CaseAnalysisGuide - A Guide for IS Case Analysis Case...

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A Guide for IS Case Analysis & Case Analysis Reports (CAR) Introduction: Information systems (IS) exist in a complex environment of an Organization (often a Business), its Operations, Management and People involved, as well as necessary Information Technology (IT). So, it is impossible to capture all the richness and challenges of real-world IS/IT problems and their solutions within the rigid format of Textbook chapters. This is why real-world Cases and their analysis constitutes an important part of an IS course. Case Analysis allows us to view systems (both IS and business systems) and their problems from a real-world “holistic” perspective, and to explore designs/solutions that are not just theoretically elegant or technologically attractive, but also organizationally feasible and management-wise effective. But, analyzing real IS situations requires considerable experience and analytical skills. Moreover, there are no universal, mechanical, instructions for analyzing cases. This guide explains the basic concepts of systems analysis with an emphasis on Case Analysis, and gives you a uniform organization for the Case Analysis Report (CAR). Careful study of this Guide will enable you to perform proper analysis of a case. In addition, you must also follow the presentation/format instructions given to you in actually writing your CAR . The General Approach of Systems and Systems Analysis (SA): The overall ‘holistic’ approach needed for analyzing a real-life situation (or a Case) is basically a kind of Systems Analysis (SA) . Using SA means you do not analyze a case only from the standpoint of the information/data or IT problems. Instead, you start at the highest possible systems-level, usually the entire Business Organization itself and use the general SA logic below. The analysis at this highest level should logically point out which parts/subsystems of the larger system need to be analyzed further. If followed systematically, the SA process selectively moves down to specific lower system(s), and helps identify major problems and their possible solutions. Typically, the successive system-levels involved are the whole Organization, specific Department(s) or sub-function(s), business process(es), specific IS Applications, and related major issues, e.g. their planning, design, implementation or operation. At each systems-level, the general logic of Systems Analysis (SA) is basically same. To ‘analyze” literally means “to separate into parts and examine”! Before analyzing any situation (here, a Case), you must first have a basic description of the major systems involved in that
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Case Analysis Guide situation. In “Systems Approach,” a basic system’s description includes: the system' Name, its Goals/Objectives, Structure (components and their relationships), as well as its overall functioning or the Process . The system’s Environment and its major influences on the system also need to be mentioned here. Beyond system description, the real “crux of the SA activity
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