ICT393Advanced Business Analysis and Design
Final Examination Information and Sample Exam Questions
The final examination will be a two hour closed book examination.
The examination paper will have 2 parts.
Part 1 will be a case study worth 25% that will require you to model a business process and suggest improvements to it. There will be 2 questions to answer relating to the case.
Part 2will be worth 75% and will contain5 discussion questions each worth 15 marks. The questions in Part 2 will be drawn from the list of sample questions included in this document.
EXAM PART 1 (25%)
Sample Case Study
Read the following case study description and answer the questions below it.
Your firm manufactures specialty chemicals and dyestuffs used in plastics, fibres, and coatings. It operates three different production facilities spread across Australia. Management is looking for ways to make order processing more efficient.
This is how the firm's order processing works. A customer can call, fax, or mail in an order. A customer service representative writes down order information on an order pad. This information includes the customer name, shipping address, billing address, product number, product description, quantity, and shipping instructions (such as to call the receiving manager to make an appointment for delivery). After gathering all the relevant information, the representative confirms the entire order with the customer.
While taking down the order information, the customer service representative accesses the company's order entry system and checks the inventory for each product ordered. The customer service representative first checks the warehouse closest to the customer's shipping address. If the product is not available there, the representative checks another warehouse. If the order is placed on the telephone, the customer service representative suggests a delivery date, which is 4 to 5 business days away. If the customer needs the order sooner, the customer service representative queries the existing order entry information system to see which warehouse might have the inventory to fulfil the order. Generally the order will be filled by the warehouse closest to the customer's shipping address.
All current orders are collected manually and entered into the firm's order entry system. The order will not be accepted by the system unless it includes the customer's identification number, shipping address, and billing address. (If the order is from a new customer, the system can assign a new customer number.) If the order has a delivery date of 8 to 10 business days in the future, the order form will be held manually for several days and then input into the system. If an order is for more than 10 days in the future, it will be treated as a backorder when it is input into the system. The system generates a Back Order report daily to remind customer service representatives of orders that they have on back order.
When each order has been entered, the system performs a credit check on the customer. Some customers are assigned "credit hold" status and are not shipped their orders until payment has been received for the purchase. Other customer orders are processed immediately and the customer pays for the purchase after receiving the shipment and an invoice. A report on credit holds is forwarded to the Credit Department and the customer service representatives receive a daily report on orders placed on credit hold.
Different business units at your company use different identification systems for the same products. In other words, corporate headquarters might use a different product number for a product such as Purple Dye #211 than the product identificationnumber used at the plant where it was manufactured.
SampleCase Study questions
Note: the actual exam will only have 2 questions for Part 1
- Use BPMN to create a model of the process described above. Take care to include all the participating stakeholders and to model the decisions appropriately.
- What other major business processes outside of the order process are likely to be affected by the order process? Explain why this is so, and discuss the impacts of the inefficiencies associated with the order process.
- Consider the model that you have just created. Describe any inefficiencies or problems you have identified with the process. For each issue explain how it impacts on the following performance indicators: time, quality, cost, flexibility. Discuss how this process could be made more efficient.
- Discuss how this process could be made more efficient. Describe the business process improvement ‘best practices’ (i.e. heuristics) that your suggested improvements would employ.
PART 2 (75%)
Part 2 Sample Questions
Five (5) discussion questions each worth 15 marks will be drawn from this list
- Describe how approaches to system development differ and discuss how system development methodologies tend to be used in practice. Use examples to help explain your answer.
- Discuss the history of systems development methodologies, being sure to include the four main eras discussed in Avison and Fitzgerald (2003). Next, discuss why there are currently so many different methodologies and suggest factors that may influence the choice of methodology that is followed in a given project.
- Describe the unified process (UP) and discuss how it relates to traditional system development methodologies. Your discussion should include a description of the UP phases and disciplines.
- A number of variations of the unified process exist. Describe three of these and explain how they differ from each other, and where their use is most appropriate.
- Explain what makes a system development methodology “agile”. Then discuss some of the popular agile approaches and highlight the core areas which are common across all approaches, as well as the unique characteristics of these individual approaches.
- Describe how agile development approaches differ from traditional system development methodologies. Discuss the factors that have led to the popularity of agile approaches.
- Discuss what user experience design is, and explain why it is more than just user interface design. Your answer should include discussion of the different skills involved in user experience design.
- User experience designers may consider the following about users when designing new products: context, emotion, physiology, motivation and goals. Explain each of these and indicate why they are important.
- What is UML? Describe the UML diagram that is most commonly used for business process modelling and contrast this with BPMN. In what ways is their use similar and in what ways does it differ? Why are many business processes better presented in BPMN?
- Describe what business process management is, and discuss why it is undertaken.
- Business process reengineering and business process management are two different approaches to business process improvement. Describe how they differ, and describe how specific methodologies such as Total Quality Management, Six Sigma and Lean relate to these general approaches.
- Discuss the reasons whyorganisationsmay want to restructure their business processes. Describe the performance indicators that can be used to determine whether restructuring is successful and discuss the trade-offs between them.
- Explain what business process redesign ‘best practices’(also known as heuristics) are, anddescribe the role they can play in the practice of redesigning business processes. Include descriptions of some key business process design ‘best practices’ in your answer.
- Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of meeting system requirements with packaged software. Describe the types of criteria that might be included as evaluation factors when selecting packaged software.
- Discuss why quantitative approaches to software evaluation are recommended. What are the potential problems that can occur when more informal approaches to software package selection are used? Use examples to help explain your answer.