Chapter 3 Bec Case Study Answers
Assignment #3 – Marked by Quiz 3 Feb. 16, 2005 Reading: Chapter 3 Assigned Questions from Text: BEC Case Study pp 113-117 Answer all of the questions about BEC: Broadway Entertainment Co. , Inc. Case Questions 1. The System Service Request (SSR) submitted by Carrie Douglass (BEC Figure 3-2) has not been reviewed by Professor Tann. If you were Professor Tann, would you ask for any changes to the request as submitted? If so, what changes, and if no changes, why? Remember, an SSR is a call for a preliminary study, not a thorough problem statement.
I would not ask for any changes, because the SSR describes the problem that Carrie would like to solve and describes the system that she envisions that will solve the problem. The service request is very clear and concise about what is expected from the student project team’s analysis of the proposed system. Other information the students need to start on the project can be discovered from an initial meeting with Carrie. 2. If you were a student in Professor Tann’s class, would you want to work on this project? Why or why not?
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I would want to work on this project because it would be a good opportunity to develop my systems analysis and design skills. A student working on this team would be able to experience the initiating, planning, executing, and closing down of a project. It appears that the team will have considerable choice in how to conduct the project. The project has low risk and deals with a hot area for information systems. On the other hand, this project will likely not lead to a permanent job after graduation and the client is rather inexperienced. 3.
If you were a member of BEC’s steering committee, what action would you recommend for this project request? Justify your answer. If I were a member of BEC’s steering committee, I would recommend that this SSR be approved, because this project will help support BEC’s Blueprint for the Decade. The proposed information system will help serve customers and will be an innovative use of technology as outlined in BEC’s mission statement and objectives. Conducting the project at one store is also low risk. One concern is the potential security risks. 4.
If you were assigned to a team of students responsible for this project, identify a preliminary list of tangible and intangible costs you think would occur for this project and ultimately for the system. At this point, no tangible benefits have been computed, so all potential benefits are intangible. What intangible benefits do you anticipate for this system? One time tangible costs include hardware, labor costs to develop and maintain the system, costs for software tools to develop the system, costs for Internet connection, costs to promote the system to customers, and labor costs for training users of the system.
Recurring costs include hardware maintenance, depreciation of hardware, upgrades, training new employees, space in the store, and Internet connection charges. An intangible cost would be the disruption of the stores during installation of the new system. The intangible benefits include increased customer satisfaction, flexibility, improved management planning, savings in employee time, increased sales/rentals due to improved customer service, and better selection of products in stores. 5. What do you consider to be the risks of the project as you currently understand it?
Is this a low-, medium-, or high-risk project? Justify your answer. From your position as a member of a student team conducting this project, would you have any particular risks? From the position of Carrie Douglass, what risks does she have given that a team of students is conducting this project? Assuming that this system will be developed using a technology that BEC’s IT department is familiar with, the technological risks should be relatively low (but, BEC does not have Web experience). This project also seems to be operationally, legally, and politically feasible in the time frame given.
The application is new, so neither IS staff nor users are familiar with the application. The project initiator is also inexperienced. Overall this is a low to moderate risk project. As a member of the student team, they might have risks associated with technical feasibility if they are not familiar with analysis techniques and Web-based technologies. Carrie is taking a risk by having a group of students conduct the analysis that will eventually support her request to BEC to build the new system, because the students are inexperienced with the systems analysis and design process. . If you were assigned to a team of students responsible for this project, how would you utilize the concept of incremental commitment in the design of the Baseline Project Plan? I would schedule formal review points after each phase of the project to ensure that the requirements are being met before allocating any more resources to the project. I would provide status reports to Carrie asking for feedback, and I would consider using prototyping at least during systems design. 7.
If you were assigned to a team of students responsible for this project, when in the project schedule (in what phase or after which activities are completed) do you think you could develop an economic analysis of the proposed system? What economic feasibility factors do you think would be relevant? A preliminary economic analysis could be done after defining the primary tasks of the project and estimating the resources required to perform those tasks. One or more interviews would be helpful to collect data to estimate costs and benefits.
The relevant economic feasibility factors include tangible benefits, but include mostly intangible benefits. These intangible benefits include the availability of more information to the customers and competitive necessity. The tangible costs of hardware, labor, and operational costs are also relevant. The economic analysis would be refined for each review point/milestone on the project as more is known (especially from the analysis phase). 8. If you were assigned to a team of students responsible for this project, what activities would you conduct in order to prepare the details for the Baseline Project Plan?
Explain the purpose of each activity and show a time line or schedule for these activities. The BPP is made up of the information collected and analyzed during the initiation and planning phase. After being assigned to the project team, I would establish a relationship with the customer, Carrie Douglass. I would then establish the management procedures for the project. Then I would start planning the project. The project’s scope, alternatives, and feasibility would need to be described.
I would divide the project into manageable tasks and estimate the resources needed. I would then develop a plan on how the team members will communicate with each other about the project, as well as a preliminary schedule. The project standards and procedures would need to be determined along with the possible risks associated with this project. Based on my findings, I would create a preliminary budget. I would then develop a SOW for the client to outline what we will be delivering with the project and all the work required to complete the project. . If you were an account representative with a small consulting firm that had received a request for proposal from Carrie Douglass to conduct the project she outlines, what would be your response? Is the System Service Request sufficient as a request for proposal? If so, why? If not, what is missing? The SSR is sufficient for a consulting firm to design a prototype for the system. The proposal would need to be much more detailed if the actual working system were to be produced. The main issue is how to write the contract with Carrie/BEC.
Since the system is new and the client is inexperienced, a time and materials contract would be best. I would clarify with the client how my performance was to be measured, when payments will be made, and what access I will have to specifications about Entertainment Tracker. I would also need to clarify who owns the code from the prototype and what rights I have to do business with other companies in similar home entertainment businesses. 10. In Case Question 5, you analyze the risks associated with this project. Once deployed, what are the potential operational risks of the proposed systems?
How do you factor operations risks into a systems development project? As part of the feasibility study, the analyst team should examine the project in terms of its operational feasibility. The team should try to determine how well the new system will meet the business objectives. Operational risks include the system not meeting business objectives, being hard to use, and security breaches. As part of the prototyping process, it is important that the customers, as well as other end users of the system, provide constructive feedback about how the system can be improved.