Building a Better MIS-Trap
Prepare a written report of the case using the following format.
What is going on in this case as it relates to the identified major problem? What are (only) the key points the reader needs to know in order to understand how you will “solve” the case? Summarize the scenario in your own words—do not simply regurgitate the case. Briefly describe the organization, setting, situation, who is involved, who decides what, and so on.
Major Problems and Secondary Issues
Specifically identify the major and secondary problems. What are the real issues? What are the differences? Can secondary issues become major problems? Present analysis of the causes and effects. Fully explain your reasoning.
In a sentence or short paragraph, declare from which role you will address the major problem, whether you are a senior manager, departmental manager, or an outside consultant called in to advise. Regardless of your choice, you must justify in writing why you chose that role. What are the advantages and disadvantages of your selected role? Be specific.
Organizational Strengths and Weaknesses
Identify the strengths and weaknesses that exist in relation to the major problem. Again, your focus here should be in describing what the organization is capable of doing (and not capable of doing) with respect to addressing the major problem. Thus, the identified strengths and weaknesses should include those at the managerial level of the problem. For example, if you have chosen to address the problem from the departmental perspective and the department is understaffed, that is a weakness worthy of mentioning. Be sure to remember to include any strengths/weaknesses that may be related to diversity issues.
Alternatives and Recommended Solutions
Describe the two to three alternative solutions you came up with. What feasible strategies would you recommend? What are the pros and cons? State what should be done—why, how, and by whom. Be specific.
How will you know when you’ve gotten there? There must be measurable goals put in place with the recommendations. Money is easiest to measure; what else can be measured? What evaluation plan would you put in place to assess whether you are reaching your goals?
TIP: Write this section as if you were trying to “sell” your proposed solution to the organization. Convince the reader that your proposed solution is the best available and that it will work as planned. Make sure the goals you identify are worth the effort required to achieve them!
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