MIS 304

Information Systems Management

Fall 1996


Dr. Mary C. Lacity
Office Hours: TR 6:00-6:45& by appointment
Office: 233 CCB
Phone: 516-6127
Homepage: http://www.umsl.edu/~lacity

Sections: 11:00-12:15 202 SSB


The challenge of developing and supporting information technology lies not with the technology itself, but with the social and political issues of corporate environments. To MIS majors, information technology is a fascinating and marvelous tool to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness. However, information systems are paid for by senior level managers who generally do not share our enthusiasm. In the reality of political organizations, information technology managers spend much of their time mediating perceptions about IT performance, gaining support from senior management for IT investments, managing multiple stakeholders including users, external vendors, as well as the IT staff. This course covers very current topics concerning information systems management, including strategic IT planning, IT outsourcing, business process re-engineering, managing large scale IT investments, evaluating IT proposals, managing the develop of new technologies such as client/server, benchmarking IT performance, and developing measure of IT productivity and quality.


MIS 109
MIS 215 Information Systems Analysis (Recommended)


MIS304 Packet of Readings.

The content of this course covers the latest articles on the most pressing IS management issues. Articles are to be read prior to class. All students are required to participate in class discussions. If the class fails to read articles prior to class, the professor will administer pop quizzes in lei of the class participation grade.


Attendance and participation are vital to the student's success in this class. Students are expected to attend class every day. Students are responsible for all material presented in class.

Course Grades:

20% Exam I
20% Software Metrics Project
5% Legal Issue in IT Assignment Final Project:
20% Written Report
10% Oral Report
20% Final Exam
5% Class Participation

No late assignments will be accepted and no make-up exams will be given except with prior permission of the instructor (which will only be given under rare circumstance) or a doctor's note in case of illness.

Software Metrics Assignment

After in-class training, students will count function points for three systems in different stages of the system development life cycle: design, construction, and installation. Students will develop and compare lines of code and function point metrics of a completed system written in dbase III Plus.

Final Project

The final project is a comprehensive and critical analysis on a current topic in information management.

I. Executive Summary (2-3 pages)

An executive summary assumes that a busy executive will not have time to read your entire report. Assuming an executive would only read these 3 pages--what messages are most important?

II. Introduction (1-4 pages)

Define your topic (what it does and does not cover). Try to set up scope and importance of this topic to MIS Managers, perhaps in terms of dollar size of the market or examples of companies currently facing this challenge.

III. The promise:

What is the hype associated with this management trend? What companies have actually succeeded, at least according to the trade press? (2-4 pages)

IV. Stakeholder Perspectives:

Key concerns, challenges, issues & agendas of: (6-10 pages)

V. Critical Analysis

(6-12 pages) Discuss the promise verses the reality, the lessons learned so far, critical success factors, reasons for failure, possible future of this managerial trend. The use of lots of examples are always helpful in making your paper and project come alive.

Sources of Information:

The first place to start is with secondary information published in academic and practitioner sources. You can do an on-line search in ABI Inform on your topic of interest. Aim for at least a review of 30 articles. The best sources of information are stakeholders actually involved with this management challenge, including MIS managers, IS staff, end users, senior executives. Be sure to fully cite your sources. Personal Interviews may be disguised with pseudonyms to protect the anonymity of subjects.

The World Wide Web also has many pages on current IT topics.

In the past, some students have done some excellent case studies, for example, the effects of IT outsourcing at McDonnell Douglas, Business Process Re-engineering at Emerson. Please feel free to discuss possible topics with me as early as possible!

Format Alternative: If you would prefer to create web pages on your topic in lei of a type-written report, this is fine. Please see me soon if you would like to do this.

Students may work alone or in groups of up to three people.

Written Reports due last day of class


Fall, 1996 1. Tuesday Aug 27 Course Overview
Senior-Level IT Management Issues:
2. Thursday Aug 29 How are IT functions organized & budgeted?
3. Tuesday Sept. 3 The Role of the CIO
4. Thursday Sept 5 Strategic Issues: Involving Senior Managers in IT
5. Tuesday Sept 10 Strategic Issues: IT Planning
6. Thursday Sept 12 Evaluating IT projects
7. Tuesday Sept 17 Evaluating IT Projects
8. Thursday Sept 19 Sourcing Information Technology
9. Tuesday Sept 24 Sourcing Information Technology
10. Thursday Sept 26 Developing IT Capabilities
11. Tuesday Oct 1 Information Technology & Business Process Re-engineering
12. Thursday Oct 3 Information Technology & Business Process Re-engineering
13. Tuesday Oct 8 Managing Large Scale Infrastructure Investments
14. Thursday Oct 10 Benchmarking
Middle-level IT Management Issues:
16. Thursday Oct 17 IT Metrics
17. Tuesday Oct 22 IT Metrics
18. Thursday Oct 24 IT Metrics
19. Tuesday Oct 29 IT Metrics
20. Thursday Oct 31 IT Metrics
21. Tuesday Nov 5 Project Management: Project Champions and Project Sponsors
22. Thursday Nov 7 Project Management: Managing Client/Server
23. Tuesday Nov 12 Hardware Purchases
24. Thursday Nov 14 Managing the Physical Environment
25. Tuesday Nov 19 Legal Issues
26. Thursday Nov 21 Ethical Issues
27. Tuesday Nov 26 Project Presentations
Thursday Nov 28 THANKSGIVING 28. Tuesday Dec 3 Project Presentations
29. Thursday Dec 5 Project Presentations