The questions pertain to IT acquisition problems that are encountered by many organizations. They present serious challenges that IT professionals and the business managers must overcome to achieve superior business performance.
Do not repeat the questions. Use your own words–do not quote others. This is not a research paper so you are not required to cite references. Be sure each answer you prepare responds to the question asked and you will likely do very well.
Question 1. (20 points). The title of this course is IT Acquisition Management. In your own words, please explain what does that mean? Why is it important? How is IT acquisition different from commodity purchases?
Question 2. (35 points). State the main purpose of the following:
Flow chart, and
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
Identify the similarities and differences among the three. In addition, present a pictorial diagram of each and their differences. Note: You are free to use whichever tool you are familiar with – MS Project, SmartDraw, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.
Question 3. (20 points). For your project, you have used twelve (12) of the IT Economic Corporation Templates. Of all those templates, which have been most useful to you and why?
Question 4. (35 points). A large hospital is preparing a request for proposal to acquire IT services to improve its electronic health records management system. It plans to implement an iPhone software application (app) for convenient mobile access to view and update patient records, prescribe medications, view lab results, communicate with patients, and view personal work schedules. It plans to prepare a performance work statement (PWS) for the development of the app to include in the RFP.
Your Question/Task: Prepare the required outcomes and their performance standards, monitoring methods, and incentives/disincentives that the hospital might use in its PWS for the request for proposal. Your required outcomes and associated information should apply to only the first and second desired app functions, view and update patient records and prescribe medications. Your required outcomes and related information should reflect the best practices for performance work statements and each should include performance standards, monitoring methods, and incentives/disincentives, as required by IT Economics Corporation Template 12 (http://www.iteconcorp.com/T12PBWS.html).
Note: This is not a test of your knowledge of hospital activities but of your ability to prepare a performance work statement. You can make reasonable assumptions regarding hospital activities if necessary. The app functions in the question are comparable to those used by many organizations outside of the medical field.
Question 5. (35 points). Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) require that federal agencies use performance-based contracting to the maximum extent possible for service contracts, including contracts for the acquisition of IT services. Performance-based contracts rely on a performance work statements (PWS). However, a prominent organization of former federal government acquisition officials argues that the PWS works well with short-term, relatively simple service contracts, but it is unrealistic to ask agencies to specify services at time of contract award in clear, specific, objective, and measurable terms when future needs are not fully known or understood, requirements and priorities are expected to change during performance, and the circumstances and conditions of performance are not reliably foreseeable.
Your Question/Task: If you agree with this groups position, explain why you believe the group is correct in contending that the PWS is not suitable for long-term, complex IT service contracts. If you disagree with this groups position, explain why you believe the group is not correct and why a PWS is suitable for long-term, complex IT service contracts.
Question 6. (35 points). Template 13, by IT Economics Corporation (http://www.iteconcorp.com/T13EvaluateSources.html), is an example of a matrix used for summarizing the results of evaluating proposals received from IT services contractors. The template uses adjectival rating codes and brief statements to summarize the evaluation results of each proposal from IT services contractors.
Your Question: What are the principal risks associated with using such a matrix and what do you recommend to avoid, mitigate, or transfer each principal risk that you identify?
Question 7. (35 points). An organization is planning an IT acquisition strategy for a large and complex project. It plans to outsource part of the solution implementation to an IT services contractor. Prior to preparing a request for proposals, it must decide which solution implementation activities should be performed by in-house staff and which should be performed by the IT service contractor.
Your Question/Task: What guidelines would you recommend for making the decisions regarding which solution implementation activities should be performed by in-house staff and which should be performed by the IT service contractor?
Question 8. (35 points). An IT services contractor generally tries to appoint the project manager that is best suited to the customer and the project. In the case described below, the contractor appointed one of its best project managers to manage a project under contract with an important client. Here is the problem that the project manager encountered:
The Case. An organization awarded a time and materials contract to a qualified IT services contractor to develop software for analyzing large amounts of customer data and establishing tailored reporting of the results for managers of lines of business. The project required 40 full-time analysts, designers, and programmers. Because of the importance of the project to both the customer and the contractor, the contractor assigned a senior project manager who was known for having excellent technical skills and excellent soft skills. After the project was under way for several months, the project manager discovered that two team members had charged time to the project for several three-to five day periods in which they did not work on the project. The customer had no knowledge of this and counted the time in calculating the payments to the contractor.
Your Question/Task: Given the circumstances of this case, what action should the project manager take? Explain the reason(s) for your answer.