Individual Management Essay

This is an individual assignment

Read the following Scenario,
Read the accompanying Resources,
Gather additional Research,
& Respond to each of the assignment prompts.

~1000 words total on a sliding scale: 

probably okay 

fewer words & great paper
lotta words & great paper

not okay

fewer words & not-great paper
lotta words & great paper

No formal citations/references are required but do indicate when you refer to any external source, for example, a link in parentheses)
Include total word count in submission comments

Submit via the corresponding assignment with an Originality Report Score < 17%.  this will automatically run your submission via the Turn It In Plagiarism Detector &  generate an Originality Report, indicated by a percentage score appearing on your Submission page the reports are pretty quick, yet may take a few minutes to process & appear, you may correct & resubmit as many times as you like prior to the assignment deadline Scenario You are hired to advise the senior level of mid-sized, nationally competitive, business-to-business, manufacturing & services company on IT strategy. They are considering a transition from “old school” legacy Information Technology (IT) and Information Systems (IS) practices including the traditional waterfall approach (as exemplified by the SDLC) to contemporary managerial practices and technological platforms. Your task is to help them understand the current lay-of-the-land regarding these practices & platforms. Senior Level – May include members of the Board, “C”-suite executives, division/department heads, team leaders. You do not know your audience’s level of IT expertise; some may be knowledgeable, others may not. Therefore, ensure you adequately define and describe all terms and provide examples for a greater level of detail and understanding. Essentially: a broad overview then focus on particular specific detail(s) Contemporary Practices & Platforms – essentially, what Netflix & other industry leaders do: Agile Development Practices, DevOps, ITSM/ITIL, CI/CD. *Note that there are two sides to this: the managerial/cultural aspect (e.g., the Agile Mindset) and the technological side (e.g., virtualization and containerization of computing environments). Resources Galup, S., Dattero, R. & Quan, J. (2020). What Do Agile, Lean, and ITIL Mean in DevOps? (Links to an external site.)Communications of the ACM, 63(10), 48-53. Rigby, D.K., Sutherland, J., & Takeuchi, H. (2016). Embracing Agile (Links to an external site.) Harvard Business Review, May 2016. Online at: (Links to an external site.) Of course: Paul Ford’s What is Code? Chapter 10 (Links to an external site.) of Bourgeois’ (2019) *Information Systems for Business and Beyond*, a free open textbook. * This, together with the class slides, is a good primer on SYSDEV and to get the fundamental definitions. Assignment Prompts Section #1. SDLC Overview & Focus Build Trust, Empathy, & Understanding This company is a by-the-book traditional Systems Development IT Department: While Agile approaches can technically be used within the SDLC framework, they are somewhat of a misfit and this company does not currently do Agile at all. Demonstrate to the company that you understand: (a) System Development, in general, with basic definitions and its purpose for an organization; why it is beneficial.  (b) the SDLC by providing a high-level overview of the phases with an example of major activities per phase, i.e., what is the outcome of each phase? (A list would be nice here) (c) the strengths and appeal of the SDLC (why this company and others employ this methodology). (d) potential weaknesses and areas of improvement. Essentially, why should this company even change at all? Hint: your friend in the company knows that the CIO is always talking about “logical” and “physical” models and how they are different. Make sure you score some points by incorporating these terms. Make sure you emphasize (bold/underline) and define all terms: SysDev, SysDev purpose in an organization, SDLC, logical, physical, etc. Section #2. Managerial & Technology Trends Demonstrate Awareness & Knowledge of Current IS Managerial & Technological Trends (a) Provide a big picture landscape of the IT/IS world: identity the predominant IT/IS Managerial Paradigms and Practices, including but not limited to Agile, DevOps, ITIL, CI/CD a list and definitions, descriptions of each of these would be nice (b) How do all of these fit together? Are they mutually exclusive? Do they work in sequence? Can we take some and leave the rest?  (c) Pick one of these and delve into greater detail. Provide an operational/process-level viewpoint. For example: how does Agile (or any other) work in day-to-day operations?  (d) Lastly, discuss the role of supporting/enabling technology. Essentially, a company cannot just decide to move from the SDLC to DevOps without the supporting IT capabilities and IS infrastructure. What might one of these capabilities or infrastructure components be? Possible Areas: virtualization / virtual containers (Docker), infrastructure-as-code / liquid infrastructure, verision control systems (git), cloud / Platform-as-a-Service / Infrastructure-as-a-Service / Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) HINT (a), (b), & (c) are managerial and conceptually focused; (d) is technical.  .Section #3. Guiding the Decision  Connecting all the pieces Now that you’ve laid out all the ingredients (Traditional SDLC, Contemporary Practices +  Enabling Technologies), time to bake the cake. Discuss how all the pieces fit together to inform the strategic direction for this company. It would be a good idea to firmly assert the “purpose/problem statement” here (see your original task in the Scenario).  (a) Identify the decision. (Hint: what the company should do…that’s the purpose/problem statement) (b) Gather relevant information. What are the decision criteria? You may have already written about these in prompts #1 & #2, things like company characteristics: risk profile, size, culture… (c) Identify the alternatives. Essentially: traditional vs. contemporary) (d) Weigh the evidence. Essentially, from parts #3(b) + #3(c) together, what are the important factors in this decision. (e) Choose among alternatives. State your recommendation. Do not be wishy-washy. This company is paying big bucks for your expertise! What approach should we pursue: Technologically and Managerially? (f) Take action. How do we operationalize that change, that is, how do we begin to enact your recommendation? What do we need to stop, what do we need to start? (g) Review your decision & its consequences. What are possible outcomes: positive & negative; intended & unintended? What outcomes should we expect from this? What is the whole point? We really need to connect back to the KPIs for the company (What is a KPI, in general, and what are some, specifically?). Consider looking up and discussing value-stream mapping. In other words: how does introducing the practice of Agile/SCRUM or Test-Driven Development (or whatever you recommended) affect the bottom line?