You are on page 1of 6

Buluran, Joseph Rannie M.

Co, Timothy Kevin L.
Empino, Romir Gian O.
Galang, Roberto Jr. D.
Malabanan, Jinno Rafael A.

CASE STUDY 1 – Software
Selection
1. Explain the ff.: technology fit, vendor stability, cost, cultural fit, flexibility, and
ease of use.
What are these and why are they important?

First, let us define the meaning of each terminology:
A. Technology Fit – can be traced back to Task-Technology Fit (TTF) theory
developed by Goodhue and Thompson in 1995. It holds that technology,
specifically Information Technology (IT) is more likely to have a positive
impact on individual performance and be used if the capabilities of the IT
match the tasks that the user must perform. TTF consists of 8 factors:
quality (how IT can withstand use-and-abuse), accessibility (how
accessible IT is for its intended user(s)), authorization (how much
verifications or credentials that are required that may serve as hindrances
to the user’s operations), compatibility (whether people, software,
hardware, culture, etc., it has to be compatible with all factors given),
ease of use/training (adaptability measures, learning curves, etc.),
production timeliness (if it minimizes risks with regards to meeting
deadlines), systems reliability (does it crash? Does it provide the needs of
the user?), and relationship with users (does it make life easier or
harder?). Each factor is measured using between two and ten questions
with responses on a seven point scale ranging from strongly disagree to
strongly agree.

Such an approach, in conjunction with utilization, was found to be a
significant predictor of user reports of improved job performance and
effectiveness that can be attributed to the use of the system in question
(or under study).

This theory though was for individual purposes alone and so in 1998,
Zigurs and Buckland presented an analogous model operating at a group
level, a level in which can be easily related to management and business
operations – which brought about later models such as the Technology
Acceptance Model (TAM).

In essence, Technology Fit can then be defined as to what extent the
technology used or proposed is suited to its intended users, to its
environment, and even to its intended to-do’s. Relating it to current times,
it’s about whether proposing a development of a system wherein
Employees may retrieve their payroll details via Short Messaging Systems
(SMS) on their cellular phones when in fact the company intended to have
such systems only have ten (10) employees. Same can be said if you also
try to implement a data-retrieval system that will transfer data from old
proprietary systems (such as COBOL) to newer systems when in fact the
databases contained in such systems are already irrelevant to the
company’s current operations. Bottom line is – is the technology proposed
or implemented well-suited for the task at hand? Or are there better
alternatives that may enable the business to save more and spend less.

Vendor Stability – is a key element of the software selection process. It’s a
matter of checking your vendor the same way real estate people checks
the realtors owning the land they plan to venture into brokering. In real
estate, the reason you have to check the owners or the company funding
the condominium or land project is for assurance – an informed buyer will
never buy from a company known to have financial problems, delayed
completion of infrastructure, and so on and so forth. Same with software,
you just don’t want to buy software whose company or owners are known
to sell bluff-wares (all claims – no gains) or are known to drop customer
relations after a successful sale. No matter what aspect in life Vendor
Stability is applied, it’s all the same – people just don’t want their money
to go to unchartered seas.

Assurance begins when a vendor has a good running record. Actually,
that’s all there is to it. With the way businesses are growing today, it has
become easier to track those with a clean record from those who don’t. A
click on the net would do, and if prospective customers learn about the
problems other people had with your company, then the reason to why a
better one was chosen compared to yours is pretty clear – you need to
deliver not only before and during sales, but even on after-sales.

Cost – the value of which an implementation, purchase, selling, using, or
acquiring, will give in terms of monetary or non-monetary value to a firm.
In project proposals, costs are key factors in deciding whether or not a
project is feasible to pursue or not. If costs are relatively low compared to
gains, the more feasible the project is. But should the two be
interchanged, then the less feasible the project becomes. A good example
here would be a highway construction. Suppose costs for building the
highway is ten million dollars, while the amount that the Government will
pay you is only twelve million dollars, will you still pursue the project?
Suppose in the ten million dollar estimate that costs of risks and
unexpected expenses are yet to be included – obviously such a project will
not be pursued. Such is also a sample of cost-benefit analysis, wherein
firms may justify whether the costs needed to earn benefits is actually
higher or lower than that of gains.

Cultural Fit – pertains to how persons may like or dislike their job within
the organization due to either differences or similarities with the way
people wants to work and how the firm wants these people to work. To put
it simply, imagine you’re a Web Designer who prefers to design on his own
pace and loves to design pages based on your own unique theme. When
the company hired you as a Web Designer, you thought you could do the
same – but when you submitted your first set of designs, the firm instantly
rejected it. A lack of the company’s color, a missing icon, a wild-themed
page that doesn’t simply suit the formalistic aura that the business has –
and in short, your way of doing the designs simply is wrong for the firm.
So then you are forced to give designs that they want and they believe
they think is right – and consider that you’re not the type who’s fond of
being subdued – what happens? Your morale goes low, you lose interest in
your job, and pretty soon, you’ll find your way out – only to find out that in
your next job, the company that hired you next loved the designs you did
for the company that restricted you to do such designs. Such is the main
thought of cultural fit, how people matches with how your business goes is
never to be taken lightly by any firms – it should be observed and
researched intensively when creating teams that would serve delicate
business needs in the future.

Flexible – in business terms, it’s the capacity of people to easily find
backup plans, emergency plans, or alternatives should an unexpected
event occur. It also refers to how a person can perform equally on
different platforms or environments. Such can also be applied to software
as well. An example here would be a web browser. Internet Explorer (IE) is
known to be less flexible as compared to Mozilla Firefox, and Mozilla
Firefox is known to be less flexible as compared to Opera. Such judgments
are based on the ability of these browsers to function in cross-platform
conditions or even on an entirely different platform. IE can only operate in
a Windows Operating System (OS) Environment as compared to Mozilla
Firefox which can operate in both Windows and Linux and as compared as
well with Opera which can operate in Windows, Linux, and on mobile
platforms as well.

Ease of Use – in layman’s term – how easy it is to use a product. Ease of
use is a key factor in software selection and software proposals in a sense
that if the program’s intended user finds difficulty in operating the
program, the less productive they become and the more that your
program becomes an inconvenience rather than convenient – a waste
rather than a solution. Example: suppose you simply need a tool to quickly
peel apples, and you were offered with a technology that requires you to
press hundreds of buttons before it works. While you press the buttons,
your friend has already peeled one apple for himself, and all your friend
needed was a peeler, while you bought a $100 technology that served
more of an inconvenience in your part.

These terminologies are important for they are key factors in the software
selection phase. You cannot simply go straightforward on buying or
implementing software without conducting a study first – how its intended
users will use it, how it will solve business processes, what it can prevent,
and so on and so forth.
2. When evaluating software it is important to know if the software is at the
beginning or end of its product life. Why? What is a "product life"?

It is important to know the Product Life Cycle because this would give when
would be the introduction of the product to the market and the facing out of
the product of to the market.

A product life cycle is a systematic approach of designing and analyzing on
how the product could penetrate the market and maintain its good status in
the market.

The project life cycle has 7 phases
1. Identifying problems, opportunities and objectives
2. Determining requirements
3. Analyzing the needs
4. Designing
5. Developing and documenting
6. Testing and maintain
7. Implementing and evaluating

During the software selection process, it is important to know the beginning
and end of the product life because the business cannot afford to implement
software now and find that a better one or an updated version will be
released in a week's time. Identifying the life cycle of particular software will
help a business avoid abrupt scrapping or upgrading of systems and wasting
money in the process.

3. What is an "implementation partner"? What is a project management
approach? And what does it mean to "understand the business"?

An implementation partner is the one who supports a close working
relationship between company and systems integrators who can provide
integration and implementation services for their projects. They are the one
who spends time in dealing with the requirements and matches over the
specific requirements of task/projects. They are the one who assist you to
support all necessary works to pursue desired project. Implementation
Partner leads projects to help organizations change processes.

Project Management Approach

Project Management Approach is somewhat a guideline for project managers
in dealing with their projects at hand in order for them to have an effective
project management. There are several kinds of Project Management
Approaches. The first is the traditional approach; it is a step by step process
that needs to be completed. There 5 components which traditional approach
has namely: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and completion.
Another approach is the RUP [Rational Unified Process] – iterative software
development process framework created by Rational Software Corporation
that was manned by IBM.

To understand a business simply means that you should know how to fit and
communicate to the world you are into, the environmental surrounding you
have. Another which is to understand how your business works. Simply
means that you should have an analysis of your business. One of which is
having a TOWS/SWOT analysis, to identify every threats, opportunities,
weaknesses, and strengths.

It is important that you do this analysis for the company better well of their
products and services. Taking information from the environmental analysis
and separate them into internal issues (strengths and weaknesses) and
external issues (opportunities and threats)
4. Package cost is rarely the largest part of the total project cost.
Upfront costs that should be considered include costs such as the
package software, additional hardware or upgrades, implementation
costs, conversion, and training and but ongoing costs such as the
annual maintenance fees, modifications, and upgrades cannot be
ignored.

Explain and describe the costs mentioned above. Why is it important to know
these?

Package cost, in layman's term, is the cost of an entire offer. In buying an
electronic gadget, the package cost would be the gadget's main unit plus the
accessories needed to be able to continuously use it (charger, manual,
headset, etc.). In a food catering service, it would mean the set of meals, the
drinks, and optionally, the sound system, which is all totaled as a package
cost. In terms of construction though, package cost may only refer to the cost
of executing a particular project. Additional costs, such as costs for permits,
risk expected costs, insurance costs, and even warranty costs (after finishing
a project, there's normal a warranty period to ensure customers that the
structure built has its integrity checked thoroughly, if not, it will be repaired
by the construction builders).

The above mentioned example with construction can be related to software
as well. In implementing software or IT systems, the cost of the package
(building the software and delivering it to its customers) is never the largest
part of the total project cost. Additional software required to make the
product work (database software, drivers, etc.), hardware (if it requires a
modulator-demodulator, routers, data centers, servers, etc.), the costs of
implementing the software (amount of time that the business may have to
shut down its server to update it may incur costs for the company),
conversion costs (costs involved in converting the company's database for
example to a better database system), training (the more complex the
program becomes, the more costs in training its intended user).

Most of the time though, aforementioned costs are relatively menial
compared to the costs of maintaining, modifying, and upgrading a system.
Based from different studies, projects that failed to capture the exact needs
of a business tend to spend more in repairing the software since modifying,
maintaining, and upgrading the system would mean another set of server
downtime, another set of training for the users, and the list goes on. This is
why accurate package costing and project costing requires a lot of research
and risk expectancy variables. Being unable to make a good estimate in
pricing and costs will result in the implementing company's loss. Bottom line
is, if you can't price your product right, and you can't get the product going
right, then you simply won't be able to deliver.