access to critical internal functions require a further password.
7. Access to individual screens, records or fields is provided based upon business reasons and is granted by Information Systems after a request is received from the custodian of the data. The custodian of student data is the registrar, the custodian of financial data is the controller, the custodian of financial aid data is the director of financial aid, the custodian of alumni data and institutional advancement data is the assistant director of gift accounting and information systems, and the custodian of employee data is the director of human resources.
8. Release of individually identifiable information to a third party requires the approval of the custodian and a signed data confidentiality agreement.
9. A full description of security systems in place is contained in network and computer documentation and includes:
• Redundant firewall blades in the 6509 core router.
• Cisco Intrusion Detection System in the DMZ.
• Cisco Intrusion Detection System blade in the core router.
• Cisco VPN (Virtual Private Network).
• SSL (Secure Socket Layer) on the Intranet and on the Web e-mail interface. Verisign digital certificates are used for both servers and personal certificates.
• Norton Enterprise Virus Protection is required on all systems connected to the network.
• Cisco Clean Access system for student network access.
• VLANs (Virtual Local Area Network) controlled by ACLs (Access Control Lists) are used to separate various constituencies on the network.
Section III. Information Systems Failures
1. The Information Systems Disaster Recovery Plan will be implemented in the event of full or partial loss of system data. The DRP is an element of the Whitworth Emergency Response Plan.
2. In general, it is the policy of information systems to stay current on all system and application software patches with particular emphasis on security patches. SMS (Systems Management Service) and SUS (Software Update Services) are used to update computer systems with current security and other critical patches.
3. Anti-virus software updates and data files are downloaded and applied automatically using the Norton console software.
4. Firewall, switch and router firmware versions are regularly downloaded and applied.
5. The Retina Software Suite, Cisco MARS Analysis Module and Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer are used to perform security audits on the network and computer systems.
6. Cisco MARS is used to configure and report on network security and to respond to cyber attacks.
7. A full backup of the administrative system is performed every night with the exception of Saturday.
ISP essentially involves
• Identification of the stage of IS in the org.
• Identification of the applications of organizational ISs,
• Evaluation of each of these applications based on established evaluation criteria
• Establishing a priority ranking for these application, and
• Determining the’optimum’architectutre of IS for serving the top priority applications
The ISP Steps
The information systems plan project determines the sequence for implementing specific information systems. The goal of the strategy is to deliver the most valuable business information at the earliest time possible in the most cost-effective manner.
The end product of the information systems project is an information systems plan (ISP). Once deployed, the information systems department can implement the plan with confidence that they are doing the correct information systems project at the right time and in the right sequence. The focus of the ISP is not one information system but the entire suite of information systems for the enterprise. Once developed, each identified information system is seen in context with all other information systems within the enterprise.
Information Systems Plan Development Steps
1. Create the mission model - The mission model, generally shorter than 30 pages presents end-result characterizations of the essential raison d=etre of the enterprise. Missions are strategic, long range, and a-political because they are stripped of the Awho@ and the Ahow.@
2. Develop a high-level data model - The high-level data model is an Entity Relationship diagram created to meet the data needs of the mission descriptions. No attributes or keys are created.
3. Create the resource life cycles (RLC) and their nodes - Resources are drawn from both the mission descriptions and the high level data model. Resources and their life cycles are the names, descriptions and life cycles of the critical assets of the enterprise, which, when exercised achieve one or more aspect of the missions. Each enterprise resource Alives@ through its resource life cycle.
4. Allocate precedence vectors among RLC nodes - Tied together into a enablement network, the resulting resource life cycle network forms a framework of enterprise=s assets that represent an order and set of inter-resource relationships. The enterprise Alives@ through its resource life cycle network.
5. Allocate existing information systems and databases to the RLC nodes - The resource life cycle network presents a Alattice-work@onto which the Aas is@ business information systems and databases can be Aattached.@ See for example, the meta model in Figure 2. The Ato-be@ databases and information systems are similarly attached. ADifference projects@ between the Aas-is@ and the Ato-be@ are then formulated. Achievement of all the difference projects is the achievement of the Information Systems Plan.
6. Allocate standard work break down structures (WBS) to each RLC node - Detailed planning of the Adifference projects@ entails allocating the appropriate canned work breakdown structures and metrics. Employing WBS and metrics from a comprehensive methodology supports project management standardization, repeatability, and self-learning.
7. Load resources into each WBS node - Once the resources are determined, these are loaded into the project management meta entities of the meta data repository, that is, metrics, project, work plan and deliverables. The meta entities are those inferred by Figure 2.
8. Schedule the RLC nodes through a project management package facilities. - The entire suite of projects is then scheduled on an enterprise-wide basis. The PERT chart used by project management is the APERT@ chart represented by the Resource Life Cycle enablement network.
9. Produce and review of the ISP - The scheduled result is predicable: Too long, too costly, and too ambitious. At that point, the real work starts: paring down the suite of projects to a realistic set within time and budget. Because of the meta data environment (see Figure 1), the integrated project management meta data (see Figure 2), and because all projects are configured against fundamental business-rationale based designs, the results of the inevitable trade-offs can be set against business basics. Although the process is painful, the results can be justified and rationalized.
10. Execute and adjust the ISP through time. - As the ISP is set into execution, technology changes occur that affect resource loadings. In this case, only steps 6-9 need to be repeated. As work progresses, the underlying meta data built or used in steps 1-5 will also change. Because a quality ISP is Aautomated@ the recasting of the ISP should only take a week or less.

THE NOLAN STAGE MODEL
• Stage 1-initiation stage-in this, the technology is placed in the organization. Few applications in the organization are computerized
• Stage 2-expansion stage-rapid and uncontrolled growth in the number and variety of IT applications takes place
• Stage 3-formalization or control stage because in this stage organizations gain control over the technology’s resources by implementing formal control processes and standards.
• Stage 4-Nolan has described this growth stage as maturity or integration stage as by this stage organizations gain sufficient experience and maturity in IS/IT applications. In this stage, applications are integrated controls are adjusted. Planning is well established and so, we call this stage as the stage of perfection also.
• Stage 5- In this the use of new technology increases rapidly, providing new benefits.
• Stage 6-data administration, in this controls are further lowered to encourage development of systems which contribute to strategic advantage of the organization.
• Stage 7-in the enhance growth model this stage is termed as the maturity stage which indicates the application portfolio is complete and matches the objectives of the organization.

4 Stages of IS Planning
1. Strategic planning
• derivation from the organizational plan
• Strategic fit with organizational culture
• Strategy set transformation
2. Information requirement analysis
• Define underlying organizational requirements
• Develop sub system matrix
• Define and evaluate information requirements for organizational subsystems
3. Resource Allocation
• Return on investment
• Charge out
• Portfolio Approach
• Steering committees
4. Project Planning
• Milestone
• Critical path method
• Gantt chart

REFERENES:
http://www.tn.gov/finance/oir/planning/ispprocess.pdf
http://viu.eng.rpi.edu/publications/strpaper.pdf
http://www.scribd.com/doc/9651267/Information-Systems-Planning?autodown=pdf
http://www.tdan.com/view-articles/5262


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Gabrielle Anne Rae Deseo

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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 4 (Due: December 17, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:14 pm

University IS Plan


Wew! I can’t imagine myself being asked by the university president to make the IS plan for the university. Just imagining it make it so tough. Haha Well these would be the possible steps I would have to propose in implementing an IS plan for the University.

1. Identifying the problem and needs

2. Ask for suggestions from the experts

3. Provide quality system- implementation

4. Monitor maintenance

5. Grant flexibility for possible enhancements



Now what is IS planning?



Strategic Information Systems Planning (SISP) is the process of aligning an organization's business strategy with effective computer-based information systems to achieve critical business objectives. SISP is a top concern of major executives and considerable resources (time and money) are spent in SISP activities. Many SISP initiatives are not successful due to the difficulty of implementing the recommendations. A significant problem is the Specification Gap between the description of the recommended systems and the detail needed for actual system implementation. Existing SISP methods do not provide sufficiently rigorous representations to specify detailed system recommendations. Box structures are proposed as a solution to this problem and a SISP process with embedded box structure methods is presented. We have used this innovative process in two SISP projects with large organizations. Partial results from one of the projects are presented as a case study to illustrate the use of box structures and their benefits
http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/HICSS.2000.926735

Information has emerged as an agent of integration and the enabler of new competitiveness for today’s enterprise in the global marketplace. However, has the paradigm of strategic planning changed sufficiently to support the new role of information systems and technology? We reviewed the literature for commonly used or representative information planning methodologies and found that a new approach is needed. There are six methodologies reviewed in this paper. They all tend to regard planning as a separate stage which does not connect structurally and directly to the information systems development. An integration of planning with development and management through enterprise information resources - which capture and characterize the enterprise – will shorten the response cycle and even allow for economic evaluation of information system investment.

For a long time relationship between information system functions and corporate strategy was not of much interest to Top Management of firms. Information Systems were thought to be synonymous with corporate data processing and treated as some back-room operation in support of day-to-day mundane tasks (Rockart, 1979). In the 80’s and 90’s, however, there has been a growing realization of the need to make information systems of strategic importance to an organization. Consequently, strategic information systems planning (SISP) is a critical issue. In many industry surveys, improved SISP is often mentioned as the most serious challenge facing IS managers (Pavri and Ang, 1995, Beath and Orlikowski, 1994; Martin, 1993; Porter and Miller,

1985).

Planning for information systems, as for any other system, begins with the identification of needs. In order to be effective, development of any type of computer-based system should be a response to need--whether at the transaction processing level or at the more complex information and support systems levels. Such planning for information systems is much like strategic planning in management. Objectives, priorities, and authorization for information systems projects need to be formalized. The systems development plan should identify specific projects slated for the future, priorities for each project and for resources, general procedures, and constraints for each application area. The plan must be specific enough to enable understanding of each application and to know where it stands in the order of development. Also the plan should be flexible so that priorities can be adjusted if necessary. King (King, 1995) in his recent article has argued that a strategic capability architecture - a flexible and continuously improving infrastructure of organizational capabilities – is the primary basis for a company's sustainable competitive advantage. He has emphasized the need for continuously updating and improving the strategic capabilities architecture.

http://viu.eng.rpi.edu/publications/strpaper.pdf

Every year, $300-700 million dollar corporations spend about 5% of their gross income on information systems and their supports. That's from about $15,000,000 to $35,000,000! A significant part of those funds support enterprise databases, a philosophy of database system applications that enable corporations to research the past, control the present, and plan for the future.

Even though an information system costs from $1,000,000 to $10,000,000, and even through most chief information officers (CIOs) can specify exactly how much money is being spent for hardware, software, and staff, CIOs cannot however state with any degree of certainty why one system is being done this year versus next, why it is being done ahead of another, or finally, why it is being done at all.

Many enterprises do not have model-based information systems development environments that allow system designers to see the benefits of rearranging an information systems development schedule. Consequently, the questions that cannot be answered include:

* What effect will there be on the overall schedule if an information system is purchased versus developed?
* At what point does it pay to hire an abnormal quantity of contract staff to advance a schedule?
* What is the long term benefit from 4GL versus 3GL?
* Is it better to generate 3GL than to generate/use a 4GL?
* What are the real costs of distributed software development over centralized development?

If these questions were transformed and applied to any other component of a business (e.g., accounting, manufacturing, distribution and marketing), and remained unanswered, that unit's manager would surely be fired!

We not only need answers to these questions NOW!, we also need them quickly, cost effectively, and in a form that they can be modeled and changed in response to unfolding realities. This paper provides a brief review of a successful 10-step strategy that answers these questions.

Too many half-billion dollar organizations have only a vague notion of the names and interactions of the existing and under development information systems. Whenever they need to know, a meeting is held among the critical few, an inventory is taken, interactions confirmed, and accomplishment schedules are updated.

This ad hoc information systems plan was possible only because all design and development was centralized, the only computer was a main-frame, and the past was acceptable prologue because budgets were ever increasing, schedules always slipping, and information was not yet part of the corporation's critical edge.

Well, today is different, really different! Budgets are decreasing, and slipped schedules are being cited as preventing business alternatives. Confounding the computing environment are different operating systems, DBMSs, development tools, telecommunications (LAN, WAN, Intra-, Inter-, and Extra-net), and distributed hard- and software.

Rather than having centralized, long-range planning and management activities that address these problems, today's business units are using readily available tools to design and build ad hoc stop-gap solutions. These ad hoc systems not only do not interconnect, support common semantics, or provide synchronized views of critical corporate policy, they are soon to form the almost impossible to comprehend confusion of systems and data from which systems order and semantic harmony must spring.

Not only has the computing landscape become profoundly different and more difficult to comprehend, the need for just the right--and correct--information at just the right time is escalating. Late or wrong information is worse than no information.

Information systems managers need a model of their information systems environment. A model that is malleable. As new requirements are discovered, budgets modified, new hardware/software introduced, this model must be such that it can reconstitute the information systems plan in a timely and efficient manner.
http://www.tdan.com/view-articles/5262


1. Identifying a very clearly defined and specific problem is the first critical step to successfully implementing the problem-solving process. The strategy of improving the quality of services involves solving problems in order of priority. Why is it important to prioritize problems?

Resources and time are limited. You can't solve all the problems at the same time, so your efforts should initially focus on the most important problem.

To gain experience and acquire expertise with the problem-solving process, the first problem you work on should be one that is easily studied and resolved. Choose a problem with plenty of data easily available.

If the resolution of the first problem is successful, that solution can be reproduced easily at the local or national level, and even more so if it corresponds to the priority policies of the institution.

What?

A problem occurs when there is a difference between what "should be" and what "is"; between the ideal and the actual situation. A problem:

·expresses the difference between the hoped for and the actual situation;
·is directly or indirectly related to the health of the population;
·is expressed in terms of processes, effects, impacts, and satisfaction.

How?

You can select a problem by using one of the following techniques:

· a direct observation technique, such as a user survey
· a consensus technique like a prioritization matrix , which uses brainstorming as a first step
· a data analysis technique, such as using a control chart

http://erc.msh.org/quality/identify.cfm
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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 4 (Due: December 17, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:16 pm

I will discuss the following thoughts and steps with the university president in order to expedite the implementation of the IS Plan of the university.

While the making of strategic choices is often portrayed as the end of a planning process, it is well recognized that in modern organizations, the choices made in any planning process may not be enacted. There are many reasons for such strategy implementation failures, ranging from a lack of understanding as to who is responsible for implementation to reluctance on the part of lower level managers to truly accept the choices made in the SPIS process, perhaps because they disagree with or do not fully understand them.

To avoid these strategic implementation failures, clear implementation plans must be developed. These plans should indicate who is responsible for the implementation of each element of the plan; they should identify specific “milestones” and schedules for the reporting of results to those who are responsible and to top management, and they should specify clear performance goals for each milestone. Such implementation plans cannot be prepared until the desired changes in the major strategic
IS/IT elements have been approved by top management, but they should be developed immediately thereafter and their development should be considered an integral part of the SPIS process.

The steps in order to expedite the implementation of the IS Plan:

1. Strategy Implementation Step – Budgets are also the “real world” of implementing IT strategy, linking the long-term goals of the organization and their short-term execution through the allocationof resources to activities. Unfortunately, research shows that the majority of organizations do not link their strategies to their budgets, which is why so many have difficulty making strategic changes . This is particularly true in IT, according to the focus group. As one manager complained, “no one knows what we’re doing in the future. Therefore, our goals change regularly and at random.” Another noted, “The lines of business pay little attention to IT resources when they’re establishing their strategic plans. They just expect IT to make it happen.” Budgets can affect IT strategy implementation in a number of ways. First, where IT dollars are spent determines the impact IT can have on corporate performance. Clearly, if 80 percent of IT expenditures is going to operations and maintenance, IT can have less strategic impact than if this proportion is 20 percent lower. Second, how discretionary IT dollars are spent is important. For example, some companies decide to invest in infrastructure while others do not; some will choose to “bet the company” on a single large IT initiative while others will choose more focused projects. In short, the outcome of how a company chooses between investment opportunities is reflected in its budgets.

Third, the budgeting process itself reflects and reinforces the ability of strategic decision making to have an impact. IT expert states that because budget processes are inherently biased toward the short term, in many organizations operational needs will systematically preempt strategic ones. In IT, the common practice of routinely allocating a fixed percentage of the IT strategic budget to individual business units, makes it almost impossible to easily reallocate resources to higher priority projects at the enterprise level or in other business units. In addition, several focus group members noted that their siloed budgeting processes make it difficult to manage the cross-business costs of strategic IT decisions. Overall, budgets are a critical element of most managerial decisions and processes and are used to accomplish a number of different purposes in IT: compliance, fiscal accountability, cost reduction, business unit and enterprise strategy implementation, internal customer service, delivery of business value, and operational excellence, to name just a few. This, in a nutshell, is the reason why IT budgeting is such a complex and challenging process.

According to some IT experts one of the major causes of SISP failure is the lack of understanding and emphasis on implementation issues. Plans are likely to remain and gather dust on the shelf unless there is an effective implementation strategy. In order to address this problem IT experts have come up with a “comprehensive and parsimonious set of factors or practices that predict implementation” and suggest that they “may help planners and researchers better understand implementation.” It is highly desirable for the plan to be read by all key stakeholders. The skill set of employees should also come under scrutiny. Implementation can fail if the organization lacks employees with the appropriate expertise. Plans must proactively be put into practice under the supervision of a project champion and any problems at the implementation stage must be sorted out to derive maximum benefit from the plans. As IT experts point out: “too often organizations fail to implement the recommendations from a SISP study.” An implementation strategy should therefore form an integral part of any strategic planning process.


2. Exploration Strategy Step - While exploitation strategy takes a structured, analytical, evaluative, and methodical approach to IS development, the nature of the beast is quite different in exploration strategy, which is about identifying opportunities for the innovative use of IT. While structured approaches can give some signposting for the innovative use of IT, they alone are not sufficient to nurture the creative talents of individuals within the organization. Exploration strategy specifically seeks to encourage and promote innovation and creativity and thereby achieve competitive or strategic advantage for the business. This will involve the use of unconventional approaches such as tinkering and improvisation to unleash the creative potential of bright sparks and visionaries in the organization. Individuals and/or teams might come up with fresh ideas and the feasibility of these ideas has to be tested by creating a prototype. Such experimentation/exploration must be encouraged, despite the possibility of its becoming costly, and may, in the majority of cases, need to be abandoned after the initial feasibility study. This should not involve harsh criticism or loss of face of individuals/ teams. Impact methodologies are part and parcel of any exploration strategy.

In summary, then, exploitation strategies, which take a methodical approach, are concerned with improving operational efficiency whereas exploration strategies, which make use of experimentation and prototyping, are meant to provide competitive/strategic advantage for the business. Both of these strategies are essential for a balanced SISP process. A great deal of work has also been done in the past couple of decades to understand the success factors of many of the strategic planning efforts. These include: organizational issues, resource issues, effectiveness of the planning methods used and the actual relevance of the plan, and, more importantly problems associated with implementing the plans themselves. Many researchers have also argued for an ongoing process of evaluation and review and the consideration of implementation as a critical issue. These calls are not always heeded and the reality is that, many IS planning decisions/documents, rather than being proactively implemented, are left to gather dust on the shelf or in many instances implemented only partially.

Another fundamental problem is that many still question the value of conducting strategic planning. For them, strategic planning is inappropriate/ineffective for responding to the modern fast-changing business world because, by the time plans are developed and implemented, business requirements will have changed (and/or technology moved on), rendering the plans obsolete. As IT expert has observed, many CIOs “have apparently responded to the forces of chaos by throwing in the towel on strategic planning.” His view resonates with that of IT experts, who point out that a lot of (Western) companies have abandoned the idea of a long-term IS planning process altogether. Also a more recent survey in the United States has shown that 39 percent of the respondents had no formal IT strategy at all. Some would go even further to suggest that the emergence of the Internet marks the death knell for strategies and strategic plans. Porter disagrees strongly: “In our quest to see how the Internet is different, we have failed to see how the Internet is the same. While a new means of conducting business has become available, the fundamentals of competition remain unchanged. The next stage of the Internet’s evolution will involve a shift in thinking from e-business to business, from e-strategy to strategy. Only by integrating the Internet into overall strategy will this powerful new technology become an equally powerful force for competitive advantage”.

IT expert sides with other and points out that the difficulty in sustaining a competitive position, because of the speed of imitation by rivals, actually strengthens rather than weakens the need for strategic planning. “As buyers become more powerful and business processes and systems more homogeneous, only the strategically astute companies will be able to rise above the competitive free-for-all.” He cites the success of Dell and Wal-Mart, which, despite the acquisition of sophisticated IT systems by competitors, are able to maintain their competitive position primarily through astute business and IT plans and strategies. IT expert believes that such chaotic times “make it more necessary than ever for the CIO to routinely take a strategic view.” IT expert agrees with another: “Strategic planning is more important today than ever before, and it is the very speed of change in today’s business climate which makes it so.” The case for conducting strategic planning is therefore well argued. The unanswered question, however, is: how should organizations go about conducting successful strategic planning? In this chapter we attempt to identify several dos and don’ts for success. More specifically, eight principles for successful strategic planning are identified from the prior literature, and case examples from organizations of contrasting size and structure that report effective IS planning efforts are described. This chapter also emphasizes the need for planning to be an ongoing activity and that IT systems that are planned and developed must be continuously repositioned and enhanced to enjoy long-term sustainable advantage. In the light of these principles is also carried out to determine whether they are valid in the real world of business.

Technical IT Skills/Application Development/Implementation Methodology Step - Technical IT skills are the skills needed to develop IT applications. Technical IT skills include analysis, design, and programming skills, understanding of operating systems, and experience with databases and networking protocols. While these skills can be very valuable, since they are widely available to firms—through hiring employees or consultants with these skills—they are usually not rare or costly to imitate, and thus, by themselves, they are not likely to be sources of distinctive advantages. However, if a firm’s programmers and analysts develop a specialized understanding of the firm’s processes and strategies and are able to conceive unique applications to improve customer service, then such an understanding of a firm’s processes and strategies can be a source of competitive advantage. In contrast to technical skills, application development methodology refers to the higher order (managerial) processes involved in collecting requirements and organizing the development and implementation of IT applications. Carnegie Mellon University’s capability maturity model (CMM) is an example of software development methodology. CMM refers to the structured approach to developing and implementing software applications. However, while it is clear that the requirements of each CMM level are well documented, few organizations have achieved the highest level (CMM level 5) of certification. As higher levels of CMM have been associated with more reliable/predictable, higher quality, and lower cost/cycle time of development firms at higher CMM levels have a competitive advantage in developing and implementing IT applications. Similarly, implementing large IT applications has proved to be a significant challenge. Since large IT applications are more about managing organizational change than about implementing software applications, this is not surprising. Thus, if a firm has figured out the social aspects of implementing IT projects, that firm can achieve a competitive advantage with application development/implementation methodology.


3. IT Platform Step - The IT platform is the set of shared capital resources that provides the foundation on which specific IT applications are built. The primary components of the IT platform are: (1) the computing platform (hardware and operating systems), and (2) the communications network. The characteristic of the IT platform makes the speed of implementation, cost, and value of new IT applications different for different firms. This characteristic is described as “flexibility.” A flexible IT platform allows for more rapid response to emerging business needs, whereas an inflexible IT platform gets in the way of some important initiatives, limiting the freedom of the company to respond to market forces and innovate. On the other hand, less flexible platforms may allow the efficient execution of a narrow and unchanging set of IT applications in a firm. The flexibility of the IT platform is manifested in the degree to which a firm’s data and applications can be shared and accessed throughout the organization. Such flexibility enables an organization to rapidly build and implement IT applications to respond to emerging market needs. A firm’s IT platform is also flexible to the extent that the firm adopts and enforces standards for the components of its IT platform to ensure connectivity and compatibility of its technology platform and share ability of its data and applications.

A flexible IT platform is a complex set of technological resources carefully planned for and developed over time. Because of its path-dependent nature, there can be significant differences across firms in how infrastructure is constituted. Moreover, these differences can be long lasting, since disassembling one platform and erecting a new one can be both costly and time consuming. To the extent that the flexibility of the IT platform varies across firms in an industry, and to the extent that a flexible IT platform enables firms to implement IT applications to support specific processes more efficiently and effectively, the variance in platform flexibility can explain differences in customer service across firms. To the extent that one firm can implement an IT-based strategy that its competitors cannot imitate because of an inflexible IT platform, a flexible IT platform is a strategic resource that can be a source of competitive advantage. A flexible IT platform is an investment for the future that enables the organization to respond quickly to the market. Therefore, though a flexible IT platform may improve the responsiveness of the IT organization, a flexible IT platform may not have any impact on the current level of performance. By investing in a standard platform that ensures compatibility/connectivity and facilitates the shareability of data across systems and units, an organization sets itself to respond quickly to market demands. Thus, though a flexible IT platform may not improve current performance, it may be necessary for the long-term competitiveness of the organization. Also, the more dynamic a firm’s environment, the more valuable a flexible IT platform can be to its long-term survival and growth. The IT platform is thus an enabler (of IT applications), just as highways are enablers of commerce. The IT platform by itself may not provide a competitive advantage, just as highways on their own do not lead to economic growth, but they provide the backbone for commerce that allows economic growth to take place.

A flexible IT platform is more valuable when the firm’s environment is dynamic, that is, when the firm actually requires flexibility to respond to changing customer requirements and different and unpredictable competitive moves. In very stable and mature industries where customer needs and competitors’ strategies are quite predictable, flexibility may not be very valuable. Investing in a flexible IT platform in such environments may actually hurt economic performance as it will increase the firm’s cost of IT operations without any commensurate benefits from the flexibility of its IT platform.


The degree of the relevant stakeholders’ support for higher payoffs from an IT investment is an issue of IS implementation plan. Different stakeholders create different kinds of uncertainties and risks. For example, in procurement-related settings, the success of an IT implementation is often based on what IT experts have called the “missing link”: the degree of actual usage by stakeholders involved with the deployed systems. Similar arguments apply regarding usage of systems that support trade services in international banking, where systems integration capabilities make it possible to achieve highly productive transactional support for trade services and the related banking business partners. The stakeholders can be of numerous kinds, including external stakeholders such as buyers and suppliers, and other industry and technology partners. They also can include internal business partners such as financial and accounting managers, or product design and development, and manufacturing operations staff members. In all of these cases, IT implementations are subject to a variety of relational risks that come up in principal–agent relationships.


Reference:
Information System Planning
Copyright 2005
by: William R. King


Last edited by felix a. sumalinog jr. on Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:12 am; edited 3 times in total
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Gabrielle Anne Rae Deseo

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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 4 (Due: December 17, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:17 pm

continuation....

2. Ask for experts suggestions

Though you are to provide plans you still have to ask for the experts advise because they know what is best for they have already gone through a lot.

The need for resources is a many-faceted issue. Some organizations are reluctant to commit to web accessibility, fearing that they do not have the necessary resources to follow-through on the commitment. Other organizations casually commit to accessibility without any intention of supporting this commitment in any real way. The process of making an accessible web site is not expensive, but it takes time to learn the techniques, and some kind of training is usually necessary, whether in the form of outside consultants, courses, workshops, or books. Ignoring the need for this kind of support will likely lead to frustrated web developers who feel that they have received a mandate with no knowledge of how to comply with it.
In some cases, the development process can be expensive, as in the case of accessible multimedia. If no resources are set aside for this sort of task, chances are low that the developers will produce an accessible product. However, in the overall scheme of multimedia development, the cost of adding accessibility features is relatively low. The multimedia product itself is expensive to produce.
It is always difficult to procure the money and other resources for large projects, but if the top level of an organization commits to accessibility, this provides justification for adding any costs associated with accessibility into the budget of projects. The leadership of the organization could even require that accessibility be a part of web projects. This will work best, of course, if the leadership actually sets aside some money for this purpose. Nobody likes the concept of unfunded mandates. At the very least, the leadership should provide educational resources, because once people learn the techniques of accessibility, it becomes an integral part of the web development process, rather than an expensive add-on.
At WebAIM, for example, we strive to make all of our content accessible. We could not easily give an accurate estimate of the amount of "extra time" that is required to make our content accessible. This time is not extra. It is required time. It is part of the process which we cannot separate out from the whole. And the truth is that the time We spend incorporating the accessibility features of our web content is minimal.

The real cost, and the real time investment in the development process is the up-front time of learning accessible design techniques. If an organization invests in training resources, most of the other development resource needs will diminish if not disappear.

3.Provide quality system suited for users- implementation

In the context of new devices and with a variety of network technologies that allow access to the Internet, the providers of e-learning materials have to ensure that the users have a positive experience using their e-learning systems and they are happy to re-use them. Adaptive Hypermedia research aims to provide personalised educational material that ensures a positive learning experience for the end-users. However, user experience is dependent not only on the content served to them, but also on the user perceived performance of the e-learning system. This leads to a new dimension of individual differences between Web users: the end-user Quality of Experience (QoE). We have proposed a solution for Adaptive Hypermedia Systems (AHS) that provides satisfactory end-user QoE through the use of a new QoE layer. This layer attempts to take into account multiple factors affecting QoE in relation to the delivery of a wide range of Web components such as text, images, video, audio.

The effectiveness of our QoE layer has been tested in comparison to a standard educational AHS and the results of these tests are presented in this paper. Different educational-based evaluation techniques such as learner achievement analysis, learning performance assessment, usability survey and correlation analysis between individual student performance and judgment on system usability were applied in order to fully assess the performance of the proposed QoE layer. Results of the tests showed that the use of the QoE layer brought significant improvements in terms of user learning performance, system usability and user satisfaction with the personalised e-learning system while not affecting the user learning achievement.

http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=2284052


4. Monitor maintenance

In the early days, home computers were largely self-referential; people used them because they were interested in them. Now, computers are usually used for real-world tasks, yet they still need some navel-gazing attention at times!

The basic routine maintenance tasks are:

·Data backup

·Malware management

·File system maintenance

User data is unique to the installation and cannot be replaced 'off the peg', and for that reason it is the central concern of system management. There's a more rigorous coverage of data management, safe computing and malware elsewhere on this site; this is an easy how-to.

Backup

To backup is to create a redundant copy, so that if anything should happen to the original file, you have recourse to the backup. The process can be as simple as copying files to diskettes, but this soon becomes a problem where files are too big for diskette, where there are too many files, or where too many diskettes are required.

A better solution is to use an archiver (such as WinZip) or a backup utility to create a single compressed file from a collection of data files, and to split this over as many diskettes as required. This uses fewer diskettes and allows large files to be backed up even if the file is larger than a diskette can hold.

For large data sets, you may need to use a bulk storage medium such as tape, Zip disk, CDR or similar. These are generally faster and more reliable than diskettes.

The systems I set up will usually have a facility to backup data and core system files to the hard drive, and another to copy the most recent of such backups to diskettes. You should use this whenever you have done more work than you would want to redo from scratch. If your work is saved outside the designated data subtree then it won't be backed up by this process; you will have to make your own arrangements to back it up (WinZip, copy, etc.)

Malware management

There's more on safe computing and malware. Malware includes viruses, worms, trojans, and increasingly invasive commercial applications, and management has several parts:

· Risk avoidance and evaluation - choice of applications and system setup

· Risk avoidance and evaluation - user education and safe computing practice

· Risk detection and destruction - choice and use of antivirus software

· Keeping abreast of malware - antivirus updates and ongoing user education

Simply running an antivirus utility is not enough, even if it is kept up to date!

For best performance, you can use on-demand rather than on-access antivirus scanners - but this requires the user to know when to use this, and act accordingly.

Updating an antivirus generally involves these steps:

· Go to antivirus vendor's web site via (say) Internet Explorer

· Navigate to the download section of the site

· Download any updates that are relevant, noting where these are saved

· Extract files from downloaded archive to the antivirus program directory

Some Windows-based antivirus utilities may automate this process to some extent, by accessing the Internet directly from within the program. You should check for updates at least once a week, and make sure your antivirus data files do not become more than a month out of date.

File system maintenance

Much can be done during system setup to improve the survivability, maintainability and recoverability of the file system and its data, as discussed on the data management page. Thereafter, there are three tasks required on a regular basis:

· Check that sufficient free space is available; ideally 50M+ on C: volume

· Check the file system for errors, and manage these

· Defragment the file system once it is known to be error-free

The tools used here are Windows Explorer (or its "My Computer" incarnation), ScanDisk, and Defrag. If free space is low, you can clear .TMP files from the Windows base directory.

http://cquirke.mvps.org/9x/maintain.htm


5. Grant flexibility for possible enhancements

While insufficient flexibility of an information system to support a business process precludes the use of the system in certain cases, excessive flexibility of an information system can limit the usability of the system (Silver 1991), in addition to presenting an unnecessary investment. Despite a wealth of research on flexibility and its impacts on organizations and business processes (esp. manufacturing), the value of flexibility of an information system and the price at which it comes have rarely been included into the analysis, with the result that guidelines to determine an appropriate level of flexibility of an information system to support a given business process have not been developed. To support decisions regarding information system flexibility, the current paper presents an optimization model to relate business process characteristics (uncertainty, variability, and time−criticality) with two basic types of information system flexibility (built−in flexibility to use the information system and flexibility to change the information system). Based on an analysis of the model, we conclude that the focus of information system management should be on flexibility to change the information system in order to support processes of high uncertainty, while situations of low uncertainty tend to call for a focus on built−in flexibility to use the information system. The model also shows that very high process variability can limit the value of investments in an information system altogether, thus, improving the importance of careful flexibility and investment management, while a high level of time−criticality generally tends to increase the benefits of using an information system over manual processing.

http://www.business.illinois.edu/Working_Papers/papers/05-0112.pdf


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Norena T. Nicdao

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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 4 (Due: December 17, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:19 pm

If I were given a chance to prepare an IS plan in a university for the improvement of our school in Information System (IS). Before I discuss about planning I would probably suggest first that the school must find an Information Technology (IT) expert to share us new kinds of Information Technology (IT) that our school should adopt. For example, new facility use in studying. Our school should also consult different Information Technology (IT) Companies of what is the best technology who teach the student. In my personal views about outsourcing, our school is a state university means we can ask the government to give us support in improving our quality education in Information Technology (IT) by asking them to provide manpower which is expert in Information Technology (IT) and also give us latest facilities such as new computers. In outsourcing the school should discover a students who has a special talent and skills in Information Technology (IT) such as a student who is expert in making a programs, developing new gadgets and etc. by giving them a special attention. The school should give the student an assistance to improve more his or her talent and skills.

We know nowadays, technology is improving faster, when we talk in communication, years ago there is only a telephone but now we used mobile phones and sometimes we can have an internet service there that's why the school should give an attention to give the students a knowledge in Information Technology (IT) so that we can go with a new technology. We like it or not we should know to use computers this days because if we apply for a job the employer should ask if we are computer illiterate.

By that suggestions there would be a plan for the implementation. For me, planning is important because it organize and guide us to have a good result in our projects. As what I've learn in our MIS 2 subject there are lots of steps and information which can help about planning a project and have a good implementation to a establishment.

What is Planning?

Planning in organizations and public policy is both the organizational process of creating and maintaining a plan; and the psychological process of thinking about the activities required to create a desired goal on some scale. As such, it is a fundamental property of intelligent behavior. This thought process is essential to the creation and refinement of a plan, or integration of it with other plans, that is, it combines forecasting of developments with the preparation of scenarios of how to react to them.
The term is also used to describe the formal procedures used in such an endeavor, such as the creation of documents diagrams, or meetings to discuss the important issues to be addressed, the objectives to be met, and the strategy to be followed. Beyond this, planning has a different meaning depending on the political or economic context in which it is used.
Two attitudes to planning need to be held in tension: on the one hand we need to be prepared for what may lie ahead, which may mean contingencies and flexible processes. On the other hand, our future is shaped by consequences of our own planning and actions.
Planning is a process for accomplishing purpose. It is blue print of business growth and a road map of development. It helps in deciding objectives both in quantitative and qualitative terms. It is setting of goals on the basis of objectives and keeping in view the resources.

This step involves interpreting your aims and intended outcomes to create a curriculum plan that has a clear focus on what is to be learned, how learning will take place and how it will be assessed.
What do you want to achieve?
It is essential to be very clear about the aims and intended learning outcomes of experiences outside the classroom experiences. Here are some common features of learning outside the classroom that you may want to build into your plans:

• knowledge, skills and understanding – related to subjects or learning outside the classroom activity
• Every Child Matters – achieving the five outcomes underpins the planning and delivery of extended services in and around schools
• social, citizenship or sustainability education, for example values, attitudes, aesthetic awareness
• personal skills, for example problem solving, self-reliance, independence, teamwork
• personal enjoyment and motivation
• adding value through building in, for example, ICT, literacy and numeracy.

How do you provide continuity and progression?
These issues are key to the success of curriculum design. Perhaps the most obvious place to begin is from the perspective of the individual learner.

Do all learners have sufficient opportunities for learning outside the classroom?
Are opportunities varied to suit learning needs? (age, key stage, SEN)
Does your planning build on prior learning outside the classroom to provide challenge– within and across phases and key stages? Find out whether your school is using the TDA School Improvement Planning Framework.

How do you plan time?
Issues arising from inflexibility in curriculum design are often cited as barriers to learning outside the classroom taking place. A range of strategies have been used in many schools to provide solutions, instead of the 45-minute to one-hour lesson as the basic building block of the timetable. Simple changes in the way in which time is chunked can strongly affect learners’ experiences of schooling and facilitate learning outside the classroom. Different approaches are being designed that give the learner a varied experience of the school day, week, term and year.





What should a plan be?

A plan should be a realistic view of the expectations. Depending upon the activities, a plan can be long range, intermediate range or short range. It is the framework within which it must operate. For management seeking external support, the plan is the most important document and key to growth. Preparation of a comprehensive plan will not guarantee success, but lack of a sound plan will almost certainly ensure failure.
Purpose of Plan
Just as no two organizations are alike, so also their plans. It is therefore important to prepare a plan keeping in view the necessities of the enterprise. A plan is an important aspect of business. It serves the following three critical functions:
Helps management to clarify, focus, and research their business's or project's development and prospects.
Provides a considered and logical framework within which a business can develop and pursue business strategies over the next three to five years.
Offers a benchmark against which actual performance can be measured and reviewed.
Importance of the planning Process
A plan can play a vital role in helping to avoid mistakes or recognize hidden opportunities. Preparing a satisfactory plan of the organization is essential. The planning process enables management to understand more clearly what they want to achieve, and how and when they can do it.
A well-prepared business plan demonstrates that the managers know the business and that they have thought through its development in terms of products, management, finances, and most importantly, markets and competition.
Planning helps in forecasting the future, makes the future visible to some extent. It bridges between where we are and where we want to go. Planning is looking ahead.
Essentials of planning
Planning is not done off hand. It is prepared after careful and extensive research. For a comprehensive business plan, management has to
1.Clearly define the target / goal in writing.
1.It should be set by a person having authority.
2.The goal should be realistic.
3.It should be specific.
4.Acceptability
5.Easily measurable
2.Identify all the main issues which need to be addressed.
3.Review past performance.
4.Decide budgetary requirement.
5.Focus on matters of strategic importance.
6.What are requirements and how will they be met?
7.What will be the likely length of the plan and its structure?
8.Identify shortcomings in the concept and gaps.
9.Strategies for implementation.
10.Review periodically.


As practiced by local or national government, the direction of development. Proposed changes are scrutinized, and planning permission is only given if the development does not conflict with agreed aims.

Planning presupposes an ability to foresee events and a capability for analysing situations and solving problems—See environmental impact assessment—and policy varies with political outlook. Until 1977 the building of new housing was based on the principle of ‘predict and provide’. Environmental activism, and public resistance, have eroded this policy; predictions are now guidelines for Regional Planning Authorities who must also give weight to the spatial implications of any new development.

Any developer refused planning permission may make an appeal to the Secretary of State for the Environment, who will consider both sides of the proposal and may suggest an altered plan. Planning blight is the adverse effect of a proposed development, such as a motorway, which could cause a drop in house prices. If the landowner cannot dispose of the property, or cannot make as much use of it as was previously possible, he or she may serve a purchasing notice on the planning department of the local authority. See externality.

The ‘new’ planning issues include: regional and local economic decline, as in the inner cities (See regional inequality); understanding regeneration processes; lessening social exclusion by improving accessibility to quality services; consumerism versus ‘greenfield’ in housing; planning for environmentally sustainable development; and the exploration of issues of public versus popular control: is it always ‘nimbyist’ to protect localities?

Personal Planning Steps

Assess Your Risk of Needing Long-Term Care Services
While you can never know for certain if you will need long-term care, assessing your risk factors can help you understand if you are at a higher or lower risk. Begin by talking with your doctor about whether you might be at increased risk based on your medical and family history or lifestyle choices. You will gain a better understanding of your risks, and your doctor may be able to help you decrease your risk. You should also review other risk factors, such as gender, listed in the Understanding LTC section of this website.
Investigate Opportunities to Help Maintain Your Health and Independence 
Many people fail to make the connection between healthy behaviors today and their impact on later life, but the science of aging indicates that chronic disease and disability are not always inevitable. Studies by the National Institute of Aging indicate that healthy eating, physical activity, mental stimulation, not smoking, active social engagement, moderate use of alcohol, maintaining a safe environment, social support, and regular health care are important in maintaining health and independence. 
Even if you haven’t been active in the past, it’s not too late to start. You can begin by reviewing the information on healthy lifestyles and programs in the Resources section of this website. 
• Talk with Your Family about Caregiving
It is estimated that individuals turning 65 today could need up to 3 years of long-term care services, with almost 2 years of that care provided at home.  Currently most care provided in the home is by an unpaid family member or other caregiver. You should talk to your family (spouse, adult children, siblings) or friends who would want to, or be able to, care for you if you became ill or disabled for a long time. Or, you might already be a caregiver for someone else.  In either case, it is important for you and your family to understand how caregiving activities can affect you and your family, and what resources and supports are available. 
The Resources section of this site provides a range of information and supports including the Administration on Aging’s Caregiver Resource Room, and other sites where you can share your story and read other caregiver’s stories, and learn more about programs and resources for caregivers. In addition, in the Understanding LTC section you can review the home and community-based services that can supplement unpaid caregiving, or provide respite for a caregiver.
Think about Where You Want to Receive Care
If you were to need care for an extended period of time, and were not able to stay at home, where would you want to receive care? If you need more information on long-term care services, review the list of services and providers in Understanding LTC. One way to find out what services are in your community is by contacting the Administration on Aging's Eldercare Locator

Financial Planning Steps
Review Your Current Insurance Coverage
Do you know if your current health care insurance would pay if you needed to be in a nursing home or needed care at home for an extended illness? Unless you have purchased a specific long-term care insurance policy, your existing medical coverage, Medicare, Medicare supplement, or HMO will provide little if any coverage for long-term care. Review the policies you have with your insurance advisor or benefits counselor to learn what is covered and what is not.
Decide if You Can or Want to Pay for Long-Term Care Privately
If you don't have coverage for long-term care or prefer to pay out of your own resources, do you know if you would be able to cover all the costs from your retirement income and savings? Think about the financial resources you have and how you feel about using them to pay for long-term care. This could include various sources of income (for example, Social Security, pension, interest income, dividends from investments, payments from an IRA or 401 (k)), as well as cash, savings, stocks and bonds, and your home.

The Long-Term Care Savings Calculator can give you a rough idea of how much you might need and whether you would be able or want to use your private resources to cover long-term care services.
Investigate Future Insurance or Benefits You Expect or May Qualify for in Retirement
It is important to know and understand what your future benefits will cover, if you are not yet retired. If you only have Medicare, even with a Medicare supplemental plan, most of your long-term care services may not be covered. If you have limited resources, now or in the future, Medicaid may pay for your services. More information on Medicare, Medicaid and other public programs can be found in the Paying for Long-Term Care section of this website. You can also go to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [offsite] web site for more information on Medicare and Medicaid.
Find Out What Other Resources Can Help Cover Long-Term Care Expenses
Most people currently don't have coverage or do not have enough private funds to pay for all their long-term care needs, particularly if service needs are extensive or last a long time. There are an increasing number of private payment options available for this purpose. Two of the more common options are long-term care insurance and reverse mortgages. Review private financing options carefully to ensure that you understand all the details, eligibility requirements, and costs. Read about the range of private long-term care financing options in the Paying for Long-Term Care section of this web site.


10 STEPS TO THE SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF A PROJECT
PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT SOLUTION

Drawing on the experience of companies that have successfully implemented a new project portfolio management system, there are a number of important steps that have been identified which can maximise the chances of a smooth transition and implementation.

1. PROBLEM RECOGNITION
Senior management must recognise that resistance to change is a potential problem. There needs to be an acceptance that some time, budget and internal resources should to be allocated to deal with this.
2. CLEAR OBJECTIVES
Senior management must have a clearly defined statement of objectives for the system, detailing the expected benefits. Without this it will be impossible to determine whether the implementation is a success from a business perspective.
3. IMPLEMENTATION MANAGER
An internal manager should be appointed to co-ordinate the implementation. This person should be given the necessary skills and authority to guide users through the new procedures and promote their adoption of the project portfolio management system.
4. REVIEW PROCEDURES
Existing procedures must be understood by all system users and clearly documented. Any proposed changes to these procedures should be highlighted and the benefits detailed and communicated to all system users.
5. INVOLVE ‘EXPERTS’
Highly respected and influential individuals must be involved in the planning process and should be consulted early on in the process so that any valid points they may have can be factored into the final solution.
6. COMMUNICATION
All staff and contractors whose work is affected by the new system should be briefed about the objectives of the system, the expected outcomes and the timeline for implementation. It should be made clear at this stage that old systems WILL be removed at a specific time in the future, thereby encouraging everyone to be involved.
7. TRAINING
All staff and contractors involved in using the new project portfolio management system should be provided with appropriate training within the context of their roles. This training should also include any new procedures that are to be adopted. Training should not be a one-off event. Staff turnover and new project contractors often results in new users attempting to figure out how a system works and learn on the job. Inevitably some expertise is lost with a change of staff and over time this can degrade the performance of the team. In the long run it is simpler and more cost-effective to have new starters and contractors properly trained, possibly combining this with a refresher course for existing staff.
8. IMPLEMENTATION REVIEW TEAM
An internal Implementation Review Team should be established comprising key personnel who will be involved with the new system e.g. project managers and resource/line managers. Weekly meetings, chaired by the Implementation Manager, should be held during the implementation process to highlight any perceived problems and discuss resolutions.
9. OLD SYSTEM SHUT-DOWN
At a pre-designed date, that has been communicated to all staff and contractors, the old system should be shut down and removed from company hardware, after giving reminders in the run up to the date.
10. VENDOR CLINICS
Building on the work done by the Implementation Review Team, a good system vendor will offer clinics to review and resolve teething issues and provide additional training if necessary.

Eight common management mistakes that should be avoided;

There are a number of common management mistakes that can lead to users
resisting adoption of a new system:
1. ABDICATION
Senior management appoint a manager to oversee the implementation of an new project portfolio management system and then turn its attention to other matters assuming that all will be well, without any further involvement from them.
2. POOR COMMUNICATION
Senior management believe that everyone will conform to a new set of procedures for planning and managing projects without having communicated the reasons behind the implementation to the users of the system.
3. FAILURE TO TACKLE NON-CONFORMISTS
Often senior management is aware of one or two dissenters in the organisation but they rely upon the introduction of the new system to improve these individual’s productivity and performance, within the new project management processes, rather than tackling them head-on through direct communication.
4. WEAK MANAGEMENT
Senior management often have a mistaken belief that the new project portfolio management system alone will introduce and enforce new processes.
5. NOT COMMUNICATING OBJECTIVES
Senior management have recognised the potential return on investment that can be achieved from the new project portfolio management system, but have not explained this to the implementation manager to engage their support and promote adoption of the system throughout the organisation.
6. POORLY SPECIFIED SOLUTION
Senior management believe that it is the responsibility of the software supplier to design and implement a complete solution in isolation and fail to appreciate that the organisation and its key personnel are a vital part of that solution.
7. FAILURE TO ANTICIPATE RESISTANCE
Senior management do not recognise there will be a natural resistance to accepting and adopting the new system by many users and fail to devise a plan to overcome this.
8. FEAR OF THE ‘EXPERT’
A special mention must be given to one of the greatest threats to a successful implementation of a new system, fear of the ‘expert’. In a typical scenario, senior management is dependent upon a highly
respected and influential project manager. Failure to engage with these knowledgeable individuals to harness their experience and help them to embrace the changes can result in them being allowed to continue to plan their projects in their own way, using the old system. This is the worst of all outcomes for the business that now has two systems running in parallel with some people embracing the new technology and those, loyal to the powerful ‘expert’, using the old system. The chances of completing a successful implementation can be seriously hampered by any one of these mistakes. Making multiple mistakes without taking corrective action is almost consigning the implementation to failure.

Implementation is the realization of an application, or execution of a plan, idea, model, design, specification, standard, algorithm, or policy.
In computer science, an implementation is a realization of a technical specification or algorithm as a program, software component, or other computer system. Many implementations may exist for a given specification or standard. For example, web browsers contain implementations of World Wide Web Consortium-recommended specifications, and software development tools contain implementations of programming languages.
In the IT Industry, implementation refers to post-sales process of guiding a client from purchase to use of the software or hardware that was purchased. This includes Requirements Analysis, Scope Analysis, Customizations, Systems Integrations, User Policies, User Training and Delivery. These steps are often overseen by a Project Manager using Project Management Methodologies set forth in the Project Management Body of Knowledge. Software Implementations involve several professionals that are relatively new to the knowledge based economy such as Business Analysts, Technical Analysts, Solutions Architect, and Project Managers.
In political science, implementation refers to the carrying out of public policy. Legislatures pass laws that are then carried out by public servants working in bureaucratic agencies. This process consists of rule-making, rule-administration and rule-adjudication. Factors impacting implementation include the legislative intent, the administrative capacity of the implementing bureaucracy, interest group activity and opposition, and presidential or executive support.


Implementation process. The implementation process includes the following four steps:

1.Mapping. The mapping stage covers a detailed analysis of customer's requirements and consequently the adaptation of ATLANTIS ERP software to the operations through the configuration process. Based on a detailed checklist following elaborate planning, design, scheduling and implementation, the end result of this stage is the formulation and configuration of company's operational model.
2.Piloting. The piloting stage essentially tests the predefined model and includes strategic issues such as:
Advanced key users training;
Generation of internal documentation;
Data conversion plan finalization;
System application management finalization;
Customisations / adaptations completion;
External interface specifications & testing completion;
Agreement on final business solution;
Integration and testing.
3.Data Migration. This stage covers the data migration to ATLANTIS. Furthermore, the following essential events are conducted:
Installation at customer's site;
Data conversion and data migration;
Final configuration of the Information System;
Parallel running of the old and the new system;
End users training.
4.Optimisation. This stage includes optimisation of the system based on the targets set by the company according to the functionality, control, development and completion of the information system.


Implementation problems

Internal problems e.g change of management
External problems e.g. changing competition
Poor planning e.g. Hoover’s flight tickets
Poor intelligence e.g. 1985 Coca-Cola
Poor execution
Implementing a programme - an action checklist
Agree the implementation strategy
Agree a timeframe
Draw up detailed implementation plans
Set up a team of stakeholders
Establish good project management
Personalise the case for change
Ensure participation
Create a sense of purpose and urgency to tackle real problems which have prevented progress in the past
motivate
be prepared for conflict
Be willing to negotiate
Anticipate stress
Build skills
Build in the capacity for learning
Monitor and evaluate

References:

www.marketingteacher.com/powerpoint/k.Implementation 11.ppt
http://www.unisoft.bg/implementation_en.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implementation
http://www.teamplan.co.uk/products/pdf/10%20steps%20to%20successful%20implementation.pdf
http://www.longtermcare.gov/LTC/Main_Site/Planning_LTC/Considerations/index.aspx
http://www.answers.com/topic/planning
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planning
http://www.lotc.org.uk/pdf/1.3.2%20Step%202%20Planning.pdf[url=http://www.marketingteacher.com/powerpoint/k.Implementation 11.ppt http://www.unisoft.bg/implementation_en.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implementation http://www.teamplan.co.uk/products/pdf/10%20steps%20to%20successful%20implementation.pdf http://www.longtermcare.gov/LTC/Main_Site/Planning_LTC/Considerations/index.aspx http://www.answers.com/topic/planning http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planning http://www.lotc.org.uk/pdf/1.3.2%20Step%202%20Planning.pdf]www.marketingteacher.com/powerpoint/k.Implementation 11.ppt http://www.unisoft.bg/implementation_en.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implementation http://www.teamplan.co.uk/products/pdf/10%20steps%20to%20successful%20implementation.pdf http://www.longtermcare.gov/LTC/Main_Site/Planning_LTC/Considerations/index.aspx http://www.answers.com/topic/planning http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planning http://www.lotc.org.uk/pdf/1.3.2%20Step%202%20Planning.pdf[/url]
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athina alorro

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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 4 (Due: December 17, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:25 pm


The first time I saw the minimum words required for this assignment, I was stunned. I can barely make 3000 words and now I have to make 5000 words?
But during contemplation, I realized that this is maybe because our professor would like us to be detailed enough on relaying our ideas to help expedite the implementation of the IS Plan for the university. If this is one way for me to return the favor to the university that honed me, then I would gladly help. Anything to help the university. hehe

This kind of activity is actually part of my 6th step which is to inform and involve the students for us to be aware and potentially help out for the implementation of the IS Plan. After all, the people that would majorly benefit from the success of the implementation of the IS Plan would be us - the students. Right?

In making this assignment, I tried my best to deliver the steps on how to expedite the IS plan of the university according to my own perspective. I based it from the learnings from previous discussions and also from the insights given to me by the IT people that I interviewed.

In order to expedite the implementation of the Information System Plan for the university, here are the steps that I thought that should be taken:

1. Expedite the gathering of the necessary baseline information

This is the part where we gather the necessary data and evidences to support the IS plan. This will also serve as the basis on what problems should be solved and what are the requirements needed for the expected output of the plan. The cooperation of the different offices in the university is also crucial because they have some of the necessary documents to support the ISP. If the needed documents are properly provided, then it would hasten the process of assessment needed in making the IS plan.

2. Sharpen up the IS action plan

Based on our previous discussions, we already know that planning is very important in developing any kind of system. The Information System Plan is very crucial for implementation because this will serve as guide for the whole implementation process. The ISP will answer the following questions such as:

How much is going where?
Who is doing what?
And when is it going to happen?

Those are the critical questions that need to be answered and supported with proper documentations and evidences provided by the first step which is the gathering of the necessary baseline information. According to Michael Gorman, no information system plan is perfect the first time it is made. There can be loop holes that are missed that can be very troublesome if not addressed.

According also to Michael Gorman, there are certain characteristics of an information systems plan that are desirable to produce in order to achieve optimal performance. These are the following: Timely, Usable, Maintainable, Quality, and Reproducible. He added that the ISP must be timely. An ISP that is created long after it is needed is useless. In almost all cases, it makes no sense to take longer to plan work than to perform the work planned. The ISP must be useable. It must be so for all the projects as well as for each project. The ISP should exist in sections that once adopted can be parceled out to project managers and immediately started. The ISP must be maintainable. New business opportunities, new computers, business mergers, etc. all affect the ISP. The ISP must support quick changes to the estimates, technologies employed, and possibly even to the fundamental project sequences. While the ISP must be a quality product, no ISP is ever perfect on the first try. As the ISP is executed, the metrics employed to derive the individual project estimates become refined as a consequence of new hardware technologies, code generators, techniques, or faster working staff. The ISP must be reproducible. That is, when its development activities are performed by any other staff, the ISP produced should essentially be the same.
Technical and information architecture, technology standards, and organizational vision are critical to long-term success and stability of information systems. Therefore, they should be well defined and supported in the IS plan itself.


3. Secure administration commitment

Once the Information System Plan has been polished, then it is time to present it to the top level administration of the university. One of difficulties in information system planning is getting the top management to understand the strategic role of information systems. This could be a challenge because the admin will look at it differently compared to the primary clients on the lower level. Without the approval of the top-level management, the proposed plan will be in vain. If the top-level management will not see the significance of the ISP, then it would be impossible to get the implementation started.

4. Secure financial sources

According to one of the systems analyst that I interviewed, he mentioned that in any information system plan or development of a system - budget is everything. He added that without the necessary budget, there can be no action that can be done to support any plan or development. The budget serves as the fuel that keeps the development going. However, if there is a budget but is insufficient then there is a big possibility of a snail-paced of the planning as well as the actual implementation or worse failure of the project. Financial resources can be obtained from the university fund itself, government agencies, NGOs and other funding institutions. I know that financial support can be difficult to secure but as long as there is commitment and cooperation with the university members – anything is possible.


5. Secure institutional commitment: Faculty and Staff Engagement

Once there is top level commitment with the proposed IS plan, the institutional commitment should be also secured. The key person in charge for the implementation of the Information System Plan would be the faculty and staff so it is also important to secure their commitment. Without their commitment, then the IS Plan will not be properly implemented and therefore will result to failure. During one of our discussions in the subject MIS, we learned that it is important for all the members of an organization to ‘embrace’ the game plan. If there is one member not committed, it would affect the whole plan negatively.

6. Involve and inform the students

It is also important to involve and inform the students to make them appreciate the whole process of the IS plan and the implementation itself. The students can be involved by relaying suggestions concerning the improvement of our Information System through their student leaders or through discussion forums. Students can provide inputs or insights that are overlooked by the IS planners. Their ideas can potentially contribute to the improvement of IS plan of the university.

In conclusion, the main keyword to expedite the IS plan for the university is COMMITMENT. If everyone is committed to change the existing condition of our university for the better then it shall be done. Anything is possible as long as there is determination, proper planning and proper action to change.


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Joan Rose P. Dandoy

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PostSubject: Assignment 4   Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:25 pm

PurposeAccording to a site, the purpose of System Implementation can be summarized as follows: making the new system available to a prepared set of users (the deployment), and positioning on-going support and maintenance of the system within the Performing Organization (the transition). At a finer level of detail, deploying the system consists of executing all steps necessary to educate the Consumers on the use of the new system, placing the newly developed system into production, confirming that all data required at the start of operations is available and accurate, and validating that business functions that interact with the system are functioning properly. Transitioning the system support responsibilities involves changing from a system development to a system support and maintenance mode of operation, with ownership of the new system moving from the Project Team to the Performing Organization.

A key difference between System Implementation and all other phases of the lifecycle is that all project activities up to this point have been performed in safe, protected, and secure environments,
where project issues that arise have little or no impact on day-to-day business operations. Once the system goes live, however, this is no longer the case. Any miscues at this point will almost certainly translate into direct operational and/or financial impacts on the Performing Organization. It is through the careful planning, execution, and management of System Implementation activities that the Project Team can minimize the likelihood of these occurrences, and determine appropriate contingency plans in the event of a problem.

List of Processes

This phase consists of the following processes:
_ Prepare for System Implementation, where all steps needed in advance of actually deploying the application are performed, including preparation of both the production environment and the Consumer communities.
_ Deploy System, where the full deployment plan, initially developed during System Design and evolved throughout subsequent lifecycle phases, is executed and validated.
_ Transition to Performing Organization, where responsibility for and ownership of the application are transitioned from the Project Team to the unit in the Performing Organization that will provide system support and maintenance.



List of Roles
The following roles are involved in carrying out the processes of this phase. Detailed descriptions of these roles can be found in the Introductions to Sections I and III.
_ Project Manager
_ Project Sponsor
_ Business Analyst
_ Data/Process Modeler
_ Technical Lead/Architect
_ Application Developers
_ Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Lead
_ Technical Services (HW/SW, LAN/WAN, TelCom)
_ Information Security Officer (ISO)
_ Technical Support (Help Desk, Documentation, Trainers)
_ Customer Decision-Maker
_ Customer Representative
_ Consumer
_ Performing Organization
_ Stakeholders


List of Deliverables
The following table lists all System Implementation processes, some techniques available for use in executing these processes, and process outcomes and deliverables.



PREPARE FOR SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION
Purpose
The purpose of Prepare for System Implementation is to take all possible steps to ensure that the upcoming system deployment and transition occurs smoothly, efficiently, and flawlessly.

Description
In the implementation of any new system, it is necessary to ensure that the Consumer community is best positioned to utilize the system once deployment efforts have been validated. Therefore, all necessary training activities must be scheduled and coordinated. As this training is often the first exposure to the system for many individuals, it should be conducted as professionally and competently
as possible. A positive training experience is a great first step towards Customer acceptance of the system. During System Implementation it is essential that everyone involved be absolutely synchronized with the deployment plan and with each other. Often the performance of deployment efforts impacts many of the Performing Organization’s normal business operations. Examples of these impacts include:
_ Consumers may experience a period of time in which the systems that they depend on to perform their jobs are temporarily unavailable to them. They may be asked to maintain detailed manual records or logs of business functions that they perform to be entered into the new system once it is operational.
_ Technical Services personnel may be required to assume significant implementation responsibilities while at the same time having to continue current levels of service on other critical business systems.
_ Technical Support personnel may experience unusually high volumes of support requests due to the possible disruption of day-to-day processing.

Because of these and other impacts, the communication of planned deployment activities to all parties involved in the project is critical. A smooth deployment requires strong leadership, planning, and communications. By this point in the project lifecycle, the team will have spent countless hours devising and refining the steps to be followed. During this preparation process the Project Manager must verify that all conditions that must be met prior to initiating deployment activities have been met, and that the final ‘green light’ is on for the team to proceed.

The final process within the System Development Lifecycle is to transition ownership of the system support responsibilities to the Performing Organization. In order for there to be an efficient and effective transition, the Project Manager should make sure that all involved parties are aware of the transition plan, the timing of the various transition activities, and their role in its execution. Due to the number of project participants in this phase of the SDLC, many of the necessary conditions and activities may be beyond the direct control of the Project Manager. Consequently, all Project Team members with roles in the implementation efforts must understand the plan, acknowledge their responsibilities, recognize the extent to which other implementation efforts are dependent upon them, and confirm their commitment.

Phase Risks / Ways to Avoid Pitfalls
PITFALL #1 – DAMN THE TORPEDOES, FULL SPEED AHEAD!
Admiral David “Old Salamander” Farragut may have won the battle of Mobile Bay in 1864 with that command, but for a typical Project Manager, a planned “freeze point” should serve far better when the first mine explodes under the new system.

During the course of System Implementation, the Project Manager should have many points where the process can be frozen while the minesweepers fan out or a hole is patched. Think of it as a space shuttle countdown – NASA has frozen the clock with as little as 31 seconds before launch when the conditions warrant and a problem was discovered.

Having multiple pre-planned go/no go points during. Implementation will spare you many grey hairs and sleepless nights.

PITFALL #2 – ABANDON SHIP! WE MESSED UP PRODUCTION!
The more extensive and complex the system, the better the chance that something will go wrong in production, no matter how well the System Acceptance phase went. That’s why it behooves the Project Manager not only to execute a comprehensive check of the entire production environment EVERY time anything is moved to production, but also to have an orderly fall-back plan for restoring production to a workable condition when – not if – something goes wrong.
Some error conditions are obvious and unmistakable – wrong heading on a screen, an improperly calculated total on a report; others are insidious in their perniciousness – a database update mechanism that deletes rows infrequently and at random, or miscalculates results by a small fraction. Those conditions may persist for days before being detected, and present insurmountable challenges in absence of a deliberate plan for retreat.

Save snapshots of the database; concatenate transactions; mothball but do not discard older versions of application code. Be ready to roll back or to jump back and roll forward – as long as you are not rolling off the deck of a sinking ship.

PITFALL #3 – IT’S ALL MY FAULT!
There is enough blame to go around in a typical System Implementation scenario. Something gets forgotten, something does not work right, something happens that is not planned for… and a good first step in fixing the problem is acknowledging the responsibility for it. However, sometimes the fault is not yours – even if someone is convinced it is. Take, for example, a Consumer’s reaction to the new system, especially if said Consumer was not directly involved in System Acceptance. It is possible, indeed likely, that some feature of the new system will be at odds with what the Consumer thinks
it ought to be. After all, it was requested by somebody else, and somebody else again built it. So a vocal Consumer will complain that the new system is wrong.

This situation is dangerous on two fronts: first, if accepted on its face value, it may mean rework, delays or worse; second, if not handled correctly, it may taint the perception of the new system and may lead to more complaints.

This is another case where solid, signed documentation really pays off. Prove that the functionality works just as it was requested. Enlist the help of the Project Sponsor, the Customer Decision-Makers, and any other “persuasive peers” (who are most likely just as anxious to have the system well received as you are), to explain the rationale behind design decisions and the process for change. And don’t accept any more blame than is properly yours.


PITFALL #4 – THE IMPLEMENTATION THAT NEVER ENDS
There is a song that never ends, it just goes on and on, my friends… at least until you stop singing it (probably because people are throwing things at you). But what if you are stuck in the Implementation phase that just does not seem to end? As soon as you fix all the technical problems, a Consumer reports a new bug, and you go through the cycle of fixing and testing and moving and checking, and then another Customer requests an urgent change, and the implementation cycle starts all over again, and then you encounter another technical issue, and it just goes on and on and on…


Implementation of the technology plan will be the most complicated and time consuming part of the process. It is important to allow yourself at least one year before the actual implementation starting day to make all the necessary arrangements. Your plans will depend on many things including the size of your district, status of your existing technology program, skill set of your teachers and administrators and size of your technology staff. Your plan may need to be implemented all at once or over the course of several years, phasing in different stages.
Your technology plan has been accepted by the district. Its time to plan the implementation. At least six months to a year prior to beginning the implementation, several elements of the plan will be carried out simultaneously by several different groups.

The progress of the project should be documented in writing and communicated to all persons involved. A good checklist should be developed to organize the associated details.

A sample checklist:

•Describe goals & objectives (as outlined in the Technology Plan)
•Identify participant’s roles and responsibilities
•Identify impacts
•Design methods to deal with impacts
•Identify resources needed and available
•Identify the completion date desired
•Identify the constraints
•Break the implementation into steps
•Identify milestones / decision points
•Design project paths
•Design tracking methods
•Schedule team meetings
•Design communication methods
•Design technical support
•Design professional development

The technical staff implementing developed technology must not only manage the deployment of the hardware and software, but they must also cope with the daily activities of the school district while they prepare for the transition to the new technology. Project management skills are necessary to provide as smooth a job as possible for all involved.

References:

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Technology_Planning/Implementation_Plan

http://www.oft.state.ny.us/pmmp/guidebook2/SystemImplement.pdf



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charmaine_dayanan

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PostSubject: steps to expedite IS plan implementation in the university - PART 1   Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:26 pm

It has been discussed in various studies by most experts in the past years until now that strategic planning for the business operations of an organization is a very crucial part in targeting towards the success of the company. An information system, as I have discussed in my earlier posts, contains so much of the essential data and gathered facts about the company that it is considered as a critical unit inside the company. That is why planning which is prepared primarily for the business operations and processes alone as most people perceive it to be, also has to be tactically deliberated for the information system (IS).

Information Systems Strategic Planning

Let me talk first about IS plan and its strategic approach. So why plan? Any organization needs to plan to obtain resources. A business unit needs to allocate funds for the financial support of the company’s ongoing functions. And with the day-to-day operations of the business, it needs to have facilities and equipments which aid to perform its functions. The people support is another concern. Of course finding the appropriate staff to execute the tasks needs to be done carefully. Who else will make use of the facilities and equipments for the business functions but the workforce? The right persons for the right jobs should be well taken care of. The next reason is that, strategic planning has to be done to align information system (IS) with business. Since the information system holds the vital information of the business it is then important to make plans for this department and to make it parallel with the major company’s operations. The IS plan is needed to establish goals, schedules, and milestones in order to track progress of the business. And IS being in the background, the IS plan is important to provide an opportunity for communication with top management and user management.

If we will be able to track the progress of most corporations today, changes that are taking place is very fast compared to the business world of the past years. This is one of the effects of the use of technology and its applications to business. So, you see, the integration of IT brings more advancement and efficiency especially to the competency of the business in the conglomerate world. IS strategic planning has to be done to identify needed applications. This are just few of the motivations why the information system (IS) plan should be aligned with the business plan in such a way that its goals and objectives should be addressed also by the major operations accommodated by the IS.

Sometimes most people are doing plans of which attitude is sometimes confusing. It is like deliberating over preparing the outcomes of the tasks to be done or outlining the processes of the operations. There is actually a discrete distinction and a likewise similarity and connection between planning and forecasting. Forecasting, as what most people tend to do, is predicting the future. That is how they have a tendency of guessing the outputs of their projects, calculating their expenses, expecting some varied changes in the rates and conditions of their products, and the like. It is like foreseeing the status of your business in the forthcoming years. Whereas in planning, you are making steps in preparing for that future. I guess some people especially those who make up the management team of the company were able to ‘forecast’ their business status but failed to implement plans they made to address whatever may be brought by the changes they expected to happen in their organization. Or there may be chances that the company was able to forecast their future, made respective plans for the expected status or condition, but what they have imagined turned out to be the opposite of what they have been looking forward to.

That is how and why strategic IS planning comes into view – to handle the adjustments that may happen. Strategic planning involves establishing a mission statement. The key people involved should know the general purpose of the organization, and its major role and functions in the community. The mission states who you are and what you do in the company, not what you are supposed to achieve. These are the services that you are responsible for; it is your place in the organization.

Planning should also include assessing the environment. This will give idea for the key people on how to play the game. Assessing the environment is important to evaluate the status of the organization in the community. By evaluating its standing, the key people might know on where and what area should they start in particular for making the necessary actions in the strategic plan. Specifically, this includes assessing the capabilities of the IT department. The IT department houses the important components operated by the personnel of the company, thus it is significant to check the capabilities of the division. If IT department should be evaluated, the readiness of the company to use IT should not be left unnoticed. Even if the IT components are very well geared up, these may not be taken full advantage of since the company lacks the eagerness to apply its concepts to its operations. The company should also check the status not only itself but its customers, of how they are doing, their relationship and service with them; and the status of the industry, of the economic condition, including the outside connections with colleagues and business associates. By knowing the economic standing of the society where the company belongs, it can gain ideas on how to plan and act or implement programs with regards to the demands of the community in the current situation of the industry. Remember that the company has its role to play and with the mission to guide it, it shall get its way to its vision in a manner that is beneficial and fairly advantageous to both internal and external aspects.

Correlation with the society, the environmental aspect, government regulations and the like should also be taken notice. Most importantly is, the current situation regarding technology. I have discussed in the aforementioned statements the role of fast-evolving technology to business. Now this is where the assessment of the company with regards to its competency in technological innovations and its applications to business comes in. Assessment is quite similar to SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. In assessing the capabilities of the IT department and the readiness of the company to use IT is like evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the company. These components are internal and can be mainly found inside the company. While the status of the customers, the industry, including that of the economy, government regulations, environment, society and the like are external factors that they are involved in assessing the opportunities and threats of the business.

Through these we can set goals and objectives of the organization which will serve as guiding principles for the business to follow. These goals and objectives should, of course, be aligned with the vision and mission statement of the company. Goals are something which the organization wanted to achieve. Thus, it should set program objectives or measurable targets that specifically initiated or established and agreed by all the workforce of the company.

Since planning involves many processes, it should derive strategies and policies. These strategies and policies will serve as scheme and rules or program of actions from which they are based. Most successful organizations develop plans and strategies for their operations. Strategies that should be considered are for technology focus, of what and how the latest applications of innovations can be used in the business; personnel and career development – of course, there should be tactics on how to build-up and improve the skills and capabilities of the human resources who operate on IT, hence, appropriate trainings should be implemented; apart from that the strategies should mainly focus on ways to align the programs of the information system to the operations of the company in general. Corresponding policies that will be derived are for the following: funding criteria, of how much to spend on IT; allocation criteria – priority setting (with so many concerns to be taken notice of, there should be a well-balanced allocation in which essential components shall be regarded with the right level of priority.); organizational arrangements – how things should go along in the organization, of how the set of instructions and information details be taken and passed to; use of outside IT services (there might be common cases as in the company will consider outsourcing for some reasons. Hence corresponding policies should be accomplished to set boundaries and rules and regulation concerning the limits, contracts, etc.); selling IT services to outside organizations (apart from outsourcing, the company may think about off shoring their services to outside organizations. These may involve matters concerning with business relations to other companies and, as in outsourcing, certain policies shall be constructed to have guidelines and procedures for both parties to follow.)

There should also be long-, medium-, and short-range plans that will be developed. Of course, when you make strategic planning, you only not include preparations that are due for long years and even within a short period of time. There are actions that are and have to be implemented on ten-year basis, two to three years scheme, or even in months’ time. If ever plans are only made exclusively in a long-term basis or a short-term one, how can the management evaluate the outputs of the plans if not after the implementation? Most importantly, sudden changes which may occur in between these periods brought by varying factors will not be addressed immediately and efficiently. Short - range plans are made and are intended to be implemented within the next year, the next budget period, and common cases are mainly for developing and operating current systems. Medium – range plans are committing to development efforts for applications that will take more than one year to complete. That is, meeting management’s current information needs, projected into the future for as many years as needed to complete them. Most organization call these “long – term planning”. On the other hand, long – range planning is the preparation for the management’s future information needs. These are not application specific, unlike in short and medium – range plans where systems and programs are being specified and taken actions in particular; they are investments in infrastructure, that it is usually done for a longer period of time where the management can foresee the up and downs of their business status, hence can let them decide the steps for some improvements in their infrastructure in any way applicable; it is creating an information architecture, that within a span of many years, the structural design of the IS may expand, be developed, and interconnected to a larger scope of networks.

Lastly, if there are plans formulated, it should be implemented. Plans that are not carried out are considered writings on the water. They are useless if not put into action. Results of the applications of the plans made should likewise be monitored. Evaluation is an essential part of business strategies. If then, how can we check the positive and negative feedbacks of the plans? Not only after a certain phase has done that should an evaluation be made. As the project implementation is going on, the results and the outputs could as well be recorded and supervised. In this way, necessary actions could be made respectively which corresponds as to how these plans formulated are being carried out and yield results.

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PostSubject: steps to expedite IS plan implementation in the university - PART 2   Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:28 pm

..continuation from previous thread..

The University

A university is an institution of higher education that offers programs beyond the high school level. Colleges and universities provide necessary training for individuals wishing to enter professional careers. They also strive to develop students’ creativity, insight, and analytical skills. By acquainting students with complex ideas in an intellectually stimulating environment, colleges and universities can provide unique opportunities for personal enrichment while also preparing students for future careers. In most cases, state boards of higher education provide funds for these schools and oversee their programs of instruction. Most state governments establish systems of higher education. Institutions as state colleges and universities were originally founded to offer education in agriculture, science, and engineering, but most later expanded their curriculums to become large multipurpose universities. In some other places and countries, provincial governments establish boards of higher education responsible for allocating funds to provincial universities and overseeing their programs of instruction. In addition, the federal and provincial governments provide substantial funds for all institutions of higher education, including private colleges and universities. This public funding dramatically reduces costs for students. (Microsoft ®️ Encarta ®️ 2007. ©️ 1993-2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.).

The University of Southeastern Philippines is just one of the many state universities in the region which offers quality education at affordable cost. Demands from incoming freshmen students to enroll in the university continues to increase every year because of the known quality of education that the University provides at an affordable cost. It has also been noted that USeP has highly satisfactory performance in standardized exams as evident in the past years where it has established its name as one of the many top high-percentage-passers-producer schools in the country. And a few more competitive advantages of the university include: strong research, development and extension, partnership with various international agencies in development undertakings, equivalency program and accreditation schemes, ladderized education system, and still more. The University envisions itself as a premier university in the ASEAN region. Its mission is to produce world-class graduates and relevant research and extension through quality education and sustainable resource management. Aligned with these mission and vision, the university specified goals for key result areas on instruction, research development and extension, and resource management. With six (6) major colleges comprising the university, and more or less than eighty (80) academic programs (bachelor, diploma, graduate), USeP shall address with the highest regards its status in the academic formation of tertiary education. Thus, the administration and management system shall take the latest development in organizational structure to be able to provide these offers to the students, faculty, and staff, and maintain and further improve its competitive status.

The university as a well-built institution with solid foundation needs a stronger information system that will serve as a developing center which aids the large scales of information processes. Being an educational organization and a center of excellence, it shall continue to make strategies in planning and make effective implementations to these plans to go along with the ongoing demands in the society. The success of the university lies greatly on the underlying critical factors and that is mainly comprised of its information system.

As I was deliberating on the root question of this topic, that is, if I am invited by the university president to prepare an IS plan for the university, discuss what are the steps in order to expedite the implementation of the IS Plan, I had a very hard time organizing my thoughts on the major aspects of my would-be answers. I have discussed in my statements above the foreword concerning the Information System (IS) strategic planning. Now I just have to relate it to the university particularly to where I belong: the University of Southeastern Philippines. Being an Information Technology (IT) student, I have an amount or knowledge about the application of technology in various fields in the industry. I have also learned the wide scope of IT and its diverse effects and benefits to an organization. Only in my later years that I have been exposed to reality situations as in analyzing current circumstances not only outside the campus but also to our own university as well. With the span of time that I have stayed in the university, I have slight awareness of its major operations especially with regards to my course. Nevertheless, this may be the beginning that I should grab the information concerning the university and the school’s information system (IS).

I do not actually see high – end service and functionality in school if we talk of technology. Admittedly, we have meager resources, facilities that are there and being used but are just less than sufficient to say that we are competitively gaining edge over our co-universities and colleges. Even so, I can not blame it to the administration alone or those who are part of the management team of the school. Outside factors might have some influence. Taking into account the financial matter of the university alone, and just thinking that we are a state university (that is, government funded), I am just hopeful that this institution where I belong will still be able to earn competitive edge among others despite the lack of resources. And proudly to speak, we are surviving.

Nevertheless, it is not enough reason to sit, hope and wonder how all these things go along the way it should, without putting in mind the reason why the university exists, what does it do, and how on earth will it continue to bear the challenges and demands of the society taking in mind that it envisions to be a premier university in the ASEAN region. As it continues to excel as an educational institution, should not we, students, think of how can we may be able to spend efforts to help the university in its mission? We all have learned that the heart of an organization is the IS. Hence, it should be supplied with enough blood to be able to pump more to sustain the body. To function well, it should be regularly checked and maintained, if not improved, to play its major role.

Let me begin with a point of entry back to my main subject. To be effective in its business operation, the university shall have an Information System (IS) strategic plan which, more or less, is comprised with the aforementioned components. For its years of existence, I am confident that the university has made its IS plan and is continuing to make plans and implement it. Although there are problems that arise every now and then, these are just normal and the administration for sure, always finds ways to mitigate, if not possibly eliminate complications. Until now, it is evident that the information system we are currently using is undergoing construction and maintenance. After years of gaining experience in developing own system, to going outsourcing, to turning back to in housing, there has not been a situation, I should say, that the school had a stable IS. And we all know several aspects behind that. However, it is not enough to say that there are unstoppable factors beyond our control that influence the system that is why until now we could not have the stability we could ever dream of having. Maybe there are numerous key major points inside our organization that should be re-examined, and primarily, it is the Information System (IS) plan.

Financial matters

Michael M. Gorman in his published article online says that every year, $300-700 million dollar corporations spend about 5% of their gross income on information systems and their supports. That's from about $15,000,000 to $35,000,000! A significant part of those funds support enterprise databases, a philosophy of database system applications that enable corporations to research the past, control the present, and plan for the future.

If we take this as a basis for the budgetary case of the university, roughly speaking, we could not get this much money from our financial resources. Although the statements were taken from a study of business corporations and large scale companies, we could not deny the fact that the figures are just revolving around those numbers, and to think they are in dollars! We are all aware of the fact that our school is a government institution and perhaps one of the reasons why, even though the quality education offered here is at an affordable cost, facilities and maintenance are at stake. I think the university can not stretch their budget that far since it does not hold its own fundings and to think that before releasing it, the money matters has to undergo processes in the government before it goes to the school pocket.

Financial resources allocation is just one problem why the institution can not make its way to all-out implementation of their plans. That is why there should be appropriate actions to find ways on how should the plans be carried out in spite of the lack of resources.

Let’s take a break first on the financial approach. I have searched here a realistic basis of the characteristics of a quality Information System Plan which I think, if followed by most organizations, will yield favorable consequences.

The ISP must be timely. An ISP that is created long after it is needed is useless. In almost all cases, it makes no sense to take longer to plan work than to perform the work planned.
The ISP must be useable. It must be so for all the projects as well as for each project. The ISP should exist in sections that once adopted can be parceled out to project managers and immediately started.

The ISP must be maintainable. New business opportunities, new computers, business mergers, etc. all affect the ISP. The ISP must support quick changes to the estimates, technologies employed, and possibly even to the fundamental project sequences. Once these changes are accomplished, the new ISP should be just a few computer program executions away.

While the ISP must be a quality product, no ISP is ever perfect on the first try. As the ISP is executed, the metrics employed to derive the individual project estimates become refined as a consequence of new hardware technologies, code generators, techniques, or faster working staff. As these changes occur, their effects should be installable into the data that supports ISP computation. In short, the ISP is a living document. It should be updated with every technology event, and certainly no less often than quarterly.

The ISP must be reproducible. That is, when its development activities are performed by any other staff, the ISP produced should essentially be the same. The ISP should not significantly vary by staff assigned.

These characteristics are the ideal ones needed for an effective IS plan. If the organization needs to have an IS, it would be beneficial if the components will be checked and based on these quality characteristics.

Nevertheless, the strategic approach of the Information Systems (IS) plan is to deliver the most valuable business information at the earliest time possible in the most cost-effective manner. Gorman described the following Information Systems Plan Development Steps which will help and guide the analysts and management of the organization in implementing there is project at the right time and at the right sequence:

First, is to create the mission model. The mission model, generally shorter than 30 pages presents end-result characterizations of the essential raison d=etre of the enterprise. Missions are strategic, long range, and a-political.

Second, is to develop a high-level data model. The high-level data model is an Entity Relationship diagram created to meet the data needs of the mission descriptions. No attributes or keys are created.

Third, is to create the resource life cycles (RLC) and their nodes. Resources are drawn from both the mission descriptions and the high level data model. Resources and their life cycles are the names, descriptions and life cycles of the critical assets of the enterprise, which, when exercised achieve one or more aspect of the missions.

Fourth, is to allocate precedence vectors among RLC nodes. Tied together into a enablement network, the resulting resource life cycle network forms a framework of enterprise=s assets that represent an order and set of inter-resource relationships.

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PostSubject: steps to expedite IS plan implementation in the university - PART 3   Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:30 pm

..continuation from previous thread...

Fifth, is to allocate existing information systems and databases to the RLC nodes. The resource life cycle network presents a lattice-work onto which the business information systems and databases can be attached. Achievement of all the difference projects is the achievement of the Information Systems Plan.

Sixth, is to allocate standard work break down structures (WBS) to each RLC node. Detailed planning of the difference projects entails allocating the appropriate canned work breakdown structures and metrics. Employing WBS and metrics from a comprehensive methodology supports project management standardization, repeatability, and self-learning.

Seventh, is to load resources into each WBS node. Once the resources are determined, these are loaded into the project management meta entities of the meta data repository, that is, metrics, project, work plan and deliverables.

Eight, is to schedule the RLC nodes through a project management package facilities. The entire suite of projects is then scheduled on an enterprise-wide basis. The PERT chart used by project management is the PERT chart represented by the Resource Life Cycle enablement network.

Ninth, is to produce and review of the ISP. The scheduled result is predicable: Too long, too costly, and too ambitious. At that point, the real work starts: paring down the suite of projects to a realistic set within time and budget. Although the process is painful, the results can be justified and rationalized.

Lastly, is to execute and adjust the ISP through time. As the ISP is set into execution, technology changes occur that affect resource loadings. Because a quality ISP is automated, the recasting of the ISP should only take a week or less.

I have also searched critical success factors that are identified to achieve successful implementation of the IS plan. This includes fundings and resources, project sponsorship and/or management, training, communications, and shared vision. Let me just use these as my basis for suggesting ways on how to expedite or speed up the IS plan of the university.

Supposed the organization followed all the good criteria mentioned in the previous statements, it does not guarantee full-blown success to the company if the actions are only done late. What can our best cards do if they are not operated at a time it is most needed? Such is a factor of failure, if we talk of delay. Thus, it is a must that strategic plans are to be implemented at the right time and at the right place. There are no rooms for improvements if we do not speed up our implementation.

Assuming the government and all our partner agencies is ready to allocate funds for our resources, that may lessen our worries of acquiring budget requirements of our ISP. But an effective approach here is, adequate resources, be it human or materials, must be committed to all projects that they must not be diverted to other competing demands unless such demands threaten the mission of the university. I’m talking here of a sample situation wherein all the operational projects of the university ask for a slice of the budget for their own implementation that a big part of it is taken and less is left for the critical IS implementation. The administration may consider this and think of a better way that is also fair for all. Equipments should also be available on time and are functional to the best way it could to perform its tasks efficiently and timely. If the capacities of these equipments are at risk, the institutional operations will be affected caused by the delay.

In project sponsorship and management, each and every individual that is part of the management team shall be dedicated and active in promoting the projects of the IS plan. There must be evident cooperation among all bodies and departments concerned, and that these bodies shall act quickly upon any necessary changes that may happen. Take note again, delay causes problems.

On the training aspect, the administration shall prepare functional and effective training plan to be implemented in a timely manner before and after the IS plan implementation. Personnel and technical resources should be trained appropriately.

There should also be a clear statement of goals and strategies including project timetables and it should be well-communicated frequently among concerned bodies. Communications during (or even before) the implementation project shall be clear and concise and must be maintained at a regular basis. This is very important since in starting a project, the one who are in charge of it should be updated of the whereabouts and be keep-informed of what should be, and what is going on the project.

Most importantly, the overall team shall have a shared vision. All the individuals who are part of the management, administration, and even those who are not involved in spearheading the implementation as long as affected by the IS implementation, must have a common vision. Ownership must be shared among all. It is by this that all can have the enthusiasm to contribute help to the implementation of the IS plan because everybody feels they belong to the success of it. If and then, this little factor can bring out active participation among the bodies, and the risk of delay caused by unwilling and passive members will be eliminated.

In addition, since the primary factor with regards to the implementation of the IS plan is time, I would suggest that the project team (which composed of varying responsibilities for each functional area, like the following: Advisory Team, Project Sponsor, Project Manager, Functional Lead, Technical Lead, Infrastructure Lead, Research and Development Lead, Data Conversion Lead, Interface Lead, Client Lead, and Security Lead) shall complete their tasks in a timely manner and reduce cases of actions that may cause delay and further risks. The said team should attend meetings as scheduled, follow-up reports and review of documents and revisions promptly. And should communicate regularly with each team members, relate issues, risks, and changes to management as needed, evaluate problems and provide necessary corrections to documentations, meetings, and in any way applicable.

It is not always on the content side of the Information System (IS) plan tends to fail but also on the methodologies and the management which implements it. It is therefore important to improve the strategic approach to these plans as it is one of the most critical issues facing the organization of today. Potential factors leading to some risks include also the organizational and managerial side. Thus, to expedite the implementation of the IS plan, the university shall make ways to organize well its project team, and follow the suggested steps above in defining an efficient IS plan, and implementing it.



I would like to acknowledge the following articles and online reviews which helped me in constructing the essay: study study

Information Systems Strategic Planning
E.R. McLean and J.D. Soden, Strategic Planning for MIS, Wiley-Interscience, (1977)

Michael M. Gorman, Information Systems Plan: Rationale for an Information Systems Plan, The Data Administration Newsletter, (Sept. 1, 1999)
Taken from http://www.tdan.com/view-articles/5262

North Carolina State University Student Information System Implementation Project
[url=http://www.fis.ncsu.edu/sis/structure/charter041306.pdf ]http://www.fis.ncsu.edu/sis/structure/charter041306.pdf [/url]

The Implementation of Strategic Information Systems Planning Methodologies
By: Albert L. Lederer, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260, Vijay Sethi School of Management State University of New York at Buffalo Buffalo, NY 14260
http://zulsidi.tripod.com/pdf/sisp2.pdf

Microsoft Encarta Dictionaries



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PostSubject: You were invited by the university president to prepare an IS plan for the university, discuss what are the steps in order to expedite the implementation of the IS Plan. (at least 5000 words)   Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:50 pm

cont...



Executive and Adjusting the ISP Through Time



IT projects are accomplished within distinct development environments. The two most common are: discrete project and release. The discrete project environment is typified by completely encapsulated projects accomplished through a water-fall methodology.

In release environments, there are a number of different projects underway by different organizations and staff of varying skill levels. Once a large number of projects are underway, the ability of the enterprise to know about and manage all the different projects degrades
rapidly. That is because the project management environment has been transformed from discrete encapsulated projects into a continuous flow process of product or functionality improvements that are released on a
set time schedule. Figure 3 illustrates the continuous flow process environment that supports releases. The continuous flow process environment is characterized by:


  • Multiple, concurrent, but differently scheduled projects against the same enterprise resource


  • Single projects that affect multiple enterprise resources


  • Projects that develop completely new capabilities, or changes to existing capabilities within enterprise resources

It is precisely because enterprises have transformed themselves from a project to a release environment that information systems plans that can be created, evolved, and maintained on an enterprise-wide
basis are essential.

There are four major sets of activities within the continuous flow process environment. The user/client is represented at the top in the small rectangular box. Each of the ellipses represents an activity targeted to a specific need. The four basic needs are:


  • Need Identification
  • Need Assessment
  • Design
  • Deployment

The second characteristic flows from the first. Because these four activities are independent one from the other, the enterprise evolves by means of releases rather than through whole systems. If it evolved through whole systems, then the four activities would be connected either in a waterfall or a spiral approach, and the enterprise would be
evolving through major upgrades to encapsulated functionality within specific business resources. In contrast, the release approach causes coordinated sets of changes to multiple business resources to be placed into production. This causes simultaneous, enterprise-wide capability upgrades across multiple business resources.

Through this continuous-flow process, several unique features are present:


  • All four processes are concurrently executing.
  • Changes to enterprise resources occur in unison, periodically, and in a very controlled manner.
  • The
    meta data repository is always contains all the enterprise resource
    specifications: current or planned. Simply put, if an enterprise
    resource semantic is not within the meta data repository, it is not
    enterprise policy.
  • All changes are planned, scheduled, measured, and subject to auditing, accounting, and traceability.
  • All documentation of all types is generated from the meta data repository.

Time allocation: Each task should be paired with an appropriate time frame for completion. You should be aggressive but reasonable with your time allocation in order to ensure not just completion but competent work. For assistance in framing this timescale, use a program such as Microsoft Project, or just create your own Gantt chart – a helpful tool that shows how long it will take to
complete different tasks and in what order the tasks should be finished. Progress: You or a member of your management team needs to be in charge of monitoring each task’s progress and the completion percentage of each objective. When delays occur, try to get to the root of the problem. Did the person responsible drop the ball? Did he or she have too many responsibilities to handle? Did a third party, such as a supplier or the bank, fail to hold up its end of a deal? Adjust your Gantt chart appropriately to account for the delay, and make a note of the previous deadline and the reason it was missed. While the above steps may seem like overkill, the early days of a startup are critically important; it’s a time when good management patterns are set and also probably a lean era when revenue has yet to start rolling in. The more efficiently you start implementing yourbusiness plan, the more likely it is that you will survive this early period.



REFERENCES:

http://www.tdan.com/view-articles/5262
http://www.netmba.com/strategy/process/
http://www.tn.gov/finance/oir/planning/ispprocess.pdf






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PostSubject: Assignment 4   Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:54 pm

Assignment 4(MIS2)

You were invited by the university president to prepare an IS plan for the university, discuss what are the steps in order to expedite the implementation of the IS Plan. (at least 5000 words)


Many enterprises do not have model-based information systems development environments that allow system designers to see the benefits of rearranging an information systems development schedule. Consequently, the questions that cannot be answered include:
What effect will there be on the overall schedule if an information system is purchased versus developed?
At what point does it pay to hire an abnormal quantity of contract staff to advance a schedule?
What is the long term benefit from 4GL versus 3GL?
Is it better to generate 3GL than to generate/use a 4GL?
What are the real costs of distributed software development over centralized development?

If these questions were transformed and applied to any other component of a business (e.g., accounting, manufacturing, distribution and marketing), and remained unanswered, that unit's manager would surely be fired!

We not only need answers to these questions NOW!, we also need them quickly, cost effectively, and in a form that they can be modeled and changed in response to unfolding realities. This paper provides a brief review of a successful 10-step strategy that answers these questions.

Too many half-billion dollar organizations have only a vague notion of the names and interactions of the existing and under development information systems. Whenever they need to know, a meeting is held among the critical few, an inventory is taken, interactions confirmed, and accomplishment schedules are updated.

This ad hoc information systems plan was possible only because all design and development was centralized, the only computer was a main-frame, and the past was acceptable prologue because budgets were ever increasing, schedules always slipping, and information was not yet part of the corporation's critical edge.

Well, today is different, really different! Budgets are decreasing, and slipped schedules are being cited as preventing business alternatives. Confounding the computing environment are different operating systems, DBMSs, development tools, telecommunications (LAN, WAN, Intra-, Inter-, and Extra-net), and distributed hard- and software.

Rather than having centralized, long-range planning and management activities that address these problems, today's business units are using readily available tools to design and build ad hoc stop-gap solutions. These ad hoc systems not only do not interconnect, support common semantics, or provide synchronized views of critical corporate policy, they are soon to form the almost impossible to comprehend confusion of systems and data from which systems order and semantic harmony must spring.

Not only has the computing landscape become profoundly different and more difficult to comprehend, the need for just the right--and correct--information at just the right time is escalating. Late or wrong information is worse than no information.

Information systems managers need a model of their information systems environment. A model that is malleable. As new requirements are discovered, budgets modified, new hardware/software introduced, this model must be such that it can reconstitute the information systems plan in a timely and efficient manner.
Characteristics of a Quality ISP

A quality ISP must exhibit five distinct characteristics before it is useful. These five are presented in the table that follows.
Characteristic
Description
Timely The ISP must be timely. An ISP that is created long after it is needed is useless. In almost all cases, it makes no sense to take longer to plan work than to perform the work planned.
Useable The ISP must be useable. It must be so for all the projects as well as for each project. The ISP should exist in sections that once adopted can be parceled out to project managers and immediately started.
Maintainable The ISP must be maintainable. New business opportunities, new computers, business mergers, etc. all affect the ISP. The ISP must support quick changes to the estimates, technologies employed, and possibly even to the fundamental project sequences. Once these changes are accomplished, the new ISP should be just a few computer program executions away.
Quality While the ISP must be a quality product, no ISP is ever perfect on the first try. As the ISP is executed, the metrics employed to derive the individual project estimates become refined as a consequence of new hardware technologies, code generators, techniques, or faster working staff. As these changes occur, their effects should be installable into the data that supports ISP computation. In short, the ISP is a living document. It should be updated with every technology event, and certainly no less often than quarterly.
Reproducible The ISP must be reproducible. That is, when its development activities are performed by any other staff, the ISP produced should essentially be the same. The ISP should not significantly vary by staff assigned.



Whenever a proposal for the development of an ISP is created it must be assessed against these five characteristics. If any fail or not addressed in an optimum way, the entire set of funds for the development of an ISP is risked.
ISP Within the Context of the Meta data Environment

The information systems plan is the plan by which databases and information systems of the enterprise are accomplished in a timely manner. A key facility through which the ISP obtains its Adata@ is the meta data repository. The domain of the meta data repository is set forth in Figure 1, and, as seen through Figure 1, persons through their role within an organization perform functions in the accomplishment of enterprise missions, they have information needs. These information needs reflect the state of certain enterprise resources such as finance, people, and products that are known to the enterprises. The states are created through business information systems and databases.

The majority of the meta data employed to develop the ISP resides in the meta entities supporting the enterprise=s resource life cycles (see TDAN issue #7, December 1998, Resource Life Cycle Analysis), the databases and information systems, and project management. All these meta entities are depicted within the meta data repository meta model in Figure 2.
Figure 1
Figure 2
The ISP Steps

The information systems plan project determines the sequence for implementing specific information systems. The goal of the strategy is to deliver the most valuable business information at the earliest time possible in the most cost-effective manner.

The end product of the information systems project is an information systems plan (ISP). Once deployed, the information systems department can implement the plan with confidence that they are doing the correct information systems project at the right time and in the right sequence. The focus of the ISP is not one information system but the entire suite of information systems for the enterprise. Once developed, each identified information system is seen in context with all other information systems within the enterprise.
Information Systems Plan Development Steps
Step
Name
Description
1. Create the mission model The mission model, generally shorter than 30 pages presents end-result characterizations of the essential raison d=etre of the enterprise. Missions are strategic, long range, and a-political because they are stripped of the Awho@ and the Ahow.@
2. Develop a high-level data model The high-level data model is an Entity Relationship diagram created to meet the data needs of the mission descriptions. No attributes or keys are created.
3. Create the resource life cycles (RLC) and their nodes Resources are drawn from both the mission descriptions and the high level data model. Resources and their life cycles are the names, descriptions and life cycles of the critical assets of the enterprise, which, when exercised achieve one or more aspect of the missions. Each enterprise resource Alives@ through its resource life cycle.
4. Allocate precedence vectors among RLC nodes Tied together into a enablement network, the resulting resource life cycle network forms a framework of enterprise=s assets that represent an order and set of inter-resource relationships. The enterprise Alives@ through its resource life cycle network.
5. Allocate existing information systems and databases to the RLC nodes The resource life cycle network presents a Alattice-work@onto which the Aas is@ business information systems and databases can be Aattached.@ See for example, the meta model in Figure 2. The Ato-be@ databases and information systems are similarly attached. ADifference projects@ between the Aas-is@ and the Ato-be@ are then formulated. Achievement of all the difference projects is the achievement of the Information Systems Plan.
6. Allocate standard work break down structures (WBS) to each RLC node Detailed planning of the Adifference projects@ entails allocating the appropriate canned work breakdown structures and metrics. Employing WBS and metrics from a comprehensive methodology supports project management standardization, repeatability, and self-learning.
7. Load resources into each WBS node Once the resources are determined, these are loaded into the project management meta entities of the meta data repository, that is, metrics, project, work plan and deliverables. The meta entities are those inferred by Figure 2.
8. Schedule the RLC nodes through a project management package facilities. The entire suite of projects is then scheduled on an enterprise-wide basis. The PERT chart used by project management is the APERT@ chart represented by the Resource Life Cycle enablement network.
9. Produce and review of the ISP The scheduled result is predicable: Too long, too costly, and too ambitious. At that point, the real work starts: paring down the suite of projects to a realistic set within time and budget. Because of the meta data environment (see Figure 1), the integrated project management meta data (see Figure 2), and because all projects are configured against fundamental business-rationale based designs, the results of the inevitable trade-offs can be set against business basics. Although the process is painful, the results can be justified and rationalized.
10. Execute and adjust the ISP through time. As the ISP is set into execution, technology changes occur that affect resource loadings. In this case, only steps 6-9 need to be repeated. As work progresses, the underlying meta data built or used in steps 1-5 will also change. Because a quality ISP is Aautomated@ the recasting of the ISP should only take a week or less.


Collectively, the first nine steps take about 5000 staff hours, or about $500,000. Compared to an IS budget $15-35 million, that's only about 3.0% to 1.0%.

If the pundits are to be believed, that is, that the right information at the right time is the competitive edge, then paying for an information systems plan that is accurate, repeatable, and reliable is a small price indeed.
Executive and Adjusting the ISP Through Time

IT projects are accomplished within distinct development environments. The two most common are: discrete project and release. The discrete project environment is typified by completely encapsulated projects accomplished through a water-fall methodology.

In release environments, there are a number of different projects underway by different organizations and staff of varying skill levels. Once a large number of projects are underway, the ability of the enterprise to know about and manage all the different projects degrades rapidly. That is because the project management environment has been transformed from discrete encapsulated projects into a continuous flow process of product or functionality improvements that are released on a set time schedule. Figure 3 illustrates the continuous flow process environment that supports releases. The continuous flow process environment is characterized by:
Multiple, concurrent, but differently scheduled projects against the same enterprise resource
Single projects that affect multiple enterprise resources
Projects that develop completely new capabilities, or changes to existing capabilities within enterprise resources
Figure 3

It is precisely because enterprises have transformed themselves from a project to a release environment that information systems plans that can be created, evolved, and maintained on an enterprise-wide basis are essential.

There are four major sets of activities within the continuous flow process environment. The user/client is represented at the top in the small rectangular box. Each of the ellipses represents an activity targeted to a specific need. The four basic needs are:
Need Identification
Need Assessment
Design
Deployment

The box in the center is the meta data repository. Specification and impact analysis is represented through the left two processes. Implementation design and accomplishment is represented by the right two processes. Two key characteristics should be immediately apparent. First, unlike the water-fall approach, the activities do not flow one to the other. They are disjoint. In fact, they may be done by different teams, on different time schedules, and involve different quantities of products under management. In short, these four activities are independent one from the other. Their only interdependence is through the meta data repository.

The second characteristic flows from the first. Because these four activities are independent one from the other, the enterprise evolves by means of releases rather than through whole systems. If it evolved through whole systems, then the four activities would be connected either in a waterfall or a spiral approach, and the enterprise would be evolving through major upgrades to encapsulated functionality within specific business resources. In contrast, the release approach causes coordinated sets of changes to multiple business resources to be placed into production. This causes simultaneous, enterprise-wide capability upgrades across multiple business resources.

Through this continuous-flow process, several unique features are present:
All four processes are concurrently executing.
Changes to enterprise resources occur in unison, periodically, and in a very controlled manner.
The meta data repository is always contains all the enterprise resource specifications: current or planned. Simply put, if an enterprise resource semantic is not within the meta data repository, it is not enterprise policy.
All changes are planned, scheduled, measured, and subject to auditing, accounting, and traceability.
All documentation of all types is generated from the meta data repository.
ISP Summary

In summary, any technique employed to achieve an ISP must be accomplishable with less than 3% of the IT budget. Additionally, it must be timely, useable, maintainable, able to be iterated into a quality product, and reproducible. IT organizations, once they have completed their initial set of databases and business information systems will find themselves transformed from a project to a release environment.

The continuous flow environment then becomes the only viable alternative for moving the enterprise forward. It is precisely because of the release environment that enterprise-wide information systems plans that can be created, evolved, and maintained are essential.


References:

http://www.tdan.com/view-articles/5262



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Karen Palero

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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 4 (Due: December 17, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:57 pm

You were invited by the university president to prepare an IS plan for the university, discuss what are the steps in order to expedite the implementation of the IS plan.


Preparing an Information Systems Plan for the university is a very challenging task because a lot of things are to be considered when we talk of Information System Planning. Planning for information systems, as for any other system, begins with the identification of needs. In order to be effective, development of any type of computer-based system should be a response to need--whether at the transaction processing level or at the more complex information and support systems levels. Such planning for information systems is much like strategic planning in management. Objectives, priorities, and authorization for information systems projects need to be formalized. The systems development plan should identify specific projects slated for the future, priorities for each project and for resources, general procedures, and constraints for each application area. The plan must be specific enough to enable understanding of each application and to know where it stands in the order of development. Also the plan should be flexible so that priorities can be adjusted if necessary. There was an article which contains an argument that a strategic capability architecture - a flexible and continuously improving infrastructure of organizational capabilities - is the primary basis for a company's sustainable competitive advantage. It has emphasized the need for continuously updating and improving the strategic capabilities architecture.

Some characteristics of strategic IS planning are:

• Main task: strategic/competitive advantage, linkage to business strategy.
• Key objective: pursuing opportunities, integrating IS and business strategies
• Direction from: executives/senior management and users, coalition of users/management and information systems.
• Main approach: entrepreneurial (user innovation), multiple (bottom-up development, top down analysis, etc.) at the same time.

Implementing the proposed Information Systems Plan is ,in my own perspective, the second toughest thing to do in Information Systems Planning. All the hard works starting from the identification of needs, then formalizing the objectives, priorities, and authorization for the information systems project, and all the necessary things needed to be done in planning information systems will not be appreciated if the said information systems plan will not be properly implemented or worst, will never be implemented because of some user resistance. Thus, in an information systems planning, steps for implementing the proposed information systems plan should be included -- which is in fact already the situation but I just wanted to emphasize why it should be included.hehe

One of the important factors in implementing the Information Systems Plan is that it should be useful so that there will be no user resistance and the organization itself will be satisfied and be convinced to implement the proposed information systems plan. Let me present to you a table of the characteristics of a Quality ISP, a quality ISP must exhibit five distinct characteristics before it is useful. These five are presented in the table that follows.

Characteristic
Description
Timely The ISP must be timely. An ISP that is created long after it is needed is useless. In almost all cases, it makes no sense to take longer to plan work than to perform the work planned.
Useable The ISP must be useable. It must be so for all the projects as well as for each project. The ISP should exist in sections that once adopted can be parceled out to project managers and immediately started.
Maintainable The ISP must be maintainable. New business opportunities, new computers, business mergers, etc. all affect the ISP. The ISP must support quick changes to the estimates, technologies employed, and possibly even to the fundamental project sequences. Once these changes are accomplished, the new ISP should be just a few computer program executions away.
Quality While the ISP must be a quality product, no ISP is ever perfect on the first try. As the ISP is executed, the metrics employed to derive the individual project estimates become refined as a consequence of new hardware technologies, code generators, techniques, or faster working staff. As these changes occur, their effects should be installable into the data that supports ISP computation. In short, the ISP is a living document. It should be updated with every technology event, and certainly no less often than quarterly.
Reproducible The ISP must be reproducible. That is, when its development activities are performed by any other staff, the ISP produced should essentially be the same. The ISP should not significantly vary by staff assigned.

Whenever a proposal for the development of an ISP is created it must be assessed against these five characteristics. If any fail or not addressed in an optimum way, the entire set of funds for the development of an ISP is risked.

In my own reflection, to expedite the implementation of the proposed Information Systems Plan, it should be totally supported by all -- 'all' means including the students, the board of directors, the faculty and everyone who will be affected by this plan. But how can it be supported by the students if the students are not informed about it? Or the information disseminated to the students are not enough? Which might make the students misunderstood the ISP, in result they will resist from implementing it. Hence, informing the students or having a proper conference regarding this matter would be very helpful for the students to be enlightened and even have their questions answered. This also should be done for other concerns not only for the students, I have just specified the students as an instance since I am a student, hehe. In addition, the budget should also be properly allocated. We all know that money can speed up things, in one way or another. Lastly, the proposed Information Systems Plan should be very convincing and properly planned so that it will deserve a nod to everyone.




References:
http://viu.eng.rpi.edu/publications/strpaper.pdf
http://www.tdan.com/view-articles/5262
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jerald jean pullos

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PostSubject: ass4   Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:07 pm

You were invited by the university president to prepare an IS plan for the university, discuss what are the steps in order to expedite the implementation of the IS Plan.

What is Information System Plan?

Planning for information systems, as for any other system, begins with the identification of
needs. In order to be effective, development of any type of computer-based system should be a
response to need--whether at the transaction processing level or at the more complex information and
support systems levels. Such planning for information systems is much like strategic planning in
management. Objectives, priorities, and authorization for information systems projects need to be
formalized. The systems development plan should identify specific projects slated for the future,
priorities for each project and for resources, general procedures, and constraints for each application
area. The plan must be specific enough to enable understanding of each application and to know
where it stands in the order of development. Also the plan should be flexible so that priorities can be
adjusted if necessary. King (King, 1995) in his recent article has argued that a strategic capability
architecture - a flexible and continuously improving infrastructure of organizational capabilities - is
the primary basis for a company's sustainable competitive advantage. He has emphasized the need
for continuously updating and improving the strategic capabilities architecture.
SISP is the analysis of a corporation’s information and processes using business information
models together with the evaluation of risk, current needs and requirements. The result is an action
plan showing the desired course of events necessary to align information use and needs with the
strategic direction of the company (Battaglia, 1991). The same article emphasizes the need to note
that SISP is a management function and not a technical one. This is consistent with the earlier
distinction between the older data processing views and the modern strategic importance view of
Information Systems. SISP thus is used to identify the best targets for purchasing and installing
new management information systems and help an organization maximize the return on its
information technology investment. A portfolio of computer-based applications is identified that will
assist an organization in executing its business plans and realize its business goals. There is a
growing realization that the application of information technology (IT) to a firm’s strategic activities
has been one of the most common and effective ways to improve business performance.


Characteristics of a Quality ISP

A
quality ISP must exhibit five distinct characteristics before it is
useful. These five are presented in the table that follows.


Description
Timely

The
ISP must be timely. An ISP that is created long after it is needed is
useless. In almost all cases, it makes no sense to take longer to plan
work than to perform the work planned.
Useable

The
ISP must be useable. It must be so for all the projects as well as for
each project. The ISP should exist in sections that once adopted can be
parceled out to project managers and immediately started.
Maintainable

The
ISP must be maintainable. New business opportunities, new computers,
business mergers, etc. all affect the ISP. The ISP must support quick
changes to the estimates, technologies employed, and possibly even to
the fundamental project sequences. Once these changes are accomplished,
the new ISP should be just a few computer program executions away.
Quality

While
the ISP must be a quality product, no ISP is ever perfect on the first
try. As the ISP is executed, the metrics employed to derive the
individual project estimates become refined as a consequence of new
hardware technologies, code generators, techniques, or faster working
staff. As these changes occur, their effects should be installable into
the data that supports ISP computation. In short, the ISP is a living
document. It should be updated with every technology event, and
certainly no less often than quarterly.
Reproducible


The ISP must be reproducible. That is, when its development activities
are performed by any other staff, the ISP produced should essentially
be the same. The ISP should not significantly vary by staff assigned.


Whenever a proposal for the development of an ISP is created it must be assessed
against these five characteristics. If any fail or not addressed in an optimum way, the entire set of funds for the development of an ISP is risked.


Expedite IS plan implementation

Project management:
In this step, it refers to considerations such as where would the project/system suitable to be
implemented
or placed in, budget on executing and maintaining it, who are going to
manage it and are they suitable to handle implementation of the project?

Such
inquiries are supposed to be answered even before it was approved and
even before the project completion. The answers are going to make
implementation faster since all grounds are seemed to be covered
already like personnel to be hired, placement of system/project and its
needed support and back-up.

Time management:
refers to a range of skills, tools, and techniques used to manage time when accomplishing specific tasks, projects and goals. This set encompasses a wide scope of activities, and these include planning, allocating, setting goals, delegation, analysis of time spent, monitoring, organizing, scheduling, and prioritizing.
Initially time management referred to just business or work activities,
but eventually the term broadened to include personal activities also.
A time management system is a designed combination of processes, tools
and techniques.

Risk management:
can therefore be considered the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks
followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to
minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of
unfortunate events[1]
or to maximize the realization of opportunities. Risks can come from
uncertainty in financial markets, project failures, legal liabilities,
credit risk, accidents, natural causes and disasters as well as
deliberate attacks from an adversary. Several risk management standards
have been developed including the Project Management Institute, the National Institute of Science and Technology, actuarial societies, and ISO standards.[2][3]
Methods, definitions and goals vary widely according to whether the
risk management method is in the context of project management,
security, engineering, industrial processes, financial portfolios,
actuarial assessments, or public health and safety.
The strategies to manage risk include transferring the risk to
another party, avoiding the risk, reducing the negative effect of the
risk, and accepting some or all of the consequences of a particular
risk.

Data Conversion:

In
this step, questions such as is there data needed to be put into
practical terms or layman terms than the technical terms the
development team used. Data or the information on how to use the
project should be stated in a clear and understandable manner, it must
be remembered that the user of the system might not understand the
professional jargon used.

Training of personnel:

User of the project are not IT professionals that is why time and training
has to done to guide them in how to use and manipulate the project. If
the person is knowledgeable or has received appropriate training then
implementation if IS plan will be done faster.


reference:
http://www.tdan.com/view-articles/5262
http://www.clarionmag.com/cmag/v3/informationsystemsplanning.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_management
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_management
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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 4 (Due: December 17, 2009, before 01:00pm)   

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Assignment 4 (Due: December 17, 2009, before 01:00pm)
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