This assignment was given in my Strategic Management of Information Technology course. Could anyone please help me with this??
Business Social IT (information Technology) - System?
Select a business or organization real or fictitious, use the cases or your own creativity. Describe it (see
below) it can be highly technical or not, but it must use the basic business functions to some degree. At
the end of your description there should be a problem(s), dysfunction(s), error(s), in the business/social
system. I include social systems because now we have social media which operates as a business. From
this exercise, you will develop Part I ? Current System Narrative which repeats much of this, BUT focuses
on problem(s), dysfunction(s), error(s), in the business/social system. Recommendations for
improvement are NOT included in Part I.
A thorough management analysis (gap analysis) is required.
Where (location, cloud, etc.),
Why (does it exist, what function-purpose does it serve?),
When (does it work, do what it says it does?),
Who (clients, customers, B2B, etc.), and
How (major business functions).
Describe your ?System? and use Churchman?s System?s Approach as a guideline as well (see below). At
this level, we are very general. Try to stay around 2-3 pages. You may or may not include IT dys-function? The minimal system
In The Systems Approach (1968) Churchman
outlines five basic considerations for thinking about the meaning of a
system (TSA 29-30): the total system objectives and, more specifically, the performance
measures of the whole system;
the system?s environment: the fixed constraints;
the resources of the system;
the components of the system, their activities, goals and measures of
the management of the system. These aspects can be readily identified in the above concept map, which
also shows key relationships between these aspects. What he doesn?t
mention is: (a) that the system?s purpose should serve a group of clients or
beneficiaries (but they are perhaps implied in the ?system objectives?); and
(b) that a plan may be designed to improve the working of the whole system
(but that is perhaps implied in the notion of ?resources?).
The whole point of thinking in systems is to model
real systems in such a way that they can be improved. The model itself is
also a system. It should in some way resemble the real system, but will
never be more than an approximation. In addition to the real system and the
model of the system there is also the inquiry system. The inquiry system
(perhaps ?learning model? would be a more appealing modern equivalent)
uses the same basic elements (?learning categories?) as the ones in the
system model, but this time they are used in a process of comprehending
reality, a process of ?unfolding?.
Unfolding the categories
?. can be done in many ways. In a general
way it is no more than using the categories as labels or concepts for
formulating questions, contemplating them (alone or as a team), and finding
answers that can help improve the system of interest. In The Systems
Approach and its Enemies (1979) Churchman suggests that ?one way to
unfold any of the categories is to try to ?. compare the ?is? with the
?ought?. The search for the ?is ? usually leads to a map? (SAE 81).
Examples are the benefit-cost map for the ?client? category to trace out
where the benefits and costs go, and influence maps for the ?decision
maker? or ?planner? categories. Churchman?s books on the systems
approach are full of ingenious questions to help in unfolding the categories.
Back to our concept map
The ?purpose? category could be unfolded by
asking what the real objectives of the system are, which may differ
considerably from the stated objectives. This is an important distinction,
since the purpose must be known to be able to asses the performance and thereby the improvement of the whole system: in fact, both, the
performance of the whole system and of the system components (or
programmes) must be justified in terms of the system purpose. So the key
unfolding question is whether they are. And in the case of the programmes
whether the resources devoted to them justify the resources put into their
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