1 The consultant’s report has highlighted the need to modernise the IS department through the use of project
management software and CASE tools.
(a) Describe the features and functions of project management software and explain the advantages of such
software in the context of the Accashire Bank IS department and the consultant’s modernisation comments.
(b) Describe the features and functions of CASE tools and explain the advantages of such software in the context
of the Accashire Bank IS department and the consultant’s modernisation comments. (10 marks)
2 The consultant has suggested that part of the modernisation should be to reorganise the strict hierarchical structure
of the IS department into a flat project-team based structure. She has also recommended the formal sign-off of system
requirements and specifications.
(a) Explain what she means by a flat, project-team based structure. (6 marks)
(b Explain TWO advantages of using this structure in an IS department. (6 marks)
(c) Explain the implications of the proposed formal sign-off of system requirements and specifications:
(i) From the perspective of user departments; (4 marks)
(ii) From the perspective of the IS department.
3 The consultant’s report also suggests two ways of improving productivity through the use of Fourth Generation
Languages and ‘off-the-shelf’ software packages.
(a) Explain what is meant by a Fourth Generation Language. (4 marks)
(b) Briefly describe TWO features or functions of a Fourth Generation Language which would benefit end-users
at Accashire Bank. (6 marks)
(c) Briefly explain why ‘time to implementation’ and ‘quality’ are perceived as advantages of the software
package approach. (6 marks)
(d) Comment on the consultant’s suggestion that tailoring packages is an effective and efficient method of
delivering strategic benefits.
4 Managing Information Systems
A City Council is currently reviewing the way it accounts for the cost of its IT department. Currently the IT department
is a non-rechargeable cost centre with user departments (such as Housing and Social Services) having free, unlimited
access to the services and resources of the IT department. However, the chief executive of the City Council has
concerns about this approach and is currently considering a number of ways of cross-charging user departments for
the IT resources they use. The IT director of the City Council would prefer to establish the IT department as a separate
company, providing hardware and software services to local companies as well as the City Council.
(a) Briefly describe TWO disadvantages to the City Council of the current policy of treating IT as a nonrechargeable
cost centre. (4 marks)
(b) Briefly explain the general principles and benefits of cross-charging the IT department costs to user
departments. (4 marks)
(c) Two ways of cross-charging costs are currently being considered:
– Recharged at cost
– Recharged at a mark up (profit centre)
(i) Briefly describe the principles of each approach. (4 marks)
(ii) Briefly describe ONE disadvantage of each approach as a way of cross-charging costs. (4 marks)
The IT director of the City Council is keen to establish the IT department as a separate company providing software
services to organisations outside the City Council.
(d) Briefly describe ONE advantage and ONE disadvantage to the Council of establishing the IT department as
a separate company.