To analyze and design appropriate information systems, systems analysts need to comprehend the organizations they work in as systems shaped through the interactions of three main forces: the levels of management, design of organizations, and organizational cultures.
Organizations are large systems composed of interrelated subsystems. The subsystems are influenced by three broad levels of management decision makers (operations, middle management, and strategic management) that cut horizontally across the organizational system. Organizational cultures and subcultures all influence the way people in subsystems interrelate. These topics and their implications for information systems development are considered in this chapter.
There are three broad organizational fundamentals to consider when analyzing and designing information systems: the concept of organizations as systems, the various levels of management, and the overall organizational culture.
Organizations are complex systems composed of interrelated and interdependent subsystems. In addition, systems and subsystems are characterized by their internal environments on a continuum from open to closed. An open system allows free passage of resources (people, information, materials) through its boundaries; closed systems do not permit free flow of input or output. Organizations and teams can also be organized virtually with remote members connected electronically who are not in the same physical workspace. Enterprise resource planning systems are integrated organizational (enterprise) information systems developed with customized, proprietary software that help the flow of information between the functional areas in the organization. They support a systems view of the organization.
Once you have mastered the material in this chapter you will be able to:
- Understand that organizations and their members are systems and that analysts need to take a systems perspective.
- Depict systems graphically using context-level data flow diagrams, entity-relationship models, and use cases and use case scenarios.
- Recognize that different levels of management require different systems.
- Comprehend that organizational culture impacts the design of information systems.
- Organizations as Systems
- Virtual Organizations and Virtual Teams
- Taking a Systems Perspective
- Enterprise Systems: Viewing the Organization as a System
- Systems and the Context-Level Data Flow Diagram
- Systems and the Entity-Relationship Model
- Use Case Modeling / Use Case Symbols
- Use Case Relationships
- Developing Use Case Diagrams & Use Case Scenarios
- Use Case Levels (Use case Modeling)
- Levels of Management
- Organizational Culture