essay based on information system

For this project, you will approach an organization, ask for permission to learn about their information system, and interview an employee who was involved in the initiation, development, and/or implementation of the system. Possibly interview managers, developers, and daily users. You will then write a report based on your findings.

Interview questions should include but are not limited to:

  1. What was the problem/opportunity that prompted the development of the system?
  2. Who initiated the exploration of implementing a system?
  3. Who was involved in the development (top management, middle managers, user, IS professionals), and what roles did each group of people play?
  4. What was the selection process? (who was involved, timeframe to make a decision, how many systems tested, etc)
  5. What led to this system being implemented over others? what made it stand out?
  6. What has been the experience with the system so far; good and bad?
  7. What do the employees think about the system? Has it met their expectations?
  8. Does the system meet any strategic goals of the business?
  9. Are there any plans for improvement?

NOTE: Phone, skype, facetime, etc interviews are acceptable. E-mail exchanges where you send a list of questions to an individual and they respond via e-mail the answers are not accepted. This project requires you to engage and communicate. Being in the business world is about networking and communication- speaking with someone in person, via phone, skype, facetime, etc will give you more insight into information systems and the analysis and implementation.

NOTE: You must provide proof that you visited or spoke with a member or members of an organization. This can include an email to me from the person you interviewed (recommended), a copy of an email exchange between you and the interviewee setting up the interview and thanking them for their time, a copy of their signed business card, etc. Failure to submit this is an automatic 30 point deduction.

NOTE: As you are asking permission and interviewing, make sure up-front you are asking questions about the system- not their actual data. If a business suspects you are looking to see their data, they’re likely to shut you down quickly. Their data is private and confidential. You are asking about the system in place to track (enter, maintain, analyze, retrieve, etc) to keep their business up and running.

Guidelines:

In your report include their answers to the questions you raised and any recommendations you may have based on your interview. Do not simply provide word-for-word what they answered. Summarize it in a way that you are explaining their process and the system to someone outside of the organization. Reports must be a minimum of 1000 words, correct spelling/grammar. Any sources used beyond information you gather in the interview must be properly documented. APA writing style preferred; MLA accepted as well.

NOTE: You must provide proof that you visited or spoke with a member or members of an organization. This can include an email to me from the person you interviewed (recommended), a copy of an email exchange between you and the interviewee setting up the interview and thanking them for their time, a copy of their signed business card, etc. Failure to submit this is an automatic 30 point deduction.

To give you some ideas- this list is not all inclusive- there are so many opportunities:

Don’t think too much here; think about small businesses in your area first. Every business has an information system to keep track of inventory, employees, sales, profits, expenses, etc.

  • Have a favorite local restaurant or bar? Set up an interview with their manager and ask about their system and how they track transactions.
  • Do you play golf? Contact your favorite golf club and ask about the system they use to track memberships and tee times.
  • Have a gym membership? Ask how they track membership, training schedules, and profits.
  • Currently employed? Ask your supervisor who to contact in your place of employment- chances are, you use an information system to enter/retrieve data.
  • Work at a school (K-12 or higher ed)? Talk to the principal, superintendent, or IT personnel about the system in place to keep student data (grades, contact information, disciplinary actions, etc). Specifically for higher ed, ask how they handle applications for admission.
  • In the accounting field? Ask a local accountant what system they use to keep track of their customers or what system they use for tax preparation.