GG Freightways (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.


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.)
  • 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.  

  • IT Portfolio Roadmap Alignment � In a short 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)
  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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:
  1. Business/user requirements
    1. IT/system requirements
    1. 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 doThis 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 securityIT/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:

  • 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.� 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.
  • 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:
  • 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. 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:
  • Project Description
  • Strategic Alignment
  • IT Portfolio Roadmap Alignment
  • IT Architecture
  • Benefits
  • Requirements
  • Cost Estimation
  • Performance Measures
  • 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.
  • 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.


Case Study: GG Freightways (GGFRT)