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Basic Concepts for Understanding Systems. Agenda for today. The need for frameworks & models Viewing businesses as systems Information systems and work systems Framework for thinking about systems Perspectives for viewing a work system

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agenda for today
Agenda for today
  • The need for frameworks & models
  • Viewing businesses as systems
  • Information systems and work systems
  • Framework for thinking about systems
  • Perspectives for viewing a work system
  • Looking at an IT-enabled system from a business perspective
the need for frameworks models
The need for frameworks & models
  • What is a framework?
  • A set of ideas for organizing your thoughts about a thing or situation...
  • What is a model?
  • A useful representation of a specific situation or thing…
framework model continued
Framework & model, continued...
  • Think about object oriented programming…
    • A framework is like a class definition
    • A model is like an instantiated object
frameworks and models in action
Frameworks and models in action
  • What are some frameworks that we encounter?
  • Now, let’s think about models…examples?
  • Let’s turn to the Resumix case to see the WCA framework in action
resumix case
Resumix Case
  • Define the elements of this case using the WCA framework
  • What are the categories?
  • They are
    • customer, product, business process, participants, information and technology
viewing businesses as systems1
Viewing businesses as systems
  • Businesses as systems consisting of business processes
viewing businesses as systems2
Viewing businesses as systems
  • Value Chain
    • for a “sit down” restaurant, not fast food...
viewing businesses as systems3
Viewing businesses as systems
  • Business processes and functional areas of businesses
    • The silo model
business processes and functional areas of businesses
Business processes and functional areas of businesses
  • Processes that cross functional areas
  • Processes related to a specific functional area
  • Processes occurring in every functional area
information systems and work systems1
Information systems and work systems
  • What kind of system?
    • Information system
    • Work system
information systems and work systems2
Information systems and work systems
  • Where are the boundaries between information systems and work systems?
    • Is this changing?
  • Is this a reflection of the changes in the economy to focus on services?
  • Do you think that the trend will continue?
framework for thinking about systems1
Framework for thinking about systems
  • Customers
    • internal
    • external
    • what’s the difference?
  • Product
    • the output of the work system
  • Business process
    • What’s going on in the system
    • We’ll model this with flow charts and DFD’s
framework for thinking about systems2
Framework for thinking about systems
  • Participants
    • Who’s involved…
  • Information
framework for thinking about systems3
Framework for thinking about systems
  • Technology
    • This is the part that’s cool, but remember its place in the puzzle
perspectives for viewing a work system1
Perspectives for viewing a work system
  • You can use the WCA and the five perspectives to gain a better understanding of the work system
  • Sort of a “drill down” approach
  • When I ask you to give me a WCA diagram, I’m looking for the overall analysis, not all perspectives -- you may want to do these perspectives as you develop your model
perspectives for viewing a work system2
Perspectives for viewing a work system
  • ARCHITECTURE
  • What are the components of the system that performs the work and who uses the work product?
  • How are the components linked?
  • How do the components operate together?
  • PERFORMANCE
  • How well do the components operate individually?
  • How well does the system operate? (How well is the work performed?)
  • How well should the system operate?
  • INFRASTRUCTURE
  • What technical and human infrastructure does the work rely on?
  • In what ways does infrastructure present opportunities or obstacles?
  • CONTEXT
  • What are the impacts of the organizational and technical context?
  • In what ways does the context present opportunities or obstacles?
  • RISKS
  • What foreseeable things can prevent the work from happening,
  • can make the work inefficient, or can cause defects in the work product?
  • What are the likely responses to these problems?
looking at an it enabled system from a business perspective1
Looking at an IT-enabled system from a business perspective
  • Steps in systems analysis
    • defining the problem
    • describing the situation in enough depth
    • designing potential improvements
    • deciding what to do
looking at an it enabled system from a business perspective2
Looking at an IT-enabled system from a business perspective
  • How the WCA can be used to drill down on a problem...
looking at an it enabled system from a business perspective4
Looking at an IT-enabled system from a business perspective
  • Limitations and issues with the WCA
    • architecture
      • overemphasis on details
      • confusion about roles
    • performance
      • too often ignored
    • infrastructure
      • you gotta have it! Don’t forget!
looking at an it enabled system from a business perspective5
Looking at an IT-enabled system from a business perspective
  • Limitations and issues with the WCA (cont.)
    • context
      • ignoring incentives/disincentives, organizational culture, etc.
    • risks
      • things don’t always go as planned…
      • contingency
      • disaster recovery
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