The most appropriate information system strategy that the Midchester University should adopt is the plan B. This is where the existing structures are maintained but radically changing their processes, as would be enabled through IT. Committees overseeing, for example, academic quality and research strategy would become joint faculty committees with an equal representation of members from each faculty. In a similar manner, heads of department from both faculties would meet together on a regular basis. Communications and report structures would become more collaborative, involving joint reports on key strategic partnerships.
Heads of department from both faculties would meet together on a regular basis. Communications and report structures would become more collaborative, involving joint reports on key strategic partnerships. The cost savings of a single faculty office would not be achieved, but estimates suggested that the joint working proposed would be less costly than Plan A. Students and staff would experience no disruption under the new arrangements, although again potential developments in terms of new courses and research were envisaged. One potential hurdle was the increased levels of bureaucracy. Staff already moaned about the amount of paperwork and there was a danger of increasing the number of committees under the joint arrangements.
The key features looked into in this strategy are;
|Information System Components||Description|
|Process Re-engineering||Re-engineering will involve integration of latest technological aspects such as cloud computing features and components to the system to ensure that all long term institution’s technological needs and IT requirements are met.|
|Applications:||The applications which are given priority include database, data warehousing components that will enable the company to meet the short term IT strategies. The hardware and other support software are also given priority.|
|Customization||Customizations will be limited to the analytic features. This is to come up with a subsystem that will provide users with flexible and straightforward system|
|Interfaces||The interfaces included are features that ensure that the users in each and every departmental unit view the right interface. This will include both functional and usability interface components.|
|Architecture||Application and Technical Architecture should be designed according to the system’s requirement specifications.|
|Testing||The testing should be carried in two stages. First every system unit is thoroughly tested. This is done by exposing the prototype system to the users. The errors that will be realized are fixed before system integration. Another test will be performed after the different sub systems are integrated.|
|Funding||The project funding covers only the activities that are specified in the project scope. These include the purchase of software, hardware, network components, expenses on the project team and training.|
|Training||Training will be conducted in phases. All the employees in different business units should fully understand the system and how it works. The security issues should also be dealt with during the training.|
The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats identified for the Midchester University were provides a wide environment and covers the elements such as support systems for information technology, academic programs and the IT infrastructure. All the items in the four categories are identified and ranked as follows:
|Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOTs) analysis|
|Strength||-Midchester university will have in place an information technology faculty with vast creative and innovative skills.
-a solid program in the information system will be developed. The program will host experts and resources to formulate and come up with academic information technology programs. The faculty is prevalent in computer information system, accounting information system, customer relationship management, market information system.
-the stakeholders will benefit from a robust network system and infrastructure.
-there will be developing connection between academic faculties with same interest in information technology.
-Mediated classrooms will drastically increase due to the presence of good information system.
-valuable campus resources such as college of integrated science and technology’ and center of instructional technology.
-in a good information system, the university can benefit from the robust information technology infrastructure in the leading information technology firms via cloud computing.
|Weakness||Midchester university operates in an environment that has limited resource. This will be realized when it comes to the amount of money allocated to fund and maintain academic programs and IT infrastructure.
-the relationship with the information technology industry representatives are limited and its development team does not involve executive team in the institutions. This limits the embracement of a good information system.
-the current faculty member development programs fully utilized.
-the university might not have the right to access internet 2. The management has to improve its internet access in order to be recognized globally. This will also limit the use of internet in learning.
-the long cycle for upgrading staff, faculty and student. This will lead to a situation where the infrastructure becomes obsolete before they are fully utilized.
-the distribution of mediated or computerized classroom in the campus is not even. As such a phenomenon called digital divide may arise in the university.
-the level of educational technology and information technology support do not meet the requirements of both areas.
-there is the policy issues as far as computer usage is concerned.
-the cost of some information system components is too high. This may lead to a situation where the state of the system is compromised.
-lack of clear or well defined university policy that govern the off campus use of information system. The projection of the role played by distance learning in future may not be clear
|Opportunities||-the faculty that represents various academic departments will develop state of the art curricula in form of prototype with the latest technology. The program includes telecommunication and e-commerce.
-development of more programs that requires computerized information system. For example CRM and analytic programs.
– Development of more distance programs.
-a good information system will ensure effective and efficient management of both staff and student records.
– Employment opportunities for individuals with skills in information technology will be realized.
-specific plan to take full advantage of IT infrastructure will be established.
|Threats||-the time for program and curricular development is limited due to high teaching loads in the faculty.
-the Midchester university priorities and mission is undergoing redefinition. As such less concentration is given to information system development.
– The institution faces stiff competition from private and public sectors.
-the university may feel that its IT facilities limit them from merging other universities.
|No||PESTLE example of a change or opportunity facing Midchester Univ.||Evaluate Implication to Midchester Univ. resulting from this change (opportunity)||Make Future Recommendations to Midchester Univ. on how to take advantage or mitigate of this change (opportunity) in future.|
Political environment stability, taxes, law, policies in economy, the goals of the organization against the environmental demands
|As midchester university strive to establish a state of the art information system, the university will take the full advantage of the tax waiver imposed on any organization that strives to implement the information technologies that that are friendly to the environment. The
University has to adhere to the rules that govern the use of hardware in the country. For example, the computers and other electronic used should be conserve energy.
The issue of cyber security and cyber terrorism. The university also faces the challenges of its information system infrastructure being used to execute a terror.
|Organization’s environmental demands are met my implementing eco-friendly technologies such as green computing and cloud computing.
The cyber crime and cyber terrorism issues are mitigated my ensuring maximum cyber security. Both physical and logical security mechanism should be enhanced. For instance, the network traffic should be monitored and scrutinized to ensure to track any possible intrusion.
Economic projections and economic stabilization.
|There might be issues when it comes the technological infrastructure used by the organization in relation to the government requirements. For example, the software or hardware used in an organization not meets the government specification standards.||It is very important for an institution to consider what the government’s long term economic projection. This will enable the institution to adhere to the requirements stipulated by the government as far as the use of information technology to achieve the economic goals.|
Embracing respect and diversity, the satisfaction of internal stakeholder, technological responsibility to the people in the neighborhood. The value chain connection
| Establishing good rapport with thee neighbourhood enables the individual living around to learn and appreciate what the institution is doing as far as technology embracement is concerned.
The reaction of the internal stakeholders largely depends on the closeness and interaction between the implementation team and the internal stakeholders.
|Basically, the harmony and peace that exist in the university is paramount as far as day to day operations are concerned. The management should carry out programs that educate and trains the people living around. For example, offering IT courses at affordable cost to the people living around the university.|
Latest technological requirements.
|The rate at which technology changes is very fast. As such the institution finds it much cumbersome for them to buy new infrastructure regularly.
Security issues are also prevalent. Considering that the system is used by students, there is high possibility that some students will test their technological prowess by trying to crack the system. This renders the information system much vulnerable.
|The institution should implement cloud computing technologies. This will enable the institution to take advantage of the state of the art technological infrastructures. Clod storage also eliminates the need for the institution to buy servers, which may cost a lot of money. Cloud storage is where the organization hires storage space from cloud storage service. This will enable the institution to adhere to the requirements stipulated by the government as far as the use of information technology to achieve the economic goals.|
Includes employment laws, working time, wages and age.
|When a new information system is implemented, there is the issue of employment. Employees who are not computer literates feel that their jobs are at stake. As such, they can sue the institution for wanting to dismiss them.
During implementation period, the workers may be required to work for extra hours to meet the project deadlines. This can bring issues.
|The institution should fully involve the employees from different departments. This will make them feel that their opinions are considered. Moreover, their jobs should be secured via short trainings and awareness.|
Energy consumption reduction, recycling computer parts, water saving technologies
|Some environmental challenges can be a hinge to technological developments in the institution. The strategy put in place may not meet the environmental requirements put in place.||The information system established should put into consideration all the requirements that make sure environmental conservation. These include use of materials that attains the LEED certification, green computing and application of climate change strategies. Advocacy and collaboration is also crucial.|
Soft system methodology is a software technique used to structure and support complex information system. It is a crucial process used to manage the information system implementation. A soft system methodology specialists take the SSM to be a thinking-out process which apply organized action in reacting to possible changes that tend to affect the IS strategy process.
Both Wilson and Checkland take SSM as a continuous process. The process is applied in every stage. For example, when the organization needs to make a change in a department, there are new problems or issues that need to be attended. This problem needs an investigation and a debate so that you come up with the most suitable solution. Both also take soft system methodology to be the basis of designing the system in every field. Different factors such as cultural, economical or political (Kurtz, 2011).
Both also consider soft system methodology was created to respond to the fact that most system problems are significantly complicated. It is wrong to assume that any problem realized can be solved successfully.
The difference between Wilson SSM approach and Checkland approach is explained in three groups.
These are assumptions, process, and the language and concept. While Wilson’s approach takes the traditional method taken by other researchers, Checklands gives a totally new and different dimension of achieving the 7 stages of SSM. The approach taken by Checkland is very radical and it starts with the arrangement and organization premise. The process is made open so that the development team interact freely with the environment. The human activity is included in the process of modelling. A particular dimension of the system is taken and integrated with objective and subjective impression to come up with reach picture. The people involved are also included so that their views are integrated in the development process (Hoye, 2010).
On the other hand Wilson approach takes a conceptual model. It takes consensus primary model and procedures for information process that is manual. The approach takes a primary task model and achieves a consensus on the same. Different sets of information are derived and used in support. It takes an information processing and find out the groups of information where output and input should go. It also defines the roles of management in the perspectives of the decision taken by each manager. All the activity information is converted to role to role information traffics.
The rationale that this approach takes includes
- Data is not information- information has attributes that can give some meaning.
- The information system gives knowledge to aid purposeful task and therefore individual requires supplying meaning to particular data.
- The data that people gives to the data should also be understood via multidimensional examination
A human activity system is a combination of resources and people organized into a complete package to do something. It is the presence and the contribution that affects the people in the system. The individuals in the system choose and perform tasks, as an individual or as a group, which enables them to achieve a wholly specified purpose. On the other hand, natural system does not involve a lot of resources; the system is build using the traditional methods. This system is always integrating the traditional hazards of risk management and natural science.
A human activity system also keeps some form of relationship. These relationships are supposed to be kept for the entire system process. Keeping these relationships and links is very critical to the system. The system stability conditions are the regulations of the systems that limit the system used. The regulations governing the system are only applicable in the case of natural system. This implies that any modification made requires new formulation and analysis of the system.
A human activity system is also open to the environment and therefore allows interaction with it. It also operates on environment and makes contribution. There exist mutual interdependence between the environment and system. The interdependence brings about limitations and targets on the environment and the system. The required resources and support are provided by the environment. On the other hand, the natural system assumes a black box method. All the activities that take place in the system are not known by the users or the environment.
Lastly, the insight of the system originates from the implementation of purpose filling and purpose seeking dynamics in relation to the humans as system and the related environment. Conversely, the natural system takes a normal process of system development. The system stands as an independent entity.
|Kotter (1995) ‘Eight Step’ Model of ‘Change Management’||Wilson (2001) ‘Soft Systems Methodology’|
|Identify a (different) criteria for each row below so as to compare both Kotter (1995) and Wilson (2001) models for the columns on the right.||Critically appraise Kotter’s (1995) Methodology using ‘comparison criteria’ you have identified (i.e. the cell appearing on the left) of each row below.
Also detail the ‘Implications’ and your ‘Recommendations’ here.
|Critically appraise Wilson (2001) Methodology using the ‘comparison criteria’ you have identified (i.e. the cell appearing on the left) of each row below.
Also detail the ‘Implications’ and your ‘Recommendations’ here.
Flow Diagram to Illustrating the SEVEN Steps Required in Wilson’s SSM
Soft system approach refers to a methodology where organized human activity is studied with a view of meeting a specific objective or objectives.A system in this case may refer to the human activities which may be interrelated. It allows an analyst to structure his or her thinking about the real world by way of using system rules and principles. It entails an individual undertaking a situation in the real world then study the situation in a manner that is unstructured thereafter models for the situation under consideration is developed. A good illustrative example evaluators who can deduce vital facts from programs with many goals with various precise perspectives from the objectives that ensures comparison with the real life situation(Kees van Haperen, 2002).
Checkland soft system methodology approach entails seven stages where the initial step is pretty much in the real world where one explores and outlines a situation which is meant to solve a problem. One has to find out or come up with a reason as why he would wish to explore a situation. After an elaborative idea as what needs to be achieved objectively the second stage entails development of a rich picture with emphasis on the, conflicts and issues expressed by people not forgetting structures, climate and processes evaluated so as to depicts a clear picture of what is being expressed. The third stage entails the transformation of the real world to the actual system also known as root definition stage. This where one tries to comprehend different perspective concepts so as to be able to draw a rich picture. Situations in this case can be evaluated using holons so as to come with a clear picture of the real world descriptively (Wilson, 2000).Holons need to be addressed separately so as to gain clarity which ensures implications of each holon is well understood with a view of integrating them together so as to come with concrete conclusions and suggestions that will determine future actions. A particular perspective can be put into a model that will ensure transformational benefits, facilitators of the transformation from beginning to the end with meaningful emphasis person(s) to whom the system is answerable together with the surrounding that does not control the system known as CATWOE(Kees van Haperen, 2002).
When the CATWOE model has been explicitly developed according to Checkland then a conceptual model can be drawn. The conceptual model ensures the usage of imperative verbs with activities that are selective being done at once. Dependencies are also indicated in a manner that prevents overlapping of arrows through rearrangement (Patching, 2003). The fifth step entails the reality comparison together with insights from what is compared with a view of enhancing ideas. Desirable and feasible interventions are then developed as the sixth stage of this development .The methodological approach then comes to full cycle with a principle objective of improving the situation as the seventh step.
Wilson soft system methodology approach emphasises on the difference between processes that are intellectual and reality through an approach that is iterative where a concept that is most useful for further exploration for example the structure design of the organisation as compared to the seven methodological approach used by Checkland.
The similarities between Checkland and Wilson in using soft systems methodology approach is the use of the CATWOE analysis as root definitionmodel.Another similarity of the two methodology is the is the development and understandability of the different perspective concepts (Frank Gregory, 2003)
Human activity system refers to people and resources assembled together with an aim of accomplishing a given purpose. The system affects the people and also in similar fashion the system is affected by the people ‘sparticipation. Activities are selected and carried out individually and communally by the people and this enables them achieve aparticular objective together where asset of relations is maintained and sustained over a given period of time. The system interacts and is open to the environment to whom it contributes and depends on hence fostering a mutual interdependence kind of relationship though constraints and expectations brought about by the interdependence affects both the system and environment which provides support and resources required by the system while natural system refers to paticipants who collectively share a common interest and engage in activities collectively for system survival (BooksDavies and Ledington, 2010).
- Hoye, R. (2010). Sport Management: principles and applications. Butterworth-Heinemann
- Kurtz, D. (2011). Contemporary Marketing 2011. Cengage Learning