Posted: August 1st, 2022

IT Decision Paper

GGFreightways (GGFRT) IT Decision Paper Assignment

Before you begin this assignment, be sure you have read the “GG Freightways Case Study,” any feedback on your proposed IT project from your ITSP Part

2

assignment, and the previously assigned course materials.

Purpose of this Assignment

This assignment gives you the opportunity to apply the course concepts to develop an IT Decision Paper to explain and defend an IT project at GG Freightways (GGFRT). This assignment specifically addresses the following course outcomes to enable you to:

· Apply best practices in information technology management and governance to make, defend, and justify an IT decision.

IT Decision Paper for Your Proposed IT Project

For your ITSP, Part 2, you proposed an IT project for GGFRT. Lance, the CIO at GGFRT, has asked you to write an IT Decision Paper to explain your proposed project. He wants to use the Paper to gain approval from the Governance Board to move forward with the project. This assignment uses a format for a Decision Paper that has been tailored to the course material covered in this class. You may work for an organization that has a format for IT decision papers, and it would be a good idea for you to look at it, but it will likely be structured a little differently from this one. Each organization develops tools and techniques that will work for them.

Assignment

You will develop an IT Decision Paper, using the outline below. Each of the topics to be included in your outline is covered in the course content readings assigned thus far. In addition to the course materials, at least one external resource (resource other than those provided in the class) must be used. Two or more cited references will earn top credit. Use a separate References page to list just the references you have cited. Remember to use the APA formatting rules and correctly cite and reference your sources with APA format. Use the Grading Rubric to be sure you have covered everything.

Please use this outline to build your IT Decision Paper. Use the numbering and headings shown below.

1. Project Description

– In two or three sentences:
(1) describe the IT project you proposed for GGFRT in Part 2 of your ITSP.
(2) Describe what major function(s) the system would perform and who would use it. (Do not provide a technical description with hardware, software, etc.)

2. Strategic Alignment

– In a short paragraph:
(1) explain how the proposed project aligns to the business strategic objectives in Part 1 of your ITSP, and,
(2) explain how the proposed project aligns to the IT strategies in Part 2 of your ITSP.

Your proposed project must be aligned directly with at least one business strategic objective and one IT strategy shown in your ITSP.

3.

IT Portfolio Roadmap Alignment – In a paragraph:
(1) Briefly explain where this project fits into the IT Portfolio Roadmap you included in Part 2 of your ITSP.
(2) What functional area does it support?
(3) Where should it be included in the timeline – i.e., should it take priority or be done before another project in the IT Portfolio (with justification)

4. IT Architecture

– In a short paragraph:

(1) Briefly explain how this project fits in with other systems in place or in development at GGFRT.
(2) Explain whether it should interface with (share data of any kind with) other systems either in place or in development,
what information is being shared, and its purpose.
(3) Explain whether it replaces another system or multiple systems in use at GGFRT.

Refer to the Inventory of Current IT Projects in Part 1 of your ITSP and the IT Portfolio in Part 2 of your ITSP.

5. Benefits

: Describe at a high level three (3) benefits the project provides to GGFRT. The benefits should correspond to the business strategies and the strategic alignment discussed in section 2 above.
State the Business Strategic Objective. Then, discuss this relationship/alignment for each benefit to the Business Strategic Objective. Refer to course content readings from Week 4 on Value Attainment. External research may also be beneficial.
Benefits of the solution should not be accomplishment of business strategic objectives nor accomplishment of IT strategies.

Please copy/paste the following table into your paper and complete it:

Benefit

State Business Strategic Objective/Provide Explanation of Alignment of Benefit to Business Strategic Objective

Example: do not use but leave it in the table when completing this section.

(If the project you chose is updating the Route Optimization/Freight Tracking System to include a package tracking feature):
Better visibility for GGFRT and its customers into the delivery status of packages.

Tracking freight to provide customers with better delivery dates & times

This real-time feature of package status will allow both customers and GGFRT employees to see where the package is while in transit. This will allow the customer to know where/when the package will be delivered.

1.

2.

3.

6. Requirements

– List and briefly explain the high-level requirements for the project. First, explain the primary driver of the project (major need of the business area related to the project you have chosen) in a well-written introductory paragraph. Refer to course content readings regarding requirements (Week 7). External research may also be beneficial. Requirements were also covered in IFSM 300 (the prerequisite to be taken prior to this course; in Stage 3 requirements you noted requirements; refer to this assignment for examples). Develop ten (10) requirements for the project and include what category of the requirements below your presented requirements fit into:

a. Business/user requirements

b. IT/system requirements

c. At least one system performance requirement

Defining Requirements – The next step is to identify the essential requirements for your chosen project. User requirements express specifically what the user needs the system to do. This can be in terms of tasks/processes the users need to perform, data they need to input, what the system might do with that data input, and output required. System performance requirements express how the system will perform in several performance areas and security.
IT/System requirements present what the system will do, i.e., the functions it must perform. They include characteristics that a product must have to meet the needs of the stakeholders and can include function or nonfunction requirements. As a member of the CIO’s organization, you will use your professional knowledge to ensure all 3 types of requirements are covered (User/Business, IT/System, and System Performance). Refer to Week 7 content on requirements. Additional research can expand your knowledge of these areas.

Once you have identified the 10 requirements, evaluate each one using the criteria below and create 10 well-written requirements statements for your chosen project.

The requirement statement:

· Is a complete sentence, with a subject (system) and predicate (intended result or action)

· Identifies only one requirement; does not include the words “and,” “also,” “with,” and “or.”

· For User Requirements, states
what
tasks/processes the system will support or perform.

· For System Performance Requirements, states
how
the system will perform.

· For IT/System Requirements, states
what
the system will do and the functions it must perform.

· Includes a measure or metric that can be used to determine whether the requirement is met (time or quantity), where appropriate.

· Is stated in positive terms and uses “must” (not “shall,” “may” or “should”); “the system must xxxx” not “the system must not xxx”.

· Avoids the use of terms that cannot be defined and measured, such as “approximately,” “robust,” “user friendly,” etc.

· Is achievable and realistic; avoids terms such as “100% uptime,” or “no failures”.

Do not provide generic statements but relate to the needs of GGFRT and your project.

Please copy/paste the following table into your paper and complete it:

Requirement Statement (explanation refers to the solution and case study)

Business/User; IT/System or System Performance (state one or more of these categories)

Example: do not use but leave it in the table when completing this section.
The Route Optimization/Freight Tracking System package status must be available to users 95% of the time

System Performance

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

7. Cost Estimation

– During the Assessment Phase, Cost Estimation consists of estimating the size and complexity of the project, not the effort required or the actual projected dollar costs. Copy the table below and place an X (or other indication) in the box that most closely describes the size and complexity of your proposed solution. Use your judgment and then write a short paragraph to introduce and explain the assessments in your table
(the choice must be justified).
Refer to course content readings from Week 4 on Cost Estimation, especially the Assessment Phase.
Note that your project cannot have multiple sizes and complexities; the table should only contain one X.

Assessment of Project Size and Complexity (Spring 2019)

Size/Complexity

Small

Medium

Large

Very Complex

Moderately Complex

Straightforward

8. Performance Measures

– This section explains how GGFRT will know whether the project is achieving the benefits identified above in section 5. First, present the table with a brief paragraph discussing the solution, table that follows, and to properly evaluate benefits, they should be measurable/quantifiable. Review the benefits, and look at the requirements you identified, and come up with three (3) performance measures that will indicate the extent to which the projected benefits have been achieved. (For example, if you had identified a benefit that the project would result in more repeat customers, then a measurement for that would be the number of repeat customers with the goal that the number would increase.) Refer to course content readings on Performance Measurement. This may be a good area to do some web research. The measures should be presented in a table with an introductory sentence or two:

Benefit to Business (stated from section #5)

Measure (quantifiable)

Example: do not use but leave it in the table when completing this section.

Better visibility for GGFRT and its customers into the delivery status of packages.

50% reduction in the number of packages returned for next-day delivery because of more efficient scheduling as customers can also reschedule packages when they see delivery status; or,

Increase of 20% in the number on same-day deliveries due to better communication between GGFRT dispatchers, drivers, and customers.

1.

2.

3.

9. System Development

– Describe how you will use the System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) process to approach this project (the project you presented in the ITSP2). Include only the following 5 stages: Plan, Design, Build, Test, Launch. The activities in each stage may differ depending if you are building your solution or using a cloud-based solution. If you are using a specific methodology (Agile, Spiral, Waterfall, etc. your discussion should be specific to that methodology. List the stage followed by a colon, then in two to three sentences each, explain how each stage would be handled by Lance’s IT team and who else in GGFRT should be involved in each stage. Refer to course content materials on SDLC in Week 8.

Formatting Your Assignment

· Avoid quotation where possible by paraphrasing ideas and findings from your sources into both your own words and writing style. Changing a few words but including most of the wording and structure from the original text of your sources is not acceptable. Verbatim text directly from sources is not acceptable, even if cited. The work of the ideas and the writing needs to be your own. If you do use verbatim text, you must use quotation marks even if you have cited the source.

· Formatting: 1” margins, 12-point Times New Roman font.

· In the IT Decision Paper assignment, you are preparing the document based on the feedback from all previous assignments and scoring rubrics.

· Continue to use a title page from the ITSP #1 assignment that includes: The company name, title of assignment, your name, Course and Section number and date.

· Use the outline format in the assignment instructions above, for these sections:

1. Project Description
2. Strategic Alignment

3. IT Portfolio Roadmap Alignment

4. IT Architecture
5. Benefits
6. Requirements
7. Cost Estimation
8. Performance Measures
9. System Development

· Write a short, concise paper: Use the recommendations provided in each area for length of response. It’s important to value quality over quantity.

· Content areas should be double spaced; table entries should be single spaced.

· To
copy a table
: Move your cursor to the table, then click on the small box that appears at the upper left corner of the table to highlight the table; right click and COPY the table; put the cursor in your paper where you want the table and right click and PASTE the table.

· Ensure that each of the tables is preceded by an introductory sentence that explains what is contained in the table, so the reader understands why the table has been included.

1. Use at least two resources that are APA formatted (both in in-text citations and references). Any course content should be from the class reading content, not the assignment instructions or case study itself. For information on APA format, refer to Content>Course Resources>Writing Resources.

· Begin a Reference Page for resources required for this assignment. Use APA format for your reference page.

· Running headers are not required for this report; however, please include page numbers.

· Writing should always be in third person.

· Compare your work to the Grading Rubric below to be sure you have met content and quality criteria.

· Submit your paper as a Word document, or a document that can be read in Word. Keep tables in Word format – do not paste in graphics.

· Your submission should include
your last name first in the filename: Lastname_Firstname_IT Decision

The “right” and “wrong” answers have to do with if you correctly incorporated the course concepts from the course content and addressed all parts of the assignment. You need to do some external research on at least one aspect of the assignment – your choice – and incorporate it and cite/reference it in APA format in your response. The project you proposed in the ITSP#2 is not as important as that it makes sense considering the course content and the Case Study. Use the Rubric below to be sure you have covered all aspects of the assignment.

GRADING RUBRIC:

Criterion

90-100%

Far Above Standards

80-89%

Above Standards

70-79%

Meets Standards

60-69%

Below Standards

< 60% Well Below Standards Possible Points Project Description 5 Points Description of the project is clear and concise, covers functions and users, and sets the stage for the remainder of the paper; demonstrates understanding of course concepts, analysis, and critical thinking. 4 Points Description of the project is clear and concise, covers functions and users, and sets the stage for the remainder of the paper. 3.5 Points Description of the IT Project includes what it does (functions it performs) and who uses it. 3 Points Description of the project is unclear, not concise, and/or does not set the stage for the remainder of the paper. 0-2 Points Little or no description of the proposed IT project is included. 5 Strategic Alignment 9-10 Points Explanation of proposed project includes clear and well-supported alignment to at least one (1) business objective in the ITSP #1 and one (1) IT strategy in the ITSP #2, explanation is very appropriate to the Case Study and clearly tied to the proposed IT project. 8 Points Explanation of proposed project includes clear alignment to at least one (1) business objective in the ITSP1 and one (1) IT strategy in the ITSP #2; explanation is appropriate to the Case Study and tied to the proposed IT project. 7 Points Explanation of proposed project includes direct alignment to at least one (1) business strategic objective in the ITSP #1, and one IT strategy in the ITSP #2. 6 Points Explanation of business objectives and/or IT strategies are incomplete and/or are only partially appropriate to the Case Study or the proposed IT project. 0-5 Points Explanation of Strategic Alignment is minimal or not included. 10 IT Portfolio Roadmap Alignment 9-10 Points This section thoroughly explains the relationship of the proposed IT project to the IT Portfolio Roadmap in the ITSP #2 and/or updated if required, including a full explanation of the functional area supported, and where this project fits in the timeline. 8 Points This section clearly explains the relationship of the proposed IT project to the IT Portfolio Roadmap in the ITSP #2 and/or updated if required, including a good explanation of the functional area supported, and where this project fits in the timeline. 7 Points This section has an explanation of the relationship of the proposed IT project to the IT Portfolio Roadmap in Part 2 of the ITSP, including: where the proposed project fits into the IT Portfolio roadmap; identification of the functional area it supports; and where it should be included in the timeline in the ITSP. 6 Points This section includes only part of the required information on the relationship of the proposed IT project to the IT Portfolio Roadmap in Part 2 of the ITSP (where it fits, the functional area supported, and the timeline); and/or is not relevant to Case Study. 0-5 Points This section minimally covers the relationship of the proposed IT project to the IT Portfolio Roadmap in Part 2 of the ITSP or does not cover it at all. 10 IT Architecture 9-10 Points A correct and convincing explanation of the IT Architecture includes how the project fits with, interfaces with and/or replaces other systems, including data to be shared with full explanation; explanation is clearly relevant to the Case Study and the proposed project; demonstrates thorough understanding of course concepts, analysis and critical thinking. 8 Points An accurate explanation of the IT Architecture includes how the project fits with, interfaces with and/or replaces other systems, including data to be shared with explanation; explanation is relevant to the Case Study and the proposed project; demonstrates understanding of course concepts, analysis, and critical thinking. 7 Points Explanation of the IT Architecture includes: how the proposed IT project fits in with other systems in place or in development at the business in the Case Study; whether it should interface with other systems either in place or in development; and whether it replaces another system or multiple systems in use at the business in the Case Study, includes data to be shared. 6 Points IT Architecture explanation partially covers how the project fits with, interfaces with, and/or replaces other systems; information on data to be shared is missing, is not relevant to the Case Study or the proposed project. 0-5 Points IT Architecture explanation is minimal or not included. 10 Benefits 9-10 Points Three (3) or more business benefits are thoroughly and convincingly explained and are clearly stated and aligned to the business objectives and IT strategies noted above in section 2; benefits are highly applicable to and appropriate for the proposed solution and the Case Study. 8 Points Three (3) or more business benefits are fully explained and are stated and aligned to the business objectives and IT strategies noted above in section 2; benefits are clearly applicable to and appropriate for the proposed solution and the Case Study. 7 Points At least two (2) business benefits that the proposed IT project provides to the organization in the Case Study are stated and described at a high level. The benefits correspond to the business objectives and the IT strategies discussed in section 2 above. 6 Points Fewer than two (2) business benefits are shown; benefits are not aligned to business objectives and IT strategies above and are not applicable to or appropriate for the proposed solution and/or the Case Study. 0-5 Points Business benefits are minimally addressed or not included. 10 Requirements 9-10 Points This section includes an effective and well-written introduction that is applicable to the Case Study and thoroughly and convincingly explains the primary business driver for the proposed IT project. At least ten (10) unique requirements are identified and discussed, clearly applicable to the Case Study; requirements are in full sentences in proper requirement statement format and properly classified; requirements cover items a-c in the assignment; demonstrates thorough understanding of course concepts, analysis and critical thinking. 8 Points This section includes a well-written introduction that is applicable to the Case Study and fully explains the primary business driver for the proposed IT project. At least nine (9) unique requirements are identified and discussed, clearly applicable to the Case Study; requirements are in full sentences in proper requirement statement format and properly classified; requirements cover items a-c in the assignment; demonstrates understanding of course concepts, analysis and critical thinking. 7 Points This section includes an introduction that explains the primary driver behind the system (major business need). Then, at least eight (8) requirements are listed and briefly explained, requirements may not be in full sentences in proper requirement statement format and/or properly classified, are applicable to the Case Study and include: (a) business/user requirements, (b) IT/system requirements; and (c) at least one system performance requirement. 6 Points This section does not include an introduction identifying the primary driver for the system; eight (8) or fewer requirements are identified, requirements; requirements may not be in full sentences in proper requirement statement format and/or properly classified; are not applicable to the Case Study, and/or items a-c in the assignment are not covered. 0-5 Points This section minimally addresses requirements, or requirements are not included. 10 Cost Estimation 9-10 Points This section includes an effective and well-written introductory paragraph that is applicable to the Case Study and thoroughly and convincingly justifies the assessments in the table that follows. Cost estimation table is included, with appropriate selection for size and complexity. 8 Points This section includes an appropriate introductory paragraph that is applicable to the Case Study and provides a good explanation of the assessments in the table that follows. Cost estimation table is included, with appropriate selection for size and complexity. 7 Points This section includes an introductory paragraph that explains the assessments and applies to the Case Study. Cost estimation table is included; selections are made for size and complexity. 6 Points This section does not include an introductory paragraph and/or cost estimation table is included, but selection for size and complexity are not appropriate or adequately justified. 0-5 Points This section provides little or no information on the cost estimation, cost estimation table is missing, and/or information presented does not apply to the Case Study. 10 Performance Measures 9-10 Points This section includes an effective and well-written introductory paragraph that is applicable to the Case Study, the proposed solution, and the table that follows. The completed table contains all required information, accurately reflecting the Case Study and the proposed solution; the performance measures are quantifiable, demonstrates thorough understanding of course concepts, analysis, and critical thinking. 8 Points This section includes an appropriate introductory paragraph that is applicable to the Case Study, the proposed solution, and the table that follows. The completed table contains all required information, accurately reflecting the Case Study and the proposed solution; the performance measures are quantifiable, demonstrates understanding of course concepts, analysis, and critical thinking. 7 Points This section includes at least one or two sentences that introduce the table. Performance Measures Table is included showing three (3) benefits and three (3) measures that are appropriate to the proposed solution and the Case Study. 6 Points This section includes fewer than three (3) benefits and associated performance measures, measures do not align to benefits, benefits and measures are not appropriate to the Case Study and the proposed solution, and/or introduction is missing. 0-5 Points This section provides little or no information on Performance Measures; table is missing; and/or information presented does not apply to the Case Study. 10 System Development 9-10 Points The five (5) stages of the SDLC are thoroughly covered; explanation is tied directly to the project and to the case study; includes IT team responsibilities and appropriate involvement of others at the business in the Case Study; demonstrates thorough understanding of course concepts and vocabulary. 8 Points The five (5) stages of the SDLC are fully covered; explanation includes discussion of the project and the case study; includes IT team responsibilities and appropriate involvement of others at the business in the Case Study; demonstrates understanding of course concepts and vocabulary. 7 Points The five (5) stages of the SDLC are covered: Plan, Design, Build, Test, Launch. Two to three sentences are used to explain how each stage would be handled by the team and identify others who need to be involved at the business in the Case Study. 6 Points The five (5) stages of the SDLC are not all covered; explanations are not appropriate to the project and the Case Study; and/or do not include IT team responsibilities and/or appropriate involvement of others at the business in the Case Study. 0-5 Points The stages of the SDLC are minimally addressed or are not included. 10 External Research 5 Points Two (2) or more sources other than the course materials are incorporated in two or more sections of the paper and are used effectively. Sources used are relevant and timely and contribute to the analysis. References are appropriately incorporated and cited using APA style. 4 Points At least one (1) source other than the course materials is incorporated and used effectively. Source(s) are relevant and contribute to the analysis. References are appropriately incorporated and cited using APA style. 3.5 Points At least one (1) source other than the course materials is used and properly incorporated into the text. Reference is cited using APA style. 3 points A source other than the course materials may be used but is not properly incorporated or used and/or is not effective or appropriate and/or is not relevant or timely and/or does not follow APA style for references and citations. 0-2 Points No external research is incorporated, or reference listed is not cited within text. 5 Report Format 9-10 Points Report is very well organized and is easy to read. Very few or no errors in sentence structure, grammar, and spelling; presented in a professional format. 8 Points Report reflects effective organization; has few errors in sentence structure, grammar, and spelling; presented in a professional format. 7 Points Report has some organization; may have some errors in sentence structure, grammar, and spelling. 6 Points Report is not well organized, and/or contains several grammar and/or spelling errors. 0-5 Points Report is extremely poorly written, has many grammar and/or spelling errors, or does not convey the information. 10 TOTAL Possible Points 100 2

Winter, 2021

Summer, 2021 IFSM301

Case Study: GG Freightways (GGFRT)
GGFRT is a regional transportation and distribution company in operation for over 30 years. The
company serves major cities in the southwestern region of the United States. Their headquarters
(1), terminals/warehouses (8) and maintenance facilities (2) are noted below.

Corporate Profile
Corporate Name: GG Freightways
Founded: August 1989
Headquarters: Los Angeles CA
Terminals/Warehouses (8): Los Angeles CA, San Diego CA, San Bernardino CA, Bakersfield CA,
Scottsdale AZ, Phoenix AZ, Tucson AZ, and Las Vegas NV
Maintenance Facilities (2): San Bernardino CA, Scottsdale AZ
Number of Employees: 750 (includes truck drivers)
Fleet: 400 delivery vehicles (average of 50 per terminal) which include: 80 tractor/semi-trailer units,
160 box trucks and 160 panel vans
Total Annual Gross Revenue: $35 million
Current economic climate: stable industry, highly competitive business environment, 6% profit
Future financial goals: 8% profit with 8% reduction in operating costs
President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO): Marissa Schmidt
To familiarize yourself with commonly used shipping terms in the freight industry, visit this site and
refer to it as you read the case study and assignments:

Shipping Terms

Current Business Operations
GGFRT operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sales personnel (40 people, five per terminal) visit
prospective customers to outline company capability, services provided and costs. When a
customer decides to use GGFRT they call the dispatch office with shipment information. Usually
they FAX a copy of the bill(s) of lading to a terminal with information such as origin, destination,
product description, weight and number of packages.

A dispatcher at a terminal makes a list of freight pickups and sends a truck to get the freight. To do
this they use the Route Optimization/Freight Tracking System to determine the sequence of pickups
by zip code. They use local maps within a zip code to map out the specific order of pickups since
there may be several in a zip code area. They have a performance goal of 98% of freight picked up
within 24 hours of availability.

A driver follows the dispatch order for pickups. Many of the drivers complain that the pickup order
is not efficient. When they pick up an order they sign for receipt and either load the freight or guide
the customer’s forklift operators to arrange it properly in the truck.

After freight is picked up it is brought to the terminal where it is unloaded and sorted by
destination. A dispatcher then prepares a delivery ticket (again using the Route
Optimization/Freight Tracking System) that is used to load a truck in the proper sequence for
delivery. Some trucks take freight from one terminal to another while others make local deliveries.
Since some terminals are close to 12 hours away from each other, there are many “out and back”

Shipping Terms

Summer, 2021 IFSM301

routes where drivers meet halfway between terminals to exchange freight trailers, which benefits
drivers so they don’t exceed their permitted daily maximum driving hours of 11 per day. About half
of a terminal’s space is used on any given night. Dispatchers have a goal to turn freight around in
the terminal overnight for next day delivery.

When freight is sent out for delivery, the driver follows the delivery ticket order. Often, they are
held up at a delivery destination by traffic or by lack of available unloading space. This can cause the
driver to be late trying to make the day’s deliveries. Sometimes they get to a destination and the
facility is closed and they bring the freight back to the terminal for delivery the next day. It is
unloaded and re-sorted by destination. The dispatchers then add it to the next day’s delivery
tickets.

The major freight volumes are between Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles (about 70% of total
volume). Trucks run at about 70% average of capacity between terminals. Local delivery volume is
heaviest in Los Angeles, followed by Phoenix and then San Diego. Local delivery trucks operate at
about 80% full while pickups fill about half of the vehicles space. Some customers pick up and/or
drop freight at a terminal/warehouse, with their own equipment.

Truck drivers communicate with the dispatchers using two-way commercial radios. Some also carry
personal cell phones and use them if the radio is out of range. A few drivers also carry GPS devices
to help locate addresses. In general, the drivers are content with the company. Pay and benefits are
good, and they get overtime pay when deliveries run late. Complaints are few and mostly center
around either the sequence of pickup and delivery of shipments or vehicle maintenance.

The fleet is maintained at the main Scottsdale maintenance shop and at a smaller shop in San
Bernardino. Either one can handle minor maintenance and preventative work. Only Scottsdale can
perform major engine and transmission work. Overall the fleet is in good operating condition. All
vehicles are on a preventative maintenance schedule which places them out of service two days a
month, usually on weekends. Maintenance scheduling is a challenge because it can interfere with
the steady flow of shipments both between terminals and for local delivery. There are no “extra”
vehicles in the fleet.

Administration
The company management team consists of the President (CEO), Vice President of Operations
(COO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Information Officer (CIO), Sales Manager, and a Fleet
Maintenance Manager who oversees maintenance and safety. They meet weekly to discuss
opportunities and issues and to plan for future goals. Except for the CIO, the management team has
been in place for many years.

The president of the company just hired its first Chief Information Officer (CIO), Lance, after the
previous IT Director retired. He comes from a nearby manufacturer who is also a major customer.
At that company he was Deputy CIO and primarily responsible for network operations and security.

Summer, 2021 IFSM301

Business Strategic Objectives
At a recent meeting the management team decided to change the strategic plan for the business to
meet growth and cost goals. They highlighted three new strategies they want to employ to increase
profitability and grow the business.

1. First, they want to track the whereabouts of freight both in the terminals and on the
trucks to provide customers with accurate delivery dates and times;
2. Second, they want to improve the percent of loaded miles in their fleet to reduce costs by
coordinating the pickup and delivery of freight at the same time in the same geographic
area; and,
3. Third, they desire to provide warehousing services for customers who want to reduce
delivery time to their customers or company by having product available locally for pickup in
warehouses or quicker local delivery.

Federal/State Mandates
In addition, the management team wants to ensure that the company remains in compliance with
all applicable federal and state regulations. The ones they are most concerned about are:

1. The Sarbanes Oxley financial audit and reporting requirements;
2. A new federal requirement to conduct a vehicle safety check every 10,000 miles; and,
3. A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reporting requirement on the
number hours per day for each driver (or max per week, etc.).

CFO/CIO Goals
The CFO has been charged with the overall project. He has asked Lance to help with this effort by
modernizing information systems to support the new strategies. He has decided:
1. His first step is to update the IT strategic plan to link to the new strategies in the corporate plan.
2. Second, he wants to engage his customers in a proactive way to first, identify and prioritize IT
projects that will help meet the new goals, and then develop a set of requirements for each project.
3. Third, he wants to decide on the best approach to modernize the information systems that will
meet requirements at a reasonable cost, and for this he will need to make some changes to the IT
organization.

Strategic Direction
As a small player in a large transportation market serving large cities, GGFRT has many larger
competitors. They need to improve their alignment of IT with their business strategic objectives as
well as updating their operational processes and IT to become more efficient in serving their
customers and acquiring new ones.

Current Technology
GGFRT is using a mix of older technology products for finance and accounting, route optimization/
freight tracking and fleet maintenance. There are several projects already in the IT portfolio
competing for resources. The CIO sees a major challenge in balancing available funding, IT staff
workload and project prioritization. The project nearest completion is the adoption of the Precise
Financial Reporting System to replace the aging finance and accounting system. It will be completed
in six months. There are two other projects under way, one for management reporting
(Management Reporting System) and one for a mobile application (Mobile Marketing App) that

Summer, 2021 IFSM301

sales staff can use to show potential customers information on the fleet, distribution services
available and freight rates, and warehouse options, including a comparison to the competition.

The Route Optimization/Freight Tracking System is very important to the operations manager and
dispatchers. The current system allows the input of freight origin and destination information. This
is taken from a bill of lading which contains a plethora of specific information. When the
dispatchers enter the origins and destinations into the system, they are grouped by zip code. The
dispatchers then decide which zip codes will be loaded in a truck and in what sequence for delivery.
This takes several hours at night to accomplish and must be done as quickly as possible so trucks
can be loaded and sent out in the morning for delivery. Arranging shipment sequence within a zip
code is done by locating each address on a map and entering it into the system in the best order.
Pickups are handled in a similar manner. Freight tracking features are not yet integrated; this should
be developed in the future to meet one of the business objectives. The freight tracking features of
this system has not yet been developed.

The Fleet Maintenance System contains information on each vehicle in the fleet. It includes all
vehicle specifications, a summary of all repairs, a preventive maintenance schedule and an
inventory of parts on hand. This information is entered by accounting clerks, mechanics, purchasing
clerks and anyone else who has time to do data entry. It is not as time consuming as the route
optimization/freight tracking system, but it contains information critical to fleet reliability. The
greatest challenge is scheduling preventative maintenance since it requires vehicles to be down for
two days. The dispatchers do not want the equipment taken out of service because it causes
planning headaches. The relationship between dispatchers and maintenance personnel is strained.

IT Organization
When Lance was hired as CIO last month, he took a close look at the current staffing. The IT staff
consists of 25 people, seven of whom are programmers. The programmers are charged with all
systems development and integration work for the company. They have three projects in their
current portfolio. Their skill sets include SQL, .Net and C+ programming, and Web design.

There are eight helpdesk personnel who support the eight distribution terminals (one at each
terminal). They work independently but report directly to the CIO. The remaining staff includes two
network engineers, a financial systems specialist (an expert in the features of the Precise Financial

Reporting System), a computer security expert, two shift supervisors (who report to the CIO and
supervise the programmers, network engineers, financial systems specialist and computer
security expert at headquarters), a web designer (though there is no website currently in use, this
person reports to the shift supervisors), and the CIO and his two personal assistants.

The IT staff supports multiple locations. At the Los Angeles headquarters/terminal/warehouse there
are 15 servers (they contain all software and data; one stores a backup copy of the data) and 30 PCs
for accounting, marketing, IT, administration and management. The terminal/warehouse operations
offices have eight PCs for dispatchers, one for each of the maintenance offices, one for parts and
one for drivers in the driver lounge. The other seven terminals have 10 PCs each and connect to
headquarters by a virtual private network (VPN).

Summer, 2021 IFSM301

IT Portfolio
Precise Financial Reporting System- This new system will replace the current Finance and
Accounting System. It is an off-the-shelf product that requires the owner to make modifications to
interface with other systems they may own. Two programmers are working on the project. One is
setting up the database and loading the software on servers. The other is learning about the system
to write an interface with the Route Optimization/Freight Tracking System. A representative of the
vendor of Precise Financial will train the accounting staff in its use. This will take about two weeks.
It can be assumed that this new system will cover any Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) mandate
requirements.

Management Reporting System- Senior management wanted to know financial information daily.
Two programmers have been working on a system to compile the data in a format they can use.
They plan to extract information from Precise Financials when it is ready but for now have focused
on the current system. They will be done in two months.

Mobile Marketing App- The marketing manager asked for an app that sales staff could use to show
potential customers information. This would include things like fleet photos and specifications;
pictures of the eight terminals and information about the distribution/warehouse services GGFRT
can provide; and a comparison of their costs using sample shipments with rates from competitors
compared to GGFRT costs. A programmer and the web designer are working on the project. It will
take two more months to complete. The purpose of this app is not for tracking of freight and/or
driver hours/vehicle mileage.

The current design/development process is best described by the way it worked in the selection and
integration of Precise Financials. The CFO asked the (former) CIO to develop a new finance and
accounting system. The CIO interviewed large, respected companies and, after comparing their
capability to the current system, chose Precise Financial Reporting. Two programmers were
assigned, and a Precise Financial Reporting System specialist was hired to work between IT and the
finance office. The CIO receives progress reports every two weeks.

Situation

When Lance was hired, he toured each terminal to see the IT setup and understand local business
operations. It was important to him to know just how each person used the systems. He spent time
with bookkeepers and accountants, dispatchers, drivers and terminal management. Since he came
from one of GGFRT’s customers he knew that customers could offer insight into business
improvements that would be good for both companies. He visited one large customer in each of the
terminal’s area of service to get feedback on how operations between them and GGFRT could be
improved. His goal was to see how he could translate what he learned into systems improvements.

Interestingly the most complaints came from bookkeepers and accountants. They said the system
was slow and data entry was tedious because accuracy was very important. If they entered wrong
information, it could cause incorrect billing (rates are based on weight and size), improper loading
(the wrong zip code could mean sending freight in the wrong direction unless a dispatcher caught
the error), and more. They estimated current accuracy at about 95% but they had no way of
knowing for sure. Further, they complained about financial reporting and their ability to meet

Summer, 2021 IFSM301

compliance requirements. Reporting was mostly a manual process and data they needed from the
system was not easily accessed. Most of them had resorted to keeping small ledgers at their desks
to track information they knew they would need for reporting.

The dispatchers explained that routing wasn’t all that hard, just time consuming. The routing
system grouped all the shipments by zip code. They would take all the shipments in a zip code and
look at the weight and size (how much cubic space each one needed in a truck), plot them on a map
and then put them in delivery sequence. They thought most trucks left the loading dock full and
that that the drivers made adjustments in their delivery sequence when needed. Pickups were a bit
more challenging. Sometimes they sent a truck out just to pick up freight and bring it back to the
terminal. Other times they contacted a driver to ask them to stop at a customer to pick up a
shipment while they were making deliveries. Since they didn’t know exactly how much space was
available on the truck this was a hit or miss situation. Drivers were left to decide if they could make
it work.

Drivers were the most outspoken, probably because no one ever asked for their opinion. They were
also the happiest of employees (this might explain why they were non-union). They liked being able
to make decisions on the go and they knew the customers very well. In fact, they could call some of
them if they were running late and the customer would stay open so they could deliver or pick up a
shipment. They seemed to have favorite customers and often spent extra time with them talking
about common interests. Generally, they were good ambassadors for the company.

Terminal managers were under constant pressure. Their main goal was to get shipments into and
out of the terminal as quickly as possible. Delivery times were measured and part of their
performance plan. They knew the company had established three new strategies because they
were explained in an email they just got. Lance asked how they might provide warehousing
services. Most felt they had extra space and could take on some storage but keeping track of the
shipments might be a problem. They had to do this manually and the bookkeepers were the ones to
keep the records. They felt more bookkeepers would be needed but they didn’t know how many.

Lance also met with the maintenance and safety staff at the San Bernardino terminal. The
maintenance folks had a large workload and complained that they had a hard time getting
equipment in the shop for preventative work. They did not know when equipment would be
available until the last minute, so scheduling was always a scramble because they needed to make
sure mechanics were available to do the work. They had a lot of complaints about shifting work
hours and the effect it had on their personal lives.

The Safety Manager expressed concerns over driver hours of service. There are federal regulations
that limit drivers to 11 hours of driving at a time. Then they need to take an eight-hour break. The
problem was tracking the driver’s hours to make sure they stayed within the law. Dispatchers tried
to help with this when they scheduled pickups and deliveries but there was no easy way to do it and
the results were often based on best guess. The safety manager who was ultimately responsible for
compliance had drivers turn in their hours each day, but this was always after the fact.

Summer, 2021 IFSM301

Lance’s customer visits were eye-opening. Most of the customers had automated inventory systems
and could easily track products from raw material to finished goods. They knew exactly what they
would ship and when, usually several days ahead of time. Some customers however needed near
instantaneous shipping. They wanted same-day pickup in a lot of cases and fast delivery. In most
cases, they were all able to produce electronic documents such as the bill of lading and email or FAX
it to GGFRT.

During his interview for the CIO position, Lance was told that the previous IT Director had left a
good foundation and that the staff seemed sufficient in number and appeared to be very capable.
However, since GGFRT is developing its strategies for the future, the staff must be able to support
the business strategies as well as the IT strategies that Lance would develop. One of the first things
Lance did was to interview each member of his staff. He discovered that the roles and
responsibilities tended to overlap and that morale among his staff was very low. Lance also
interviewed the senior leadership of GGFRT and learned that his staff was not meeting their
expectations for service. The help desk was perceived as being only somewhat competent and took
much too long to respond to problems. Application developers were very slow in delivering
systems, and when the systems were finally delivered, they did not reflect what the customers
needed or wanted. Network outages occurred too often from the users’ perspective. Finally, the
Chief Financial Officer told Lance that the IT costs need to be reduced. Lance knew he had many
challenges. He was determined to identify essential projects and then prioritize them for
management review. The outcomes would affect almost every aspect of the business. His IT
portfolio was about to grow, and her organization will need to change to meet the challenges.

Your Task

From the perspective of the CIO for GGFRT, you will be completing many tasks over this semester.

• In the ITSP #1 assignment, your main goals will be to develop a new business strategic
objective that you feel is one that GGFRT needs to accomplish. You will write IT Mission and
Vision statements and develop an IT Governance Board, select an IT Governance
Methodology, choose your team and discuss their roles on the board. You will also choose a
prioritization tool to rank projects and discuss criteria that is important while prioritizing
those projects along with a few other tasks.

• In the ITSP #2 assignment, your main goals will be to choose IT strategies, aligning them
with business strategic objectives from the ITSP #1 assignment. You will complete an IT
roadmap of the current project schedule and add a new project that you will deem
important to GGFRT’s operations. You will discuss risk of implementing projects from the
CIO perspective and create steps of a Business Continuity Plan along with a few other tasks.

• For the CIO Memo assignment, you will discuss your leadership philosophy and
management style, address IT strategies and discuss how each will benefit the business,
create an organizational chart based on the information presented above for the 24
employees in the IT Department, explain how a CIO Organization differs from an IT
Department, note Key Services (functions, positions) that will be included/eliminate in your
new CIO Organization, create a new CIO organizational chart, and discuss key milestones
(related to the Key Services’ section) for accomplishing your new CIO organizational
structure along with a few other tasks.

Summer, 2021 IFSM301

• In the IT Decision Paper assignment, your project will be presented (from the ITSP #2
assignment), the strategic alignment of your project to one of the business objectives (from
the ITSP #1 assignment) and IT strategies (from the ITSP #2 assignment) will be discussed,
discussion of where your proposed project would fit into the IT roadmap (from the ITSP #2
assignment) will be discussed, how your project will share data, integrate, or replace an
existing or proposed system will be discussed, benefits the project will provide to GGFRT,
requirements of the project, anticipated cost/size of the project, performance measures of
your project and the system development life cycle steps of your project along with a few
other tasks.

GGFRT is a fictitious company created for the IFSM 301 Case Study.
02/26/2021 for University of Maryland Global Campus

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