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IS465: Adv. Info. Sys. Problem Solving. Min Song Information Systems Dept. What is a “Problem?”. How do people approach and solve problems? What are the major obstacles to problem solving?. Preparation. The problem has already been identified. Now try to “understand” it.

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Is465 adv info sys problem solving l.jpg

IS465: Adv. Info. Sys.Problem Solving

Min Song

Information Systems Dept.


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What is a “Problem?”

  • How do people approach and solve problems?

  • What are the major obstacles to problem solving?


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Preparation

  • The problem has already been identified.

  • Now try to “understand” it.

    • well-defined to ill-defined, depending on nature of problem and perceived info requirements


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Kinds of Problems

  • Arrangement

    • rearrange or recombine elements to satisfy criterion

    • anagrams, jigsaws

  • Inducing structure

    • identify the relationship among elements, construct a new relationship

    • “what comes next in the series...”

  • Transformation

    • use methods to get from current state to goal state

    • Tower of Hanoi


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Missionaries&Cannibals

  • “Five missionaries and five cannibals are initially on the left bank of a river, with a rowboat having a maximum capacity of three persons. The task is to find a sequence of crossings that will leave all ten persons on the right bank. No missionaries may ever be left with a larger number of cannibals (on either bank or in the boat), for the cannibals would overpower and eat the missionaries).”


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Missionaries & Cannibals

  • What kind of problem is this?

  • What is the solution?

    • as you work it out, either “think out loud” (make an audio recording of your verbalization) or “think in writing” (take notes on the various options/steps you consider).



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A New Ordering System for Girl Scout Cookies

  • Problem: Inefficient manual procedures, high error rate.

  • Solutions: Eliminate manual procedures, design new ordering process, and implement database building software to batch and track orders automatically and schedule order pickups.

  • QuickBase for Corporate Workgroups software service increased efficiency and reduced errors.

  • Demonstrates IT’s role in updating traditional business processes.

  • Illustrates digital technology as the focus of designing and building new information systems.


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A New Ordering System for Girl Scout Cookies

Interactive Session: Girl Scout Cookies

  • Think of a time when you were charged with the task of selling a product

  • How did you keep track of your orders?

  • How did you keep track of your inventory?

  • What were some of the weaknesses of your methods?

  • How could information systems have improved your transaction and supply chain processes?


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Problem Solving and Systems Development

  • New information systems are built as solutions to problems

  • Four steps to building an information system

    • Define and understand the problem

    • Develop alternative solutions

    • Choose the best solution

    • Implement the solution

  • The first three steps are called systems analysis


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Problem Solving and Systems Development

Developing an Information System Solution

Developing an information system solution is based on the problem-solving process.


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Problem Solving and Systems Development

Defining and Understanding the Problem

  • What caused the problem?

  • Why does it persist?

  • Why hasn’t it been solved?

  • What are the objectives of a solution?

  • Information requirements


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Problem Solving and Systems Development

Developing Alternative Solutions

  • Paths to a solution determined by systems analysis

  • Some solutions do not require an information system

  • Some solutions require modification of existing systems

  • Some solutions require new systems


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Problem Solving and Systems Development

Evaluating and Choosing Solutions

  • Feasibility issues

  • Costs and benefits

  • Advantages and disadvantages

  • Business value of systems

  • Change management


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Problem Solving and Systems Development

Implementing the Solution

  • Systems design

  • Completing implementation

    • Hardware selection and acquisition

    • Software development and programming

    • Testing

    • Training and documentation

    • Conversion

    • Production and maintenance

  • Managing the change


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Problem Solving and Systems Development

Interactive Session: Problem Solving

  • Think of a problem you recently attempted to solve

  • How did you define the problem?

  • What solutions were available to you?

  • Which solution did you choose? Why?

  • How did you implement the solution?

  • What changes resulted from implementing the solution? How did you manage these changes?


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Understanding the Business Value of Systems and Managing Change

Making the Business Case for a New System

  • Financial issues

    • Tangible benefits

    • Intangible benefits

    • Capital budgeting methods

  • Nonfinancial issues

    • Strategic advantages

    • Information systems plan

    • Portfolio analysis

    • Scoring model


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Understanding the Business Value of Systems and Managing Change

A System Portfolio

Companies should examine their portfolio of projects in terms of potential benefits and likely risks. Certain kinds of projects should be avoided altogether and others developed rapidly. There is no ideal mix. Companies in different industries have different information systems needs.


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Understanding the Business Value of Systems and Managing Change

New System Challenges

  • User interface design

  • Costs to implement or run

  • User involvement and influence

    • User-designer communications gap

  • Management support and commitment

  • Level of complexity and risk

  • Quality of project management


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Understanding the Business Value of Systems and Managing Change

Managing Change Successfully

  • Outsourcing and external consultants

  • Formal planning and control tools

  • User education and training

  • Ergonomics

  • Organizational impact analysis


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Alternative Systems-Building Approaches Change

Purchasing Solutions: Application Software Packages and Outsourcing

  • Request for Proposal (RFP)

  • Application software packages

    • Generalized systems for universal functions with standard processes

    • Customization

  • Outsourcing

    • Application service providers (ASPs)

    • Offshore outsourcing


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Alternative Systems-Building Approaches Change

Rapid Application Development for E-Business

  • Agility and scalability

  • Rapid application development (RAD)

    • Creating workable systems in a very short period of time

  • Joint application design (JAD)

    • End users and information systems specialists working together on design


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Modeling and Designing Systems: Structured and Object-Oriented Methodologies

  • Structured methodologies

    • Data flow diagram

    • Process specifications

    • Structure chart

  • Object-oriented development

    • Based on concepts of class and inheritance

    • Component-based development and Web services

  • Computer-aided software engineering (CASE)


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Modeling and Designing Systems: Structured and Object-Oriented Methodologies

Class and Inheritance

This figure illustrates how classes inherit the common features of their superclass.


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