Course Code : MCS-052 Course Title : Principles of Management and Information Systems Assignment Number : Maximum Marks : 100 Weightage : 25% Last Date of Submission : 15 April,2011(For January Session) 15

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Course Code



:

MCS
-
052

Course Title



:

Principles of Management and Information Systems

Assignment Number


:

MCA(5)/052/Assign/2011

Maximum Marks


:

100


Weightage



:

25%

Last Date of Submission

:

15
th

April,2011(For January Session)

15
th

October, 2011 (For July Session)


This assignment has seven questions. Answer all questions, carries 80 marks. Rest 20
marks are for viva voce. You may use illustrations and diagrams to enhance the
explanations. Please go through the guidelines regardin
g assignments given in the
Programme Guide for the format of presentation. Answer to each part of the question
should be confined to about 350 words.


Question 1 (a):

Explain difference horizontal and vertical organization

Organisations practice divisi
on of labour both vertically and horizontally. Vertical

division includes three basic levels


top, middle, and bottom. The main functions of

top
-
managers is to draw strategic plans which may include long
-
term and short
-
term

goals and also to monitor the c
urrent business with the help of middle
-
level managers.

Middle
-
level managers convert the strategic plan set by top level managers into action

plan and monitor day
-
to
-
day activities of lower level managers. Lower level managers

act as per the action plans
defined by the middle level managers and perform the

specific activities as assigned to them.

Organisations also divide labour horizontally by defining task groups, or departments,

and assigning workers with applicable skills to those groups. Line units pe
rform the

basic functions of the business, while staff units support line units with expertise and

services. In general, line units focus on supply, production, and distribution, while

staff units deal mostly with internal operations and controls or public

relations efforts.

Decision
-
making structures, the second basic organisational characteristic, are used to

organise authority. These structures vary from operation to operation in their degree of

centralisation and decentralisation. Centralised decision s
tructures are referred to as

“tall” organisations because important decisions usually emanate from a high level and

are passed down through several channels until they reach the lower end of the

hierarchy. Conversely, flat organisations, which have decentr
alised decision
-
making

structures, employ only a few hierarchical levels. Such organisations are typically

guided by a management philosophy that is favourably disposed toward some form of


employee empowerment and individual autonomy.

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A formalised syst
em of rules and policies is the third standard organisational

characteristic. Rules, policies, and procedures serve as templates of managerial

guidance in all sectors of organisational production and behaviour. They may

document the most efficient means of

accomplishing a task or provide standards for

rewarding workers. Formalised rules provide managers with more time to spend on

other problems and opportunities and help ensure that an organisation’s various

subsystems are working in concert. Poorly impleme
nted rules, of course, can actually

have a negative impact on business efforts to produce goods or services in a profitable

or satisfactory manner.


Thus, organisations can be categorised as informal or formal, depending on the degree

offormalisation of
rules within their structures. In formal organisations, say

researchers, management has determined that a comparatively impersonal relationship

between individuals and the company for which they work is viewed as the best

environment for achieving organisa
tional goals. Subordinates have less influence over

the process in which they participate, with their duties more clearly defined.


(5 Marks)


Question 1 (b):
At what level of management, following is decided? Also, explain how?


(i) Selling of products in international market.



(ii) What should be overall production plan during festive season


(iii) What business the company should close


I)
Sales and Marketing

The sales
and marketing function is responsible for selling the organisation’s product or service.
Marketing is concerned with identifying the customers for the firm’s products or services, determining
what they need or want, planning and developing products and ser
vices to meet their needs, and
advertising and promoting these products and services. Sales is concerned with contacting customers,
selling the products and services, taking orders, and following up on sales. Sales and marketing
information systems are req
uired to support these activities:


ii)

The manufacturing and production function is responsible for actually producing the firm’s goods
and services. Manufacturing and production systems deal with the planning, development, and
maintenance of production facil
ities; the establishment of production goals; the acquisition,
storage, and availability of production materials; and the scheduling of equipment, facilities,
materials, and labour required to produce the finished products. Manufacturing and production
inf
ormation systems support these activities.

iii)

The finance function is responsible for managing the firm’s financial assets, such as cash, stocks,
bonds, and other investments, in order to maximize the return on these financial assets. The
finance function is
also in charge of managing the capitalisation of the firm (finding new financial
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assets in stocks, bonds, or other forms of debt). In order to determine whether the firm is getting
the best return on its investments, the finance function must obtain a cons
iderable amount of
information from sources external to the firm.The accounting function is responsible for
maintaining and managing the firm’s finan
-
cial records


receipts, disbursements, depreciation,
payroll


to account for the flow of funds in a firm
. Finance and accounting share related
problems


how to keep track of a firm’s financial assets and fund flows. They provide answers
to questions such as: What is the current inventory of financial assets? What records exist for



(10 Marks)

Question 2(a)

:
Explain 5 most distinct stages in Life cycle of an organization.


Organisations go through different phases of growth. For sustained growth, it is important to
understand what phase of the organisational life cycle one is in. Many will enter decline unl
ess there are
transformational leaders who can renew the organisation. Different experts argue on how many phases
there are in an organisational life cycle, but the
Five
most acceptable and distinct stages, which are easy
to remember, are:

1) Startup,

2) G
rowth. This is sometimes divided into an early growth phase (fast growth) and maturity phase
(slow growth or no growth). However, maturity often leads to.

3) Decline. When in decline, an organisation will either undergo,

4) Renewal, and

5) Failure.



Each
of these phases present different management and leadership challenges that one must deal with.

The Start
-
up Phase

This phase commences from the time an entrepreneur conceives the idea of a particular business
and for giving shape to the business, a manage
ment group is formed and a business plan is written.
Resources are deployed and the organisation is established Start
-
up ends when business is declared open.


The Growth Phase


No organisation can remain stagnant for a long time as stagnancy for a long time leads to natural
death for the organisation. So as a corollary to stagnancy, organisations to flourish must kick
-
start and
grow. For entrepreneurs needing money to kick
-
start
the business, the company goes into the growth
phase once the investor writes the check. In the growth phase, one expects to see revenues climb, new
services and products developed, more employees hired and so on. This growth phase has been divided
into su
b
-
phases of growth that is Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood and Maturity. The management
textbooks love to assume that sales grow each year. The reality is much different since a company can
have both good and bad years depending on market conditions. Man
y companies have different types of
programs relating to organisational development in place. Few actions, which need to be taken at each
phase for better health of the organisation, are given in the following
Table 3:

Table 3: Suggested Actions for Sustai
ned Good Health of the Organization




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In organisations that have been around for a few years, unless checked
-
in by the vigilant management
complacency sets in or due to other reasons / dry rots as indicated below the organisation

gets into the
decline phase:



Conflicting interests between various groups / departments, leading to decisions which are not in the
best interest of the organisation;


Poor team work;


No strategic views or strategic views not being followed;


Confus
ing roles and responsibilities;


Repeated mistakes, no lesson learned from mistakes for correcting mistakes;


Fire fighting at difficult times rather than long term corrective and preventive actions;


Mistrust among various groups;


Executive and emplo
yees driven by greed rather than inspiring vision;


No respect for resources (time, money, men or machine).

Using the above definition, one finds a tremendous amount of corporate insanity out there. Management
that expects next year to be better but doesn
’t know or is unwilling to change to get better results. This
simple truth was shown in a 2003 study of 1900 professionals who help businesses in trouble.*










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If one can detect the symptoms of decline early, one can more easily deal with it.
Some of the more
obvious signs being: declining sales relative to competitors, disappearing profit margins,
and debt loads which continue to grow year after year. However, by the time the
accountants figure out that the organisation is in trouble, it is of
ten too late.

The Renewal Phase


Decline doesn’t have to continue, however, external experts have focused on the importance of
organisational development as a way of preventing decline or reducing its affects.

An interesting story from Aesop’s
Fables
given

below is worth remembering:

“A horse rider took the utmost pains with his charger. As long as the war lasted, he looked upon him as
his fellow
-
helper in all emergencies and fed him carefully with hay and corn. But when the war was over,
he only allowed hi
m chaff to eat and made him carry heavy loads of wood, subjecting him to much
slavish drudgery and ill
-
treatment. War was again proclaimed, however, and when the trumpet summoned
him to his


Management Systems


Standard, the soldier put on his charger its
military trappings, and mounted, being clad in his
heavy coat of mail. The horse fell down straightway under the weight, no longer equal to the burden, and
said to his master, “You must now go to the war on foot, for you have transformed me from a horse in
to
an ass; and how can you expect that I can again turn in a moment from an ass to a Horse?”

One way to reverse dry rot is through the use of training as a way of injecting new knowledge and skills.
One can also put in place a rigorous program to change an
d transform organisation’s culture.


Failure

As many as 80% of business failures occur due to factors within the executive’s control. Even
firms close to bankruptcy can overcome tremendous adversity to nurse themselves back to financial
health. Lee Iacocca
’s turnaround of the Chrysler Corporation is one shining example.

In some cases, failure means being acquired and merged into a larger organisation. In other cases, it
occurs when an organisation elects or is forced into bankruptcy. This does not signify t
he organisation
ceases to exist since it can limp along for many years by going in and out of bankruptcy court.




(5 Marks)


Question 2(b):

Explain 5 critical requirements and requirements definition and management process
areas analysis process area
analysis. Give some requirement analysis tools?




Requirements analysis
, in software engineering, is a term used to describe all the tasks that go

into the instigation, scoping and definition of a new or altered computer system. Requirements analysis is
an important part of the software engineering process; whereby business analysts or software developers
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identify the needs or requirements of a client; having identified these requirements they are then in a
position to design a solution. Requirements anal
ysis is also known under other names:


requirements engineering


requirements gathering


requirements capture


operational concept documenting


systems analysis


requirements specification.


During most of the history of software engineering it has
been considered to be a relatively easy
part of the process. However, in the last decade or so, it has become increasingly recognised as being the
most vital part of the process; given that the failure to properly identify requirements makes it virtually
i
mpossible for the finished piece of software to meet the needs of the client or be finished on time.

The challenge

Successfully completing a “requirements analysis” task is a challenge. In the first place, it is not easy to
identify all the stakeholders, g
ive them all an appropriate form of input, and document all their input in a
clear and concise format. And there are constraints. The requirements engineer is expected to determine
whether or not the new system is


feasible


schedulable


affordable


le
gal


ethical.

In the rush of enthusiasm associated with a new project, there is always a temptation to downplay the
importance of requirements analysis. However, studies of various projects reveal that costs and technical
risks can be reduced through rigo
rous and thorough up
-
front requirements engineering.



The best of these tools offer:


electronic whiteboards to sketch application flows and test alternatives


ability to capture business logic and data needs


ability to generate high fidelity prototyp
es that closely imitate the final application


interactivity


capability to add contextual requirements and other comments


ability for remote and distributed users to run and interact with the simulation.




The tool should help organisations answer th
e following key questions:

How can we define accurate and complete requirements?

How can we document or specify requirements to communicate them without ambiguity?

How can we perform impact analysis and prioritisation on changing requirements?

How can we
effectively manage project scope?

Process
-
Led Approach for Improving Software Requirements Definition and Management.

The tool should help meeting the following Five
Critical Process Areas in Software Requirements
Definition and Management:


Elicitation



Analysis


Specification


Validation


Management

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Active Focus
from Xapware

supports the software application life cycle.
Agility
from Agile Edge is a
tracking database for user requirements, issues, tasks and bug tracking, permitting tracing between t
hese
items. There is a simple user interface displaying a table of items with status, symbols and text.


AnalystPro
from Goda Software

supports requirements editing and trace ability, change control,
diagrams including use cases, and other features of full RM tools at a low price per seat.

Kris of Goda Software, Inc: Analyst Pro is an affordable, scalable and collaborative tool for requi
rements
tracking, trace ability analysis and document management. It is easily deployable and customizable to the
project needs.”


Caliber
-
RM
from Borland

is a well
-
known requirements management tool. It is intended for large and
complex systems, and provi
des a database of requirements with trace ability. This tool views
requirements as part of the software quality management process, which it considers and also includes
testing and defect tracking. Caliber is Internet
-
based, and it handles document referen
ces, user
responsibility, trace ability, status and priority.


Chip Carey
of Starbase (former owners of Caliber):

“The exciting thing about RM and Caliber RM in
particular is that it brings all departments together within the software development lifecycle

and puts
them all on the same page


it provides a mechanism for communication and collaboration and
effectively provides a synergy where before they were perhaps separate efforts and maybe counter
-
productive.”


C.A.R.E.
from Sophist Group

is a Lotus Note
s
-
based tool which provides a database
-
like view of
requirements. The website is in German but the tool’s GUI is in English. Using the hypertext
-
like Lotus
Notes is an interesting approach to organising requirements with obvious practical advantages, and t
he
Sophist Group is noted for its Object
-
Oriented thinking. The tool provides a wide range of features and
produces both textual and graphical outputs.

Cradle
from 3SL Cradle is a multi
-
user, multi
-
project, distributed and web
-
enabled requirements
manageme
nt and systems engineering environment. It is intended for all sizes of requirements and
systems development projects. Cradle can link to corporate PDM/EDM systems. It offers configuration
management, edit histories and version control. It automates docume
nt production and can manage the
generated documents. Through its web interface, it can integrate disparate stakeholder groups by creating
customizable read
-
write portals to all project data.

Mark Walker of 3SL
Cradle

can deliver unlimited requirements and

systems modeling scalability to the
desktop through web and non
-
web methods that allow capture and parsing of requirements and their
traceability through every part of all C4ISR, ISO, DoD and INCOSE recommended processes.


Clear Requirements Workbench (CR
W)
from LiveSpecs

Software helps specify, verify, and manage
detailed requirements. CRW supports four detailed specification techniques (glossaries, action contracts,
test procedures, and precise use cases) for the clear description of definitions, behavio
ur, and usage.
David Gelperin of LiveSpecs Software: Clear Requirements Workbench is the first system to actively
support the detailed requirements that put customers, users, managers, marketers, developers, testers, and
technical writers on the same page.



DocuBurst
from Teledyne Brown Engineering

is a package that discovers requirements and headings in
text documents, and structures them into objects for use in requirements and other tools. It runs on
Windows, and generates XML, TSV, CSV, and other file types. It is compatible with most tools incl
uding
TBE’s own XTie
-
RT.

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Sherry Adlich
Using DocuBurst
to ‘burst’ a text document into pieces eliminates days of effort typically
spent to analyse documents for information gathering or requirements gathering.

Doors
from Telelogic Doors is a tool primarily
for large organisations which need to control complex sets
of user and system requirements with full trace ability. It provides good visualization of such documents
as hierarchies, and its extension language enables a wide range of supporting tools to be b
uilt, and many
are provided as menu commands and examples. Further options include DoorsNet which allows
controlled interaction over the Internet, and the Change Proposal System which automates the
requirement review cycle. There are live interfaces to man
y CASE tools, and the promise of tight
integration with Telelogic’s market
-
leading Tau toolkit for specification, design, and testing based on
UML and the SDT approach to real
-
time systems development centred on telecommunications. Its use is
therefore mov
ing towards integrated project support.



Nancy Rundlet
of Telelogic

says: With DOORS, we provide worldwide support, Word
-
like ease of use,
scalability from 1 user to several hundred, and ease of establishing traceability and displaying it to
multiple level
s.

Focal Point
(now owned by Telelogic) is a market
-
driven requirements management tool. It incorporates
customer collaboration, prioritization and visualization and decision
-
making and planning processes
inside a tailorable web
-
based platform. It links re
quirements to market segmentation, competitor analysis,
release planning and other processes in product life cycle management.







(10 Marks)




Question 3:

What are Artificial Intelligence Systems and how can they be categorized? Also, discuss
the role of these AI systems in the Management and Marketing.



Intelligence
is the capability to solve perceptual problems. By the term “perceptual”, wemean
individual, special, random, fuzzy, sensory, and/or emotional. Solving such problems requires
accumulation, induction and inference of experiences to form new knowledge.

Artificial intelligence
(abbreviated
AI
) is defined as intelligence exhibited by an ar
tificial entity. Such an
entity is generally computer
-
controlled; therefore artificial intelligence in this context is pre
-
programmed.
Humans use intuition and viewpoints to make judgments and choices instead of using precise rules or
procedures. However,
almost none of those used by human beings can be done programmatically. In
conclusion, we can say that no matter how powerful a computer might be, if it works only upon a given
set of rules/programs, it is not regarded as having real intelligence.

Research

in AI is concerned with producing machines to automate tasks requiring intelligent behavior.
Examples include control, planning and scheduling, the ability to answer diagnostic and consumer
questions, handwriting, speech, and facial recognition. As such,
it has become a scientific discipline,
focused on providing solutions to real life problems. AI systems are now in routine use in economics,
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medicine, engineering and the military, as well as being built into many common home computer
software applications
, traditional strategy games like computer chess and other video games.



Schools of thought

AI is divided roughly into two schools of thought: Conventional AI and Computational Intelligence (CI).


Conventional

AI
mostly involves methods now classified as

machine learning, characterized by formalism and
statistical analysis. This is also known as symbolic AI, logical AI, neat AI and Good Old Fashioned
Artificial Intelligence (GOFAI). AI Methods include


Expert systems
: apply reasoning capabilities to reac
h a conclusion. An expert system can
process large amounts of known information and provide conclusions based on them.


Case based reasoning.


Bayesian networks.


Behaviour based AI: a modular method of building AI systems by hand.


Computational Intell
igence
involves iterative development or learning (e.g. parameter tuning e.g., in
connectionist systems). Learning is based on empirical data and is associated with non
-
symbolic AI,
scruffy AI and soft computing. Methods mainly include: Neural networks: sy
stems with very strong
pattern recognition capabilities.



Fuzzy systems:
techniques for reasoning under uncertainty, has been widely used in modern
industrial and consumer product control systems.



Evolutionary computation:
applies biologically inspire
d concepts such as populations, mutation
and survival of the fittest to generate increasingly better solutions to the problem. These methods most
notably divide into evolutionary algorithms (e.g., genetic algorithms) and swarm intelligence (e.g., ant
algor
ithms).

With hybrid intelligent systems attempts are made to combine these two groups. Expert inference rules
can be generated through neural network or production rules from statistical learning such as in ACT
-
R.




Production Management


AI software that

learned to ‘breed’ factory schedules generates far better schedules than those that
humans can produce with the help of Genetic Algorithms. With the case studies it has been proved that
Data Mining with ANN, help solve some of the processing and interpret
ation problems for companies and
have even played a key role in discovering oil fields.



Customer Relationship Management “Support & Marketing”

The Office Assistant in Microsoft’s Office packages uses AI and has a broad installed base today, with
more tha
n 90 percent of the Windows and Macintosh market, at the very least, this proves that support
software containing AI has already penetrated the market. Advisory Expert Systems have been on the
market for a long time.

At HP the interactive advice system CAS
T/BW, provides quick, accurate hardware sizing, network
configuration, and usage recommendations. The system turns expert knowledge from SAP, HP internal
competency centres, the HP Enterprise Server Group, and existing SAP. The Expert System functions in
t
he same way as working directly with HP. Business Warehouse implementations into an easy
-
to
-
use
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advisory tool, use of robots, and marketing agents, support the assumption that support system based on
AI have already entered the business market and are freq
uently used.


(10 Marks)




Question 4(a):

What are steps in IT Risk management process.




(5 Marks)

IT Risk Management Process

IT controls result from an effective risk assessment process. Therefore, the ability to mitigate IT risks is
dependent
upon risk assessments. Senior management should identify, measure, control, and monitor
technology to avoid risks that threaten the safety and soundness of an institution. The institution should

1)
plan
for use of technology,

2)
assess
the risk associated w
ith technology,

3) decide how to
implement
the technology, and

4) establish a process to
measure and monitor
risk that is taken on. All organisations should have:


An effective planning process that aligns IT and business objectives;


An ongoing risk
assessment process that evaluates the environment and potential changes;


Technology implementation procedures that include appropriate controls, and


Measurement and monitoring efforts that effectively identify ways to manage risk exposure.

This process

will typically require a higher level of formality in more complex institutions with major
technology
-
related initiatives.

The risk identification and management process for technology
-
related risks is not complete without
consideration of the overall IT
environment in which the technology resides. Management may need to
consider risks associated with IT environments from two different perspectives:


If the IT function is decentralized, and business units manage the risk, then management should
coordinate

risk management efforts through common organisation
-
wide expectations.


If the IT department is a centralised function that supports business lines across shared infrastructure,
management should centralize their IT risk management efforts.




Question 4
(b):

What are steps involved in Disaster management
(5 Marks)


A disaster is defined as a sudden misfortune that is ruinous to an undertaking. This means that there is
little time to react at the time of the misfortune. Pr
eparations are required to have been
made in advance. The focus should, therefore, be on disaster planning.

The first step in disaster planning is to
assess risk.
A computer or network disaster typically involves loss
of or damage to data, the inability of

programs to function, or the loss of data communication. Risk
assessment answers the question, what is the probability a particular disaster to occur and how serious
will be the effect likely to be if it does occur. Among the disasters that should be asse
ssed are natural
disasters such as floods, fires, and earthquakes and manmade disasters such as air conditioning failures,
viruses, hacking, and vandalism. The line between the two is not clear
-
cut



because a flood can be the result of vandalism to a wate
r pipe and a fire can be deliberately set as an act
of vandalism.

A risk assessment matrix should be created, one which puts the probability on one axis and the effect on
the other, with the risk factor fixed by the combination of the two factors:

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Effect m
ay be classified as Major, Moderate, and Minor. Probability of Risk may be classified as High 5
4 3 Moderate 4 3 2 and Low 3 2 1 on a 5 point scale.

A risk factor of 5 requires much more attention and warrants a much greater outlay of resources than a
risk

factor of 1.

The risk factor will vary by area of the country, nature of the community, and type of organisation. In
much of California, earthquakes would be rated a risk factor of 5; along the flood plains of the Mississippi
River flooding would be a ris
k factor of 5. Viruses, while probable, usually have only a minor effect,
therefore, they would have a risk factor of 3. Hacking, this rates highly probably for Fortune 500
companies; rates low for smaller organisations, but may rate a risk factor of 3 bec
ause its effect may be
major. In many areas floods are likely to be the result of a broken pipe and have a low risk factor of 1 or 2
because their effect tends to be localized and, therefore, minor or moderate.

The second step in disaster planning is
risk
reduction
. This is achieved by lowering the risk factor by
reducing the probability, reducing the effect, or both. For example, while no disaster plan can reduce the
probability of an earthquake, housing the organisation in California that is quake
-
resista
nt should reduce
the effect of one. Placing a computer room where there are no overhead pipes reduces the probability of
flooding; rack
-
mounting the computer hardware so that it is several inches above the floor reduces the
effect. Installing anti
-
virus so
ftware reduces the probability of a disaster; regularly backing up all data
reduces the effect.



The third step in disaster planning is to earmark resources. Disaster planning need resources (takes time
and expertise), but it is within the means of most o
rganisations. A small task force of staff members,
given time to read the literature and contact other organisations that have done disaster planning, can
develop a disaster plan in weeks or months. What is difficult for many organisations is finding separ
ate
funds to carry out the plan. Retrofitting an old building to withstand earthquakes can cost hundreds
-
of
-
thousands or millions of dollars; mirroring a database of a large organisation can cost huge amount of
money. Each risk factor must, therefore, have

a price tag associated with it. An organisation has to decide
whether the risk reduction is worth the price and, if so, seek the funds to pursue the risk reduction.

It may not be realistic to lower the highest risk factors first because the funds may not
be available. It may
be necessary to focus on lowering risk factors for which the resources are available. Heat/smoke and
water detectors are within the means of most organisations and should not be skipped over just because
the risk factor is not

a 4 or 5
.

The fourth step in disaster planning is to identify Common Disaster Plan Elements. Every disaster plan
should set forth both preventive measures and remedies in at least the following areas:



Question 5:

Suppose you are a project Manager and you have to

develop ERP package or your
company. Discuss with management, whether to develop it in
-
house or get it developed from outside.







A properly implemented ERP system can convey good results & dramatically enhance the
aptitude to diminish costs, run leane
r, and endow with good customer service. These are distinctive ways
of implementing an ERP and following are the implementation approaches:

Phased implementation approach:
This implementation approach is also known as Modular
Implementation. The system of
modular implementation goes after one ERP module at a time. This limits
the capacity of implementation usually to one functional department. This approach suits enterprises that
do not share many widespread processes across departments or business units. I
ndependent modules of
ERP systems are installed in every unit, while integration of ERP modules is taken place at the afterward
stage of the project. This has been the most usually used methodology of ERP implementation. Each
business unit may have their o
wn ‘instances’ of ERP and databases. Modular implementation trims down
the risk of installation, customisation and operation of ERP systems by reducing the scope of the
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implementation. The successful implementation of one module can promote the overall suc
cess of ERP
projects.

Big
-
Bang implementation approach:
This requires simultaneous implementation of numerous modules of
an ERP packages. Enterprises outline a grand plan for their ERP implementation. The installation of ERP
systems of all modules happens
transversely the entire enterprises at once.


The big bang approach has the prospective to condense the integration cost if it's executed
methodically and cautiously. This method dominated early ERP implementations; it partially contributed
to the higher
rate of breakdown in ERP implementation. Today, not many companies dare to endeavor it
anymore. The hypothesis of this implementation method is treating ERP implementation as the
implementation of a big information system, which typically follows SDLC (Sys
tems Development Life
Cycle). But ERP is much more than a conventional information system because the implementation of
ERP continuously calls for the realignment of business processes. Many parties concerned in ERP
software systems are not IT professional
s. ERP more than automates existing business processes and alter
the business processes.

Process
-
Oriented Implementation:
This method of implementation focus on the support of one or a few
critical business processes, which involves a few business units. T
he initial customization of the ERP
system is limited to functionality closely related to the intended business processes.


The process
-
oriented implementation may eventually grow into a full
-
blown ERP system. This
approach is utilized by many small to mi
d
-
sized companies whose business processes are not too
complex.

Vanilla implementation approach:
In another implementation approach that focuses on minimal
customisation of the ERP packages



1)

Understand your corporate needs and culture:
An ERP
implementation will bring a change in the
roles of different departments and responsibility. In short, it will result in a change in the existing
power structure.


2)

Complete Business process Change:
ERP can change the whole outlook of business by fully
reen
gineering it and giving it new shape and direction, which could be unimaginable.


3)

Provide strong Leadership:
Leaders plays a very vital role in making a destiny of followers, so
while selecting a team leader/project leader, this point has to be kept in min
d.


4)

Choose a balanced team:
The system environment of today’s ERP solutions is complex: RDBMS,
servers, networking, LAN, WAN, etc. There will be no longer a lot of documentation to specify
the requirements. These will be on
-
line, as an integral part of the

package. So the team should be
balanced in order to rectify the error.


5)

Selecting a good implementation methodology:
It is advisable for the project leaders to set out
clear and measurable objectives at the very beginning and review the progress at interv
als, as the
implementation progresses
.


6)

Train every one:
Since this ERP package is not confined to specific people but a beneficial to
whole organisation so as far as training part is concerned it will be given to all and not restricted
to few as it is ind
irectly going to benefit the organization alone.


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7)

Commitment to adapt and change:
An ERP implementation should not look upon as a short
distance run. It’s an on going process. It has wide implications, and will impact the future of the
company for many yea
rs to come.

















Enterprise systems are all about the enterprise and not about systems. Its success greatly depends on the
responsibility of top management and active participation of the HR people. The popular notion is that
implementation of
an ERP is a technology decision. In fact, it is a decision that preferably should be
based on business needs andbenefits. The success of an ERP solution depends on how quick the benefits
can be reaped from it. This necessitates rapid implementations, which

lead to shortened ROI periods.
Traditional approach to implementation has been to carry out a Business Process Re
-
engineering exercise
and define a “TO BE” model before the ERP system implementation. This led to mismatches between the
proposed model and t
he ERP functionality, the consequence of which was customisations, extended
implementation time frames, higher costs and loss of user confidence.


Implementation strategy and approach:
Organisational readiness and preparedness is what makes the key
difference between success and failure. Any ERP implementation brings a transformation in varying
quantum; hence, senior managements commitment to change management process and piloting the ERP
implementation becomes completely necessary. Over a period of
time, the additional functionalities that
are available in the ERP can be implemented and by that time, the organization would have tasted success
of the implementation. The end
-
user participation and ownership of implementing the ERP is a notable
paradigm

shift compared to the conventional software development process. Implementation strategy is
context dependent. So what is successful in one company may not yield similar results in another
organisation. Therefore, the strategy and approach to implementati
on is a key enabler for successful
implementation.

Start up education:
The simplest and most cost effective education method is to set up either a 2
-
day
corporate training in the company or at a convenient local venue.

Continuous communication:
The success

of the ERP initiative, on the softer side, can be accredited to two
things, first, in all the communication about the project, a exercise of tying central messages and specific
department objectives and needs back to the overall company. Second, a habitua
l mix of efforts to include
everything from conducting workshops, publishing newsletters and holding focus groups to organising
lunch time discussions and traveling road shows each designed to suit dissimilar stages across the
implementation life cycle.

Fo
rming the team:
Selecting the right project leader is as important as selecting the right package. Core
team leadership is a full time assignment. Team leaders should know the business well and have cross
-
functional experience. They should also be politica
lly savvy, have credibility within the organization and
be good communicators, and, of course, be from the business side and not the IT management. The team
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is also as important as its leader. The apex management must make sure that the best and the bright
est
join the team.

Project planning:
An important task is the preparation of detailed plan that covers the total
implementation process. Here various project management techniques like PERT charts can be used. The
implementation plan should have clear comp
onents and should include the time schedule, ownership and
responsibility, resource requirements and critical success factors for each phase. The milestones are as
follows and thus may be included in project plan that is Training of project team members, M
apping of
business onto the software, Function
-
wise implementation, Customization, Uploading of data, Tests run,
Parallel run, Crossover, etc. IT projects are essentially systems integration projects. They are complicated
and require attention on issues su
ch as the implication of even the slightest change. The project planning
should also lay emphasis for determining the effort (in man
-
months man
-
hours) required for carrying out
the various activities. It is important to: (a) scope the project, (b) estimate

the step
-
wise and task
-
wise
man
-
hours required, and (c) preparing a schedule. These all will lead to project plan preferably using
project management tools like network charts, project management software, PERT/CPM.




(10 Marks)


Question 6:

How is

knowledge is created and shared and also indicate factors that complicate
knowledge transfer



Knowledge
is the awareness and understanding of facts, truths or information gained in the form of
experience or learning. Knowledge is an appreciation of the
possession of interconnected
details which, in isolation, are of lesser value
.

Knowledge is a term with many meanings depending on context, but is (as a rule) closely related to such
concepts as meaning, information, instruction, communication, representat
ion, learning and mental
stimulus.

Knowledge is distinct from simple information. Both knowledge and information consist of true
statements, but knowledge is information that has a purpose or use. Philosophers would describe this as
information associated
with intentionality. The study of knowledge is called epistemology.

A common definition of knowledge is that it consists of justified true belief. This definition derives from
Plato’s Theaetetus. It is considered as necessary, but not sufficient, condition
s for some statement to count
as knowledge.

















Knowledge flows comprise the set of processes, events and activities through which data, information,
knowledge and meta
-
knowledge are transformed from one state to another. To simplify the analysis of
knowledge flows, the framework described here is based

primarily on the Knowledge Model. The model
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organizes knowledge flows into four primary activity areas: knowledge creation, retention, transfer and
utilisation













Knowledge Creation:
This comprises activities associated with the entry of new
knowledge into the
system, and includes knowledge development, discovery and capture.

Knowledge Retention:
This includes all activities that preserve knowledge and allow it to remain in the
system once introduced. It also includes those activities that
maintain the viability of knowledge within
the system.

Knowledge Transfer:
This refers to activities associated with the flow of knowledge from one party to
another. This includes communication, translation, conversion, filtering and rendering.

Knowledge U
tilisation:
This includes the activities and events connected with the application of
knowledge to business processes.

Let us, look at the basic processes of
knowledge creation and sharing
within organisations and what type
of technologies can be applied t
o knowledge management and to assess their actual or potential
contribution.


3.3.1 Knowledge Creation and Sharing

A set of systematic and disciplined actions that an organisation can take to obtain the greatest value from
the knowledge available is given
the name Knowledge management. “Knowledge” in this context
includes both the experience and understanding of the people in the organisation and the information
artifacts, such as documents and reports, available within the organisation and in the world out
side.
Effective knowledge management typically requires an appropriate combination of organisational, social,
and managerial initiatives along with, in many cases, deployment of appropriate technology.


Tacit knowledge
is what the knower knows, which is de
rived from experience and embodies beliefs and
values. Tacit knowledge is actionable knowledge, and therefore the most valuable. Furthermore, tacit
knowledge is the most important basis for the generation of new knowledge; however, the key to
knowledge cre
ation is the mobilisation and conversion of tacit knowledge.


Explicit knowledge
is represented by some artifact, such as a document or a video, which has typically
been created with the goal of communicating with another person.

Both forms of knowledge a
re important for organisational effectiveness.

Now, let us look at processes by which knowledge is transformed between its tacit and explicit forms, as
shown in
Figure 3
. Organisational learning takes place as individuals participate in these processes, si
nce
by doing so their knowledge is shared, articulated, and made available to others.
Creation of new
knowledge
takes place through the processes of combination and internalisation. As shown in
Figure 3
,
the processes by which knowledge is transformed with
in and between forms usable by people are:


Socialisation (tacit to tacit):
Socialisation includes the shared formation and communication of tacit
knowledge between people, e.g., in meetings. Knowledge sharing is often done without ever producing
explicit

knowledge and, to be most effective, should take place between people who have a common
culture and can work together effectively. Thus, tacit knowledge sharing is connected to ideas of
communities and collaboration. A typical activity in which tacit know
ledge sharing can take place is a
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team meeting during which experiences are described and discussed, often informal, in which information
technology (IT) plays a minimal role. However, an increasing proportion of meetings and other
interpersonal interactio
ns use on
-
line tools known as groupware. These tools are used either to
supplement conventional meetings, or in some cases to replace them. To what extent can these tools
facilitate formulation and transfer of tacit knowledge?















In the Organisational development area of organisational learning, a practical problem is that of
knowledge transfer
, how to get some packet of knowledge, that exists in one part of the
organisation, into another (or all other) parts of the organisation. I
t’s more than just a
communications problem. If it were merely that, then a memo, an

e
-
mail or a meeting would accomplish the knowledge transfer.

Challenges

What complicates knowledge transfer? There are many factors, including:


geography


language

Info
rmation Systems


areas of expertise


internal conflicts (e.g., professional territoriality)


generational differences


union
-
management relations


incentives


the use of visual representations to transfer knowledge (Knowledge visualization)

Process



identifying the key knowledge holders within the organisation


motivating them to share


designing a sharing mechanism to facilitate the transfer


executing the transfer plan


measuring to ensure the transfer


applying the knowledge transferred


(10
Marks)

Question 7:
Write short notes on the following:


Artificial Neural network


Artificial Neural Network:
Sometimes the following distinction is made between the terms “Neural
Network” and “Artificial Neural Network”. “Neural network” indicates networks that are hardware based
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and “Artificial Neural Network” normally refers to those which are software
-
based. I
n the following
paragraphs, “Artificial Neural Network” is sometimes referred to as “Neural Network” or “Neural
Computing”. Neural Networks are an approach, which is inspired by the architecture of the human brain.
In the human brain a neural network exist
s, which is comprised of over 10 billion neurons; each neuron
then builds hundreds and even thousands of connections with other neurons.


Neural computing
is defined as the study of networks of adaptable nodes which, through a process of
learning from task

examples, store experimental knowledge and make it available for use.”.
As a Neural
Network (NN) is designed, rather than being programmed, the systems learn to recognize patterns.
Learning is achieved through repeated minor modifications to selected neuro
n weights (The weight is
equal to the importance of the neuron). NN typically starts out with randomized weights for all their
neurons. This means that they do not “know” anything, and must be trained. Once a NN has been trained
correctly, it should be abl
e to find the desired output to a given input; however, it cannot be guaranteed
that a NN will produce the correct output pattern. NN learns by either a supervised or an unsupervised
learning process.

i)
The Supervised Learning Process:
A supervised learni
ng process has a target pattern (desired output).
While learning different input patterns, the weight values are changed dynamically until their values are
balanced, so that each input will lead to the desired output. There are two supervised learning algo
rithms:
Forward, and Back
-
propagation, Learning Algorithms.

ii) An
unsupervised Neural Network
has no target outputs. During the learning process, the neural cells
organise themselves in groups, according to input pattern. The incoming data is not only rec
eived by a
single neural cell, but also influences other cells in its neighbourhood. The goal is to group neural cells
with similar functions close together. Self
-
organisation Learning Algorithms tend to discover patterns and
relationships in that data.


Artificial Neural Network Techniques:
There are many kinds of Artificial Neural Networks. No one
knows exactly how many. This dissertation only examines the most common ones. (i) Perceptron, (ii)
Multi
-
Layer
-
Perceptron, (iii) Backpropagation Net, (iv) Hopf
ield Net Physicist, and (v) Kohonen Feature
Map.

ANN as a method of Forecasting:
“Forecasting is essential to business. NN does this job better than
traditional forecasting methods. The advantages of ANN over traditional statistical forecasting methods
are

that ANN do not have to fulfill any statistical assumptions and the ability to handle non
-
linearity,
which are common in business. Further advantages are that ANN is easy to learn and use, and normally
requires less data preparation.

We can conclude that
ANN is inspired by the architecture of the human brain, and learns to recognise
patterns through repeated minor modifications to selected neuron weights. There are many kinds of ANN
techniques that are good at solving problems involving patterns, pattern m
apping, pattern completion, and
pattern classification.

ANN pattern recognition capability makes it useful to forecast time series in business. A Neural Network
can easily recognise patterns that have too many variables for humans to see. They have several

advantages over conventional statistical models: they handle noisy data better, do not have to fulfil any
statistical assumptions, and are generally better at handling large amounts of data with many variables.

A problem with Neural Networks is that it is

very difficult to understand their internal reasoning process,
however, this is not entirely accurate. It is possible to get an idea about the learned ANN variables’
elasticity. By changing one variable at a time, looking at the changes in the output patt
ern during that
time, at least some information regarding the importance of the different variables will be visible. Neural
Networks can be very flexible systems for problem solving.


(i)

Different Computer crimes

Computer crime
is one area that has been extre
mely hard for our society and our governments to keep up
with. Many laws have to be rewritten and many new laws must be implemented to accommodate the
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changes.
Computer crime and abuse
extends to any wrongdoing involving equipment and Internet usage,
as
Ta
ble 3
shows. Anonymity cannot be a license for socially unacceptable behaviour. You should
remember that everything you do on a network or the Internet is recorded and can be tracked. Many
people
committing
computer crimes
and abuse have
been caught and
pr
osecuted.



(10
Marks)







Other issues affecting our society include job losses and career changes caused by technology. You can
argue the positive or negative effects, but one thing is clear: you’ll be a part of the evolution of
technology for the rest of your life. You will have to continually update your skills and knowledge in
order to remain competitive in the job market. As companies continue to embrace new technology and
new methods of using it, you’ll be responsible for ens
uring your skills remain current.

Our government recognises the danger of allowing unequal access to technology to continue. It has
enlisted the help of private individuals and corporations in an effort to install computers and Internet
access in public sc
hools and libraries across the nation. Most schools are now wired for networks and are
learning to incorporate technology into the curriculum