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CASE STUDY 1 GRANDMA STUDOR'S BAKERY, INC.

CASE 1 - GRANDMA STUDOR'S BAKERY, INC. (GSB)

Question 1 : Describe the problems with this system. Answer The problems identified with the system are as follows:

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No Supports and Maintenance from the Information System Department. - Since the system was built without the knowledge and contribution from IS Department, there was no technical supports and system maintenance. - The system was developed in silos and not properly well defined. There is no proper requirement process.

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Old Technology Usage - The Flour Commodity Report System is using Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheets which was an outdated software and not the standard spreadsheet for GSB. - The spreadsheets were authored by several different persons and are driven by macros written in a format that makes them difficult to edit. - There is no expertise in Lotus 1-2-3 to handle the old system due to turnover staff.

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No Proper System Documentation - According to the case, neither the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheets nor the procedures that Hornibrook used were documented. - The system should have proper documentation such as technical system manual, user manuals or Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
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- Documentations will help the users and new developer to understand the system well. Because of that, Hornibrook did not have any reference to handle the system and she doesnt completely understand how the system really works.

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System Instability - Hornibrook added two more spreadsheets to the system in order to provide more information. She also had trouble in making some of the system changes that requested and occasionally got results from the system that did not make sense. - It seems like the system was not stable after the new requirement was made up. - Besides that, it was installed in a personal workstation and was a standalone system. Therefore, no sharing of data or even backup system to make failover after the unsuccessful changes.

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Manual Intervention - This system was highly manual in that entered data from various sources which is least three of GSBs mainframe systems. - This may lead to an inefficient since extra work and effort needed for the re-entering data.

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No Proper Transfer of Technology and Users Training - Hornibrook was the only person in the organization who had any idea of how to run the flour commodity report system. - The previous user fails to handover the system.

Question 2 : What could GSB have done to prevent the problems described above? Answer Users have been developing system without the involvement of the IS department people. This has led the system being developed not in accordance with the right system development methodology and thus raises the following problems: user requirement study is not being done; currents software has not met the requirement of the users job (generating complete reports, etc); system development versions have not been documented; and System users manual has not been prepared.

The following steps are what could have been done by GSB to prevent the problems described above:

1. The organization people must be made aware of GSBs Information System Planning (ISP). IS department people must first hold a study on the system needs among the company divisions and later decide which needs to be included in the GSB ISP. This will ensure that there is no redundancy of the system developed by each division, reduce cost and efficiently manage the system development process for each need. The ISP plan of the GSB must be later made known among the stakeholders so that, they will aware what IT plans are taking place in the company.

2. Discussion on the system development between users and IS department people. The task of system development is fall under the IS department. The role of the users is to provide system/user requirements. System specification is developed by both users and IS department people. Users involvement is required in every system development phase.

3. Identifying user requirements. IS department must actively communicates with users to identify actual user requirements to ensure that the system fulfills user needs and expectations.

After user requirements have been recognized, IS department people must then decide which appropriate software tools to be used in order to suit the users job specifications.

4. Do system integration. New system should be integrated with the main three of GSB database system (mainframe). The report will be generated automatically from the GSB system. When system integration takes place, no extra work and efforts needed for the entering data. This will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of generating reports.

5. Provide proper documentations. a. Preparing a complete technical documentation on system development versions. Changes on system specifications and designs should be documented according to the system version for an easy reference of the future system developer if there are needs to do any system enhancement.

b. Provide a complete system users manual. A complete system users manual will help users to have better understanding on the system and use it efficiently. This is later will reduce the users dependency on IS department people to provide training and consultation.

6. Provide Training of Trainers (TOT) for users champion IS department shall hold a TOT session for the champion group among the users who will later assist and handhold the users until they finally get along well with the new system.

Question 3 : The previous two questions have dealt with the problems of user application development as illustrated by this case. Are any of the advantages of UAD illustrated by this case? Answer User application development (UAD) is an application developed by end user to support decision making activities and contributes to business processing in a wide range tasks. The major tool used for UAD in this case is spreadsheet (Lotus 1-2-3). These benefits and risks can affect business processes, customers, suppliers and organization. The benefits of UAD illustrated by this case are as follows:

1. Better understanding of the business problem. Users have better understanding of the problem to be solved by the application. Subject matter expert (SME) in the business function will fully contribute in the process of the application development such as system requirement and system output. In this case, the ex-senior buyer who had IT literacy in spreadsheet was developing the system. He knew the overall business process and believed that Lotus 1-2-3 is very helpful in keeping track of his flour and wheat requirements and commitment.

2. Cost effective. To build an application by consultant is very costly compared to develop by own. The consultant takes charge the cost for technical cost, learning cost, development cost and also test and debugging cost. The cost to develop application using UAD could be much lower. The cost involve might be the cost for technical such as hardware or software and the cost for training. In this GSB case, the ex-senior buyer, Anthony Pizzo was developing the system by his own and he hired Elmer Smith, a spreadsheet jokey to expand the current system. It shows that the company utilized their own resources (human resources) without using consultant to do it. In order to use the system, the GSB only has to pay the salary to their employees. The training or technology transfer of the system was done by in-house approach. So, it can save a lot the GSB money.

3. Save time to develop system. The technology (Lotus 1-2-3) that they have been used is not too complex and easy to understand which helps the user to develop the system faster. Besides that, they already
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understand the requirements of the manual system and can be directly applied to the computerized system. Time consumes for this purpose could be apply shortly. The exsenior buyer had used the Lotus 1-2-3 before. In this case, he was good and competent to use and apply it. So he developed the first spreadsheet that met his business purpose without through some or all the process in developing application in IT.

4. System ownership to the user. The user built the application based on their needs by their initiatives. This will be consequence to end user. As the result, the system became very useful and fully utilized by the end user as stated in this scenario. They felt the system were belongs to them. In this case, even the system requires manual input of data from the mainframes system. The senior buyer assistant, who understands the system, can use it to explore the impact of changes in the various cost factors on the future cost of different kinds of flour. They believed the system, so it had been used over the year by the material management team to generate reports until they got the problems as stated before.

5. Faster response to information requests and direct control over information and application. In this case, timing is very important when buying and selling flour raw materials. The senior buyer depends upon the commodity report system to manage and control his business functions. The report can be prepared by his assistant immediately. By using the system, the employee can save time on the job and it will increase the productivity. The system can deliver the information that are very useful to their tasks and assist them to make decisions correctly.