GG Freightways (GGFRT) CIO Organizational Structure Memo Paper
Before you begin this assignment, be sure you have read the “GG Freightways Case Study,” as well as all materials in the course to date. You will also need to review any feedback you received on your IT Strategic Plan #2 assignment.
Purpose of this Assignment
This assignment gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to apply the course concepts to address the organizational changes needed to evolve the information technology (IT) department into a true CIO organization to support the GG Freightways (GGFRT). This assignment specifically addresses the following course outcome to enable you to:
· explain the roles and responsibilities of an information technology department to support an organization’s IT strategy
CIO Organizational Structure Memo
For this assignment, you will assume the role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at GGFRT (i.e., you are Lance). Since you are GGFRT’s first CIO, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has asked you for a plan for the organizational changes you need to make. One of the first things you realize is that the organization that exists is just an ‘IT Department’ and you know that what GGFRT needs and has hired you to create an organization that fulfills the broad responsibilities of a Chief Information Officer. You know that your proposal needs to be convincing to the CFO in order for you to get the resources you need.
You will develop a memorandum addressed to the CFO that explains how you want to change your IT Department into a CIO organization and why. Your memo will address each of the topics listed below, and should be written so that it flows well from one section to the next. In addition to the course materials, (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 include the following in your memorandum, ensuring that each section flows well to the next, and that the overall memo creates a compelling justification for your new organizational structure.
1. – Open your memo with a brief (2 or 3 sentences) explanation of why you are writing it. For the introduction, provide some background on the current inefficiencies in the IT Department; thus, the need for reorganization. For the purpose, you are writing to the CFO who must approve the organizational changes.
2. – Since you are the CIO and a member of the senior leadership team of GGFRT, it is important for the other members of the team to understand your (1) leadership philosophy and (2) the management style (e.g., Participative, Autocratic, Laissez Faire, etc.) you will use to meet the company’s needs. This should be a short paragraph for each section that ties to the priorities and/or issues outlined in the Case Study and lays the foundation for the organizational structure you will propose below. Refer to course readings and presentations on leadership. This is also a good area in which to do some external research for specific leadership qualities and a management style you will utilize.
This is your leadership philosophy and management style, so should not be written from the company and/or department perspective.
3. – To show how your CIO organization will support GGFRT, you will present and explain three (3) internal IT strategies. For Part 2 of your IT Strategic Plan, you provided at least one (1) example of an internal IT strategy. Identify your internal IT strategy from the ITSP #2 assignment, then add two (2) more internal IT strategies, so that you have a total of three (3).
Describe each of the three strategies, identify if they address people, process or technology and explain how they will help improve the organization’s effectiveness. Refer to the “Creating a Future Vision for the Chief Information Officer” from Week 2 for an explanation of internal and external (business-enabling) IT strategies.
. An IT strategy is not the accomplishment of a business objective as that has a business, not IT focus.
Please use the following table, copying/pasting it into your assignment (add lines if needed):
Internal IT Strategy/Description
People, Process, or Technology (state which one or more is applicable)
Explanation of how this IT Strategy will Help Improve the Organization’s Effectiveness
Example: do not use but leave it in the table when completing this section.
Meet compliance requirements by updating current technology or developing/acquiring new technology to meet these various mandates (only one would be chosen from the business strategic objective from ITSP #1).
By updating the Finance/Accounting System to Precise Financials (to meet SOX requirements), updating current or developing a new Fleet Maintenance System, notification on 10K mandated vehicle safety checks will be timelier, developing technology to capture driver hours, the company will be more proactive in their scheduling of vehicles and drivers in their operations which results in a more efficient day-to-day operations.
4. – Use the information provided in the Case Study to draw an organization chart depicting the current roles and responsibilities of only the 25 IT Department personnel. You may take some liberties in how you align the staff that is described in the Case Study, but all IT staff positions or groups must be included in the structure.
Refer to course materials for an example of an IT organization chart. You may use the Shapes tool or the SmartArt tool to develop your organizational hierarchy chart, or you may paste in your chart from another drawing tool.
5. – Explain in a paragraph or two how a CIO Organization is different from an IT Department.
. Be sure to create a transition from the previous section. This may be an area for you to do some external research (a reference should be provided for more credit).
6. – List and explain three (3) key services (personnel, sub-departments of the CIO Organization) that need to be included in your new CIO organizational structure. You may eliminate functions or positions from your current organizational structure if you believe it will improve your effectiveness and/or efficiency; these should be explained. You should also add (and explain) any functions that you will need in your new CIO organization. Be sure these services are appropriate to your IT strategies (section #3) and note how each relates in your discussion.
Please use the following table, copying/pasting it into your assignment (add lines if needed):
State IT Strategy (section #3) /Key Service’s Relationship to IT Strategy
Example: do not use but leave it in the table when completing this section.
Addition to the IT staff of a Compliance Officer
Meet compliance requirements by updating current technology or developing/acquiring new technology to meet those mandates. By adding this position, it will oversee any projects/personnel that would be involved on any projects where compliance mandates are being implemented to ensure that all mandate requirements are covered in the software.
7. – Briefly explain what changes you will make and why. Draw an organization chart depicting your new CIO organizational structure
(Follow the guidelines for drawing the organization chart given above for the current organization.)
8. – Your memo should include three (3) key milestones (tasks or events) associated with accomplishing the changes that you see are needed to change the IT Department into a CIO organization. Each milestone should be briefly described (in a sentence or two) and a target completion date should be shown. In addition, for each milestone you should identify at least one issue or concern you have with accomplishing it. One example using a milestone not related to the organization might be: The milestone is to consolidate all servers into a new data center by February 2021. Some issues might be: (1) a secure data center must be located, (2) it will require significant downtime for the corporate servers, and (3) the initial cost will be high. An example related to the case study is presented below. Consider that the changes begin today; your milestones should be dated in the future.
Please use the following table, copying/pasting it into your assignment (add lines if needed):
Target Completion Date (list in chronologic order)
Issue(s)/Concerns Accomplishing the Milestone
Example: do not use but leave it in the table when completing this section.
Hiring of the Compliance Officer
October 31, 2020
Finding a person with the correct skill set with a thorough understanding of both IT and the various agencies’ compliance requirements may be difficult
9. – Provide an appropriate closing to your memo. It should summarize some of the key points in the various sections as well as include a statement or two of follow-up with the CFO.
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. Use memo format for this assignment; you can find memo templates in Word.
· In the CIO Memo assignment, you are preparing the document based on the feedback from the second assignment and scoring rubric. However, you don’t need to include Parts 1 and 2 in this submission.
· 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 outline format in the assignment instructions above, for these sections:
1. Introduction and Purpose
2. Leadership Philosophy
a. Leadership Philosophy:
b. Management Style:
3. Internal IT Strategies
4. Current IT Department Structure
5. New CIO Organization
6. Key Services
7. New CIO Organization Structure
8. Key Milestones
· Write a short, concise paper: Use the recommendations provided in each area for of response. It’s important to value .
· Content areas should be ; table entries should be .
: 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 is preceded by an that explains what is contained in the table (if required in that specific section), so the reader understands why the table has been included.
1. Use at least two with citation and reference. 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.
· Use a for resources required for this assignment. Use APA format for your reference page.
· Running headers are not required for this report; however, please use page numbers.
· Compare your work to the below to be sure you have met content and quality criteria.
· Submit your paper as a , or a document that can be read in Word. Keep tables in Word format – do not paste in graphics.
· The format of the assignment must be completed in MS Office Memo format. Use a template from Word to start this assignment.
· Your submission should include
: Lastname_Firstname_CIO Memo
The “right” and “wrong” answers have to do with whether or not you correctly incorporated the course concepts and vocabulary from the course materials and addressed all parts of the assignment. The organizational structure you propose is not as important as that it makes sense in light of the course content and the Case Study. Use the Rubric below to be sure you have covered all aspects of the assignment.
Far Above Standards
< 60% Well Below Standards Total Possible Points Introduction and Purpose 5 Points Introduction and purpose of the memo are clear and concise and set the stage for the remainder of the memo; are clearly tied to the Case Study; and demonstrate understanding of course concepts, analysis and critical thinking. 4 Points Introduction and purpose of the memo are clear and concise, set the stage for the remainder of the memo, and are tied to the Case Study. 3.5 Points Introduction and purpose provide explanation of why the memo is being written. 3 Points Introduction and purpose may not be as clear, concise, or set the stage for the remainder of the memo. 0-2 Points Introduction and purpose are not provided, and/or are not appropriate to the Case Study or provide too little information. 5 Leadership Philosophy 9-10 Points CIO leadership philosophy and management style are well defined with reference used to support explanation, explicitly tied to the priorities and/or issues in the Case Study and lay the foundation for the organizational structure proposed in the memo. 8 Points CIO leadership philosophy and management style are well defined, are tied to the priorities and/or issues in the Case Study and lay the foundation for the organizational structure proposed in the memo. 7 Points CIO leadership philosophy and management style are discussed and are tied to the Case Study. 6 Points CIO leadership philosophy and management style may be partially defined and/or partially tied to the priorities and/or issues in the Case Study. 0-5 Points Leadership philosophy and management style are not included, are clearly not tied to the Case Study, and/or provide too little information. 10 Internal IT Strategies 9-10 Points This section includes an effective and well-written introductory paragraph that is applicable to the Case Study and the table that follows. Three (3) internal IT strategies are presented, fully described, and a full and convincing explanation given as to how each will improve the organization’s effectiveness; IT strategies are very appropriate for the Case Study. There is one (1) identified strategy for each of: people, process, and technology; demonstrates strong understanding of course vocabulary and concepts, analysis, and critical thinking. 8 Points This section includes an appropriate introductory paragraph that is applicable to the Case Study and the table that follows. Three (3) internal IT strategies are presented, fully described, and a full and a good explanation given as to how each will improve the organization’s effectiveness; IT strategies are appropriate for the Case Study. There is one (1) identified strategy for each of: people, process, and technology; demonstrates understanding of course vocabulary and concepts. 7 Points This section includes an introductory paragraph that applies to the Case Study. Three (3) internal IT strategies are presented, described and an explanation given as to how each will improve the organization’s effectiveness; IT strategies are appropriate for the Case Study. There is one (1) identified strategy for each of: people, process, and technology. 6 Points Fewer than three (3) internal IT strategies are presented; descriptions and explanations are partially complete or accurate; the table lacks an introduction; strategies are not appropriate for the Case Study; and/or do not cover people, process, and technology. 0-5 Points Internal IT Strategies are not included and/or are not tied to the Case Study; the table lacks an introduction and/or provides too little information. 10 Current IT Department Structure 9-10 Points A well-written introduction to this section is followed by an organizational chart that includes all of the current positions and groups of the IT staff and is highly relevant to the Case Study. Organizational chart is very professionally presented, uses a logical and easily understandable structure, and spelling is correct. 8 Points An appropriate introduction to this section is followed by an organizational chart that includes all of the current positions and groups of the IT staff and is relevant to the Case Study; organizational chart is professionally presented, uses a logical structure, and spelling is correct. 7 Points An introduction to this section is followed by an organizational chart that includes all of the current positions and groups of the IT staff and is relevant to the Case Study; organizational chart uses a logical structure, with very few spelling errors. 6 Points The introduction is somewhat applicable or missing; the organizational chart does not include all current positions and groups of the IT staff; chart is not relevant to the Case Study; chart does not use a logical structure and/or contains several spelling errors. 0-5 Points Current IT Department organization chart is not included or is extremely poorly presented, contains many spelling errors, and/or does not convey the information. 10 New CIO Organization 9-10 Points Detailed explanation of the goals & responsibilities of an IT Department and CIO Organization are clearly noted as well as the differences them are well written and complete with reference used to support explanation; discussion is tied to previous sections and case study information with good transition; demonstrates thorough understanding of course vocabulary and concepts, analysis, and critical thinking. 8 Points Explanation of the goals & responsibilities of an IT Department and CIO Organization as well as the differences between them are complete, well written and complete, and demonstrate a good understanding of course vocabulary and concepts, analysis and critical thinking. A smooth transition ties this section to previous sections including integration of case study information. 7 Points An explanation of the goals & responsibilities of an IT Department and CIO Organization as well as the differences between them are provided. Transition from previous sections is provided. Some discussion of case study information was provided. 6 Points Explanation of the goals & responsibilities of an IT Department and CIO Organization as well as the differences between them may not be accurate or complete; transition may be missing or ineffective. Minimal to no discussion of case study information was provided. 0-5 Points Explanation of the goals and responsibilities of an IT Department and CIO Organization as well as the differences between an IT them are not included or extremely minimal in content or accuracy; little effort shown. 10 Key Services 14-15 Points Three (3) key services are listed and fully explained in detail, including new services; elimination of functions or positions no longer needed are convincingly explained; services are highly appropriate to the IT Strategies provided above and are applicable to the Case Study; relationship to the IT strategy is thoroughly discussed; demonstrates strong understanding of course vocabulary and concepts, analysis, and critical thinking. 12-13 Points Three (3) key services are listed and fully explained, including new services; elimination of functions or positions no longer needed are explained well; services are appropriate to the IT Strategies provided above and are applicable to the Case Study; relationship to the IT strategy is clearly discussed; demonstrates understanding of course vocabulary and concepts, analysis, and critical thinking. 10-11 Points Three (3) key services are listed and explained, including new services; eliminated services are explained. All services are appropriate to IT Strategies above; relationship to the IT strategy is discussed. 9 Points Fewer than three (3) key services are listed or explained and/or explanations are incomplete and/or eliminated functions are not explained and/or services are not appropriate to IT Strategies above and/or may not be applicable to the Case Study. 0-8 Points Key Services are not included, or are too few and incompletely explained, and/or are not at all appropriate to the IT Strategies above and/or the Case Study. 15 New CIO Organization Structure 9-10 Points Explanation of organizational changes is complete, well justified and explicitly tied to the Case Study. The chart of the new organization clearly includes the key services listed above and is professionally presented using a logical and easily understandable structure, with correct spelling. 8 Points Explanation of organizational changes is complete and tied to the Case Study. The chart of the new organization clearly includes the key services listed above and is professionally presented using a logical structure, with correct spelling. 7 Points Explanation of organizational changes is provided with rationale for each. Chart of new organization includes all key services listed above and uses a logical structure, with very few spelling errors. 6 Points Explanation of organizational changes is inadequate or incomplete and/or partially justified; chart of new organization chart does not include all key services listed above and/or chart does not use a logical structure and/or contains several spelling errors. 0-5 Points Explanation of organizational changes is missing or incomplete; chart of new organization is not included or is extremely poorly presented, contains many spelling errors, and/or does not convey the information. 10 Key Milestones 9-10 Points Three (3) key milestones (tasks or events) are listed, fully described, and have reasonable target dates and are presented in chronological order; more than one issue or concern is provided for each. Milestones are relevant to the changes that need to be made, as discussed in the memo, are clearly tied to the Case Study, and demonstrate understanding of course vocabulary and concepts and critical thinking. 8 Points Three (3) key milestones (tasks or events) are listed, fully described, and have reasonable target dates and are presented in chronological order; more than one issue or concern is provided for some milestones. Milestones are relevant to the changes that need to be made, as discussed in the memo, and are relevant to the Case Study. 7 Points Three (3) key milestones (tasks or events) associated with accomplishing the organizational changes are listed, briefly described, and show a target completion date and are listed in chronological order. For each milestone, at least one issue or concern is presented. 6 Points Fewer than three (3) key milestones (tasks or events) are listed and described; target dates are missing or are not reasonable or not presented in chronological order; at least one issue or concern is not provided for each and/or milestones are not relevant to the changes that need to be made or to the Case Study. 0-5 Points Key Milestones, descriptions, target dates, and/or issues and concerns are missing or incomplete. 10 Conclusion 5 Points The closing section of the memo is appropriate, relevant, effective, and meaningful. 4 Points The closing section of the memo is appropriate and relevant. 3.5 Points The closing section of the memo is relevant. 3 Points The closing section of the memo is somewhat effective and/or relevant. 0-2 Points The closing section is extremely incomplete or not included. 5 External Research 5 Points Two (2) or more sources other than the class materials are incorporated, are substantive, and are used effectively. Sources used are relevant and timely, contribute to the analysis, and support conclusions. References are appropriately incorporated and cited using APA style. 4 Points At least one (1) source other than the class 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 class materials is used and properly incorporated into the text. Reference is cited using APA style. 3 Points A source other than the class materials may be used, but is not properly incorporated in-text, and/or is not relevant or timely and/or APA style for references and citations is not followed. 0-2 Points No external research is incorporated or reference listed is not cited within text. 5 Memo Format 9-10 Points Memo format is used and content is very well organized; appropriate transitions are included from one section to the next; correct sentence structure, grammar, and spelling is used; presented in a professional format; uses sophisticated writing and demonstrates understanding of course concepts and vocabulary. 8 Points Memo format is used and reflects effective organization; appropriate transitions are included from one section to the next; correct sentence structure, grammar, and spelling are used; presented in a professional format. 7 Points Memo has some organization; may have some errors in sentence structure, grammar, and spelling. 6 Points Memo format is somewhat followed; is not well organized; does not use appropriate transitions; and/or does not use correct sentence structure, grammar, and spelling. 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 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: https://shipnorthamerica.com/resources/shipping-wiki/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” https://shipnorthamerica.com/resources/shipping-wiki/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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