IS208: Analysis of Information Organizations and Systems

Information on Oral Project Descriptions & Progress Reports
(in class, March 3, 2004)

Updated 2/23/2004

The primary goal of these reports is to provide the class with an understanding of the variety of systems and organizations that are being studied.  Since we have 13 projects and an 80-minute class, we shall use the following format:

* Each group should choose a lead speaker. The group will have approximately FIVE MINUTES to briefly introduce the group's project.  This will be done by speaking from your seat, without the use of slides.  Please prepare IN ADVANCE what you will say and check that you will take LESS THAN 5.5 minutes.  For group projects, the lead speaker should introduce herself/himself and the other members of the group.  Decide among yourselves who will have speaking roles.

* To help you organize your report, please use the following outline(Ideas or sample statements for an imaginary project are in quotes.)

1. State who is doing the project:

   "I am XXX, and I am analyzing ... " OR
   "I am XXX.  My group consists of YYY, ZZZ and myself, and we are ... "
          OR something very similar.

2. State precisely and clearly what the system is and who the parent organization is.  If there is a division or sub-organization, make that clear.  You may also include a sentence on the motivation for the study:

   "We are studying the bill paying system of XYZ, the formerly state-owned dominant telecommunications carrier in Fredonia.  I once worked for them on a contract basis, and they still have not paid all the invoices I submitted.  Currently the contracts division, the accounts payable division, and the treasurer's office--which actually generates checks and other payments--are each separate entities in the organization."

(If there are confidentiality concerns, you do NOT need to identify the organization by name.)


3A.  State what you think will be the most important issue.

     "The entire accounting system, including accounts payable, is a mix of a paper-based system and computerized systems in several departments  that do not share information in a logical manner.  We need to decide  whether to fix what is already there or whether to start over with a  new, integrated system.  If we choose a new system, the options include building one from scratch, purchasing a complete system from a vendor, or finding an add-on to the current enterprise system from Oracle/SAP/whomever."

3B.  State what you think might be the key finding. (Speculation at this point is permitted--just label it as such.)

     "Despite the technological challenges, we suspect that a significant part of the problem is that many business practices will need to be changed if we are to have any positive effect."

3C.  State what you suspect may be your biggest problem.

     "In the past this organization has developed the software for its major functions internally.  This has led to applications that are almost  impossible to maintain.  We do not know if they will seriously consider the option of switching to a software package from an outside vendor."
     "The organization and its environment are undergoing massive changes, and it is difficult to get senior management to devote sufficient attention to this system."


... just stay within the time allowed.

Last update: 23 Feb 2004