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A new financial analyst at your firm has been tasked with performing a competitive analysis of your firm's IT spending versus your three top competitors. Over lunch with you and a couple of other recent hires, the coworker shares that her analysis shows your firm is spending just over 4 percent of revenue (recent annual revenue for the firm was $150 million) on IT while your company's competitors are all spending less than 3 percent (recent revenue ranges from $300 million to $400 million). She asks the group if they think this spending difference is significant and if she should highlight it in her report. What would you say?
Develop a timeline that identifies the approximate times at which the various stages of the Change Management Continuum Model should occur for the implementation of a major enterprise system. Assume that the project will last 18 months and has these key milestones:
• Systems definition complete at 3 months
• System design complete at 7 months
• System construction complete at 12 months
• System testing complete at 16 months
• System cutover starts at 18 months
Considering the Diffusion of Innovation theory, which categories of adopters might you enlist to help in gaining acceptance of a new information system? What specifically would you ask of these different categories of adopters? Which category of adopters may actually impede the rollout of a new information system? What can be done to avoid this?
Identify six key actions managers can take to increase end users' acceptance and usage of a new information system and associated work processes.
1. Outline a strategy that could be used by Walmart to encourage vendors to not just accept the new GRS system and processes but to embrace them. What will it take to implement these measures?
2. Write a paragraph that could be included in an email sent to all vendors that explains why it is to their benefit to participate in the new GRS system and processes and motivates them to embrace the new program.
3. Identify several measures that could be taken to ease the vendors' transition to Walmart's new system. Why might it be worth Walmart's time and effort to do so?
4. What could Walmart do to provide more support for suppliers in using the new GRS system?
5. Besides putting in a new GRS system, what else must Walmart do to improve its supply situation and its relationships with vendors? How important is it for Walmart to maintain good vendor relationships?
Imagine instead that the new Avon order management system was well designed and extremely easy to use. Identify key actions that the Avon management team must take to ensure a successful rollout of an easy-to-use system for the Canadian sales reps.
The board of directors at City Hospital is determined not to be fined for violation of HIPAA rules. They asked your consulting group to prepare a comprehensive strategy to communicate to employees and contractors the importance of following HIPAA regulations. Brainstorm the key elements of your communications strategy. What actions might you request of the board of directors and other executives at the hospital to strengthen your strategy?
You are the new office manager for a small accounting firm of 12 people. You just received a complaint of an employee viewing pornography while at work. Not only is the employee wasting company time but he is also creating a potential liability for a sexual harassment lawsuit if the practice is allowed to continue. What action would you take to handle this situation?
Should it be the responsibility of IT or business managers to identify and define tasks for the successful introduction and adoption of a new IT system?
Based on your own experience and reading, identify and briefly discuss an example of an organization that has invested greatly in IT and yet has relatively little to show as a result. Identify and briefly discuss an organization where the opposite is true. To what do you attribute the difference?
What percentage of revenue should an organization spend on IT? Explain the rationale for your answer.
What are the basic reasons that people resist change? How can this resistance be overcome?
What is meant by management expectations, and how can they affect the acceptance of new IT?
You were just hired to fill an entry-level position in the customer service organization of a large retail store. You are completing the first day of new hire orientation when the trainer shares with your class the set of organizational goals listed in the following bulleted list. She asks you to identify which of the goals would be considered SMART goals. What is your response?
• Achieve 100 percent customer satisfaction within the next year.
• Improve customer service by 50 percent.
• Reduce customer complaints about mispriced merchandise from 12 per day to less than 3 per day by June 30.
• The customer is always right.
Johns Hopkins Medicine strives to create a culture in which diversity, inclusion, civility, collegiality, and professionalism are championed through actions, incentives, and accountability. You are a member of a three-person team within the finance organization that is working under the direction of the CFO to define a set of strategies that will support Johns Hopkins Medicine's financial objectives and goals. The CFO has asked each member of the team to speak for five minutes to present his or her thoughts on two topics: (1) Should any resources from outside the finance organization be recruited to help identify and evaluate alternative strategies? (2) How should potential strategies be evaluated? What would you say?
You are an experienced and well-respected member of the Chevron human resources organization and are frequently asked for advice on personnel matters. So you are not surprised when you receive a call from a member of the IT organization staff asking your opinion on two candidates to fill an open position as IT decision maker in the Upstream business unit.
An IT decision maker fills a key role-working with the Upstream business sponsor to tailor an IT strategic plan for the business unit and helping to identify and evaluate which potential projects should be staffed and resourced. The IT decision maker must have a good understanding of how Chevron operates and an appreciation for how IT can move the organization ahead. You are familiar with both candidates-Kendall Adair and Bud Fox from working with each of them on a couple of brief special projects.
Kendall spent her first 10 years working on oil crews in her native Australia, the Congo, Kazakhstan, and Argentina. It was during this time that she earned an online bachelor of science in geology from the University of Florida. When Chevron began to pilot its global mission control centers five years ago, Kendall was recruited to help define the business requirements and evaluate various prototypes. Once the first mission control center was complete, she was selected to be the operations manager. Kendall's leadership and performance have been outstanding, although she is well known for her frequent outbursts in meetings as she argues strongly for her point of view.
Bud Fox has risen quickly through the ranks during his 10 years at Chevron. His education includes undergraduate degrees in both computer science and geological and environmental sciences from Stanford (he graduated with honors) and an MBA from Harvard. Bud has led a number of IT projects in the areas of leak detection using modeling technology and the use of high-powered computers and analytics to evaluate seismic data. He is well regarded for his sound and deliberate decision making.
Ken Wilson, the business sponsor for the Upstream business unit for the past three years, is the person with whom the new IT decision maker will work most closely. His background is strictly finance, with no real field experience. However, he is a genius at working with the right people to determine the economic feasibility of various projects. He has an easy going management style and people find it easy to collaborate with him.
Which candidate would you recommend and why?
To what degree do you think an organization's strategic plan is influenced by the vision, personality, and leadership capabilities of the CEO? Do research to identify an example of a strategic plan developed by a CEO you consider to be a strong, charismatic leader. Briefly summarize the notable aspects of this plan.
What would it imply if, while performing a SWOT analysis, an organization could not identify any opportunities? What if it could not identify any threats?
How would you distinguish between an organizational weakness and a threat to the organization? How would you distinguish between a strength and an opportunity?
Brainstorm an approach you might use to gather data to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a competing organization. Identify resources, specific tools, or techniques you might apply to gain useful insights.
Would you recommend that an organization set BHAGs? Why or why not? Identify an example of a BHAG from a real organization. Was that BHAG achieved?
Discuss what it means to deploy an organization's strategic plan. Why is deployment important? Outline an effective approach for a medium-sized organization with operations in six states to deploy its strategic plan.
In comparing two potential IT projects, one project has an economic rate of return of 22 percent but does not directly relate to any identified strategic objectives. Another project has no apparent tangible benefits but strongly contributes to an important strategic objective. Which project would you support? Explain why.
You are a facilitator for a strategic planning session for a new, small organization that was spun off from a much larger organization just six months ago. The CEO and four senior managers involved in the session seem drained at the close of the first day of a two-day off-site meeting. As the team discusses their results, you are struck by how conservative and uninspiring their objectives and goals are. What do you do?
You are a member of the finance organization of a mid-sized manufacturer. You serve as a liaison between the finance group and the IT organization for budget review. The IT organization has just completed its annual strategic planning and budgeting process. Their plans, which include a $10 million budget (a 6 percent increase over last year), were forwarded to you for review by the recently hired CIO. Frankly, you do not understand the plan, nor do you see a close connection between the proposed projects and the strategic goals of the organization. The CIO is on the phone, asking to meet with you to discuss his plans and budget. How do you respond?
You are pleased to find yourself sitting in the office of the CIO along with four other new employees in the IT department. The CIO welcomes you all to the firm and firmly shakes each of your hands. She expresses her hope that you all will bring some exciting new ideas to the company. She then switches the topic to the three-day annual strategic planning off-site meeting for senior IT managers coming up in a few weeks. The CIO expresses her concern that the senior managers simply do not have the time to stay current with the latest technology developments and that this lack of knowledge may limit their strategic thinking. She asks, "What can be done to provide us with a quick update on those technical developments pertinent to our firm and industry? Any ideas?" Your heart is racing; it is clear she actually wants you to try to answer the question. What do you say?
Do research online to find the success rate of IT projects compared to all types of organizational projects. Which has the higher success rate? Why do you think that this is so?
Identify some of the challenges of performing project integration management on a project in which team members are distributed globally and cannot physically meet in one location. How might these challenges be overcome?
Imagine that you are hiring a firm to complete a large but undetermined amount of project work for your firm. Which form of contract would you prefer and why?
How would you respond to a project team member who feels that risk management is a waste of time because the future cannot be predicted? Instead, this person prefers to react to problems as they occur.
What is meant by the scope of a project? How can the scope of a project be defined?
Distinguish between the role of the project champion and the role of the project sponsor. Is one more important to the success of a project than the other?
Present an argument of why organizations should not include internal cross-charges in evaluating the economic desirability of projects. Now present an argument of why they should. What is your final position on the use of cross-charges?
What is the difference between quality assurance and quality control?
Describe three specific actions that the ideal project sponsor should take to ensure the success of a project.
Is there a difference between project time management and personal time management? Can someone be "good" at one but not the other? Explain your answer.
Discuss the team dynamics for a highly effective (or ineffective) team of which you were a member. Can you explain why the team performed so well (or poorly) using the forming-storming-norming-performing model?
What sort of behaviors would indicate that the business organization is not fully engaged in a project and instead is looking to the project team to make the project a success? What is the danger with this attitude?
You are on the phone with the project sponsor of a project you are managing. He informs you that he accepted the role reluctantly and now, two months into this eight-month project, he is considering withdrawing as project sponsor. He does not see the need for this role and is extremely busy with his other responsibilities. How do you respond?
You and a small group of managers from the sponsoring organization have just completed defining the scope, schedule, and cost for an important project in your firm. You estimate that the project will take 12 people about 10 months and cost just over $2.5 million. You just received an email from your manager insisting that the project schedule be shortened by three months because senior management is impatient for the improvements this project is expected to deliver. He promises to "free up" four additional resources within the next month or so to be assigned to your project. How do you respond?
You are surprised when your project team "pushes back" on your request for them to schedule a full-day offsite to work with you to develop a risk management plan. They state that they are simply too busy to afford time for this activity. And besides, they feel that if something unforeseen occurs, it is your responsibility to react to it. How do you respond to your team?
1. Do research online to identify the capabilities of digital asset management software. What are the top rated digital asset management software products? Who uses this software?
2. Given the NAO's findings and what you discover about available off-the-shelf products, would it have been wiser for the BBC to adopt a collection of these existing products? What actions would be necessary to gain the cooperation of the business units to incorporate this collection of products into their work processes?
1. How has Webcor used technology to support project management in the construction field?
2. List the main lessons IT managers can learn from Webcor Builders about the successful adoption of new technologies.
3. Webcor bought an application called PlanGrid to mark up construction blueprints on iPads. PlanGrid can be used when the workers are offline and later syncs up with files on the Box platform. Webcor frequently follows this approach of buying applications and then building application programming interfaces (APIs) to connect these programs to its main enterprise systems. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this IT development process?
4. How might developing whole IT systems themselves, rather than adopting already developed solutions and integrating them using APIs, change Webcor's ability to encourage IT adoption?
5. What obstacles do companies face when developing customized IT systems themselves? Under what circumstances does it make sense?
You are part of a team that is evaluating and selecting an outsourcing service provider for your firm. During the course of your initial conversation with a manager from one prospective vendor, she says that everyone signs her firm's standard contract and that there is no need to share contract details at this time. How do you reply?
In the course of discussions with a potential outsourcing service provider, a spokesperson reveals that her firm had a major security breach last year. However, she goes on to explain, the company had learned a lot from the incident and, as a result, had implemented many changes. She spends the next 10 minutes summarizing those changes. Later, when you and the rest of your evaluation team are alone, one team member states that allowing a major security breach should disqualify the vendor from further consideration. How do you respond?
You are the chief negotiator for your organization's first outsourcing effort. Your team feels it has identified an excellent outsourcing service provider that meets all your selection criteria. Your organization insists on the right to conduct on-site inspections every six months; however, the service provider has stated that it is unreasonable and that other users are content with on-site inspections once a year. The service provider argues that more frequent inspections are time consuming and disruptive and that they actually weaken the level of security by exposing its operations to too many users. You are about to meet face-to-face with the service provider's chief operating officer to resolve this issue. How do you proceed?
You have just been appointed the role of SLA manager for your firm's recently approved $215 million outsourcing contract with IBM. Your manager suggests that you initiate contact with the IBM SLA manager for the contract and provides you with his phone number and email. How do you make the initial contact, and what do you say?
What are some differences and key issues that distinguish public, private, and hybrid cloud computing?
What are some hallmarks of a good user-outsourcing service provider relationship?
What is the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements 16 (SSAE 16)? Why is it important to an outsourcing service provider?
What are some factors that should be considered when evaluating service provider locations?
Is it reasonable that an Indian business organization might elect to offshore outsource some of its business processes? Explain your answer fully.
In your career, are you involved in performing or managing a core business process? How might your involvement in a core business process affect your future career with your current employer?
Identify five key areas of risk associated with outsourcing. What additional risks are introduced with offshore outsourcing?
A process for planning an effective outsourcing process was outlined in the chapter. Which steps in this process help to reduce the risks of an outsourcing failure? How do these steps reduce risk?
Why is the termination clause in an outsourcing contract critical? What are some of the common causes for termination?
What is meant by smart sourcing?
Give an example of a business process that would be appropriate to consider for a firm's first venture into business process outsourcing.
Is there a difference between an outsourcing service provider and a partner? Explain fully.
You have worked for two years as the claims manager in a mid-sized financial services firm. You have been wondering about your future with the firm as you've heard rumors that it is about to close a five-year deal to outsource the servicing of its claims payment process to a respected firm in India. You have mixed feelings as you stare in amazement at the text message you have just received from your manager: "We need an experienced manager to relocate to India for six to nine months to make sure that we get off to a good start with a claims processing outsourcing project. I'd like to put in your name for this opportunity. I'm on my way into a meeting to discuss potential candidates. What do you think?" How would you respond?
1. How did P&G's decision to centralize and standardize global business services in the 1990s enable it to effectively outsource business services starting in 2003?
2. How has outsourcing benefited both P&G and its strategic outsourcing partners?
3. How does P&G's strategic alliance management system help it avoid the pitfalls of outsourcing? What risks does the system not address?
4. Procter and Gamble generated $83 billion in sales worldwide in 2013. What advantage does this give it in negotiating outsourcing contracts with its strategic partners? Can smaller companies achieve similar outsourcing success with a smart outsourcing strategy? Why or why not?
5. What lessons can large companies and governments take away from P&G's success with outsourcing?
You have applied for the open position of director of cash and investments at Ball State University. The interviewer has just briefly explained the investment fraud that occurred at the school and now asks you for your ideas on what new measures should be put in place to safeguard this from happening again. What do you say?
You are a manager in the IT group of a midsized manufacturing firm. Your career is going well-you have received a promotion and two salary increases in your three years with the company. Following a quarterly project review meeting, your manager pulls you aside and asks you to consider becoming the COBIT subject matter expert for your firm. In this role, you would serve as a resource to others in the firm who are trying to apply the COBIT framework to improve their area of responsibility. You would receive several weeks of training with the goal of becoming a COBIT-certified information systems auditor. What questions would you ask your manager to help you reach a decision?
You have been assigned by your manager to participate as a member of a multifunctional team to develop your organization's first disaster recovery plan. As you join the others on the team for your initial meeting, you hear a lot of grumbling from the non-IT members on the team. They are reluctant to take time away from their other responsibilities to work on what they believe is an IT project. What do you say?
Provide a strong argument for the creation of an IT governance committee that reports to the board of directors.
What is the scope of a business continuity plan? How is it different from a disaster recovery plan?
Should suppliers and customers have any role in defining the business impact of a disruption in your organization's various business functions? Explain why or why not.
Identify and briefly discuss the five central themes of IT governance.
How would you distinguish between corporate governance and IT governance in terms of the goals and issues that each addresses?
In what way do the rules and regulations shown in Table 5-1 impact you in your role at work or as a student? Which is the most significant? Why?
What is the goal of an organization's system of internal controls? Provide several examples of good internal controls and several examples of poor internal controls.
What is needed besides a good set of internal controls to protect an organization from fraud?
In what ways are ITIL and COBIT similar? How are they different?
Is it important for business managers to understand and be involved in IT governance? Why or why not?
Your small company (20 employees) has never had a disaster recovery plan but is now considering entering into a DRaaS contract with a major IT firm. You are surprised when you hear a member of the disaster recovery planning group mention that once the contract is signed, the company's worries are over. How do you reply?
You are a senior manager for your firm and are responsible for leading the IT governance subcommittee. You just received a text message from a young IT project manager whom you met last week. "We are at an off-site meeting with IBM, and following a review of its new service called the IBM Data Governance Maturity Model Assessment, we will be signing a contract for this service. We'd like your input. Please call me on my cell phone as soon as possible to discuss." You were not aware of any effort in this area. How do you respond?
You were appointed project leader for your organization's business continuity planning effort. No one in the company has even looked at the plan in more than three years, let alone tried to execute the plan. Senior management asked you to "dust off and freshen up" the plan. You have just read an email from another appointed member of the team. He has challenged you to tell him why he should "waste his time" on a meaningless effort. How do you respond?
1. What lessons about DR systems have been learned from natural disasters and terrorist attacks?
2. How do these lessons vary depending on the size of a company, its industry, its customer base, and its geographic location?
3. What are the advantages of cloud computing DR solutions? What are the disadvantages and risks?
4. When dealing with vendors and third parties, what can smaller companies do to make sure their needs are met during an emergency?
5. EMC employed a crew of workers who went above and beyond the call of duty to support their clients during Hurricane Sandy. Yet even one of the firm's largest customer's systems failed when the backup generator began to smoke and their building lost power. In a different example, many of Structure Tone's employees left their laptops at work when they rushed home to be with their families during the storm. As a result, they could not access the VPN. What initiatives should both companies take on their own to ensure that their DR systems will work effectively during emergencies?
You are having lunch with a few of your coworkers when the discussion turns to the topic of corporate blogs. One of your friends works in the IT group and reveals that she has just completed an online poll of a random sample of 5 percent of the company's employees in which 73 percent responded "yes" when asked if they support the creation of a corporate blog. Your friend is highly enthusiastic about the results and plans to approach her manager that afternoon to recommend that she be allowed to spend up to 25 percent of her time over the next two months implementing and promoting a corporate blog for your firm. What do you say to your friend?
Your manager pulls you aside as you both are leaving a presentation by the marketing director, and says, "I'm confused. Can you please explain the difference between a podcast, a Web conference, a Webcast, and a Webinar?" What would you say?
Your manager, the CFO, is adamant-she wishes to put an end to the "Tower of Babel" as she calls the plethora of collaboration tools employed across the company. She wants to ensure there is improved communication security at the lowest possible total cost and plans to recommend that the company outsource the management and support of all its collaboration tools to a UC service provider. She has called a group of her direct reports into a meeting where she explains her position. She now pauses and asks for input from the group. What do you say?
How would you define collaboration? How does the level of collaboration within an organization impact its success? Describe an example of effective collaboration from your own experience.
What is a shared workspace? How can it be used for collaboration? What standards or guidelines need to be established before setting up a shared workspace for a project team or work group?
How would you differentiate between a Webcast and a Webinar? Describe a scenario in which the use of a Webcast would be appropriate. Describe a scenario in which the use of a Webinar would be appropriate.
Identify and briefly discuss three recommendations that should be followed when using a corporate blog for branding, marketing, or public relations purposes.
What are some potential legal and privacy issues that could arise when posting to a corporate blog? Discuss how you are protected by the First Amendment when posting to a corporate blog.
What is the difference between IM and chat? What advantages do these services have over the use of email? What potential legal and privacy issues are raised through the use of IM and chat?
Which features of online project management software are most important to you in managing a project? Describe specific capabilities that you think add the most value.
What sort of standards should be agreed upon before establishing a corporate wiki? Why are such standards important?
What is presence information? How can it be useful?
What is unified communications (UC)? What are its primary benefits? What issues can arise in implementing a UC solution?
You have been asked to draft a corporate usage policy regarding the use of instant messaging. The policy should encourage the use of IM and chat while also providing useful guidance to avoid potential problems. What would you say in the policy?
You are the newly appointed service manager for your organization's presence information service. The service was implemented three months ago, but it is not being used effectively. Nearly 50 percent of employees do not understand how to use it, and most of those who do stubbornly insist on communicating "not available" during working hours. What can be done to make better use of this service?
Posted on the internal human resources organization blog site is a message from the head of the department saying, "I've been asked to work with the IT organization to empower all our employees to create their own personal blogs as a way to improve openness and communications within the firm. I would appreciate your input and ideas on this initiative." As a new member of your firm's human resources organization, how would you reply?
Choose a small, local company or a large, multinational company in which you are interested. Do research about this company to determine how it might use unified communications (UC). Can you define any specific UC requirements for this firm? A large number of technology companies, such as AT&T, Cisco, HP, IBM, Microsoft, and Unify, are now offering UC product suites. Go online and research the UC products on the market. Create a table comparing any three of these product suites. Which product suite would you select for your company? Why? What sort of costs and risks would be involved in implementing UC at this company?
1. What advantages do Sharepoint and similar products offer above and beyond the standard project management tools?
2. How does Sharepoint make use of emails and social media (its newsfeed)? What are the advantages and disadvantages of relying on tools such as instant messaging or microblogs versus group emails?
3. What legal and security risks might companies face when deploying Sharepoint?
4. Kellogg's IT department and business units worked closely with Infosys on customizing the software and developing training for employees. Why was this key to the success of its deployment?
How do you define e-commerce? What business processes does it encompass? What do you think are the three primary business benefits of an e-commerce operation for a retail organization interacting with its customers? What different benefits might a manufacturing organization expect to achieve using e-commerce to interact with its suppliers?
Compare and contrast omnichannel retailing to multichannel retailing.
Define C2C e-commerce. What role can private forwarding addresses play in the C2C e-commerce marketplace?
Visit three e-gov G2C Web sites and identify which Web site best meets the needs of its intended users. Justify your choice.