Information Technology Managment

How General Motors Is Collaborating Online

In preparation for answering the questions, review the General Motors web site.

Why did it take GM over four years to design a new car? Hide Answer

Coordinating 20,000 designers in 14 GM labs internationally, as well as the multitude of tests and over 1000 suppliers was too huge a task. Communications for collaboration was slow and severely stretched out the time-to-market. The design process was further complicated by over 7000 legacy systems.

Who collaborated with whom to reduce the time-to-market? Hide Answer

EDS created a software system that allowed the designers and engineers to collaborate online, which was aided by NetMeeting from Microsoft. Additional collaboration software was employed for product testing. eMatrix was employed to coordinate activities along the supply chain, and was integrated with the EDS software systems. Search for “eMatrix General Motors” on Google to learn more about the software and how General Motors used it.

How has IT helped to cut the time-to-market? Hide Answer

Improved use of IT has reduced the time to market from 4 years to 18 months. It has also allowed for virtual car crashes, instead of real crashes, producing faster cycle times and dramtically reduced development and testing costs.

Case II1)• Where and under what circumstances is the “invest first, analyze later” approach appropriate? Where and when is it inappropriate? Give specific examples of technologies and other circumstances. Hide Answer Invest first is appropriate or unavoidable if a new technology is required for the project. There may not even be data to base an analysis on. Invest first is inappropriate if the investment is big, and could financially ruin the firm. If data is available for analysis it should be used. Pre-1999, t he Internet pre-1999 was such a newtechnology. Wireless Internet is a current example, as is l-commerce.

2) • How long do you think the “invest first, analyze later” approach will be appropriate for Intranet projects? When (and why) will the emphasis shift to traditional project justification approaches? (Or has the shift already occurred?) Hide Answer

It was appropriate until 1999. The shift to anlayze first should occur when data for analysis is available. For dotcoms or Internet-based businesses, the awakening came in March 2000 when the stock values of the dotcoms crashed.

3) • What are the risks of going into projects that have not received a thorough financial analysis? How can organizations reduce these risks? Hide Answer

The risk of insufficient or no payback is big for a project undertaken with no analysis. By assessing project status at several points during the project, the risk can be reduced. Managers need to take advantage of such review points to kill projects where costs and benefits have become doubtful.

4) • Based on the numbers provided for Candence Design System’s Intranet project, use a spreadsheet to calculate the net present value of the project. Assume a five-year life for the system. Hide Answer

Answer: $ 8,104,691.08 at 8%CASE III

|1)Explain why team based structure at home depot is so successful? |

Implementing a team-based approach to organizational structure can empower employees and increase cooperation among different skills and disciplines. According to Shonk, organizations typically run into problems by trying to force the team approach into the existing corporate structure. In Team-Based Organizations, Shonk shows how to structure and manage an organization built around the team concept. While pointing out the many advantages of a team-based approach, he also identifies some pitfalls and how to avoid them.

He makes effective use of diagrams and checklists to illustrate his points, and relies on case studies and examples to demonstrate the value of the team approach in actual situations. The book serves as a how-to desk guide on the entire team-management concept. There are chapters on the different types of teams, how to initiate the team concept, what types of special training may be necessary, and keys to success of the team style of management.

2) • The structure means that the SPST reports to both marketing and technology. This is known as a matrix structure. What are the potential advantages and problems? Hide Answer

Matrix structures are designed to group people and resources simultaneously in two ways, in this case marketing and technology. The advantages include a reduction of functional barriers, overcoming the problems of sub-unit orientation, easier integration leading to greater flexibility, increased communication, and maximization of human resources. The problems include lack of a clear hierarchy of authority which can lead to conflict, a vacuum of authority and responsibility, and lack of control structures. 3)• How is collaboration facilitated by IT in this case?

Hide Answer ISD and SPST created structured relationships to ensure that the project teams and end-users worked together, with the teams’ existence continuing until the end of the project. The project teams are constructed of members with different skills and collaborate with the ISD. 4) Why is the process flow important in this case? Hide Answer The Home Depot process flows are combined with the organizational structures to achieve the strategic initiatives such as lowering costs, increasing end user satisfaction, and executing a predictable, manageable workflow. CASE IV

Minicase 1. Darmouth College Goes Wireless.

1) In what ways is the Wi-Fi technology changing the life of Dartmouth students?

Wi-Fi technology implementing has improved the life of Dartmouth students, by developing foundation for more convenient and effective study and communication. This innovation has resulted on two main directions:

1. student-professor communicationsDue to distribution wireless technology professors started to use new teaching methods (supporting examples from Internet, online tests, immediately announcing results), promoting discussions. The system allows students to ask the professors’ questions without waste of time on waiting for his/her turn.

2. communications among studentsOn-line communication became more extensive (especially via SMS). So implementing Wi-Fi technology helped students to save time and boost efficiency by changing way of obtaining, processing and delivering information.

Ander the influence of wireless system Dartmouth society becomes more digital.

2) Some say that the wireless system will become part of the background of everybody’s life-that the mobile devices are just an afterthought. Explain.

Implementing wireless system is logical result (necessity) of hard competitive environment. To be successful now means to be mobile, every time and everywhere have an access to necessary information and ability tocommunicate with others (partners, co-workers, professors, friends, etc.). So, wireless innovation system meets these contemporary challenges and helps it’s users to save money and time.

3) Is the system contributing to improved learning or just adding entertainment that may reduce the time available for studying?

I think this system contributes both in learning process and entertainment. Just look at citations: “Students can submit their classwork by using the networks, as well as by watching streaming video and listening to Internet radio.” “Professors are using wireless teaching methods. Students can evaluate presented materials and can evaluate online on multiple-choice questionnaire related to presenting materials.” “According the faculty, the system “makes students want to give answers”, thus significantly increasing participation.” Innovation system changed way of submitting

information and way of study.

4) What are the major benefits of the wireless system over the previous wireline one? Do you think wireline systems will disappear from campuses one day?

In my mind, major benefits of the wireless system are:

• improvement of teaching methods;• making communication, acquisition and sharing information easier and faster; • more cost efficient than wireline system;• inducement students to creation and implementation their IT products. Maybe wire lines will disappear some day, but it won’t happen immediately. The future of wireline system depends on campus administration decision, which can base on the comparison of implementation costs and benefits of two systems.