Mini Cases and That

Barbara Singleton, manager of western regional sales at the WA-MAP Company, requested that
the IS department develop a sales force management and tracking system that would enable her
to better monitor the performance of her sales staff. Unfortunately, due to the massive backlog of
work facing the IS department, her request was given a low priority. After 6 months of inaction
by the IS department, Barbara decided to take matters into her own hands. Following the advice
of friends, Barbara purchased a PC and simple database software and constructed a sales force
management and tracking system on her own.
Although Barbara’s system has been “completed” for about 6 weeks, it still has many features
that do not work correctly, and some functions are full of errors. Barbara’s assistant is so
mistrustful of the system that she has secretly gone back to using her old paper-based system,
since it is much more reliable.
Over dinner one evening, Barbara complained to a systems analyst friend,“I don’t know what
went wrong with this project. It seemed pretty simple to me. Those IS guys wanted me to follow
this elaborate set of steps and tasks, but I didn’t think all that really applied to a PC-based
system. I just thought I could build this system and tweak it around until I got what I wanted
without all the fuss and bother of the methodology the IS guys were pushing. I mean, doesn’t
that just apply to their big, expensive systems?”
Assuming that you are Barbara’s systems analyst friend, how would you respond to her
complaint?
Minicase-2: (25 points)
The Amberssen Specialty Company is a chain of 12 retail stores that sell a variety of imported
gift items, gourmet chocolates, cheeses, and wines in the Toronto area. Amberssen has an IS staff
of three people who have created a simple, but effective, information system of networked
point-of-sale registers at the stores, and a centralized accounting system at the company
headquarters. Harry Hilman, the head of Amberssen’s IS group, has just received the following
memo from Bill Amberssen, Sales Director (and son of Amberssen’s founder):
Harry—It’s time Amberssen Specialty launched itself on the Internet. Many of our competitors
are already there, selling to customers without the expense of a retail storefront, and we should
be there too. I project that we could double or triple our annual revenues by selling our products
on the Internet. I’d like to have this ready by Thanksgiving, in time for the prime holiday giftshopping season. Bill
Harry has met with Bill and determined that Bill would like a system that allows customers to
browse through products online, find store locations nearest them, and also place orders for
products with credit card payments. Based on this scope, Harry is preparing an assessment of the
feasibility of this system to present to the Board of Directors. He is working on the technical
feasibility issues currently. Prepare a summary of the technical risks that appear to be
associated with this proposed system. How “technically risky” (i.e., a high technical risk or
low technical risk) would you have considered the project that implemented Bill’s idea? Why?
MiniCases-3: (25 points)
Suppose that you are an analyst for the ABC Company, a large consulting firm with offices
around the world. The company wants to build a new knowledge management system that can
identify and track the expertise of individual consultants anywhere in the world on the basis of
their education and the various consulting projects on which they have worked. Assume that this
is a new idea that has never before been attempted in ABC or elsewhere. ABC has an
international network, but the offices in each country may use somewhat different hardware and
software. ABC management wants the system up and running within a year.
What methodology would you recommend that ABC Company use? Why?
Exercise-4: (25 points)

  1. Describe the major elements and issues with waterfall development.
  2. Describe the major elements and issues with iterative development.
  3. Describe the major elements and issues with prototyping.
  4. Describe the major elements and issues with throwaway prototyping.
  5. Describe the major elements and issues with agile development.

Sample Solution

ACED ESSAYS