UMUC IFSM301 IT Decision Paper 24484

| November 17, 2015


IT Decision Paper


Before you begin this assignment, be sure you have read the “Wobbly 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 Wobbly Wheels Distribution Company (WW). 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 WW. Carol, the CIO at WW, 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.




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. A separate References page should be included. 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 WW 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.)


  1. 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.


  1. 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?




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  1. IT Architecture – Briefly explain how this project fits in with other systems in place or in development at WW. 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 WW. Refer to the Inventory of Current IT Projects in Part 1 of your ITSP and the IT Portfolio in Part 2 of your ITSP.


  1. Benefits: Describe at a high level at least three benefits the project provides to WW. The benefits should correspond to the business strategies and the strategic alignment discussed in section 2 above. Refer to Chapter 8, section on Value Attainment.


  1. 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:


  1. Business/user requirements
  2. IT/system requirements
  3. At least one system performance requirement


  1. 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



8. Performance Measures – This section explains how WW 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)



  1. 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,



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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 WW 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.

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