Managing Computer Systems
Main Topics of Study:
A. Organisational Structures
- Hierarchical structures in business.
- Matrix structures in business.
- Management by objectives.
- Centralisation of a business. Affects of decentralisation.
B. General Management Principles
- Management control of a business.
- Planning and scheduling.
- Time management.
- Reporting methods. Reporting to management.
- Communication channels in business.
- Distinction between data and information.
- Information at different levels – operational, tactical, strategic.
- Presenting information – different methods.
- What makes “good” information?
- Form and report design.
D. Business processes
- Decision systems. Executive information systems. Decision support systems. Expert systems.
- IT aids for the manager.
E. Network Analysis/PERT
- Network analysis as a means of project control.
- Definitions of Activity, Event, Critical path, Float, Dummy activity. Activity resources.
- Conventions for drawing a network diagram.
- Draw a network from a table of activities.
- Determine critical path and minimum project duration.
- Gantt Chart. Draw a Gantt. Aggregating resources within a Gantt chart. Levelling resources over the duration of the project.
- The role of the computer in project control.
F. IT Personnel – The roles of IT personnel in the business – their job descriptions.
- Data Processing Manager, Computer Manager.
- Network supervisor/controller.
- Systems Analyst.
- Programmer, Systems Programmer, Programmer Analyst.
- End users and data clerks.
G. Training and Recruiting
- Methods of recruiting particularly for IT staff.
- Methods of selection particularly for IT staff.
- Benefits/drawbacks of training existing staff against recruiting new already-trained staff.
- Training needs. Individual training programs. Personnel development records (PDR).
- Means of providing the right training.
H. Security and Privacy of computer systems
- Difference between Security and Privacy.
- Threats to the security of computer systems – hardware, software and data.
- Means of minimising security problems.
- Privacy issues in business data.
- The manager’s role in controlling security and privacy problems.
I. The effects of computers on business
- Managing changes in business methods.
- Changing role of personnel.
- Changes which affect customers.
- Health issues related to computer use.
- Data Protection Acts and other laws relating to computer systems which affect management and staff.
J. The small business
- Differences in running a small business compared with larger organisations.
- Benefits of IT for the small business related to a PARTICULAR business
- Business plans.
- Choosing the right computer system.
- Problems facing the small business with regards to IT.
- Leasing and Maintenance contracts.