IT Decision Paper

| December 6, 2015

Running head: Rusty Rims ITSP                                                                                             1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rusty Rims ITSP Part 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rusty Rims ITSP                                                                                                     2

 

 

 

 

 

Rusty Rims ITSP Part 1

Business Statement

Rusty Rims (RR) Distribution Company is a regional and distribution company that has been in operation for over 60 years. RR is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware and they serve major cities in the Mid-Atlantic region. WW has a staff of 400 employees, 6 distribution terminals Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, Washington, Newark, and Wilmington, 100 delivery vehicles, 40 box trucks, and 40 panel vans. Currently RR operations are around the clock, 7 days a week. Due to the slowing economy, RR’s profit runs at about 4% but the company president would like to see a growth of 5% per year to apply towards new initiatives and at the same time wants to trim expenses by 5%. Recently the management team decided to change the strategic plan to set pace for the goal of growth.

Business Strategic Objectives

According to Audra Russell (2008), business strategy is a company’s plan for controlling and utilizing its resources in an effort to promote and secure its interests and can be summed up as a broad formula for how a business is going to compete. RR has set new objectives to meet the new goals outlined by management. First, they desire to provide warehousing services for customers who want to reduce delivery time to their customers by having product available locally. Second, they want to improve the percent of loaded miles in their fleet to reduce costs by coordinating the pickup and delivery of freight at the same time in the same geographic area. Third, they want to track the whereabouts of freight both in the terminals and on the trucks to provide customers with accurate delivery dates and times.Fourth, to establish compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and induce management’s responsibility to establish internal control over financial reporting and will require management to evaluate the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting (https://www.sec.gov/news/testimony/090903tswhd.htm).

 

Rusty Rims ITSP                                              3

 

 

 

 

IT Vision and Mission Statement

 

Rusty Rims vision strives to be the best and most efficient freight distribution company in the Mid-Atlantic region. Wewill modify our plan of attack for solving our customer’s logistics processes and freight management needs and ensure to provide our customers the highest level of satisfaction. As Rusty Rims our mission is to serve the logistic needs of our customers by providing dependable logistic solutions by decreasing freight management inefficiencies. Our commitment to personal service will be accomplished by effectively combining and managing our key resources, innovative personnel, experience and latest technology.

Governance

 

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) shall: implement and or design the strategy that determines which projects support the direction RR is heading. With his or her involvement in the projects selected, a legitimate influence will make the project a priority for RR. The Chief of Information Officer (CIO) shall: undertake challenges and opportunities to implement world-class IT strategy.  Additionally, the CIO will assist RR in increasing the capital with emerging growth prospects and high level of IT efficiency.  The CIO must ensure there is an effective integration of IT strategies with business strategies. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) shall: be responsible and consulted on all areas that impact finances of RR.  These actions include all IT purchases, as well as personnel hiring. The Fleet Manager (FM) shall: be responsible for all assets used for pick-up, delivery, maintenance, and storage of freights.  While the FM does not have a significant role in the strategic direction of RR, his or her involvement is crucial to the success of RR and its customers.

Inventory of current IT projects

Current IT project inventory shows planned and current investment into systems, their functionality, their alignment to the strategic goals, the new IT projects, and how they will benefit RR in the future.

 

 

 

 

Rusty Rims ITSP                                                                                                     4

 

 

 

 

Current Systems Function/Description Strategic Goal aligned to Business Unit/Department IT Resources Business

Benefits

Accurate Financials used for finance and accounting 1 and 4 Accounting department DBMS – Database Management System Off-the-shelf and owner can make modifications to interface with other WW systems
Mobile Marketing App Route optimization and freight tracking system 2 and 2 Dispatching department and sales staff DBMS Will provide a central location for sales staff to retrieve potential customers information
Fleet Management System Information on all vehicles to include specs, repairs, preventive maintenance schedule, inventory of parts 3 and 4 Every department is involved to a certain extent Database Server (i.e. Microsoft SQL Database) or DBMS Will assist senior management in staying up-to-date with daily financial information

 

Management Reporting System Information on daily operations and transactions to include pick-up, delivery, and storage of freights 3 and 4 Every department is involved DBMS provides the option to output data in report format Will provide senior management with reports as needed directly from daily operations
Route Optimization & Freight Tracking System Information on daily routes and past, current, and future location of freights being transported 1 and 2 Fleet management Database Server (possible use the same system as Fleet Management System Will assist fleet manager with keeping track of each truck and streamline the pick-up and delivery process

 

Rusty Rims ITSP                                                                             5

 

 

 

 

References

 

 

 

 

Lane, Dean. ( © 2011). The chief information officer’s body of knowledge: people, process, and technology. [Books24x7

version] Available from http://common.books24x7.com.ezproxy.umuc.edu/toc.aspx?bookid=44315.

 

http://www.shrm.org/templatestools/hrqa/pages/cms_023853.aspx

 

Testimony Concerning Implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of

2002  https://www.sec.gov/news/testimony/090903tswhd.htm

 

 

 

 

 

IT Decision Paper Hints

Project Description:This will be the project you proposed in the ITSP #2 assignment.  Briefly describe the project, what functions it will perform and users of the project.

Strategic Alignment:Ensure that the strategies that you noted explicitly state clear alignment to the business strategic objectives and IT strategy.  (You will relate this alignment with strategic objectives to high-level benefits of the project in Section 5.)

IT Portfolio Alignment:  Include the time frame for all planned systems.  Note what systems are impacted by this new system, timeline for implementation.  Where does the system fit in the IT Portfolio?  Does it take priority over other projects and why?

IT Architecture:  Will the project be developed and stored on company servers, the cloud?  Will it interface with other terminals with centralization at company headquarters?  Will it interface with other systems?  Provide detail in this area.

Benefits:  To ensure you complete this section correctly, discuss the relationship to the business strategies and strategic alignment discussed in section #2 above.  Ensure they are clear and measurable.   How can the CIO measure their successes?  What business improvements would you expect when these benefits are realized?  (You will relate these benefits to specific performance measures in Section 8.)

Requirements:  Ensure you explicitly state and discuss the business driver and high-level requirements.  To make this section more clear, label the requirements as meeting the objectives of (1) business/user, (2) IT/system, (3) system performance.  They should be specific, clear and measurable.  A requirement is related to the system and something the system must accomplish.  Specifics will allow them to be measured and evaluated to determine success.

Cost Estimation:  Only one cell should be checked off.  Justify why you chose the noted cell in the introductory paragraph.  Provide specifics.  Depending on the project you choose, it could be a small or large project.  Depending on the systems it will integrate with (potentially involving the terminals and customers), it may be straightforward or very complex.  Elaborate in your verbiage the justification of  your choice.  Include discussion on why the project wouldn’t fall into the other cells in the table.

Performance Measures:In the table, to make your response more clear, ensure the measure of the benefit is well described.  For example, if a benefit to the business is reduced resource costs through system integration, a measure could be the reduction in number of hours that employees are doing manual data entry.  If mobile tracking and dispatching functions are improved, a measure could be the decrease in the amount of loaded miles due to mobile tracking and improved driver communications.

System Development:  This should not be a generic discussion of the steps, but detailed examples on how the steps are applied to the RR case/project.  What type of implementation will you use?  Will it be a direct cutover?  Phased approach?  Parallel implementation? Would you use another method, such as prototyping, RAD, agile, spiral, or waterfall methods?

 

Any introductory paragraphs should be presented thoroughly and not just simple statements like “The requirements for the solution are noted below”.  Explain the content that is presented in the table.

General Information on writing Decision Papers:  Writing a Decision Paper:  http://www.studyguide.org/essay_decision_paper.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rusty Rims ITSP Part 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rusty Rims ITSP                                                                                                     2

 

 

 

 

 

Rusty Rims ITSP Part 2

Business Statement

Rusty Rims (RR) Distribution Company is a regional and distribution company that has been in operation for over 60 years. RR is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware and they serve major cities in the Mid-Atlantic region. WW has a staff of 400 employees, 6 distribution terminals Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, Washington, Newark, and Wilmington, 100 delivery vehicles, 40 box trucks, and 40 panel vans. Currently RR operations are around the clock, 7 days a week. Due to the slowing economy, RR’s profit runs at about 4% but the company president would like to see a growth of 5% per year to apply towards new initiatives and at the same time wants to trim expenses by 5%. Recently the management team decided to change the strategic plan to set pace for the goal of growth.

Business Strategic Objectives

According to Audra Russell (2008), business strategy is a company’s plan for controlling and utilizing its resources in an effort to promote and secure its interests and can be summed up as a broad formula for how a business is going to compete. RR has set new objectives to meet the new goals outlined by management. First, they desire to provide warehousing services for customers who want to reduce delivery time to their customers by having product available locally. Second, they want to improve the percent of loaded miles in their fleet to reduce costs by coordinating the pickup and delivery of freight at the same time in the same geographic area. Third, they want to track the whereabouts of freight both in the terminals and on the trucks to provide customers with accurate delivery dates and times.Fourth, to establish compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and induce management’s responsibility to establish internal control over financial reporting and will require management to evaluate the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting (https://www.sec.gov/news/testimony/090903tswhd.htm).

 

Rusty Rims ITSP                                              3

 

 

 

 

IT Vision and Mission Statement

 

Rusty Rims vision strives to be the best and most efficient freight distribution company in the Mid-Atlantic region. Wewill modify our plan of attack for solving our customer’s logistics processes and freight management needs and ensure to provide our customers the highest level of satisfaction. As Rusty Rims our mission is to serve the logistic needs of our customers by providing dependable logistic solutions by decreasing freight management inefficiencies. Our commitment to personal service will be accomplished by effectively combining and managing our key resources, innovative personnel, experience and latest technology.

Governance

 

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) shall: implement and or design the strategy that determines which projects support the direction RR is heading. With his or her involvement in the projects selected, a legitimate influence will make the project a priority for RR. The Chief of Information Officer (CIO) shall: undertake challenges and opportunities to implement world-class IT strategy.  Additionally, the CIO will assist RR in increasing the capital with emerging growth prospects and high level of IT efficiency.  The CIO must ensure there is an effective integration of IT strategies with business strategies. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) shall: be responsible and consulted on all areas that impact finances of RR.  These actions include all IT purchases, as well as personnel hiring. The Fleet Manager (FM) shall: be responsible for all assets used for pick-up, delivery, maintenance, and storage of freights.  While the FM does not have a significant role in the strategic direction of RR, his or her involvement is crucial to the success of RR and its customers.

Inventory of current IT projects

Current IT project inventory shows planned and current investment into systems, their functionality, their alignment to the strategic goals, the new IT projects, and how they will benefit RR in the future.

 

 

 

 

Rusty Rims ITSP                                                                                                     4

 

 

 

 

Current Systems Function/Description Strategic Goal aligned to Business Unit/Department IT Resources Business

Benefits

Accurate Financials used for finance and accounting 1 and 4 Accounting department DBMS – Database Management System Off-the-shelf and owner can make modifications to interface with other WW systems
Mobile Marketing App Route optimization and freight tracking system 2 and 2 Dispatching department and sales staff DBMS Will provide a central location for sales staff to retrieve potential customers information
Fleet Management System Information on all vehicles to include specs, repairs, preventive maintenance schedule, inventory of parts 3 and 4 Every department is involved to a certain extent Database Server (i.e. Microsoft SQL Database) or DBMS Will assist senior management in staying up-to-date with daily financial information

 

Management Reporting System Information on daily operations and transactions to include pick-up, delivery, and storage of freights 3 and 4 Every department is involved DBMS provides the option to output data in report format Will provide senior management with reports as needed directly from daily operations
Route Optimization & Freight Tracking System Information on daily routes and past, current, and future location of freights being transported 1 and 2 Fleet management Database Server (possible use the same system as Fleet Management System Will assist fleet manager with keeping track of each truck and streamline the pick-up and delivery process

 

Rusty Rims ITSP                                                                             5

 

 

 

IT Strategies

           

The president of RR has hired their first Chief Information Officer because it’s now relized that business strategy can be enhanced and driven by information technology strategy. RR has highlighted three new business strategies which need to be tied into IT strategies.First is a business enabling strategy for the desire to provide warehousing services for customers who want to reduce delivery time to their customers by having product available locally.Second is to improve upon the percent of loaded miles in their fleet to reduce costs by coordinating the pickup and delivery of freight at the same time in the same geographic area. Third is to have the ability to track the whereabouts of freight both in the terminals and on the trucks to provide customers with accurate delivery dates and times.To assist in this improvement of business process, IT can implement a business intelligence solution which will optimize hardware and software. This can deliver dashboards and up to the second reports by extracting necessary data to dispatchers and terminal offices. Another business enabling strategy could be the installation of an enterprise application to provide necessary tools for supporting the entire organization. As people are the key to success in any organization, RR will also invest in training in parallel with technology to ensure that employees can use that technology effectively and proficiently. As an internal IT strategy, the CIO will head the creation of a security plan for RR. Under the security plan, RR will develop and implement security policies, procedures, and practices to ensure compliance requirements are met. Policies include change management, incident response,etc. This initiative will also prepare security awareness training for all employees.

 

IT Portfolio

 

As the RR CIO Carol has assessed the current state of the organization and defined a future vision, a six quarter roadmap is outlined to project the time needed to implement current projects from the portfolio.

 

Rusty Rims ITSP                                                                                                     5

 

 

 

  Qtr 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr 4 Qtr 5 Qtr 6
Accounting

Accurate

Financials

X X X      
 

 

Mobile Marketing App

X X X      
Fleet Management System X X X X X X
Management Reporting System X X X      
Route Optimization & Freight Tracking System X X X X X X
Automated Inventory System X X X X    

 

 

Proposed Project

Carol has gained interest in incorporating an automated inventory system. Automated inventory is a system of keeping track of inventory. This type of inventory control ensures items are accounted for and that inflow and outflow status is updated on a continual basis.

 

 

 

 

Risk Management

 

Carol

 

Business Continuity Planning

 

Business continuity is all about having plans in place to enable a business to cope if disaster strikes. RR needs to create a business continuity plan. Stakeholders need to be involved in the development and process of BCP because all members of the business will be affected in case disruption. The critical steps in creating a robust BCP involve first defining the objectives and determining the impact. Then the BCP strategy needs to be identified for corrective and preventative remediation actions.

 

References

 

 

 

 

Lane, Dean. ( © 2011). The chief information officer’s body of knowledge: people, process, and technology. [Books24x7

version] Available from http://common.books24x7.com.ezproxy.umuc.edu/toc.aspx?bookid=44315.

 

http://www.shrm.org/templatestools/hrqa/pages/cms_023853.aspx

 

Testimony Concerning Implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of

2002  https://www.sec.gov/news/testimony/090903tswhd.htm

 

Rusty Rims IT Decision Paper Assignment Before you begin this assignment, be sure you have read the “Rusty Rims Wheels Case Study,” any feedback on your proposed IT project from your ITSP Part 2 assignment, and the previously assigned chapters in the textbook. Purpose of this Assignment This assignment gives you the opportunity to apply the course concepts to develop an IT Decision Paper to explain and defend an IT project at Rusty Rims Distribution Company (RR). This assignment specifically addresses the following course outcomes to enable you to:  Apply best practices in information technology management and governance to make, defend, and justify an IT decision. IT Decision Paper for Your Proposed IT Project For your ITSP, Part 2, you proposed an IT project for RR. Carol, the CIO at RR, has asked you to write an IT Decision Paper to explain your proposed project. She wants to use the Paper to gain approval from the Governance Board to move forward with the project. This assignment uses a format for a Decision Paper that has been tailored to the course material covered in this class. You may work for an organization that has a format for IT decision papers, and it would be a good idea for you to take a look at it, but it will likely be structured a little differently from this one. Each organization develops tools and techniques that will work for them. Assignment You will develop an IT Decision Paper, using the outline below. Each of the topics to be included in your outline is covered in the textbook readings assigned thus far; use the Index to locate specific relevant portions of the text, and to locate additional ideas that may be included in chapters not yet assigned. In addition to the course materials, at least one external resource (resource other than those provided in the class) must be used. Two or more cited references will earn top credit. Use a separate References page to list just the references you have cited. Remember to use the APA formatting rules and correctly cite and reference your sources with APA format. Use the Grading Rubric to be sure you have covered everything. Submit your paper as a Microsoft Word document, or a document that can be read using Word, with your last name included in the filename. Please use this outline to build your IT Decision Paper. Use the numbering and headings shown below. 1. Project Description – In two or three sentences, describe the IT project you proposed for RR in Part 2 of your ITSP. Describe what major function(s) the system would perform and who would use it. (Do not provide a technical description with hardware, software, etc.) 2. Strategic Alignment – In a short paragraph, explain how the proposed project aligns to the business strategic objectives in Part 1 of your ITSP, and how the proposed project aligns to the IT strategies in Part 2 of your ITSP. Your proposed project must be aligned directly with at least one business strategic objective and one IT strategy shown in your ITSP. 3. IT Portfolio Alignment – Briefly explain where this project fits into the IT Portfolio roadmap you included in Part 2 of your ITSP. What functional area does it support? Where should it be included in the timeline – i.e., should it take priority or be done before another project in the IT Portfolio? 6/7/2015 2 4. IT Architecture – Briefly explain how this project fits in with other systems in place or in development at RR. Explain whether it should interface with (share data of any kind with) other systems either in place or in development. Explain whether it replaces another system or multiple systems in use at RR. Refer to the Inventory of Current IT Projects in Part 1 of your ITSP and the IT Portfolio in Part 2 of your ITSP. 5. Benefits: Describe at a high level at least three benefits the project provides to RR. The benefits should correspond to the business strategies and the strategic alignment discussed in section 2 above. Discuss this relationship/alignment for each benefit. Refer to Chapter 8, section on Value Attainment. 6. Requirements – List and briefly explain the high level requirements for the project. First, explain the primary driver of the project (major need of the business identified in the Case Study). Refer to Chapter 15 and use the textbook index for additional information about requirements. Develop at least 8 requirements for the project, and include what category of the requirements below your presented requirements fit into: a. Business/user requirements b. IT/system requirements c. At least one system performance requirement 7. Cost Estimation – During the Assessment Phase, Cost Estimation consists of estimating the size and complexity of the project, not the effort required or the actual projected dollar costs. Copy the table below and place an X (or other indication) in the box that most closely describes the size and complexity of your proposed solution. Use your judgment and then write a short paragraph to introduce and explain the assessments in your table. Refer to Chapter 17, Cost Estimation, especially the Assessment Phase, described under Figure 17.2. Assessment of Project Size and Complexity Size/Complexity Small Medium Large Very Complex Moderately Complex Straightforward 8. Performance Measures – This section explains how RR will know whether the project is achieving the benefits identified above in section 5. Review the benefits, and take a look at the requirements you identified, and come up with three performance measures that will indicate the extent to which the projected benefits have been achieved. (For example, if you had identified a benefit that the project would result in more repeat customers, then a measurement for that would be the number of repeat customers with the goal that the number would increase.) Refer to Chapter 11, section on Measure Performance and Make it Visible, just under figure 11.4; also Chapter 21, section on Performance Measurement. This may be a good area to do some web research. The measures should be presented in a table with an introductory sentence or two: Benefit to Business Measure 1.(example: increase in repeat customers) (example: number of repeat customers) 2. 3. 6/7/2015 3 9. System Development – Describe how you will use the System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) process to approach this project. Include the 5 stages covered in the textbook: Plan, Design, Build, Test, Launch. In two to three sentences each, explain how each stage would be handled by Carol’s IT team and who else in RR should be involved in each stage. Refer to Chapter 13. The “right” and “wrong” answers have to do with whether or not you correctly incorporated the course concepts from the textbook and addressed all parts of the assignment. You need to do some external research on at least one aspect of the assignment – your choice – and incorporate it and cite/reference it in APA format in your response. The project you propose is not as important as that it makes sense in light of the course content and the Case Study. Use the Rubric below to be sure you have covered all aspects of the assignment. GRADING RUBRIC: Criterion 90-100% Far Above Standards 80-89% Above Standards 70-79% Meets Standards 60-69% Below Standards < 60% Well Below Standards Possible Points Project Description 5 Points Description of the project is clear and concise, covers functions and users, and sets the stage for the remainder of the paper; demonstrates understanding of course concepts, analysis and critical thinking. 4 Points Description of the project is clear and concise, covers functions and users, and sets the stage for the remainder of the paper. 3.5 Points Description of the IT Project includes what it does (functions it performs) and who uses it. 3 Points Description of the project is unclear, not concise, and/or does not set the stage for the remainder of the paper. 0-2 Points Little or no description of the proposed IT project is included. 5 Strategic Alignment 9-10 Points Explanation of proposed project includes clear and wellsupported alignment to at least one business objective in Part 1 of the ITSP and one IT strategy in Part 2 of
the ITSP; explanation is very appropriate to the Case Study and 8 Points Explanation of proposed project includes clear alignment to at least one business objective in Part 1 of the ITSP and one IT strategy in Part 2 of the ITSP; explanation is appropriate to the Case Study and tied to the proposed IT project. 7 Points Explanation of proposed project includes direct alignment to at least one business strategic objective in Part 1 of the ITSP and to at least one IT strategy in Part 2 of the ITSP. 6 Points Explanation of business objectives and/or IT strategies are incomplete; and/or are only partially appropriate to the Case Study or the proposed IT project. 0-5 Points Explanation of Strategic Alignment is minimal or not included. 10 6/7/2015 4 clearly tied to the proposed IT project. IT Portfolio Alignment 9-10 Points This section thoroughly explains the relationship of the proposed IT project to the IT Portfolio Roadmap in Part 2 of the ITSP, including a full explanation of the functional area supported, and where this project fits in the timeline. 8 Points This section clearly explains the relationship of the proposed IT project to the IT Portfolio Roadmap in Part 2 of the ITSP, including a good explanation of the functional area supported, and where this project fits in the timeline. 7 Points This section has an explanation of the relationship of the proposed IT project to the IT Portfolio Roadmap in Part 2 of the ITSP, including: where the proposed project fits into the IT Portfolio roadmap; identification of the functional area it supports; and where it should be included in the timeline in the ITSP. 6 Points This section includes only part of the required information on the relationship of the proposed IT project to the IT Portfolio Roadmap in Part 2 of the ITSP (where it fits, the functional area supported, and the timeline); and/or is not relevant to Case Study. 0-5 Points This section minimally covers the relationship of the proposed IT project to the IT Portfolio Roadmap in Part 2 of the ITSP, or does not cover it at all. 10 IT Architecture 9-10 Points A correct and convincing explanation of the IT Architecture includes how the project fits with, interfaces with and/or replaces other systems; explanation is clearly relevant to the Case Study and the proposed project; demonstrates thorough understanding of course concepts, analysis and critical thinking. 8 Points An accurate explanation of the IT Architecture includes how the project fits with, interfaces with and/or replaces other systems; explanation is relevant to the Case Study and the proposed project; demonstrates understanding of course concepts, analysis and critical thinking. 7 Points Explanation of the IT Architecture includes: how the proposed IT project fits in with other systems in place or in development at the business in the Case Study; whether it should interface with other systems either in place or in development; and whether it replaces another system or multiple systems in use at the business in the Case Study. 6 Points IT Architecture explanation partially covers how the project fits with, interfaces with and/or replaces other systems; is not relevant to the Case Study or the proposed project. 0-5 Points IT Architecture explanation is minimal or not included. 10 6/7/2015 5 Benefits 9-10 Points Three or more business benefits are thoroughly and convincingly explained; are clearly aligned to the business objectives above; benefits are highly applicable to and appropriate for the proposed solution and the Case Study. 8 Points Three or more business benefits are fully explained; are aligned to the business objectives above; benefits are clearly applicable to and appropriate for the proposed solution and the Case Study. 7 Points At least two business benefits that the proposed IT project provides to the organization in the Case Study are described at a high level. The benefits correspond to the business strategies and the strategic alignment discussed in section 2 above. 6 Points Fewer than 2 business benefits are shown; benefits are not aligned to business objectives above; are not applicable to or appropriate for the proposed solution and/or the Case Study. 0-5 Points Business benefits are minimally addressed or not included. 10 Requirements 9-10 Points This section includes an effective and well-written introduction that is applicable to the Case Study and thoroughly and convincingly explains the primary business driver for the proposed IT project. At least 10 unique requirements are identified and are clearly applicable to the Case Study; requirements cover items a-c in the assignment; demonstrates thorough understanding of course concepts, analysis and critical thinking. 8 Points This section includes a wellwritten introduction that is applicable to the Case Study and fully explains the primary business driver for the proposed IT project. At least 9 unique requirements are identified and are clearly applicable to the Case Study; requirements cover items a-c in the assignment; demonstrates understanding of course concepts, analysis and critical thinking. 7 Points This section includes an introduction that explains the primary driver behind the system (major business need). Then, at least 8 requirements are listed and briefly explained, and include: (a) business/user requirements, (b) IT/system requirements; and (c) at least one system performance requirement. 6 Points This section does not include an introduction identifying the primary driver for the system; 8 or fewer requirements are identified; requirements are not applicable to the Case Study; and/or items a-c in the assignment are not covered. 0-5 Points This section minimally addresses requirements, or requirements are not included. 10 6/7/2015 6 Cost Estimation 9-10 Points This section includes an effective and well-written introductory paragraph that is applicable to the Case Study and thoroughly and convincingly justifies the assessments in the table that follows. Cost estimation table is included, with appropriate selection for size and complexity. 8 Points This section includes an appropriate introductory paragraph that is applicable to the Case Study and provides a good explanation of the assessments in the table that follows. Cost estimation table is included, with appropriate selection for size and complexity. 7 Points This section includes an introductory paragraph that explains the assessments and applies to the Case Study. Cost estimation table is included; selections are made for size and complexity. 6 Points This section does not include an introductory paragraph; and/or cost estimation table is included, but selection for size and complexity are not appropriate or adequately justified. 0-5 Points This section provides little or no information on the cost estimation; cost estimation table is missing; and/or information presented does not apply to the Case Study. 10 Performance Measures 9-10 Points This section includes an effective and well-written introductory paragraph that is applicable to the Case Study, the proposed solution and the table that follows. The completed table contains all required information, accurately reflecting the Case Study and the proposed solution; demonstrates thorough understanding of course concepts, analysis and critical thinking. 8 Points This section includes an appropriate introductory paragraph that is applicable to the Case Study, the proposed solution and the table that follows. The completed table contains all required information, accurately reflecting the Case Study and the proposed solution; demonstrates understanding of course concepts, analysis and critical thinking. 7 Points This section includes at least one or two sentences that introduce the table. Performance Measures Table is included showing three benefits and three measures that are appropriate to the proposed solution and the Case Study. 6 Points This section includes fewer than three benefits and associated performance measures; measures do not align to benefits; benefits and measures are not appropriate to the Case Study and the proposed solution; and/or introduction is missing. 0-5
Points This section provides little or no information on Performance Measures; table is missing; and/or information presented does not apply to the Case Study. 10 System Development 9-10 Points 8 Points 7 Points 6 Points 0-5 Points 10 6/7/2015 7 The five stages of the SDLC are thoroughly covered; explanation is tied directly to the project and to the case study; includes IT team responsibilities and appropriate involvement of others at the business in the Case Study; demonstrates thorough understanding of course concepts and vocabulary. The five stages of the SDLC are fully covered; explanation is includes discussion of the project and the case study; includes IT team responsibilities and appropriate involvement of others at the business in the Case Study; demonstrates understanding of course concepts and vocabulary. The five stages of the SDLC are covered: Plan, Design, Build, Test, Launch. Two to three sentences are used to explain how each stage would be handled by the team and identify others who need to be involved at the business in the Case Study. The five stages of the SDLC are not all covered; explanations are not appropriate to the project and the Case Study; and/or do not include IT team responsibilities and/or appropriate involvement of others at the business in the Case Study. The stages of the SDLC are minimally addressed or are not included. External Research 5 Points Two or more sources other than the textbook are incorporated in two or more sections of the paper and are used effectively. Sources used are relevant and timely and contribute to the analysis. References are appropriately incorporated and cited using APA style. 4 Points At least one source other than the textbook is incorporated and used effectively. Source(s) are relevant and contribute to the analysis. References are appropriately incorporated and cited using APA style. 3.5 Points At least one source other than the textbook is used and properly incorporated into the text. Reference is cited using APA style. 3 points A source other than the textbook may be used, but is not properly incorporated or used and/or is not effective or appropriate and/or is not relevant or timely; and/or does not follow APA style for references and citations. 0-2 Points No external research is incorporated or reference listed is not cited within text. 5 Report Format 9-10 Points Report is very well organized and is easy to read. Very few or no errors in sentence structure, grammar, and 8 Points Report reflects effective organization; has few errors in sentence structure, grammar, and spelling; 7 Points Report has some organization; may have some errors in sentence structure, grammar and spelling. 6 Points Report is not well organized, and/or contains several grammar and/or spelling 0-5 Points Report is extremely poorly written, has many grammar and/or spelling 10 6/7/2015 8 spelling; presented in a professional format. presented in a professional format. errors. errors, or does not convey the information. TOTAL Possible PointsCase Study: Rusty Rims (RR) Distribution Company Overview RR is a regional transportation and distribution company in operation for over 60 years. The company serves major cities in the Mid-Atlantic region. They are headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware and have a staff of 400 employees including truck drivers. There are 6 distribution terminals (Philadelphia PA, Baltimore MD, New York City, Washington DC, Newark NJ and Wilmington DE) for consolidating freight, and 100 delivery vehicles including 20 tractor/semi-trailer units, 40 box trucks and 40 panel vans. The company operates in a highly competitive business environment. Growth has been stagnant because of a slow economy. John, the president of the company, would like to see growth at 5% per year. He would also like to see expenses cut by 5% to help fund new initiatives. Current revenue is about $39 million a year with profit running at 4%. To familiarize yourself with commonly-used shipping terms in the freight industry, visit this site and refer to it as you read the case study and assignments: http://www.shipnorthamerica.com/htmfiles/glossary/gloss_shipterms.html Current Business Operations RR operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sales personnel (12 people, two per terminal) visit prospective customers to outline company capability, services provided and costs. When a customer decides to use RR they call the dispatch office with shipment information. Usually they FAX a copy of the bill (s) of lading to a terminal with information such as origin, destination, product description, weight and number of packages. A dispatcher at a terminal makes a list of freight pickups and sends a truck to get the freight. To do this they use the routing system to determine the sequence of pickups by zip code. They use local maps within a zip code to map out the specific order of pickups since there may be several in a zip code area. They have a performance goal of 98% of freight picked up within 24 hours of availability. A driver follows the dispatch order for pickups. Many of the drivers complain that the pickup order is not efficient. When they pick up an order they sign for receipt and either load the freight or guide the customer’s forklift operators to arrange it properly in the truck. After freight is picked up it is brought to the terminal where it is unloaded and sorted by destination. A dispatcher then prepares a delivery ticket (again using the routing system) that is used to load a truck in the proper sequence for delivery. Some trucks take freight from one terminal to another while others make local deliveries. About half of a terminal’s space is used on any given night. Dispatchers have a goal to turn freight around in the terminal overnight for next day delivery. When freight is sent out for delivery, the driver follows the delivery ticket order. Often they are held up at a delivery destination by traffic or by lack of available unloading space. This can cause the driver to be 6/7/2015 2 late trying to make the day’s deliveries. Sometimes they get to a destination and the facility is closed and they bring the freight back to the terminal for delivery the next day. It is unloaded and re-sorted by destination. The dispatchers then add it to the next day’s delivery tickets. The major freight volumes are between New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore (about 70% of total volume). Trucks run at about 70% of capacity between terminals overall. Local delivery volume is heaviest in New York, followed by Baltimore and then Philadelphia. Local delivery trucks operate at about 80% full while pickups fill about half of the vehicles space. Some customers pick up and/or drop freight at a terminal with their own equipment. Truck drivers communicate with the dispatchers using two-way commercial radios. Some also carry personal cell phones and use them if the radio is out of range. A few drivers also carry GPS devices to help locate addresses. In general the drivers are content with the company. Pay and benefits are good and they get overtime pay when deliveries run late. Complaints are few and mostly center around either the sequence of pickup and delivery of shipments or vehicle maintenance. The fleet is maintained at the main Wilmington maintenance shop and at a smaller shop in Washington. Either one can handle minor maintenance and preventative work. Only Wilmington can perform major engine and transmission work. Overall the fleet is in good operating condition. All vehicles are on a preventative maintenance schedule which places them out of service two days a month, usually on weekends. Maintenance scheduling is a challenge because it can interfere with the steady flow of shipments both between terminals and for local delivery. There are no “extra” vehicles in the fleet. Administration The company management team consists of the President, Vice President of Operations, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Information Officer (CIO), Sales Manager, and a Fleet Manager who is in charge of maintenance and safety. They meet weekly to discuss opportunities and issues and to plan for the future. Except for the C
IO, the management team has been in place for many years The president of the company just hired its first Chief Information Officer (CIO), Carol, after the previous IT Director retired. She comes from a nearby manufacturer who is also a major customer. At that company she was Deputy CIO and primarily responsible for network operations and security. At a recent meeting the management team decided to change the strategic plan for the business in order to meet growth and cost goals. They highlighted three new strategies they want to employ to increase profitability and grow the business. First, they desire to provide warehousing services for customers who want to reduce delivery time to their customers by having product available locally. Second, they want to improve the percent of loaded miles in their fleet to reduce costs by coordinating the pickup and delivery of freight at the same time in the same geographic area. Third, they want to track the whereabouts of freight both in the terminals and on the trucks to provide customers with accurate delivery dates and times. 6/7/2015 3 In addition, the management team wants to ensure that the company remains in compliance with all applicable federal and state regulations. The ones they are most concerned about are: (1) the Sarbanes Oxley financial audit and reporting requirements; (2) a new federal requirement to conduct a vehicle safety check every 10,000; and (3) a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reporting requirement on the number hours per day for each driver (or max per week, etc.). The CFO has been charged with the overall project. He has asked Carol to help with this effort by modernizing information systems to support the new strategies. She has decided her first step is to update the IT strategic plan to link to the new strategies in the corporate plan. Second, she wants to engage her customers in a proactive way to first, identify and prioritize IT projects that will help meet the new goals, and then develop a set of requirements for each project. Third, she wants to decide on the best approach to modernize the information systems that will meet requirements at a reasonable cost, and for this she will need to make some changes to the IT organization. Technology RR is using a mix of older technology products for finance and accounting, route optimization, freight tracking and fleet maintenance. There are several projects already in the IT portfolio competing for resources. The CIO sees a major challenge in balancing available funding, IT staff workload and project prioritization. The project nearest completion is the adoption of the Accurate Financials System to replace the aging finance and accounting system. It will be completed in six months. There are two other projects under way, one for management reporting and one for a mobile application that sales staff can use to show potential customers information on the fleet, distribution services available and freight rates, including a comparison to the competition. The route optimization and freight tracking system is very important to the operations manager and dispatchers. The current system allows the input of freight origin and destination information. This is taken from a bill of lading which contains a plethora of specific information. When the dispatchers enter the origins and destinations into the system they are grouped by zip code. The dispatchers then decide which zip codes will be loaded in a truck and in what sequence for delivery. This takes several hours at night to accomplish and must be done as quickly as possible so trucks can be loaded and sent out in the morning for delivery. Arranging shipment sequence within a zip code is done by locating each address on a map and entering it into the system in the best order. Pickups are handled in a similar manner. The fleet maintenance system contains information on each vehicle in the fleet. It includes all vehicle specifications, a summary of all repairs, a preventive maintenance schedule and an inventory of parts on hand. This information is entered by accounting clerks, mechanics, purchasing clerks and anyone else who has time to do data entry. It is not as time consuming as the routing system but it contains information critical to fleet reliability. The greatest challenge is scheduling preventative maintenance since it requires vehicles to be down for two days. The dispatchers do not want the equipment taken out of service because it causes planning headaches. The relationship between dispatchers and maintenance personnel is strained. 6/7/2015 4 IT Organization When Carol was hired as CIO last month she took a close look at the current staffing. The IT staff consists of 22 people, seven of whom are programmers. The programmers are charged with all systems development and integration work for the company. They have three projects in their current portfolio. Their skill sets include SQL, .Net and C+ programming, and Web design. There are six helpdesk personnel who support the six distribution terminals (one at each terminal). The remaining staff includes 2 network engineers, a financial systems specialist (an expert in Accurate Financials), a computer security expert, two shift supervisors and the CIO and her two personal assistants. The IT staff supports multiple locations. At the Wilmington headquarters/terminal there are 15 servers (they contain all software and data; one stores a backup copy of the data) and 30 PCs for accounting, marketing, IT, administration and management. The terminal operations office has 5 PCs for dispatchers, one for the maintenance office, one for parts and one for drivers in the driver lounge. The other 5 terminals have 10 PCs each and connect to headquarters by a virtual private network (VPN). IT Portfolio Accurate Financials- This new system will replace the current finance and accounting system. It is an offthe-shelf product that requires the owner to make modifications to interface with other systems they may own. Two programmers are working on the project. One is setting up the database and loading the software on servers. The other is learning about the system in order to write an interface with the routing system. A representative of Accurate will train the accounting staff in its use. This will take about two weeks. Management Reporting System- Senior management wanted to know financial information on a daily basis. Two programmers have been working on a system to compile the data in a format they can use. They plan to extract information from Accurate Financials when it is ready but for now have focused on the current system. They will be done in two months. Mobile Marketing App- The marketing manager asked for an app that sales staff could use to show potential customers information. This would include things like fleet photos and specifications; pictures of the six terminals and information about the distribution services RR can provide; and a comparison of their costs using sample shipments with rates from competitors compared to RR costs. A programmer and the web designer are working on the project. It will take two more months to complete. The current design and development process is best described by the way it worked in the selection and integration of Accurate Financials. The CFO asked the (former) CIO to develop a new finance and accounting system. The CIO interviewed large, respected companies and, after comparing their capability to the current system, chose Accurate Financials. Two programmers were assigned and an Accurate Financials specialist was hired to work between IT and the finance office. The CIO receives progress reports every two weeks. 6/7/2015 5 Situation When Carol was hired she toured each terminal to see the IT setup and understand local business operations. It was important to her to know just how each person used the systems. She spent time with bookkeepers and accountants, dispatchers, drivers and terminal management. Since she came from one of RR’s customers she knew that customers could offer insight into business improvements that would be good for both companies. She visited o
ne large customer in each of the terminal’s area of service to get feedback on how operations between them and RR could be improved. Her goal was to see how she could translate what she learned into systems improvements. Interestingly the most complaints came from bookkeepers and accountants. They said the system was slow and data entry was tedious because accuracy was very important. If they entered wrong information, it could cause incorrect billing (rates are based on weight and size), improper loading (the wrong zip code could mean sending freight in the wrong direction unless a dispatcher caught the error), and more. They estimated current accuracy at about 95% but they had no way of knowing for sure. Further, they complained about financial reporting and their ability to meet compliance requirements. Reporting was mostly a manual process and data they needed from the system was not easily accessed. Most of them had resorted to keeping small ledgers at their desk to track information they knew they would need for reporting. The dispatchers explained that routing wasn’t all that hard, just time consuming. The routing system grouped all of the shipments by zip code. They would take all of the shipments in a zip code and look at the weight and size (how much cubic space each one needed in a truck), plot them on a map and then put them in delivery sequence. They thought most trucks left the loading dock full and that that the drivers made adjustments in delivery sequence when needed. Pickups were a bit more challenging. Sometimes they sent a truck out just to pick up freight and bring it back to the terminal. Other times they contacted a driver to ask them to stop at a customer to pick up a shipment while they were making deliveries. Since they didn’t know exactly how much space was available on the truck this was a hit or miss situation. Drivers were left to decide if they could make it work. Drivers were the most outspoken, probably because no one ever asked for their opinion. They were also the happiest of employees (this might explain why they were non-union). They liked being able to make decisions on the go and they knew the customers very well. In fact they could call some of them if they were running late and the customer would stay open so they could deliver or pick up a shipment. They seemed to have favorite customers and often spent extra time with them talking about common interests. Generally they were good ambassadors for the company. Terminal managers were under constant pressure. Their main goal was to get shipments into and out of the terminal as quickly as possible. Delivery times were measured and part of their performance plan. They knew the company had established three new strategies because they were explained in an email they just got. Carol asked how they might provide warehousing services. Most felt they had extra space and could take on some storage but keeping track of the shipments might be a problem. They had to do 6/7/2015 6 this manually and the bookkeepers were the ones to keep the records. They felt more bookkeepers would be needed but they didn’t know how many. Carol also met with the maintenance and safety staff at the Washington terminal. The maintenance folks had a large workload and complained that they had a hard time getting equipment in the shop for preventative work. They did not know when equipment would be available until the last minute so scheduling was always a scramble because they needed to make sure mechanics were available to do the work. They had a lot of complaints about shifting work hours and the effect it had on their personal lives. The safety manager expressed concerns over driver hours of service. There are federal regulations that limit drivers to 10 hours of driving at a time. Then they need to take an 8 hour break. The problem was tracking the driver’s hours to make sure they stayed within the law. Dispatchers tried to help with this when they scheduled pickups and deliveries but there was no easy way to do it and the results were often based on best guess. The safety manager who was ultimately responsible for compliance had drivers turn in their hours each day but this was always after the fact. Carol’s customer visits were eye-opening. Most of the customers had automated inventory systems and could easily track products from raw material to finished goods. They knew exactly what they would ship and when, usually several days ahead of time. Some customers however needed near instantaneous shipping. They wanted same-day pickup in a lot of cases and fast delivery. In most cases they were all able to produce electronic documents such as the bill of lading and email or FAX it to RR. During her interview for the CIO position, Carol was told that the previous IT Director had left a good foundation and that the staff seemed sufficient in number and appeared to be very capable. However, since RR is developing its strategies for the future, the staff must be able to support the business strategies as well as the IT strategies that Carol would develop. One of the first things Carol did was to interview each member of her staff. She discovered that the roles and responsibilities tended to overlap and that morale among her staff was very low. Carol also interviewed the senior leadership of RR and learned that her staff was not meeting their expectations for service. The help desk was perceived as being only somewhat competent and took much too long to respond to problems. Application developers were very slow in delivering systems, and when the systems were finally delivered, they did not reflect what the customers needed or wanted. Network outages occurred too often from the users’ perspective. Finally, the Chief Financial Officer told Carol that the IT costs need to be reduced. Carol knew she had many challenges. She was determined to identify essential projects and then prioritize them for management review. The outcomes would affect almost every aspect of the business. Her IT portfolio was about to grow and her organization will need to change to meet the challenges.

 

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