Delaware Area Career Center Information Systems & Analysis Questions

We really look up to you,” says Paul Le. As a systems analyst, you have been invited to help Pyramid, Inc., a small, independent book-publishing firm that specializes in paperback books outside the publishing mainstream.

Paul continues, “We deal with what some folks think are fringe topics. You know, pyramid power, end-of-the-world prophecies, and healthier living by thinking of the color pink. Sometimes when people see our books, they just shake their heads and say, ‘Tut—uncommon topic.’ But we’re not slaves to any particular philosophy, and we’ve been very successful. So much so that because I’m 24, people call me the ‘boy king.’ ” Paul pauses to decipher your reaction.

Paul continues, “I’m at the top as president, and functional areas such as editorial, accounting, production, and marketing are under me.”

Paul’s assistant, Ceil Toom, who has been listening quietly up to now, barges in with her comments: “The last systems experts that did a project for us recommended the creation of liaison committees of employees between accounting, production, and marketing, so that we could share newly computerized inventory and sales figures across the organization. They claimed that committees such as that would cut down on needless duplication of output, and each functional area would be better integrated with all the rest.”

Paul picks up the story, saying, “It was fair—oh, for a while—and the employees shared information, but the reason you’re here is that the employees said they didn’t have time for committee meetings and were uncomfortable sharing information with people from other departments who were further up the ladder than they were here at Pyramid.”

According to Paul and Ceil, what were the effects of installing a management information system at Pyramid, Inc. that required people to share information in ways that were not consistent with their structure? Propose some general ways to resolve this problem so Pyramid employees can still obtain the sales and inventory figures they need.

Part II. Review Questions (pages 44-45)

1. Define openness in an organizational environment.

2. What is the difference between a traditional organization and a virtual one?

3. What are the potential benefits and a drawback of a virtual organization?

4. What is the main difference between doing business process analysis for E R P and for other types of systems?

5. What problems do analysts often encounter when they try to implement an E R P package?

6. How do an entity, an associative entity, and an attributive entity differ?

7. How can understanding organizational subcultures help in the design of information systems?

8. How can systems analysis team members use Slack to build or reinforce an organizational culture or subculture.

Part III. Problems (pages 45-46)

4.You began drawing E-R diagrams soon after your entry into the health maintenance organization for which you’re designing a system. Your team member is skeptical about using E-R diagrams before design of the database is begun. In a paragraph, persuade your team member that early use of E-R diagrams is worthwhile.

5.Neil is a decision maker for Pepe’s Atlantic Sausage Company. Because there are several suppliers of ingredients and their prices fluctuate, he has come up with several different formulations for the various sausages that he makes, depending on the availability of particular ingredients from particular suppliers. He then orders ingredients accordingly twice a week. Even though he cannot predict when ingredients will become available at a particular price, his ordering of supplies can be considered routine. On what level of management is Neil working? Explain in a paragraph.

7. Carson, who is a member of the human resources department at the Elrod Manufacturing Company plant is constantly being asked by employees how much is taken out of their paychecks for insurance, taxes, medical, mandatory retirement, and voluntary retirement. “It takes up to a few hours every day,” says Carson.

He would like a Web system that would allow employees to use a secure logon to view the information. Carson wants the system to interface with health and dental insurance companies to obtain the amount remaining in the employee’s account for the year. He would also like to obtain retirement amounts saved along with investment results. Carson has a high regard for privacy and wants the system to have employees register and give permission to obtain financial amounts from the dental insurance and retirement companies. Draw a use case diagram representing the activities of the employee benefit system.

8. Write up a use case scenario for the use case diagram you constructed for Elrod Manufacturing.

10. Create a context-level data flow diagram for the Employee Benefit system in Problem 7. Make any assumptions about the data to and from the central process.

a. Do you find this to be better or not as good as explaining the system to Carson than the use case and use case scenarios?

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