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Attributes Of Procedure-Based And Goal-Based Information Activities

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Ch 1 - McNurin & Sprague

Review Question 10) List several attributes of procedure-based and goal-based information activities. Which do you think are most important? Why?

Attributes of procedure-based information activities include (with examples):

*High volume of transactions - transactions associated with the stock market.

*Low cost (value) per transaction - transactions associated with mechanisms that output to a screen what a customer has bought at the grocery store.

*Focus on process - the steps a worker routinely makes on their terminals to place an order to buy stock for a customer.

*Focus on efficiency - the steps a manager makes to be sure that employees have the right information at their fingertips.

Attributes of goal-based information activities include (with examples):

*Measured by results - a system which counts how many of a certain product has been bought and if in fact the quota has been met for the month.

*Focus on effectiveness - a system that performs up to the standards that its documentation said. This will help the organization and the manager obtain an objective not only more quickly but also more correctly.

*Focus on problems and goals -a system that helps with or outputs data which helps render a problem and ultimately obtains a goal.

The attributes that are most important regarding procedure-based are:

Focus on process -By having a process an organization communicates precise guidelines to help ensure that daily actions and decisions are consistent with organizational values, strategies and objectives.

Focus on efficiency - By having a system or standing plan that describes what actions are to be taken in support of policies.

The attributes that are most important regarding goal-based are:

Focus on effectiveness - Goals clarify what the organization expects and are included in the plan or strategy for doing its work. Even though every good plan is flexible, it also maps the route to a result and or goal. When such a process is done effectively it is usually successful.

Focus on problems and goals - Develop strategies for evaluating the team's processes and outcomes. When a team sets goals - it uses the team's purposes as a starting base to define its goals. Goals are a form of clear and desirable performance targets. The basic premise is that task goals can be highly motivating if they are properly set and if they are well managed. Goals can give direction to people in their work to help solve problems.

Discussion Question 2) Do we really need a major change in the way the information system's function is structured? Aren't the necessary changes just minor modifications to accommodate normal growth in computer uses?

Yes, I feel we need a major change in the way information systems are structured. We must change with the times and can't rely on one stagnant function or process. Technology can change very rapidly, so a minor modification may not be enough to change with the times. As technology and business change - IS will change as it has from the 70's to the 90's. The case study regarding Mead is a good example as they changed their business structure/model with the times.

Ch 2 - McNurin & Sprague

Discussion Question 1) The definition of a vision is not the responsibility of the CIO. It is the responsibility of the CEO and the other senior executives. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

I disagree because a majority of the vision in today's market place is technology based. Therefore a CEO and senior executives will not have a good grasp of technology. The power of visualization is helping teams achieve their goals - all members need to understand the team vision, the projected consequence of the work - make sure everyone on the team has a mental picture of what the final result will be like - how it will feel - what it will provide. The CIO will be more vocal to the employees in these aspects then a CEO or upper management.

The five principles of visionary only strengthen my point:

1) Challenge the process - be a pioneer encourages innovation and ideas.

2) Be enthusiastic - inspire others through actions to share the vision

3) Help others to act - Be a team player and support others efforts and talents

4) Set the example - provide a consistent role model for others

5) Celebrate achievements - Use emotion to rally hearts as well as minds

Discussion Question 2) Do you agree that the "rules of the game have changed" enough to warrant redefinition of the CIO's role. Won't the primary responsibility continue to be managing IT? Aren't there other executives that are better prepared and perhaps better motivated to know the business and its vision.

I agree that the "rules of the game have changed" and feel the CIO role will continue to change as technology and business practices come into play. CIO is now not only someone who must understand recommendations for technology but understand business as well. The primary responsibility of IT in the future will be more of a mixture of information technologies and major business practices, which in essence will help with a strategic business unit (SBU).

Other executives are not better prepared because the CIO is the vision who provides over-sight, strategic planning and management direction on all information technology and information infrastructure programs.

Critical Questions:

Ch 1 - McNurin & Sprague

Question 1 - "Information systems are now viewed as system "products" and users have become "customers." Pg 12

Haven't information systems always been viewed as system "products" and users "customers" or is this a new concept?

Question 2 - "The wave of the future is applying information technology to goal-based activities, where the enterprise is more important



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