Fall 2015

Professor Chen

Student Name: ______

(Print Please)

ROW No.: ______

Part I: Multiple Choice [In-Class Exam] 90 points

Part II. Essay and Case [Take-Home] 90 points

  1. Short Essay22 points
  2. Mini-Case68 points

1)12 points

2)19 points

3)18 points

4)19 points


Total 180 points


1. You are responsible for PLACING the correct answer in Part ONE. In order to get full credit, your answers to Part TWO must be readable and legible. There are 5 pages in this test including this sheet. Please check it for completeness B E F O R E proceeding.

2. This final exam (Parts I and II) is worth 30% of the total final course grade.

3. Part II is “take-home” and you must upload to the Bb and turn in a hardcopy by the deadline, Monday5pm, Nov. 9, 2015.

G O O D L U C K!

*** You MUST read the following instructions carefully. Failure to follow the instructions, your final course grade may result an F (a failure grade).

  1. This is the Part (II) of take-home final, an INDIVIDUAL work – it means that NO one is allowed to communicate with anyone.
  2. ALL answers should be done using a WORD PROCESSING SOFTWARE.
  3. The due date is Monday5pm, Nov. 9,2015. No late work will be accepted unless a prior permission from the instructor.
  4. Please use the following format: Font: Times New Roman, Font size: 12 pt. and single space.
  5. This final exam is worth 30% of the course grade.
  6. There are 5pages on the take-home final.
  7. Turn in the final with the following instructions:
  1. The entire test and the answers (hardcopy) to the mini-case
  2. Rename the file as mbus626-FINAL-Lastname_Firstname.docx
  3. Upload the entire test (with the answer) to the Bb.
  4. Turn in a hardcopy to my mailbox before the same deadline.

A. Short Essay Question (22 points)

1.(11 points)

a) According to the class lecture, text book and case discussion, draw the model and explain the “pricing strategy matrix”. (7 points)

b) Which one is the correct strategy for Binnj? Why? Explain clearly (4 points)

2. (11 points)

a) According to the class lecture, text book, list the three types of people should be involved with project management. (5points)

b) Explain with a business example. (6 points)

B. Mini-Case (68 points)

Note: Your answers will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Relevance: Don’t dump me with whatever buzzwords you heard somewhere else. Answers should be targeted at what is asked in the question. You can list or narrate your points.
  • Conciseness: The length of answers is not a factor in grading. Your answers should be long enough to say what you want to say and short enough not to cause the reader (mainly the instructor) to wonder whether you ever say anything.
  • Insight: Although I have my own answers to the questions, I don’t see them as one and only one correct answer. I especially appreciate persuasive ideas or comments different from mine. The key is that your answers should be supported by evidences (facts in the case or other sources) and by sound reasoning. If you cite other sources, please include a copy of the source.

Assumption: When necessary, you may make reasonable assumptions, or even better, describe recent development of each case.

Read the following case and answer the questions:


It's hard to think of traffic in any big city as being good. But London's traffic at the turn of the Millennium may have been far worse than that of the average metropolis. When driving in London's downtown area, drivers spent around half their time waiting in traffic, incurring 2.3 minutes of delay for every kilometer they traveled. To get its horrendous traffic jams under control, the city government decided to marry information technology with 699 cameras at 203 sites in the 8 square miles targeted for congestion control. Rather than wait in lines to pay a toll, drivers now pay for a daily toll when they drive their cars in the areas marked by a red C logo painted on signs and streets. To verify their being in toll areas, the cameras daily take over a quarter of a million pictures of the license plates of cars in designated areas. Motorists who don't pay the toll that day are automatically fined about $130. The fines and tolls resulted in a project payback period of about one and a half years. In ten years this will translate into total revenues of $2.2 billion-all of which will be used to improve London's public transportation systems. Further, as of March 2003, traffic in the city's center had fallen by an unexpectedly high 20 percent, improving journey times by 5 percent and saving drivers 2 million to 3 million hours of frustration every year.

The project risks were obvious from the outset. The project faced a tight implementation timetable; there was no preexisting model anywhere in the world to follow; and a brand-new transit authority working under a brand-new mayor faced the challenge of integrating new technologies. The narrow, convoluted streets that were hundreds of years old did not lend themselves to collecting tolls. Cameras needed to be situated carefully to achieve sufficiently high levels of number recognition accuracy. For the new mayor, the political risk was huge as failure of the system would be extremely damaging to his career.

The department implementing the system, Transport for London, recognized its own limitations in terms of experience, IT ability, and management time. Consequently, Transport for London decided to outsource critical elements of the project management first to consultants from PricewaterhouseCooper and then Deloitte Touche.

Early in the project, project managers identified the critical technical elements and divided the project into five "packages" that could, if required, be bought and managed separately. These included (1) the camera component; (2) the image store component that collected images, converted them into license numbers, and condensed the images (duplicates would occur when one vehicle was photographed by several cameras); (3) the telecommunications links between the cameras and the image store component; (4) the customer services infrastructure, including the ability to pay by phone, Web, and mail; and (5) an extensive network of retail outlet kiosks and gas stations where people could pay the toll.

Even at this early stage, risk aversion played a role. Instead of combining the customer services infrastructure and the retail side into a single customer-facing operation, retail was seen as a big enough challenge to be bought and managed separately. To reduce the risks, the technologies selected for each of the five packages were the best available.

Transport for London requested bids on the project early in 2001. The estimated $11.6 billion project was large enough to require listing in the European Union's public-sector register, and tenders were open to companies throughout Europe. Separate bids could be tendered for the camera and communications packages, while the remaining three could receive bids on a combined basis, or individually. The bid process was managed by Deloitte& Touche, who narrowed the original 40 bids to four. Then two of these bidders undertook a three-month technical design study to focus on issues such as data throughput, how the retail channels would work, how to achieve the best number recognition performance, and what payments might be expected through each payment channel. While both bidders were paid for their technical design, it was decided that the benefits of contracting the two analyses for improving overall project quality would outweigh the cost of paying the losing bidder. The Capita Group, the winning bidder, gained confidence through the process that their technical design, especially for the challenging image store component, was viable.

From the technical point of view, the greatest challenge was the creation and management of the image store. This component had to process a million records each day (picture those 250,000 vehicles moving about the city center all day)--as well as store them for evidentiary purposes for the subsequent prosecution of nonpayers. Meeting the challenge meant carefully evaluating design considerations (such as using the most reliable technology available) and writing software code that would automatically detect which image of a passing vehicle would yield the most accurate number recognition. Simon Pilling, executive director at Capita, who was in charge of the project, stated: "The deadlines were very tight and were politically driven, and it highlighted where the risks were." Capita's contract included clear milestones and damages against the contractor for failure to deliver on time. Deloitte was hired to rigorously monitor Capita's progress in completing the estimated 300 years of effort that would be required to complete the project in the space of a year. The targeted deadline for completion was February 17, 2003.

Capita had successfully bid for the image store, customer payments, and the links to retailers' packages. So that Transport for London could deal with one prime contractor, it awarded Capita the remaining two project packages related to managing the camera and communications. Selecting one company made the task easier. Capita responded by physically locating all people working on the project together in a single building in Coventry, in central England.

The project was delivered on-time and on-budget, and it has reduced traffic congestion more than originally projected. Its success was attributed to several project management aspects. First, scope creep was vigorously guarded against by limiting changes to the requirements. One of the few changes was an option for motorists to pay tolls through the popular SMS text messaging format. Second, Capita's deliverables were spread out over a manageable timescale, rather than concentrated toward the project's end. And third, there was strong top management support from political leaders.


  1. Your answers should be stated comprehensively and thoroughly and according to the lectures and contents from the text book (wherever they are applicable).
  2. Restate each question (description) on your answer sheet.

Questions: (68 points)

Grade will be based on both the quantity and quality of the answer.

  1. Draw and explain (like we have in the case presentation) how can the Information Systems Strategy Triangle Model be employed in the case (10 points)

2. (16 points)

a) According to the text book, what are the four project elements? (4 points)

b) Based on the answer stated above, identify and explain clearly how each individual element related to those described in the case. (12 points)

3. (18 points)

a) According to the text book, what are the three factors for the risk of IT project?(3 points)

b) Based on the answer identified on a) above, assess the risks of this project thoroughly based on three factors. Given your assessment of the project risk, what management strategies would you recommend? What, if any, of these strategies were adopted in this project? (15 points)

4. (15 points)

a) What project technique(s) and tool(s) are likely used in the case? Why (6 points)

b) Evaluate the effectiveness of project technique(s) and tool(s) used in the case in managing the risk stated in the case.(9 points)

  1. When a project is outsourced who should manage the project - the internal group or the outsourcer? Why? (9 points)

Your answers start on the next new page …

MBUS626-Final EXAM; Page-1