ISEM 500: Project 2 — Developing a Technical Plan

13 Nov

ISEM 500: Project 2 — Developing a Technical Plan

(60 Points)


Organization: Team  of 3 or 4


How to Get a Good Grade – A Checklist

  • Read the project description yourself very carefully. Not reading the project description and listening to “seniors”  can be very dangerous to your health (problem statements are changed subtly).
  • Read the attachments carefully, they provide helpful hints and information for the project
  • Please listen to the voice annotated discussions on the project. They answer many questions
  • Slide decks, especially diagrams, must include annotations and explanations
  • Clearly specify the references used
  • Provide full names (first and last mandatory) of all team members on the first slide
  • Include the effort (percentage contribution) of the team members .
  • Do not submit multiple files. Each team must submit one deliverable file (zip your multiple files into one, if needed)
  • Most Important: make sure that you have answered all questions in the deliverable


Organization: Team of 3 or 4


Your initial plan developed in Project1 has been accepted as a starting point. Now ou have to develop a detailed plan that can be actually implemented. Your deliverable (about 20 ppt annotated slides, 10 new, the others are from Project1)  must show the following information:

  • Long Range Plan (15 Points) : Now create the next 3 year and 5 year view of BP and EAPs  that takes into account the strategy developed earlier.  Your   initial number of BPs may stay the same, increase due to new business activities, or reduce due to house cleaning (your choice). Also, most EAPs are currently available as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) packages.  Evaluate and select some ERPs in terms of the BPs they automate. Your analysis should be shown as an Application Matrix (BPs as rows and ERPs as columns). This matrix, an expansion of the one developed in Project1, should show which ERP packages (indicate the actual commercial packages, e.g., Peoplesoft HR) cover what  For ERP package, give one-two line description showing type of application (e.g., Transaction Processing, Decision Support, Executive Support Systems,,,), and how specifically it will help the company  (cost reduction, increase in sale, efficient operation, other).  Remember that not all BPs have to be automated.  Automation increases cost (do a rough cost-benefit analysis of any 5 BPs to get an idea).
  • Mobile App Strategy (10 Points): You attended a conference on Mobile Apps that claimed “ Mobile Apps Can Do Everything”. To prove ths claim right or wrong, redraw your Long Range Planning Matrix  but use Mobile from Android, IPhone or other suppliers to determine if you can support your entire business with Mobile Apps. Give your conclusions in two sentences (max).
  • IT Plan (25 Points): Finalize application software and the IT infrastructure to develop an IT plan that is detailed enough so that the management knows all information technology components needed for the next 2-5 years. Specifically, the IT should include the following:
    • The computer platforms that show the computers and system software (e.g., operating system) that will be used in the company.
    • A conceptual model of databases that will be used in the company. You should list 5 major database tables to be used by the company, their contents (e.g., list of fields) and interrelationships (ER diagram). List 10 database queries (first in English and then in SQL) that the company will use most commonly with these databases.
    • The network (LAN, WAN, wireless) that will interconnect the computers with very rough costs.
    • An architectural vision that shows how all the hardware/software components, databases, networks, and web technologies will be used to support the applications chosen so far.


  • Reference Materials and Annotations Used (10 Points): The slide deck must be properly annotated (by using Powerpoint  Notes) that explain the diagrams and also the key ideas presented (5 points).  In addition, a References slide must be included to list the materials that were used to develop this solution. This must include the following:
    • Specific names of case studies from the text that were helpful in this assignment
    • Specific topics in the text (chapter, section)  that were helpful in this assignment
    • Outside materials (give specific links) on the Net that were helpful in this assignment

Important Guidelines and Suggestions

  • (Umar, Chapter 5 and 6) will help you with ERPs and Mobile Apps
  • (Laudon and Laudon, Chapters 5 to 7) will help you with the IT Plan.  Attachment A shows important guidelines and suggestions for technology selection and architectures
  • Use web as a resource for additional information. Many Websites have great deal of information about ERP systems. Please, look at some vendor sites (e.g., SAP, Oracle-PeopleSoft, Microsoft-Great Plains) to develop a conceptual model of the system you have chosen. In general you can use reverse  engineering to extract knowledge from the Internet (see Attachment B).
  • You should use lessons learned and insights gained from case studies in the text  Chapter (plus other sources) to produce a first rate deliverable. In particular, use the examples of successful companies such as Dell, Walmart, Amazon and UPS to help this company.
  • Specifically mention what examples are you using where in the deliverable report (e.g., “as shown in the Amazon Example in Chapter 2). .
  • Possible Sources of Information for additional case studies and examples: CIO magazine (, CIO-insight magazine (, Information week (, etc.


Your grade will depend on clarity of report, use of knowledge acquired (classroom discussions, case studies, external sources used, and references of the sources used).

Attachment A: Suggestions and  Guidelines for Technology Selection

The technology solution, as mentioned above,  should be presented as a technical vision that shows how all the hardware/software components, databases, networks, and web technologies will be used to support the applications chosen in PartA.  Specifically, you should show the following:

A conceptual model  of databases that will be used in the company. You should list 5 major database tables to be used by the company.

  • The computer platforms that show the computers and system software (e.g., operating system) that will be used in the company.
  • The network (LAN, WAN, wireless) that will interconnect the computers with very rough costs.

An IT architecture diagram, such as shown in Figure 2, should be included to show all the pieces. The Internet and web technologies, the computers, the databases, and the applications (where do they reside and how they are interconnected).  You can use this diagram as a “technology pattern” for your company and modify it to show all the pieces together and to illustrate how they are interconnected and accessed.


Figure 2: Example of a Technical Architecture for a Small Company



While making the technology selection, please keep the following information in mind:

  • The company does not want to spend more than $500K on IT (information Technology). The management can be convinced to spend $100K more with justification.
  • The company has set aside $200K for IT infrastructure (computing hardware, software) and wants to spend more money on applications because they give business value – target is about $300K
  • Each application for this size shop costs around $10K (if you can find cheaper, great). The company wants you to help choose the applications that will be crucial to its success.
  • You can spend lot more money on IT but you have to help get the extra money from VCs.

Attachment B:  Use of Reverse Engineering to Learn from the Internet (Rough Ideas)


Reverse engineering can be used to extract  knowledge from the Internet. Engineering usually follows a ‘design’ and then ‘implement’ steps. Reverse engineering  starts with an implemented system and from there build the design.    Reverse engineering is used in software systems to develop a design  document from a program. This is useful in many cases:

  • You have a program but do not know what it does
  • You have a program and a design document but do not trust the design document


Many reverse engineering tools for software engineering are commercially available (do a Google search on “reverse engineering” for additional information).


Reverse engineering has been used to steal intellectual property in many cases. For example, a company can use the a product from company X, find out what this system really does and how it works (i.e., develop the design of it by using reverse engineering) and then build a system by using the design.


Reverse engineering concept can be used to extract  knowledge and develop patterns by using the Internet. For example, suppose you have been asked to give a talk about online purchasing. You ca use the following ‘reverse engineering’ approach to quickly learn about online purchasing (OP):

  • Go to an existing online purchasing (OP) system on the Internet such as Amazon.
  • Write down the main features, options and capabilities of this OP
  • Now go to another OP system and write down its main features, options and capabilities.
  • Repeat this process 4 to 5 times
  • Cleanup and generalize your writeup (eliminate redundancies, emphasize the features that are common in many systems, etc)


The main idea is that you use the Internet to get examples of several working systems, learn from them about what they do, and build a conceptual design of a general system.


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Posted by on November 13, 2016 in academic writing, Uncategorized


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