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CCN: 42709 
4 unit(s) 
Analysis of Information Organizations and Systems 

Instructor(s) Yale Braunstein
E-mail: yale@sims.berkeley.edu
Office: 203B South Hall

Peter Lyman
E-Mail: plyman@sims.berkeley.edu
Office: 303A South Hall


Time/Location TTh 9:00 - 10:30
202 South Hall 

Prerequisites SIMS Students Only 

Course Description This is the fourth required course for all Masters students in the School of Information Management and Systems, and it is open for enrollment only to students in the School. 

The course introduces tools and methods for the analysis and design of information systems, and the management and organizational skills needed for their implementation. The course has two inter-related themes.  First, systemas and project management, which focuses on the management of the process of information system analysis and design.  Second, an introduction to the basic concepts and skills for managing the process of organizational change which is implicit in every new technology system.

Your primary objective in the course is to conduct an analysis of an information system, design an alternate system, and develop a proposal to implement a new information system within an organization. The system may be a manual procedure in need of improvement, a manual system that needs automation, automated procedures that need improvement, or an analytic study of an existing system.  The organization might be for-profit or non-profit, and might be an existing organization or an idea for an entirely new enterprise made possible by information technology.  In essence, your project places you in the role of a professional consultant who is developing a project proposal for the design and implementation of a new information system for a client or potential funder.  The goal of the course is for you to synthesize the technical and social science skills you have been learning in the MIMS program into a professional identity. The project paper is due at the last lecture of the course and will be accompanied by a class presentation of its results.

The course introduces you to the tools, concepts and skills to conduct the study, any one of which can be developed in greater depth in your second year coursework.  The course readings and lectures will introduce you to a wide variety of systems analysis and project management skills, and the assignments can be used as preliminary drafts of sections of the final project paper, so you can take advantage of feedback to perfect your proposal.  Among the topics covered in the lectures and readings are the process of identifying and selecting projects, project initiation, systems requirements determination, system data collection, interviewing and focus group research, work flow analysis and design, data flow diagramming, statistical and cost analysis, budgeting and planning, forms and screen design, decision making and team management, implementation of systems, and evaluation of systems.

Part of the course is devoted to the use of Microsoft Project, a project management system. You will use Project to develop a schedule of the activities you will perform in your own project and to supply updated schedules to the instructors during the semester.

In addition to the analysis/design project, there will be assignments to develop your professional skills on the topics covered in the lectures. Among these assignments are the use of statistical analysis tools, spreadsheet programs, interviewing or focus group research, budget analysis, analysis of group dynamics,and data-flow modeling tools.

It is up to you to find a project for the course. The instructors will provide guidance and discuss examples of successful projects. The break between semesters is a good time to begin looking for organizations and/or systems that need analysisand/or improvement. 

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