Information Technology Context Back

1. Systems view

  • Project managers need to use systems thinking: to take a holistic(整體的) view of carrying out projects within the context of the organization.
  • a systems approach includes:
    • Systems philosophy
    • Systems analysis
    • Systems management

2. Three Sphere(領域) Model of Systems Management

  • Organizations:
    • Structural frame: Roles and responsibilities, coordination and control. (Organizational charts help describe the frame)
    • Human resources frame: Providing harmony between needs of the organization and needs of people.
    • Political frame: Coalitions(並集) composed of varied individuals and interest groups. Conflicts and power are key issues.
    • symbolic frame: Symbols and meanings related to events. Culture, language, traditions and image are all parts of this frame.

3. Organizational Structures

  • Functional: functional managers -> CEO
  • Project: program managers -> CEO
  • Matrix: personnel -> two or more bosses (between functional and project structures)

4. Organiazational Culture

  • a set of shared assumptions, values and behaviors that characterize the functioning of an organiaztion.
  • characteristics of organizational culture (bold means it's more important):
    • Member identify
    • Risk tolerance
    • Group emphasis
    • Reward criteria
    • People focus
    • Conflict tolerance
    • Unit integration
    • Means-ends orientation(導向)
    • Control
    • Open-systems focus

5. Project Life Cycle

  • a project life cycle: a collection of project phases. (from the projects' start point to the end point)
  • phases of a traditional project life cycle.

  • a Systems Development Life Cycle(ADLC) is a framework for describing the phases involved in developing and maintaining information systems. A system development project can follow:
    • Predictive life cycle: the scope of the project can be clearly articulated(清楚說明的) and the schedule and cost can be predicted.
      • Waterfall Model: has well-defined, linear stages of systems development and support.
      • Spiral Model: shows that software is developed using an iterative(迭代) or spiral(螺旋) approach rather than a linear approach.
      • Incremental Build Model: provides for progressive(漸進的) development of operational software.
      • Prototyping(原型) Model: used for developing prototypes to clarify user requirements.
      • Rapid Application Development(RAD) Model: used to produce systems quickly without sacrificing(犧牲) quality.
    • Adaptive software development life cycle: requirements cannot be clearly expressed, projects are mission driven and component based, using time-based cycles to meet target dates.
      • Agile Development Model

6. Definitives

  • Globalization: software has been completed by people all around the world in many companies.
  • Outsourcing(外包): an organization acquires goods and/or sources from an outside source.
    • Offshoring(離岸外包): to describe outsourcing from another countries.
  • Virtual teams: a group of individuals working across time and space using communiation technologies.

7. Scrum Framework

  • Scrum Framework is a leading agile development method.

8. Q&A

  • In what organizational structure, program managers, rather than functional managers or vice presidents, report to the CEO. Their staffs have a variety of skills needed to complete all required tasks within their programs.

answer: Project.

  • Which of the following is true of a matrix organizational structure?
    • In a matrix organizational structure, employees are organized into departments according to their skills, and there is little interaction between employees from different departments.
    • Project managers in matrix organizations have staff from only a single functional area working on their projects.
    • In a strong matrix organizational structure, the project manager controls the project budget and has moderate to high authority.
    • A matrix organizational structure is hierarchical, but instead of functional managers reporting to the CEO, program managers report to the CEO.

answer: In a strong matrix organizational structure, the project manager controls the project budget and has moderate to high authority.

  • Which characteristic of organizational culture describes the degree to which management's decisions take into account the effect of outcomes on people within the organization?

answer: people focus.

  • What refers to the degree to employees identify with the organization as a whole, rather than with their types of job or profession?

answer: Member identity.

  • What refers to the degree to which departments within an organization are encouraged to coordinate with each other?

answer: Not group emphasis, but unit integration.

  • What refers to the degree to which the organization monitors and responds to changes in the external environment?

answer: Open-systems focus.

  • The first two traditional project phases (concept and development) focus on planning, and are often referred to as what?

answer: project feasibility.

  • In what phase, the project team creates a definitive or very accurate cost estimate, delivers the required work, and provides performance reports to stakeholders?

answer: implementation.

  • Which of the following is a disadvantage of virtual teams as compared to traditional teams?
    • Increased costs for office space and support
    • Limited flexibility in team working hours
    • Reduced opportunities for informal transfer of information
    • Reduced dependence on technology and processes for accomplishing work

answer: Reduced opportunities for informal transfer of information.

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