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Management Information System

Assignment 1

Lisa Forbes-Arnold

An assignment submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements

for the course Management Information System
Instructor: Mr. Rohan Simpson
Date: November 7, 2014

Department of Communication and Information Technology

Bethlehem Moravian College

Question 1
Discuss how organizations could enhance the operations of their information system
across functional areas using information from a global telecommunication systems.
.[25 marks]

All businesses share a common goal and that is to increase profits by using their
available resources effectively and efficiently. In order for businesses to achieve this goal
they also share an indispensable asset in common, that common asset is information.
Information enables businesses to determine the need to create goods and services.
Information also tells businesses when to move into new market or when to withdraw
from other markets. Information is so valuable in businesses that without, businesses
would cease to exist.
However, as powerful as information is in businesses, it will have no impact when
presented raw. In order to maximize the value of information, it must be captured,
analyzed, quantified, complied, manipulated, and made accessible and shared, so that it
can be used to support forecasting, planning, controlling, coordinating, decision making
and operational activities of the business. . In order to accomplish those tasks, an
information system (IS) must be designed, developed administered and maintained.
Telecommunications are the means of electronic transmission of information over
distances. The information may be in the form of voice telephones calls, data, text,
images, or video. Telecommunications is essential for the smooth operations of the
business globally. Telecommunications is made possible by network technologies that


Better communication when no physical object is transferred.

Greater efficiency
Better distribution of data
Instant transaction
Flexible and mobile workforce as well as
Alternate channels of communication

Every business have functional areas, and depending on the size and nature of the
business, these functional area could be one office undertaking all the functions or it could be
several offices working in synergy. Each department have specialist functionand without careful
communication using the companys information system then the correct business decisions will
not be made and the company will not operate successfully and gain maximum profit.
Information that is recorded electronically can be easily accessed by anyone involved in
the business process even when the business units are far apart. Consequently, businesses can f
capitalize on their information system across functional areas byemploying global
telecommunication systems in the following ways:
1. Group-email:
This is an easy way to stay in touch with your group becausethere is no
need to remember all the members name and email addresses,added to that, when
a mail is sent,the entire group receives the message. With group email it is
therefore possible to have multiple conversations with different groups of people
simultaneously. Group sessions could be opened for different people based on
different types of needs. As a result group email is ideal to share information
across functional areas quickly and effectively.
2. Text Messaging:
Texting or Short Messaging Service (SMS) is a fast, relatively low in cost method
to connect with customers, employees, suppliers and purchasers. It is also an efficient

communication tool because no more than 160 characters are allowed.Companies can
use text messaging to create brand loyalty by messaging customers on their mobile
devices. Texting let businesses get customers involved in interactive activities such
as surveys, games and contests. Businesses can use the technology to send customers
and potential buyers instant product updates and alerts, news feeds and blogs.
Texting is real-time alternative to pricey advertising in newspaper and magazines and
online. Texting is also surpassing email as a fast convenient communication tool in
the workplace. Employees can use messaging services to broadcast alerts, on the
worksite or if information systems are down. Employees can text to schedule last
minute meetings or announce date and time changes of events. Employees working
off site can give a supervisor or co-worker instant updates on a remote project.
Employees could also use text messaging to send critical messages to supervisor. It is
obvious that text messaging offers the same tasks as that of emails, however spam
filters screen out and remove large number of emails. Added to that people are not
always online all the time, but most carry their cell phones, all the time so businesses
will have a greater chance of making connections through text messages than with
Another feature of texting that companies should implement is group texting
which is an affordable easy to use web based text messaging platform. Group texting
uses long codes to send text from the users web browser. Group texting can prove
efficient because messages can be scheduled to go out immediately or in the future,
bulk messages can be personalised, images can be uploaded to mobile server and
short links can be added to them in text sent. Added to that group texting provides

users with intuitive sorting tools whereby phone numbers can be uploaded and
organise into groups, messages can be received in group texting inbox, phone
numbers that are duplicated would be automatically removed. Companies can use
group texting as a mobile marketing
Intranet/ Extranet:
Fixed wireless services could also be administered to cut telephone cost.
Intranet could be used to communicate across departments while Extranet could
be used to communicate with stakeholders.
Peer to Peer File Sharing (P2P)
Peer to peer technology is a way to share music, video and documents, and
facilitate online telephone conversations.

The technology enables computers

using the same or compatible P2P programs to form a network and share digital
files directly with other computers on the network. Companies can use this
technology to share file with their stakeholders.
The above mentioned are some telecommunication that companies could
use to improve their information systems across functional areas globally. In
order to get those features with limited interference it is recommended that these
companies have a reliable Internet connection preferably one that uses optical
fibre because they are not vulnerable to electromagnetic interference.

Question 2

a. Phased Approach in the Development of Systems

Most system are usually too complex for an individual to understand. As a result
a System has a series of steps or phases, to better control the development of the system.
These phases are collectively known as the system development life cycle. One of such
phase is known as the implementation phase which involves preparation, implementation
of the system into a production environment, resolution of problems identified in the
integration and test phase and training users to handle the system.
There are four methods of system implementation which are direct change-over,
parallel conversion, pilot conversion and the phased conversion. The latter takes the
conversion one step at a time by breaking down the system into functional modules and
phased into operation one at a time. The use of the phased-approach allows users to get
involved in the system gradually hence the possibility of detecting errors in the system.
The use of the phased approach also gives the users time to cope with the changes caused
by the system

b. Prototyping of a System
A prototype is an initial version of a software system that is used to exhibit the
idea of the software. i.e. Prototyping is a model that is designed before the actual system
is installed. Prototypes enables the producer as well as the customer to use the design of

the software to decipher if the software has any problems and to determine possible
solution(s). Prototypes are therefore a demo version of the real system.
Prototyping of system is meaningful technique because it is a way in which the
system analyst gets feedback from the customer, test the feasibility without building the
whole system, assess the set of requirement that makes the system successful in the
market and make end user involved in the design phase.

c. Phased Approach and Prototyping vs Direct Approach vs Prototyping

The Performance Appraisal System (PAS) is one which will affect both external
and internal of the stakeholders of the school, as it will help to solve both programmed
and non-programmed problems. Consequently it would be more practical to use the
phased conversion when implementing the system with prototyping in oppose to the
direct conversion with prototyping.
Direct conversion occurs when the new system replaces the old system and the
old system is discarded. This strategy if implemented successfully is less expensive than
other conversion methods, however it has been proven to be highly risky, because once
the system is implemented there is no turning back. Added to that change is inevitable in
information technology because of new advances, however, people generally do not like
changes. Consequently users of the PAS may not be as eager to readily start using the
PAS and may feel pressured, because they needed time to get use to the system. This is
one of the major reasons why the phased conversion should be implemented because
users will get the chance to gradually use the system instead of feeling forced to use the
direct conversion system.
Prototyping of the system is to ensure that detailed design is defined appropriately
to the specific needs of the users. The phased conversion would be ideal for this because

users will get a chance to test the specification of the systems in small functional parts,
discover errors and make suggestions. This will prove less expensive because unlike the
direct conversion only parts/module of the system will be scrutinized at a time instead of
the entire system.

d. Three Roles of the Information Technology Manager

The Information Technology Manager reports to the Senior Administrative
Officer and manages and provides hardware and software maintenance, training and
consultation, and recommendations about future planning and development of resources.
Providing these services in an effective and efficient manner will ensure maximum access
to and implementation of technology services and resources.

Three of the

responsibilities of the Information Technology manager to target accomplishments

expected of the position including the typical problemsencountered in carrying out the
responsibilities are:
i. Manage Information Technology and Computer Systems: this role is
accomplished with the Information Technology manager carrying out the
functions of management which are planning, organizing, directing,
controlling and evaluating the operations of the information system and
electronic data processing.

In managing the system the Information

Technology manager also have to develop and implement policies and

procedures for electronic data processing and computer systems operations
and development. The Information Technology manager also have to
meet with other functional managers of the organization to discuss the
system requirements, specifications, costs and timelines. In managing the

system the Information Technology manager employs and manage

information systems personnel and contractors to design, develop,





software, networks and information system.


Finally in managing the

system the Information Technology manager controls the computer

systems budgets and expenditure.
ii. Ensure Technology is Accessible and Equipped With Current Hardware
and Software: in assuming this role the Information Technology manager
have an array task carry out some of which includes: troubleshooting
hardware, software and network operating system, be familiar with all the
hardware and software along with the network operating system. The
manager is also responsible for inducting new staff about the potential
uses of the existing technology as well as training staff about the systems

The manager also provide recommendations about accessing

information and support as well as maintaining current and accurate

inventory of technology hardware, software and resources.
iii. Monitor and maintain technology to ensure maximum access: in carrying
out this responsibility, the task is of the Information Technology manager
to troubleshoot all technology issues, maintain and log/or list requires
repairs and maintenance, make recommendations about the purchasing of
technology resources, research current and potential resources services,
provide network access for all users of the system. Added to that the
manager must monitor security of all technology, install and maintain
Foolproof and password. The manager is also responsible for inputting

and maintaining Internet Protocol (IP) address, advice staff of security

breaches and change in password or security status. Added to that in
monitoring and maintain technology to ensure maximum access it is the
duty of the manager to ensure installation of lock out programs, identify
and prepare hardware for disposal when appropriate and ensuring that the
hardware is stripped and secured before disposal.

Question 3
a. Relationship Managemet System
Customers are the most important stakeholder of a business. As a result companies are
always seeking innovative ways to improve their customer service relationships. The Internet
and wireless application has allowed businesses to use new dimensions to managing customer
relaionships known as Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
Customer Relationship Management is a system that records and store all information relating to
customers interaction and such it can be used to define the way businesses deal with their
customers, strengthen their market position, customise their products to serve the customers
better and increase their sales.
Businesses who improve their customer relationship will automatically see direct
aadvantages of it in regards to profitability. Recently businesses have been using CRM to
understand customers and to improve sales. Tangible benefits are those that can be measured in
hard numbers i.e they have a direct monetary value which can be observed or measured. Some
of the tangible benefits are but not limited to:


Increase in time spend by sales personnel with existing

customers, per day:-

this benefit can be determined, by

measuring the number of service calls made per day by sales

personnel or the number of hours spent by sales personnel in faceii.

to-face contact with existing customers.

Increase in the number of new customer prospects pursued by
sales representative:-most representatives prefer to call on
existing customers, with whom they have an ongoing relationship.
However, new customers drives future growth. To determine this
benefit, the number of new prospects versus existing customer
contacted by the sales representative per day, per week, per month


or per quarter is measured.

Increase the time spent by sales managers in contacting
customers and working with sales representative on customer
issues: Coaching sales personnel is critical, and managers
never seem to have enough time for this. To determine this benefit,
the number of hours per day, which sales managers spend in
contact with customer and prospects, and with sales representatives


discussing customer issues is measured.

Increase the customer service efficiency: Customer service is
deemed the key differentiator between companies that remain
viable and those that do not. The tangible benefit provided by
CRM regarding to customer service is measuring the turnaround
time for customer service issues, as well as the number of customer
service errors made as a result of misinformation.


Increase in timeliness of follow-up correspondence to

customers/prospects: this benefit can be measured, by the
number of days between the date the customer/prospect was
contacted and the date that the customer/prospect follow-up
information was sent


Increase in revenue per month per sales representative: This

is an important benefit of CRM, careful management is required to
ensure that time saved as a result of automation is used
productively to deliver more sales.Increase in base revenue
generated per month per sales representative is used to measure the

Intangible benefits as those benefits that are measured using soft criteria. Management
may prefer the hard numbers, but these top level executives also can appreciate soft
criteria benefits as well i.e they have no monetary value but still have value to the
organisation. Intangible benefits includes:


Improved understanding and better control over expenses: CRM can assist
in this effort, assuming sales, marketing and customer care expenses are tagged to
individual sales personnel and /or accounts. This benefit can be measured by


measuring the expense per sales and marketing personnel and/or per account
The ability to differentiate thecompany from the competition: It should be
noted that many studies have tried or are trying to measure the competitive


advantage resulting from CRM. Consider measuring the increased customer

loyalty as well as customer perception of your company versus the competition.


Improved image of the company: Automation can play a leading role in

building the companys image in the eyes of the customers. To determine this
benefit, the reaction of existing and future buyers to your sales and marketing
professionalism is measured.


More up-to-date information and easy access to this information: Up-todate information and easy access are subjective measurements made by end-users.
the timeliness of needed information and the ease of accessing this information
based on end-use standards is uesed to measure this benefit.


Overall smoother functioning within your company:it can be a tedious task

looking for information that is accurate and timely, this benefit can be meausred
by weighing the time spent looking for needed information versus time spent
utilizing information and getting on with your job

b. Knowledge Management System

Knowledge is a poerful resource that enables individuals and organisations to achieve
several benefits such as improved learning and decision making.

Repository management

system (KMS) assists organisations to efficeintly capture their knowledge for future use.
A Knowledge Management System (KM) is one that stores any type of data needed to
convey the context of the decision and the discussion involved in making the decision .

Knowledge Management System are designed to organise information to assist people in

colloborative projects and reseach.
The tangible benefits are those benefits that can be quantifoed in monetary value. Some
tangible benefits of a Knowledge Management System are:

Improved distribution of knowledge: - Knowledge that

previously resided with one individual is now made available


on-demand for the rest of your organization.

Greater information accuracy and consistency: - When
everyone in an organization can access and contribute to a
comprehensive internal knowledge base, the quality of


information improves.
Increased employee satisfaction: - Knowledge workers want
to share their knowledge and be recognized for it. KMS with
gratification reward users for participating and lead to


improved employee satisfaction.

Less time spent looking for answers: - A comprehensive
internal knowledge base with powerful search functions saves
employees time when searching for answers to their questions


and also reduces interruptions and distractions.

Faster on-boarding of new employees: - New employees
have a wealth of information at their fingertips to immediately


start finding answers to the many questions they have.

Retention of knowledge when employees leave: - KMS
allows the organisation to capture the knowledge they pay their
employees for and keep it, even if they move on to another
position or organization.

Intangible Benefits are subjective benefits that cannot be measured in monetary terms.
Some examples of intangible benefits of a Knowledge Management System are:

Improved colloboration of skills and expansion of networking: Knowledge

Management Systems is one that allows employees to share to information. By


doing so employees can expand their skills through networking.

Improved customer satisfaction with the product:- effective knowledge
management enables the organisation to use information gathered about the
product to enhance the product thus creating customer satisfaction with the


Provide Continual learning:- knowledge management system enables individual
to access multi-disciplinary organisational knowledgement. This knowledge can


aid in life long learning.

Minimised loss of knowledge resulting from retirement of technical and
engineering people:- knowledgement management system is one that captures
the knowledge and stores it, hence employees are not indispensible because of the
knowledge they posses because the knowledge that they come to the organisation
along with the knowledge they gained while working for the organisation would
be stored on the system.

c. Enterprise System
Enterprise systems also commonly known as ES are comprehensive, large scale
application-software packages, which use powers of present day information technology (IT) for
supporting processes, reporting, data analysis and information flows. These IT powers include
data storage, computational, and data transmission and are done between and within complex

Some tangible benefits of Enterprise System are:


Reduced Operating Costs:-Enterprise Systems makes information easy to

access, hence, employees can gather infromation available by running a report.
Added to that employees working in different departmenst or branches only have
to request the information. The other empoyee would gather the information and
forward ut to the employee who made the request. Thus labor cost is reduced for


both employees to gather the information.

Real Time Information:- businesses who employs Enterprise System employees
receive data immediately and use that information in their work. Conversely
businesses who do not employ Enterprise System need to request the data form
others and wait for a response. This response can take days or weeks to receive.


This benefit increase in calue as the urgency of needing the information increases.
Reduce Stock Obsolescence:- Enterprise Systems eliminates the the ordering of
stock that are obsolete this is because the system collect informaton on stock henc
stock that are longer used by the customers would have been garnered, this saves
the business money by not purchsing stock that are no longer needed. The money


saved from this venture.

Faster Servce:- Enterprise System allows businesses to serve their customers
faster. This is so because information is readily avaible to serve customers. As
result products can be found faster, this saves time and money.

The intangible benefits are:


Standardization: - standardization brings the business culture together, it makes

upgrades and changes more efficient, and it ensures a global consistency in
process and service.


Interdependency of jobs: - Enterprise System allows for explicit the

interdependency that jobs in an organization have. Information that is generated
by the system ofremains within the functional silos, it is very easy for a job


function to evolve into a role that could be defined as a team player.

Improvement in total financial control according to global standards: Enterprise Systems allows for improved security, standard segregation of duties
controls, and internal approval rules all contribute to greater control. Closing the
books globally with the same process, on the same sequence reduces


inconsistency between entities.

Accurate and faster data: - this is probably the greatest intangible benefit of the
Enterprise System. Data collected by the system is can be accessed faster to make


timely decisions.
Better control of data: - the Enterprise System minimizes the risk of mis-


utilization of the resources thereby resulting in better control of data collected.

Employee Satisfaction: - Enterprise Systems makes the employees job easier by
providing him/her with information on how to perform responsibilities. The
system can be used to access reports and current data which she incorporates into
her own analysis. The ease with the information was accessedcreates less stress
while the work is being undertaken thus leaving the employee having a greater
sense of achievement. The business will benefit because the employee can now


focus her energy on higher level work rather than on acquiring the information.
Flexibility: -Enterprise System allow employees to access data via the Internet.
Therefore employees who travel or work from home can access the system and
fulfil their work obligations.

The system eliminates the requirement that

employees need to work form the office. The company will benefit because
employees away from the office does not lose any productivity time.

Question 4
All early systems developments and some today use the traditional/structured methodologies.
They usually consist of easily defined stages, each of which requires formal completion before
the next one can commence. As result there are no tangible deliverables until the last stage has
been completed and then the whole system is provided. Traditional methodologies are suitable

There is a specific date for implementation

There is a clear understanding of the requirements of the system and changes to


the system is unlikely.

The task cannot be broken down into smaller modules
Contractual arrangement for the system
The requirements are well understood and are unlikely to change during the


development of the system.

The following diagram illustrate the steps involved in the traditional


Conversely RAD (rapid application development) is a method of developing and

implementing a software in phases instead of working until the entire program is completed.
Users therefore have the opportunity of working on the sections that are completed. RAD uses
prebuiltconcept that systems can be developed faster and of higher quality through:

Gathering requirements using workshops or focus groups

Prototyping and early, reiterative user testing of designs

The re-use of software components

A rigidly paced schedule that defers design improvements to the next product version

Less formality in reviews and other team communication

The following diagram illustrates the phases involved in developing a system using the
RAD approach.

There are a number of phases common to every development, regardless of
methodology, starting with requirements capture and ending with maintenance. With the
traditional approach, each phase will be expected to move forward gracefully from one

phase to the other. As a result the traditional approach when used to design a system gives
the system some degree of transparency and a feeling of predictability to senior
management. The project is executed sequentially with clear sign off points and has
definite start and end points. It also tends to be extensively documented and produces
plans and estimates which can be tracked and reported on.
However, traditional method project plans can be very rigid and do not cope well
with changes because of its sequential approach. Added to that the project may end up
producing functions and products which are not fit for the purpose or, if changes are
incorporated, the project may be delivered late or overrun its budget. To solve this
problem RAD emerged because of the increasing pace of change within all organizations,
being that traditional approach did not produce results quickly. In addition, RAD,
accommodates for close working relationship between users and developers that is
inherent in the RAD approach, hence the users are more likely to get a system that meets
their real needs than with a more conventional approach.
Even though RAD produces the product faster it is also the main dangers
associated with RAD, because the speed at which it gets the product done leaves little
time for reflection and, if not managed properly even less time will be allotted for
documentation. Hence the emersion of a poorly documented system which may come
later in the products lifecycle, and maintenance becomes difficult and unpredictable,
since the support engineers do not have adequate information on why and how the system
has been created as it is. In oppose to the traditional system that uses detailed
documentation for each phase, eliminating the problem of poorly documented systems.
It must also be noted that when the requirements of the system is non-specific the
RAD would be most suited in oppose to the traditional approach which is more favorable
when precise user requirements is needed. Because of the methodologies used in the

phases of its development the system RAD would be more suitable for small system
while the tradition approach is better suited for larger system. As such traditional
approach is more suited for outsourcing.
Both methods have their benefits and limitations, the choice of which method works best
is dependent on the size and purpose of the system being developed.

a. Traditional Approach for Tertiary System

The system would be required to process and record the collection of tuition fees
obtained from students bank vouchers. The traditional approach would be more suited for this
application because the requirement for this system is unlikely to change. The payment of
school fees is a long term practice, which requires a structured approach along with
documentation and formal structured agreements. This system would be critical to the school
hence prototyping would be irrelevant. It is also assumed that the school would have a System
Administrator who has the technical skills to maneuver this system.

b. RAD for Variety Store:

The RAD would be more suitable for the Variety store because requirement is
transient and non-specific. The system would be required to gather data from
departments in order to make analysis. The system therefore does not need to store or
generate the data. It must also be noted a system such as this may change over time
because of shifts or changes in the business organization, another reason why the RAD
would be most suited to design this system.



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The Department of Communication and Information Technology

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Submitted to: Mr. Rohan Simpson

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Date of Submission: May 16, 2014
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