• Internal Code :
  • Subject Code : 3807ICT
  • University : Griffith University
  • Subject Name : IT Computer Science

Cobit Case Assignment

Introduction

As part of the CIO’s Key Performance Indicator (KPI) in the Oz Software Solutions company, there are a number of improvements that are expected to be done in order to optimize productivity and improve quality of service in the firm. First, the problems need to be identified that make the company not run at its optimal and an understanding of the solutions that have been tried before. The solutions may have worked or not or their implementation could have not been possible. Secondly, I should try and understand the organization’s structure which would help me in identifying the causes of the dragging of the success (Sánchez et al. 2014). My task as the KPI would be to identify areas that would need improvement and develop a plan that would steer the company to a fully utilized rate.

Issues being resolved and reported on

There are a number of issues that have been previously reported on which have affected the success of the organization. One of the major problems identified is the lack of formalized IT policies, practices and disciplines. The organization operates on norms and practices based on how individuals best know their jobs. The organization’s structure is not formalized to depict the expertise of the staff in their respective fields and hence there is a lack of accountability for their actions.

Another problem identified was poor IT governance, reporting, and inadequate business intelligence. Adequate research was never done on the implementation of policies and procedures and this led to poor decision making on issues that largely affected the organization. There was also poor communication between the departments and their heads and hence there was no cohesion of ideas and workflow (Sirisomboonsuk et al. 2018). It has affected the easy running and coordination of the team members in order to achieve the company’s objectives.

There also was poor IT customer satisfaction and unmet business needs that caused business units to ramp-up their own systems development functions (Schwalbe 2015). Most of the customer demands were not met as a result, many withdrew from the company’s services and opted to develop their own systems. There was a lack of understanding of the objectives of the company to keep the customer satisfied by meeting with their IT needs which forms part of the company’s largest specialty field.

Most of the problems encountered were mainly caused by inadequate and inappropriate IT skills, lack of competencies and poor leadership skills. The staff recruited never understood their job requirements or rather they never had the required skills for the job. This led to poor handling of the clients and hence the company was termed incompetent in delivering its services. The leaders also contributed to the incompetence experienced since they failed in the coordination of the staff members to produce quality work.

Lack of business intelligence has contributed to more customers being lost. The marketing strategies are also poor because most of the sources used to analyze the market information are inaccurate. The company is also affected by the lack of formal methods used for software development. Methods currently employed are Ad hoc software engineering.

Background to the organization and the issues that instigated the report

Oz Software solutions were founded in 1988 with the mission to provide robust, elegant and cost-effective software systems. The company focuses in higher education administrative systems, improving health care and community services. The main goal of the organization is to provide software solutions to an administration that would assist in the management of its staff through finance, learning, regulation and research.

The company’s vision is to ensure the satisfaction of the customers through providing of highly integrated academic and administrative systems that could be maintained easily for a long period of time. Their values focus on the customer’s satisfaction, performance, teamwork and integrity. The overall performance due to these values is aimed at strengthening the diversity of their products through constant innovations in ways the clients’ needs could be satisfied.

Major part of the company’s budget is used in the development of business and improving marketing strategies. Their diversified ideas that come from the constant innovation gives them a market edge over their competitors. Since their work mainly is non-profit based, it has improved the corporate social responsibility, placing the company in more non-profit potential clients. Their market widens also due to the internet case studies done mostly by the universities which show their potential in delivering good results to clients (Obeidat and North 2014). They provide free demos as a sign of trust to their clients and this is done in confidence that their software solutions have worked perfectly before with other clients. Their delivery methods also place them on a high demand for the clients who seek software development solutions.

There are a number of success stories recorded by this company and likewise there are challenges faced in pursuit of their success. Despite all these values and vision for Oz Software Solutions Company, there is a lot of internal dysfunctional within the organization. The problems identified in this organization necessitated the reappointment of the CIO. As the KPI to the newly appointed CIO, I am expected to create a plan that would solve the IT associated challenges from the management structure of the operations in order to meet the core values and objectives of the company (Kasemsap 2018).

Analytical tools used in the report

All the information technology functions in an organization are headed by the CIO and hence this position plays a vital role when it comes to a software development firm. The managerial roles performed include ensuring IT objectives are well aligned to the mission of the organization, management of cost, scheduling and performance of complex projects, risk management, ensuring that the organization’s processes are optimized, establishment of service provider partnerships, taking part in the governance process and ensuring the quality of service or product given is good with a well utilized budget (Kasemsap 2018). The tools involved in the management of software development problems are grouped according to the kind of management problem involved.

Some of the management classification and tools that are vital in the achievement the roles given to a CIO include:

a. Requirements Management

This is the process involved in the tracing, analysis, making priority and setting up of the requirements and thereby informing the relevant participants according to the requirements. In pursuit of ensuring that all the outcomes are achieved according to the initial projections, the CIO plays a role in matching the IT requirements of a project with the overall business requirements.

Examples of the tools used in Requirement Management include: Requisite Pro, Jama Contour, Rally and Doors.

b. Project management

Project management involves the organization, planning, managing and securing resources to achieve the main objectives of a firm from IT projects. The major constraints in project management include resources, scope and time. The aim of project management is ensuring that desired results are obtained in the required designated period using the budgeted resources. Examples of the tools used in project management include: Zoho, P6, Quickbase, Microsoft Project and Project.net.

c. Information Technology Portfolio Management

IT Portfolio Management involves the management of a large, varied items that pertains Information Technology in order to achieve the requirement returns in an investment. Examples of IT portfolios include IT services offered, projects implemented and planned initiatives. All the efforts of this management aim at bringing change and improvements in the IT related projects and services thereby achieving the required yields.

Examples of tools used in IT portfolio include: Power Steering, Oracle PPM, Planview Enterprise and CA Clarity.

d. Enterprise architecture

Enterprise Architecture aims at providing the customer with seamless and best experience through satisfying their needs. It involves aligning the company’s visions to the information technology, hence creating a better customer experience. Examples of tools used in Enterprise Architecture include: Appain, Pegasystems, OpenText, Software AG, Process Manager Standard and IBM Business. 

Report overview

This report outlines the major roles and key strategies I would develop as part of the KPIs of the CIO, essential in order to solve the problems identified in the OZ software solution organization. It also provides a plan that I would implement during the administration of the roles of the CIO. Some of the major problems to be focused on include: lack of formalized IT policies, practices and disciplines, poor IT governance, reporting, and inadequate business intelligence, poor IT customer satisfaction and unmet business needs, inadequate and inappropriate IT skills, lack of competencies and poor leadership skills, Lack of business intelligence and poor marketing strategies. The proposed solutions and strategies to be implemented largely depend on the management tools, which are categorized into four major management classes. The classes include: Requirement Management, Information Technology Portfolio management, Project Management and Enterprise Architecture.

Solutions to The Identified Problems

Oz Software solutions have values and objectives that are set to achieve the optimal performance in giving competitive products and services in the industry. The objectives, however have not fully yielded the required results due to the problems identified (Husain 2016). As the one of the KPIs, I intend to apply the following solutions in order to steer the company in achieving its main goal of customer satisfaction. The CIO roles aim at utilizing the Information Technology sector in achieving the management solutions to the problems highlighted. The suggested improvements to be done is as discussed in this paper.

Improving the company’s vision

Oz Software Solution has already established visions that are to help steer the company’s objectives towards achieving the main goal of customer satisfaction. Many a times, there are mixed up visions that the software developers work towards and hence lose sight on the key aspects that should be focused upon (Chew and Gottschalk 2009). As the one of the KPIs, I will make clear the visions and arrange them according to priority that would maximize the returns for the company. I would also help in making policies that would govern our visions towards achieving the success of the company.

Establishing good communication channels between team members

Communication is one of the most vital aspects in governing any organization. Oz Software Solutions are being an Information Technology based company, requires good communications within the company networks. Good communication networks provide a better flow of ideas to be implemented and hence products and services become successfully implemented (Marchewka 2016). Communication of the customer to the company also plays an important role because it is through communication that the customers’ demands are understood thereby achieving the customer satisfaction. Most organizations rely on Agile as a tool that fosters communication between team members through sprint retrospective, sprint review and daily scrum. I would implement such tools in improving the communication in the organizations and make the customer demands easy to be implemented through Information Technology solutions.

Formalizing Information Technologies policies, practices and disciplines

Most of the practices of the Oz Software Solution company revolve around working on an objective and policies not yet formalized. This has caused the staff to work blindly without any guiding principles in their place of work. Formalizing the policies, practices and disciplines gave an advantage to the already existing practices to be implementable (Mir and Pinnington 2014). All the formal practices will induce discipline among the staff and every detail would be accounted during the auditing times. The better the accountability the more productive the company would be. Honesty as one of the company’s values is also encouraged through formalized information Technology policies, practices and disciplines (Husain 2016).

Ensuring effective utilization of the budget

The company makes loses mainly through the misjudgment of the costs and sometimes overspending. Poor planning for the products and services offered lead to overspending. As the one of the KPIs, I would ensure that there is adequate research on the correct prices of our products and related services. The outcome of the research would be used in making informed judgements on the costs of our products and hence minimizing the losses that may occur (Obeidat and North 2014). Adequate planning would also include planning for the internal expenditure for the company in order to avoid unnecessary spending which lead to overspending beyond the budgeted amount. Our products would also be produced following strictly on the budget allocated.

Integration of different systems and technology

For the betterment of the services offered, there would be integration of different systems and technology with the aim of improving the quality of products and services we offer to our clients. However, there are challenges associated with bringing together data from different sources and systems and making them integrated to create one platform (Husain 2016). I would therefore make a flexible application that would address the integration challenges and hence achieve the integration of systems and technologies. Integration of data from different sources ensures that the data makes sense to the clients.

Proper review and recruitment of qualified personnel

It was observed that most of the challenges encountered were due to lack of qualified staff. Information Technology requires highly skilled personnel who understand the system development schemes. This would eliminate the problem of customers not being satisfied by the quality of service offered. As the one of the KPIs, I would conduct regular reviews and audits on the staff in order to determine their competitiveness towards adding value to the company (Schwalbe 2015). There would also be bonuses for the most competitive staff in order to boost their performance and thereby effectively achieve the objectives and goals of the company.

Improving the marketing strategies

The current marketing strategies for the company was poor because there was much neglect in the collection and analysis of market data. The company most of the time relied upon the data collected by the universities and hence losing focus on the larger market. I would create a marketing plan where there would be direct communication with clients in order to determine how to improve the quality of our products and services. Due to the constant changing of the market return projections, I would place a team to analyses the market trends from time to time and this would help in making informed decisions and policies regarding the market strategies. We would also extend out investments to cover a larger market globally.

Summary of the solutions suggested

During the period attached to the Oz Software Solutions company as a KPI, there were a number of problems identified. The experience as a KPI and a learner formed the basis of the solutions suggested to curb the problems. The solutions were mainly management based strategies that were much related to the Information Technology (Husain, 2016). The suggested solutions include improving the company’s vision, establishing good communication channels between team members and the customers, ensuring effective utilization of the budget to avoid overspending, the integration of different systems and technology in order to improve the quality of service and proper review, improving the marketing strategies and lastly the recruitment of qualified personnel. An implementation of all these solutions would place the company in a top gear against its competitors (Obeidat and North 2014).

Recommendations

The company has gone through a journey of both success and failure since its inception. There are values and objectives that have been put in place in order to achieve the expected outcomes some of which have worked while others have seen the company lose a lot of income. As a KPI to the newly appointed CIO, there are challenges that I have identified during my working experience with the Oz Software Solutions company. Solutions to those challenges have been analyzed in this paper and the implementation of them would be of a greater value to the company. I therefore recommend the implementation of these solutions in relation to achieving the company’s objectives and goals (Marchewka 2016). 

The newly appointed CIO should also adopt the leadership skills in order to form teams that would efficiently work together to bring optimal performance of the company. I recommend the creation of a marketing plan where there would be direct communication with clients in order to determine how to improve the quality of our products and services. Due to the constant changing of the market return projections, I would also recommend placement of a team to analyses the market trends from time to time and this would help in making informed decisions and policies regarding the market strategies.

We would also extend out investments to cover a larger market globally (Schwalbe 2015). I would also recommend bonuses for the most competitive staff in the company. This would help in boosting their performance and thereby effectively achieve the objectives and goals of the company (Dhanesh 2014). I would recommend the encouragement of honesty and integrity in the company by developing relevant policies that would seek to keep in check the staff members. The leadership should also be at the forefront of employing better management skills in order to propel the company to greater success.

Conclusion

In conclusion, my learning experience with the Oz Software Solutions company has improved my coursework knowledge giving me an edge in identifying problems, formulating possible solutions and implementing the solutions. The company has had its share of failures despite the values, mission and its objectives. The management of the company was poor and thus it necessitated the appointment of a new CIO whose role and objectives were to steer the company in achieving its objectives using the IT knowledge and good management skills. Some of the management skills have been suggested for implementation in the report.

Reflective Learning Journal

Learning has extended out from the coursework to lab practices and now to the application of the knowledge in real life situations. The experience received from both the laboratory and the real life applications has improved my coursework knowledge because most of the things learnt is well relatable. The knowledge got better when I could identify the challenges, create a working plan and implement the solutions. The theory learnt gets real and one gets a better understanding of how the academic related learning relates to the real world experiences. I would now appreciate the programming knowledge that was learnt since most of the tools used during learning were also used in the field in creating solutions to the world problems. Thin in turn improved my academic development greatly.

The experiences obtained from the field work contribute a greater percentage towards my academic development. Being an expert in information Technology has been my dream and on top of it having better management skills. Management in this sector has employed IT tools in order to solve the many challenges that a software development company could be facing. My goals and passion towards the Information Technology sector has been enhanced through this experience. My communication experience also using these tools has been enhanced since it is on this platform that I could create and manage communication networks in order to achieve a smooth running of the company. Software development towards enhancing communication within an organization is also an added knowledge towards my academic growth, hence there is a positive growth and steps towards achieving my academic goals.

I would not wish to change the goals towards my academic advancement since it has always been my dream to be an Information Technology expert. The goals have been partly met with others yet to be met in the course of my career. From the experiences gained so far, the practices have been in conformity with my goals since I could be able to perform an analysis by myself and come up with substantial results. I was also in a position to take part in making policies that would govern the processes in the company since I had the required knowledge and the experience learnt from the analysis of the problems the company faces. However, there are also other options that I would take in order to achieve my goals as an IT expert. I would participate in a different learning environment that majors on the internet security. I could also get attached to a cyber-security firm where am able to identify threats to the security of any organization and thereby become twice knowledgeable compared to the current situation. I would also develop my academic skills and knowledge through extensive reading and research towards achieving my goals.

Despite the learning experience I have had so far, there are a lot of challenges that I have met on my way. First, there has not been enough resources to learn the skills by my own. Most of the time it would require me to visit some of the Information Technology companies in order to get the experience required in the betterment of my career. There has also been a great problem in the blending with the field work. Over time, there has been a fear of delegating duties to the learner as they are perceived not to be efficient in production. They are thought to slow down the production process and hence they are not given adequate time to learn the skill first hand from identifying the challenges and suggesting the solutions. In as much as there is good reception towards learners, there is little knowledge acquired. Building great skills and knowledge also take time. This involves a lot of practice and gaining of experiences through actively participate in activities that ten to build your career. Another challenge I encountered is inappropriate methods of teaching which lead to the straining in understanding the concepts. Despite all these challenges, there is still the motivation to push harder towards achieving my goals since there would always be time to practice my knowledge.

The learning experience gives me a better opportunity in practicing personal integrity among other values. The accountability that comes together with the learning experience would improve my personal being. Formalizing the policies, practices and disciplines gave an advantage to the already existing practices to be implementable. All the formalized practices will induce discipline among the staff and every detail would be accounted during the auditing times. This gave me a personal experience that I would uphold. The better the accountability the more productive the company would be. Honesty as one of the company’s values is also encouraged through formalized information Technology policies, practices and disciplines.

Having learnt more on morals that are enhanced during learning, it places me in a better position in soaring more. I am able to set higher targets and goals, since that forms also part of my competence as an Information Technology expert. It also gives me a higher edge to be employable to other companies since in my career, I have demonstrated being competent and a solution giver. The bold solutions given during my learning at Oz Software Solution Company have also given me courage to be able to make an analysis of problems and thereafter give solutions to any company.

My success matters to me because it gives me that sense of being important to the society. The success would be defined through attaining the required knowledge that would help provide solutions to any company. The success also means that academically, I would be able to mentor also upcoming Information Technology specialists because the knowledge and experience received would be fast enough to also teach. By attaining also, the learning, experience, I am able to add more knowledge in other related fields like the cyber security field and this would mean higher targets achieved. With all these knowledge, more solutions would be provided in aiding companies that have suffered losses over time to regain.

I am an individual with bigger ambitions in life with most of them centering around Information Technology expert. I believe I am able to achieve much with all conditions in place. With the experiences that I receive both at the learning institution and in the working field, I am able to get better to a top notch of the best IT expert ever known. I also have plans to be able to develop different kinds of software that would be used in developing the business sector through advertisements and market research. The knowledge and skills would benefit me as much as it benefits the society. I am always dreaming of becoming also a better manager with the skills I have learnt through my field and institution experience.

List of References

Chew, E.K. and Gottschalk, P., 2009. Information Technology Strategy and Management: Best Practices.

Dhanesh, G.S., 2014. CSR as organization–employee relationship management strategy: A case study of socially responsible information technology companies in India. Management Communication Quarterly, 28(1), pp.130-149.

Husain, Z., 2016. Technology strategy framework for firms in growing economies. Journal for Global Business Advancement, 9(3), pp.248-274.

Kasemsap, K., 2018. The roles of information technology and knowledge management in project management metrics. In Global Business Expansion: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications (pp. 1191-1221). IGI Global.

Liu, S. and Wang, L., 2014. Understanding the impact of risks on performance in internal and outsourced information technology projects: The role of strategic importance. International Journal of Project Management, 32(8), pp.1494-1510.

Marchewka, J.T., 2016. Information technology project management: Providing measurable organizational value. John Wiley & Sons.

Mir, F.A. and Pinnington, A.H., 2014. Exploring the value of project management: linking project management performance and project success. International journal of project management, 32(2), pp.202-217.

Obeidat, M. and North, M., 2014. A Comparative Review of Information Technology Project Management in Private and Public Sector Organization. International Management Review, 10(1), p.55.

Sánchez, M.A., Maçada, A.C.G. and del Valle Sagardoy, M., 2014. A strategy-based method of assessing information technology investments. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business.

Schwalbe, K. , 2015. Information technology project management. Cengage Learning.

Sirisomboonsuk, P, Cao, R.Q. and Burns, J.R, 2018. Relationships between project governance and information technology governance and their impact on project performance. International journal of project management, 36(2), pp.287-300.

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