Undamentals of Information and Information Systems

3000-3500 words; 60% of overall marks for module)

In order to complete this assignment, you must firstly identify an information system in an organisation with which you are familiar.

The first step is to identify the organisation: you are most likely to choose an organisation in which you are currently or have previously been employed. However, this is not compulsory: you are free to choose a different organisation if you feel you know enough about it.

The second step is to identify an information system within your chosen organisation. Here you have a relatively free choice. You do not have to choose a system that has been computerised. You do not have to choose a formal information system. Instead, you can choose, for example, the system you personally find most interesting, or the system about which you can best complete the assignment. Your only constraint is to ensure that you can answer all the assignment elements about your chosen information system. This may best be done by choosing a single information system that has a clear boundary, rather than covering the entire IS activity of an organisation.

Once you have identified an information system, you are asked for your assignment to prepare a report of approximately 3000-3500 words on that information system.

You should divide the main part of the report into five roughly-equal sections:

1. Introduction.

1a. Begin by briefly stating the organisation you have chosen, the information system you have identified, and your source(s) of evidence.

1b. Use at least three categorisation schemes (technology type, organisational function, organisational level, reach, mobility) to categorise what type of information system this is.

2. Description. Describe all of the following:

2a. The various technologies (paper, computers, software, networks, etc.) used by the information system.

2b. The tasks performed by the information system, using the CIPSO model.

2c. The broader organisational tasks supported by the information system, using either a decision-making or a communication model.

3 Evaluation. Evaluate the success or failure of the information system from the following three perspectives:

3a. The value of information produced by the system.

3b. Changes the information system has enabled (or has failed to enable) in organisational processes.

3c. The objectives of key stakeholders.

On the basis of the evidence you have present, classify the information as a success, partial failure, or total failure.

4. Explanation Overview. Use the design-reality gap model (including consideration of drivers if appropriate) to explain the success/failure of the information system.

5. Explanation Specifics. Select two key factors from the system, organisation and environment rings of the Onion-ringmodel that contributed to the success/failure of the information system, and explain in greater detail how they contributed to that success/failure. (This means two factors in total, not two from each ring.)

Note 1: Marks for this assignment will be divided roughly equally between the five elements. Your effort and, to some extent, the amount you write should be similarly divided equally.

Note 2: You should include all the elements listed above in your assignment, but you are free to choose a different order if you wish. You do not need to include a separate conclusion.

Note 3: You are encouraged to use diagrams to support your textual analysis.

If you are unable to identify an organisation and information system, you should identify a case study of an organisational information system that will allow you to answer the assignment. You must take care to use your own words, or quotations, in order to avoid plagiarising the original case study. You should also check carefully that the case allows you to answer all components of the assignment: you can discuss this in advance with the course unit tutor if you wish.

Guidance for FoI&IS Long Assignment 2007/8

Source of Evidence explain clearly how you have knowledge of this case: did you work in the organisation (if so, for how long); do you know someone who works in this organisation (if so, explain how you know them, what job they do, what data they gave you, and how you interacted with them); did you get the case from the Web or literature (if so, give an explicit reference to your source).

References you should reference the sources of your ideas where those ideas are drawn from other than your own experience and interpretation (e.g. ideas about CIPSODA, design-reality gaps, cognitive style,related literature).

Question do not bother to retype the question within your assignment; just headings will do. Equally, given that the structure of the assignment is set, you dont need to explain that structure in your introduction.

Case Study from the Literature the same point about references applies if you are analysing a literature-based case study, except of course you must clearly indicate the source of your case study.

If you find that your case study is unclear on one of the required items, you should undertake a review of further literature plus intelligent interpretation of the case in order to fill in that gap. For example, if you have chosen an NGO case study but that case discusses only one stakeholder, then do some reading about stakeholders and NGOs (ideally reading that links stakeholders in NGOs in some way to information or information systems), and use that to write about likely achievement of stakeholder objectives