IT Project Management
Question 1. Explain Porter’s Three Generic strategies
Generic strategies (1985) – are mainly three competitive advantage strategies applied to all products and services, quite used in different industries and in organizations of all sizes. The three basic strategies are:
- Cost Leadership strategy – it corresponds to being a leading company in terms of cost (here meaning the cost is minimum) for manufacturing products or providing services in an industry or a market. This strategy can be realized in two ways: increasing profits by reducing cost of production while still charging average market prices; increasing market share by charging lower prices for products or services while reducing production cost (economies of scale).
- Differentiation strategy – main idea for this strategy is to develop unique and exceptional products and services that differ in good way from others on the market. This involves features, unique functionality, brand image that the customers value etc.
- Focus strategy (cost leadership and differentiation) – the basic idea is in concentrating the attention of a company on one particular market niche and using either cost leadership or differentiation strategies.
Question 2. Explain Porter’s Value Chain Analysis
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Value chain analysis is considered an analysis of the procedures that take place in an organization. It this is a system made up of subsystems that have inputs, processes, and inputs. The activities that take place in the value chain are either primary activities (inbound logistics, outbound logistics, operations, marketing & sales and service) or secondary activities (procurement, HR, technological development, infrastructure) – those that support the more important ones. By dividing the activities in such a way, it easier to study and analyze them.
Question 3. Explain the role of a Business Analyst
According to IIBA (“What is Business Analysis?”, n.d.), “business analysis is considere to be process that enables change in an organization based on the research of defining needs and providing solutions.” Out of this definition, one can say that the main role of a business analyst is providing accurate information on how to improve the current state of the business or how to solve a potential problem. Business analysis can be characterized as an agent of change that can provide feedback on the current situation in the organization and how to improve it.
Question 4. List and describe the six-step decision-making process
The six-step decision-making process consists of these stages (Samuelson, & Marks, 2012):
- Define a problem – corresponds to stating the problem that needs to be solved.
- Determine the objective – means defining the desired result of the taken actions.
- Explore the alternatives – provides information on the possible options to achieve the objective and the limitations that can occur.
- Predict the consequences – prediction of the possible outcomes of the decisions and actions. Construction of a model of the situation that can occur in order to foresee the outcomes.
- Make a choice – based on the previous steps of the decision-making process, one decides on the course of action that has to be taken.
- Perform sensitivity analysis – it considers how an optimum decision is affected if the factors vary.
Question 5. List the four quantitative models that are identified as support systems for managers and briefly describe each one. Provide an example of each for the company you have selected to work with in this class.
There are three types of support systems for managers:
- Transaction processing system (TPS) – a system that involves collecting, retrieving and modifying transaction data. An example of such a system can be Purchase order entry system
- Operation information system (OIS) - corresponds to the interconnected databases and additional service programs used to maintain operational data. For examplee, SAP system
- Decision support system (DSS) – is a system used to help management in planning decision making. An example of such a system can be Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)
- Executive information system (EIS) – a system that provides an easy access to external and internal information corresponding to the organizational goals of the company. Such systems help top-level executives analyze and monitor a particular sphere of interest in a company.
Question 6. Reflect on the meaning of business process re-engineering. Write a definition of BPR. Briefly describe a process from the company you are working with in this course. Create a bulleted list of the process as it is today and then created another bulleted list of what it will be like after you have performed the BPR analysis for that process.
BPR – is considered to be the procedure of analyzing and redesigning the current state of the companies workflow (those that happen inside and outside the company) in order to optimize end-to-end processes.
Process of ordering car parts at an online store before BPR:
- Customer finds the necessary part on the company’s web site
- Customer calls the sales person to get information about the good
- The sales person informs the customer about the availability in the warehouse, gives information about the current price, time of delivery, asks necessary information about the customers home address, name, etc.
- Sales person informs the warehouse where to send the goods
Process of ordering car parts at an online store after BPR and implementation of the “open cart” online shop:
- Customer finds the necessary part on the company’s web site
- The customer seas the information about the good, current availability in the warehouse, current price etc.
- By providing online information about himself (name, address, etc.), the system automatically calculates the time of delivery and sends a message to the warehouse staff to prepare the good for delivery.
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