Preliminary Investigation Report

Stage 1:   Preliminary Investigation Report

Before you begin this assignment, be sure you have read the Case Study and all assignments for this class, especially Stage 4:  Final System Report.

Purpose of this Assignment

This assignment gives you the opportunity to use industry-standard methodologies for analyzing a business situation, initiating a project, and determining various aspects of feasibility of an IT project.  This assignment specifically addresses the following course outcomes to enable you to:

  • plan, build, and maintain systems that meet organizational strategic goals by demonstrating the use of enterprise architecture and applying enterprise governance principles and practices
  • effectively communicate with stakeholders to determine, manage, and document business requirements throughout the SDLC

Assignment

The results of your systems analysis and design work in this class will be documented in a Final System Report.  The purpose of the Report is to inform management of your system proposal and gain approval to proceed with the project.  The Report will be developed and submitted in stages, which will be compiled at the end of class into the Final System Report.  Review the outline of the Final System Report in the Stage 4 Assignment description.  Note that it contains the analysis of the problem(s) and requirements, and proposes what kind of a system solution is needed.  It does not propose a specific solution, but it does recommend why and how the organization should acquire the solution.

The first step in the analysis process is to create a Preliminary Investigation Report (PIR).  The PIR documents the system planning phase of the System Development Life Cycle (SDLC).  During the planning phase, the opportunities presented or problem(s) to be solved with an information technology system are identified, investigation into the current situation occurs, and various feasibility aspects of implementing a system are analyzed.  This results in a recommendation for further action with estimated costs and schedule, and a list of benefits.  Once it is completed and approved, the PIR becomes the major source document for use to begin the systems analysis phase.

To start, read the case study carefully.  The case study tells you that the executives at Precision Electronics Parts, Inc., have identified a need to replace the current customer billing and payment system and re-engineer the associated processes. As you review the case study, list the most important relevant business problems and identify the information presented that you will need to complete the sections of the Preliminary Investigation Report shown below.  All of the information you need to complete the projects in this class is not provided in the case study.  In the discussion area of the classroom, there is a discussion titled “Case Study Interview Questions” where you can pose questions about the case study, as if you were interviewing the people in the case study organization.  Any information that you need that is not included in the case study should be asked about in this discussion.  Responses from the faculty member on behalf of the case study organization will be available for everyone in the class.  

Using the case study and the outline and resources listed below, develop your Preliminary Investigation Report.  Approximate lengths for each section are provided as a guideline; be sure to provide all pertinent information.  References in brackets are to the two e-textbooks (by authors Jawahar and Conger) used in this class and the page on which the explanatory information begins.

  1. Introduction (1 paragraph)
    1. Brief statement of the problem or system
    2. Name of person or group who initiated the investigation
    3. Name of person or group who performed the investigation
  2. Problem to be solved – The basis of the system request, including an explanation of major problems or opportunities (1 paragraph)
  3. Findings 
    1. Scope of proposed system (1 paragraph describing the system boundaries – what is included, perhaps where it stops)
    2. Constraints (1 paragraph, including a short list of constraints) [Jawahar, p. 61]
    3. Fact Finding – significant findings and conclusions (1 paragraph with more than one finding and conclusion to be drawn; source is the case study and responses to questions posed in the Case Study Interview Questions discussion)
    4. Current Costs – cost of current system (1 short paragraph; source is the case study and responses to questions posed in the Case Study Interview Questions discussion)
  4. Feasibility Analysis: This is not a complete Feasibility Report; instead it is a discussion of whether and how the proposed systems is technically, financially and organizationally feasible.  Describe what aspects of the organization in the case study and the proposed system make it technically, financially and organizationally feasible.  [Jawahar, p. 65] 
    1. Technical Feasibility (1 paragraph)
    2. Financial Feasibility (1 paragraph)
    3. Organizational/Behavioral Feasibility (1 paragraph)
  5. Recommendation for further action 
    1. An estimate of how long it would take to implement the system and have it available for use, and a rough cost estimate for the entire project (short paragraph with estimated time and cost)
    2. Expected benefits – tangible (with estimated quantification) and intangible benefits (introductory paragraph and list of tangible (quantified) and intangible benefits) [Conger, p. 148]

Submitting Your Assignment

Submit your document via your Assignment Folder as Microsoft Word document, or a document that can be ready using MS Word, with your last name included in the filename.  

Use the Grading Rubric below to be sure you have covered all aspects of the assignment.

GRADING RUBRIC:



Criteria

90-100%Far Above Standards

80-89%Above Standards

70-79%Meets Standards

60-69%Below Standards

< 60%Well Below Standards

Possible Points
Introduction9-10 PointsThe introduction includes the statement of the problem, who initiated and who conducted the investigation, and is clear, logical, derived from the Case Study, and demonstrates a sophisticated level of writing. 8 PointsThe introduction includes the statement of the problem, who initiated and who conducted the investigation, and is clear, logical, derived from the Case Study, and demonstrates a clear understanding of the course concepts. 7 PointsThe introduction includes the statement of the problem, who initiated and who conducted the investigation; is adequate, and is derived from the Case Study. 6 PointsThe background for the business case is not clear, logical and/or derived from the Case Study. It may not include the statement of the problem, who initiated and who conducted the investigation.0-5 PointsIntroduction is not included, or demonstrates little effort.10
Description of Problem9-10 PointsThe basis of the system request, including an explanation of major problems or opportunities is provided, and is clear, specific, and logical, appropriate to the Case Study and demonstrates a sophisticated level of writing. 8 PointsThe basis of the system request, including an explanation of major problems or opportunities is provided, and is clear, specific, and logical, appropriate to the Case Study and demonstrates effective writing. 7 PointsThe basis of the system request, including an explanation of major problems or opportunities is provided, and is adequate and appropriate to the Case Study.  6 PointsThe basis of the system request is unclear, too general, and/or not appropriate to the Case Study. It may not provide an explanation of major problems or opportunities.0-5 PointsDescription of Problem is not submitted, or demonstrates little effort.10
Findings18-20 PointsFindings include scope, constraints, fact finding results and conclusions, and current system costs, and is clear, specific, and logical, appropriate to the Case Study and demonstrates a sophisticated level of writing.16-17 PointsFindings include scope, constraints, fact finding results and conclusions, and current system costs, and is clear, specific, and logical, appropriate to the Case Study and demonstrates effective writing.14-15 PointsFindings include scope, constraints, fact finding results and conclusions, and current system costs, and is adequate and appropriate to the Case Study.12-13 PointsFindings may not include scope, constraints, fact finding results and conclusions, and current system costs.0-11 PointsFindings are not provided, or demonstrates little effort.20
Feasibility Analysis27-30 PointsFeasibility Analysis correctly and convincingly explains the technical, economic and organizational/ behavioral feasibility of the proposed system. Demonstrates a sophisticated level of writing.24-26 PointsFeasibility Analysis correctly explains the technical, economic and organizational/ behavioral feasibility of the proposed system.  Is appropriate to the case study and demonstrates effective writing.21-23 PointsFeasibility Analysis explains the technical, economic and organizational/ behavioral feasibility of the proposed system.  Is appropriate to the case study.18-20 PointsFeasibility Analysis may not explain the technical, economic and organizational/ behavioral feasibility of the proposed system.0-17 PointsFeasibility Analysis is not included, or demonstrates little effort.30
Recommend-ation18-20 PointsRecommendation is clear, convincing, and includes estimated time and cost, and tangible and intangible benefits.  Demonstrates a sophisticated level of writing.16-17 PointsRecommendation is clear, and includes estimated time and cost, and tangible and intangible benefits.  Is appropriate to the case study and demonstrates effective writing. 14-15 PointsRecommendation includes estimated time and cost, and tangible and intangible benefits. Is appropriate to the case study.12-13 PointsRecommendation may not include estimated time and cost, and/or tangible and intangible benefits.0-11 PointsRecommend-ation is not included or demonstrates little effort.20
Format9-10 PointsSubmission reflects effective organization and sophisticated writing; follows instructions provided; uses correct structure, grammar, and spelling; presented in a professional format; any references used are appropriately incorporated and cited using APA style.8 PointsSubmission reflects effective organization and clear writing; follows instructions provided; uses correct structure, grammar, and spelling; presented in a professional format; any references used are appropriately incorporated and cited using APA style.7 PointsSubmission is adequate, is somewhat organized, follows instructions provided; contains minimal grammar and/or spelling errors; and follows APA style for any references and citations. 6 PointsSubmission is not well organized, and/or does not follow instructions provided; and/or contains grammar and/or spelling errors; and/or does not follow APA style for any references and citations. May demonstrate inadequate level of writing.0-5 PointsDocument is extremely poorly written and does not convey the information.10
TOTAL Points Possible100
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