Analysis of Information Organizations and Systems
Three hours of lecture per week. Project planning and scheduling, process design, project management and coordination. Analysis of information needs, specification of system requirements, analysis of alternatives, design of alternatives. Quantitative methods and tools for analysis and decision making. Document management. Design, implementation, and evaluation of a project.
This is the fourth required course for all Masters students in the School of Information Management and Systems, and it is open for enrollment only to students in the School.
The course provides a general introduction to information and knowledge management in organizations, including:
- An introduction to tools and methods for the analysis and design of information systems.
- The management of the process of information system analysis and design, that is, project management.
- Analyzing the social and organizational contexts of information technologies, in everyday work, in solving problems, and in managing organizational change.
One primary objective of the course is for the student to conduct an analysis of an information system and, if appropriate, design an alternate system. This system may be a manual procedure in need of improvement, a manual system that needs automation, automated procedures that need improvement, or an analytic study of an existing system. This analysis is due at the last lecture of the course and will be accompanied by a class presentation of its results. Projects are to be done on an individual basis.
The course provides the student with the tools to conduct the study. Among the topics covered in the lectures and readings are the process of identifying and selecting projects, project initiation, systems requirements determination, system data collection, interviewing and questionnaire development, workflow analysis and design, data flow diagramming, statistical and cost analysis, forms and screen design, and the implementation and evaluation of systems. It is up to the student to find a project for the course. The instructors will provide guidance. The break between semesters is a good time to begin looking for organizations and/or systems that need analysis and/or improvement.
Knowledge management topics include observing and analyzing organizational dynamics in working groups, in presentations and meetings, personnel actions and budget development, managing change and the role of institutional cultures in implementing technical change to increase productivity.
Part of the course is devoted to the use of Microsoft Project, a project management system. The student will use Project to develop a schedule of the activities for the project and will supply updated schedules to the instructors during the semester.
In addition to the analysis/design project, there will be additional assignments in specific management areas and to develop skills on the topics covered in the lectures. Among these assignments are the use of statistical analysis tools, spreadsheet programs, and data-flow modeling tools.