- Business, organization and Information system strategies.
A business strategy can be defined as a plan which clearly communicates the destination of a business in terms of goals and the means of reaching the anticipated destination. An example of business strategy is where Dell Company was at, first, selling its computers directly to its customers without passing through middlemen or brokers. Organization strategy, on the other hand, is a plan that responds to the issue of how the company will arrange itself in order to attain its goals and put into practice its strategy for business. An example of organization strategy is the growth strategy. The growth strategy is used, by management, to raise the amount of business that the strategic business unit (SBUs) is producing at present. Information system (IS) strategy is refers to a plan employed by an organization in order to offer information services. A general example of information system strategy is the information management principles and governance arrangements that address the horizontal questions within the company. The principles of information management that ought to strengthen the information system strategy might comprise of integration of information across systems in such a way that managers are capable of modeling the organization through data without being inhibited by separation lines and related issues of ownership for data (Pearlson & Saunders, 2013, Hanson, 2011).
- Strategic associations
There is also a relationship that exists among the three strategies. For instance, an information system (IS) strategy is related to business strategy in the sense that IS strategy permits a company or organization to implement its business strategy that is information system strategy defined what the business requires and later on finds the technology to support the same. Organizational strategy and information systems strategy are also related. It is because they must go together with each other in the sense that their design should support instead of hindering each other. On the other hand, the process of altering business strategy without taking in to an account the corresponding effects on both organizational and information system strategies might cause the business to struggle in anticipation of restoration of balance. The act of altering information system strategy or organization strategy alone might cause lack of stability. If the business strategy of Dell Company was to bypass middlemen, by selling computers directly to customers, then this could affect the information strategy. This is with the assumption that IS strategy only provides retail selling as the channel of distribution. Since direct contact with customers consumes a lot of time, then this might also affect organization strategy, to some extent. This effect is in terms of growth strategy stated as an example above given that more time will be taken by the company to sell their computers.
Consequently, information management and governance becomes hard due to imbalance of both business strategy and organization strategy (Pearlson & Saunders, 2013).
(c) Technological determinism, technology acceptance model and sociotechnical system
Technological determinism refers to the idea that technology has significant effects on our lives. It is a strategy applied, in business advertising strategy, to assume that technology of a society is the driving factor of development of its social structure and cultural values. The technology acceptance model refers to an information system theory that models the way users move toward admitting and employing a given technology. A Sociotechnical system is the approach to complicated organizational design work that identifies the relations between people and technology in the workplace (Raffa, & Capaldo, 2007). The information system strategy, in this case, is the plan to this design work. It shows how various users in the company or in the organization will use the information system technology.
(d) Importance of driving organizational and IS strategy using business strategy
According to Pearlson & Saunders (2013), it is necessary for business strategy to drive organizational and information system strategy because the organization and its information system ought to, clearly, support defined business goals and objectives. This means that if business strategy does not drive IS and organizational strategy, then the goals or objectives might not be met since there will be nothing to support implementation of the target goals. For example, company X may have a business strategy of selling commodities direct to customers electronically through the internet with an aim of doubling the profit. If there is no well-designed online information system infrastructure to support direct contact between customers and the company, then company X will not easily meet its target and eventually the goals will not be met. At the same time, if organization strategy such as a growth strategy does not complement this business strategy, then the target of doubling profit may not be met.
(e) My opinion bout net neutrality
The idea of 'net neutrality' is that every website that is accessed via an internet service provider (ISP), such as Verizon Wireless or Comcast obtains the same bandwidth and speed. It is the opinion that all internet traffic be cared for equally without being selective or charging in a different way by user, content, site, platform, application, attached equipment, and techniques of communication. The court ruling that ISPs could not be forced on issues of net neutrality is at present, likely to enable ISPs to have a motivation to charge higher fees to websites looking to have quicker access and content delivery. Services such as Netflix and Hulu would be forced to pay a premium, given that they cannot pay for the slow streaming of their content. In addition, ISPs can randomly decide to slow down the speed of any website they choose, such as that of their rivals (Barley, 2013 and Marsden, 2010). As far as the digital world is concerned, the ruling is a blow to internet free will. There will be also higher cost of premium being passed back to digital advertisers. It also means that service providers like Hulu will also increase their rates of charges for advertising on its network.
They are, currently, paying a higher fee to guarantee high speed access of content. The well-liked subscription based services could pass on the additional bandwidth charge onto its end customers, even though social media platforms would have no alternative except to pass the charge on to advertisers, given that its consumers obtain them at no cost. This means elevated charges for social media show ads and promotional campaigns. The ruling will moreover make it hard for brands to force traffic to their personal website. The most affected, in this ruling, are the digital marketers. This aspect will mean that digital advertisers will have to bear the high cost of bandwidth passed to them in order to compensate for the cost of the increase. (Marsden, 2010, Cheng et al., 2012).
Information Technology (IT) Project Management
(a) Tradeoff between scope, cost, quality, and time during IT project design
Project scope is a description of the result or mission of a given IT project- a product or service for the customer. Project scope definition, therefore, is a document that will be published and utilized by the project proprietor plus participants for planning and measuring project success. The quality and the final success of an IT project are usually described as meeting or going beyond the anticipations of the customer and or upper administration in terms of cost, time and scope of the project. The trade-offs or inter-association changes among all these criteria. For instance, at times it is essential to compromise the scope as well as performance of an IT project to ensure that the project is completed speedy or at low cost. In many cases, the longer time a project takes to complete, expensive it becomes in terms of cost although a positive correlation between schedule (time) and cost might not at all times be factual. In some cases, the project cost can be lowered by employing cheaper, less proficient labor or equipment that lengthens the project duration. Similarly, It project managers might be required to speed up or crash specific key project activities through the addition of extra labor. Consequently, the original cost of the project is increased by this action. The project manager, thus, has to manage the trade-offs that exist between time, cost and performance (scope) by describing and comprehending the nature of the project priorities. In the middle of the project, the customer may add extra requirements. In this case, manager will have to make a trade-off between costs speeding up the project in order to find which criterion has higher priority. One of the approach that is purposely helpful for use by managers is the completion of priority matrix for the given project in order to recognize the criterion that is constrained, the criterion that ought to be enhanced and that which can be accepted. One example is where the project manager can decide to reduce completion time since time to market is also beneficial to sales. This action makes budget (cost) revision acceptable but not desirable. The second example is where project manager at Microsoft Company might defer the original scope requirements of the project to prospect versions for the purpose of getting to the market first (Schwalbe, 2010).
(b) Reasons why it takes a long time before troubled IT projects are abandoned or brought under control
It takes a long before troubled IT projects are abandoned or brought under control. This aspect is due to some ineffective development practices that are chosen by the development team so often. Undetermined motivation also contributes to this as studies have revealed that motivation perhaps do have a larger effect on both quality and productivity as compared to any other factor. Weak personnel are also another factor as personnel hiring may be made on the basis of who can be hired fast. This way is better than who can do the most work during the whole duration of the project. This gets off the project to a speedy start but which does not set it up for fast finishing point. Adding people to a delayed project is another factor that is most usual of the typical mistakes done. Adding extra people to a late project can take extra efficiency away from the available team members. Other factors include uncontrolled problem of employees, Disagreement (friction) amid developers and clients, unrealistic expectations, lack of effective project, lack of effective project sponsorship, lack of user input, and politics in the process, over optimistic schedules, insufficient risk management, insufficient planning, inadequate design, insufficient management controls and many more. In brief, the factors can be grouped as technology which involve the use and misuse of modern technology, product which relates to poor product design, process which include process-related mistakes that slow down projects since they waste people's aptitudes and hard work, and people which comprise of people related mistakes. All these factors make it hard for the project team to know whether they have to take corrective action until the harm has taken place.(Venugopal, Rajesh, & Ramanujachari, 2011, McCionnell, 1996).
( C) Event model for socio-technical analysis
This is a model that describes the trends in social factors that affect the demand for the products of a company. Also, the functions of the given company in terms of technological factors such as automation, technological change, technological incentives, and other factors that relate to technology. The connection between people, task, structure, and technology is such that knowledge gained by people is a crucial associate of technological innovation by management. The exchange of this knowledge also brings about management innovation via enhanced and employed information a technology system that permits both knowledge and information to flow within an organization. The knowledge exchange and management innovation are also hindered by structural size of the organization or company. The knowledge exchange via the available technology finally affects the know-how of persons or individuals in performing various tasks within the organization.
(d) Critical success factors (CSFs) for an IT project manager
The four critical success factors include agreement on the project goals. The second critical success factor is developing clearly-defined plans with assigned responsibilities and accountabilities. There is also effective management of the project scope. The final critical success factor is cultivation of continuous and effective communications. When hiring someone for a successful job, managers look at various qualities. One of these values is the ability to communicate effectively. Other values include education and line of profession, relevant experience, and other additional talents. There is also need to include understanding of mission and vision of the company you intend to work. An excellent example is the case of Omlec and F where lack of some of these qualities such as lack of communication and inadequate training and preparation contributed to failure of enterprise resource planning (ERP). The case of Farina revealed that the implementation of ERP system without sufficient knowledge concerning the technical features created loop holes and consequently the attempt to develop a new strategy failed (Newman, & Zhao, 2008).
(e) Customization of ERP
Customization of ERP is driven by a number of factors. First, there is the need for ERP solution to be implemented. For instance, Microsoft and SAP dynamics of implementation do engage customization at a higher rate as compared to Oracle EBS or Tier II solutions. I am not for the opinion of customization for some reasons. First of all, the process of customization brings about complexity and risk of implementing the system. As a result, this makes it harder when it comes to future system upgrade. Two is that some excellent practices and feature that are inbuilt within the system are undermined during this process, forgetting that other software vendors had taken a lot of time in developing them. Last but not least, customization results to a problem of solution mismatch with the requirements of the company which in turn brings about the lack of control to the project during implementation (Kimberling, 2009).
(f) Benefits of conducting a Project Retrospect
The principle aim of retrospective is to enhance team performance on a given project by having a brief glance at the recent past for a better future of the project. As team members come together with their diverse perspectives and insights, it helps to understand the view of one another concerning the project. As a result, it enables the project team to identify the improvement actions to be taken thus reducing the chances of project failure. Use of momentum maps helps to delivering highest excitement with remarkable rewards and benefits. It provides a visual overview of what marketing activity you require to carry out and when to carry them out in order to achieve the final goal. (Lenfle, 2011).
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