IT Acquisition Problems
Please limit your answers to 250-550 words for each question. There are nine (9) questions and the number of points for each answer is stated after each question number. Please answer all questions using a Word document.
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 Use your own words–do not quote others.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 the response to the question asked and you will likely do very well.
Question 1. (1 point). The title of this course is IT Acquisition Management. In your own words, please explain what does that mean? Why is it important?
Question 2. (1 point). When you perform an internet search on “acquisition strategy”, you will access some sites addressing corporate mergers and acquisitions (M&A), in which one corporation is acquiring and merging with another. Why is M&A beyond the scope of this course?
Question 3. (4 points). In Template 1, by IT Economics Corporation (http://www.iteconcorp.com/T1PerformanceGap.html), you selected a business performance problem. What criteria did you use to select your problem? Explain why the following types of problems should NOT be selected:
- A problem that can be solved with better internal management or a different use of internal resources
- A problem that can be solved by adding to the tasks of a current contractor
- A problem that can be solved by commodity purchases (provide examples of commodity purchases)
Question 4. (2 points). What is/are the difference(s) between a Gantt chart and a work breakdown structure (WBS). As you know, one of the most popular tools for creating Gantt charts is Microsoft Project. Microsoft Project has the ability to generate a WBS from the data entered from the Gantt chart. Please explain why it is considered poor management practice to generate the WBS from the Gantt chart.
Question 5. (6 points). For your project, you have used twelve (12) of the IT Economic Corporation Templates. If you have used the first six templates to down select to one alternative, why is it important to perform the subsequent activities (7-12). In other words, what are the purposes of Activities 7-12?
Question 6. (2 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. (3 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, prescribes medications, view lab results, communicates 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 8. (3 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 group’s 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 group’s position, explain why you believe the group is not correct and why a PWS is suitable for long-term, complex IT service contracts.
Question 9. (3 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?